"My experience"3.0 starson by NSeattle
Pros: When it works, it's great.
Cons: Lots of problems with it needing a reset. Did not work outside cities. Rip-off late fees.
Summary: I used the mifi on a recent trip to Spain. The main reason I wanted it along (as opposed to a local card) is that we were going to be driving a bit and I wanted to use online maps while in motion as well as to keep connected throughout the trip. I also wanted to be able to use my iPhone as a helper in navigating on foot around cities. I didn't need phone service, just internet.
When it worked in cities for walking around it was very helpful to pull out the iPhone map and figure out where I was going. Saved a lot of aimless walking. I just kept the Mifi in my backpack. Was nice. Downside is the battery does not last very long so I ended up having to dive into the backpack a lot to turn it off and on to save the battery. I sometimes carried it in my pocket to dinner, etc. (nice for translating menus), but when turned on, it gets VERY hot.
What I did not expect, and was a huge let-down, was that it would lose its cell connection as soon as you left any major metropolitan area. This may be more of a problem with the cell service in the local country rather than the mifi itself, but it would have been nice to know either way ahead of time. I ended up resorting to paper maps when traveling between cities as the mifi became useless.
The most frustrating thing was that when I traveled between cities, it would, like I said, lose its internet connection, but then, when you arrived at the next destination, it STILL wouldn't work. Apparently because you have moved between regional cell carriers (or whatever) it needs a complete reset. Sounds simple, right? Just a quick reset? Think again! You have to push in the little reset button first to clear it out. I ended up MacGyvering a special mifi reset tool out of a hotel comb and using it multiple times. A pen is too large for the hole. Then you have to go through multiple menus to do the "reset". Plan on a half hour each time it fails. Total nightmare. And even more annoying, when I called (international rates, btw), they failed to answer multiple times. They had different hours posted on the multiple places on the web which also didn't match the hours in the manual. Which leads me to a ***? If you're offering a product for traveling internationally, you need have 24 hour support service. Period. Anyway, on call number 3, someone finally answered. Then I had to go through I think 3 people before I found someone who knew what they were talking about.
Last warning: they charged me for a dickish extra day rental when I got home. Funny thing is I rushed it to the FedEx place immediately once I returned. There is literally no physical way I could have gotten it back sooner while staying within this time/space continuum. Ridiculous. Not a lot of extra money, but leaves me feeling cheated.