By default, the router's Web interface is easily accessible by pointing the browser to this address: 192.168.1.1. Here you'll find regular features including the capability to change the SSID, the encryption key, the default gateway IP address, and so on. Other than that, we were impressed to find Port Forwarding, which is an advanced feature that allows for setting up special Internet applications such as an FTP server, an HTTP server, or a remote desktop connection. The Web interface itself was well organized and responsive, and works with any browser.
For security, the MiFi 2200 features both WEP and WPA encryption. It also gives the option to filter wireless clients via their MAC addresses. This is convenient when using handheld devices, such as VoIP phones, where you don't want to have to fiddle with typing in the encryption key.
The Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot supports up to five concurrent Wi-Fi devices. Obviously, we'd like to see it support more, but considering its size, this number is fair. Its range is limited to around 30 feet, which is short compared with any regular wireless router, but again, this is not a surprise considering the device's tiny size.
Supporting the older Wireless-G standard (that caps at 54Mbps), the MiFi 2200's wireless LAN throughput performance was around 5Mbps in CNET Labs' tests (compared with the average 20Mbps of most regular-size Wireless-G routers). This speed is not suitable for transferring a large amount of data between network computers. However, it's still fast enough to share the Internet connection.
In our Internet connection tests, the MiFi 2200 offered around 1,000Kbps download and 500Kbps upload. These speeds reduced slightly when we used it indoors. Nonetheless, these are about the same as the speed of a budget-DSL connection, which is fast enough for general Internet needs, including streaming non-HD multimedia content.
During heavy use, the MiFi's battery life lasted for about 3.5 hours. However, when we used the Internet intermittently; it lasted much longer, up to 8 hours or even more. Verizon said that the device's standby time is rated up to 40 hours and 4 hours of usage. The device takes a couple of hours to fully charge from completely dead.
We tried the Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot in both New York and around the San Francisco Bay Area, both indoors and outdoors, and the coverage was consistently good. We were able to connect from every location we tried.
On the whole, considering its tiny size, we were happy with the MiFi 2200's performance. Of course, we wished it supported more devices at a time, offered Wireless-N (which caps at 300Mbps) performance, had a longer range, and, most of all, offered more affordable data plans.
Service and support
Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot has a one-year warranty for the hardware. It comes with the same support Verizon offers for cell phones, which is 24-7 technical phone support. There is also a section of its Web site dedicated to the MiFi 2200 to help you get started and troubleshoot any problems.