MiFi is a small portable device that allows users to create a wireless hotspot from a mobile broadband connection.
How a MiFi device works is by connecting to a mobile broadband network and then acting as a wireless router it makes available the internet connection to a number of devices.
The devices that want to connect to the MiFi device usually have to be within a close(ish) radius (within 10 meters).
The name is a made from Mobile & WiFi - MiFi
The term MiFi is actually a trademarked name by the company Novatel Wireless who were the company who developed MiFi and use the strap line "Intelligent Mobile Hotspots".
MiFi is a brilliant new development that will be popular and help make the use of mobile broadband grow even more.
The actual MiFi device is a credit card sized device that is able to offer 4 hours of active use off a single charge. Up to 5 wireless enabled devices can connect to it to use the mobile broadband network that is available through the wireless connection. It works in much the same way as wireless routers in the home work but it does not require it to be plugged into an electrical socket or be connected to the telephone line as it gets its connection from the 3G mobile broadband networks.
In the UK currently we have only seen Three mobile broadband make the MiFi available although Vodafone have also made it available in other countries and so will be available in the UK before too long.
Below is a diagram about how MiFi works
The MiFi device get;'s it's connection from the mobile phone network and then makes this available as a wireless hotspot.
Up to 5 devices can connect to the secure Wireless hotspot providing they are within the 10 m (30 ft) range of the MiFi device.