MiFi vs. WiFi: What's the Difference?

MiFi vs. WiFi: What's the Difference?

Written by Wilson Amplifiers
4th Dec 2019

Staying connected to the world wide web is a necessity in today’s fast-paced culture, and a working knowledge of WiFi and MiFi is a vital cog in that engine. But what is the difference between WiFi and MiFi? Sure, they rhyme, but differentiating between the two is an important step towards planning your perfect route to the best internet access for your lifestyle.

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Remind me, how does WiFi work?

In order to understand MiFi, let’s first refresh our working knowledge of WiFi. WiFi refers to the wireless networks used to convey information over radio waves, much like the way we communicate over the telephone or walkie talkies. WiFi translates these radio waves through a system of wireless adapters, antennas, routers, and wired ethernet cables to bring all the information in the world straight to your fingertips — virtually through thin air.

It’s been more than 20 years since a physical ethernet cord was the only option for internet access, making WiFi a fundamental commodity in most every household and business in the developed world. What started on computers has worked its way onto cell phones, tablets, televisions, watches, and all manner of electronic devices. Odds are, you’re using WiFi right this very moment.

Got It. So What is MiFi?

As pervasive as WiFi has become, it’s not always the most reliable means to access all that data when you’re away from home or the office. That’s where MiFi — think of it as mobile WiFi or perhaps my fi internet — steps in. MiFi is a trademarked brand name meant to represent a mobile device that creates a personal hotspot when and wherever you need it. No cords required. It takes all of that WiFi technology and makes it portable, allowing you to connect all of your devices to the internet in a less stationary environment.

Long story short, WiFi is fixed in one spot. MiFi is a WiFi device that you can bring with you wherever you go.

How do I know if I need a MiFi device?

MiFi makes it easy to stay connected on the move, without jumping from questionable WiFi network to WiFi network, raising privacy and security concerns while clinging to shoddy signals. One portable device keeps your connection private and exclusive, so it’s faster, stronger, and much more reliable.

Should I use a MiFi for Traveling?

Folks who travel frequently benefit greatly from a mobile hotspot device, keeping the internet available for all of those tasks that require more than just a cell phone. While data plans keep mobile phones in the loop, most laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices still require a WiFi signal to function on the internet.

Trying to find the right public WiFi source in an airport, train station, or rest stop is more than just a hassle — it can also compromise your privacy. And let’s be honest, those weak, flagging signals you receive are hardly worth the security risk. Whether you’re fielding conference calls and shared spreadsheets or just trying to finish streaming your favorite TV series before you reach your destination, MiFi makes every moment a little less stressful and a lot more productive.

What are other great uses for a MiFi device?

Outside of planes, trains, and automobiles, MiFi can also provide a great WiFi option for special events and elusive spaces. Spots where WiFi is blocked or weakened can receive a signal of their very own with the right MiFi device, especially when paired with a proper MiFi signal booster.

Venues can maintain uninterrupted contact in impacted spaces with high traffic and a lot of users/transactions. When planning a special event (like a show, concert, conference, wedding, etc) that requires heightened connectivity in an area that isn’t regularly occupied, MiFi keeps all of your devices online for those moments when you can’t afford any slow or dropped signals.

What About My Cell Phone’s Hotspot?

Yes, many carriers create cell phones with a mobile hotspot built in. No doubt most of us have activated this feature on our smartphones in a pinch, only to watch the battery life plummet before our very eyes.

Waiting on an important email, document, or phone call? Keeping your line free and your signal strong when dropped calls and slow download speeds simply aren’t an option. A MiFi device takes the strain off of your phone — providing a stronger, faster, more direct signal without tying up your phone and draining your battery and data plan. Because deadlines don’t come with a pause button.

Can I Strengthen my MiFi Signal?

Yes! Signal boosters work wonders with MiFi devices. The same way a signal booster amplifies your WiFi or cellular signal, MiFi signal boosters expand your range and strengthen your connection, wherever you go. Now that you’ve got your own personal mobile signal, you may as well make the most of it.

Any scenario that puts your WiFi access in doubt — be it long layovers, car rides, remote destinations, a stall at the farmers market, or a visit to the dial-up-devoted in-laws — a signal booster can give your MiFi device the strength and clarity to maintain your connection to sanity, AKA the internet.

It’s wireless connectivity that’s all yours, on-the-go. Avoid all the hardware, cords, and calls to the cable company that are wired into your home WiFi — just toss one compact, wire-free, travel-friendly device into your bag. That’s Mi-Fi. And it goes where you go. Hope this helps.

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Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 3G & 4G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.

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