Originally Posted by centennialman
So...after reading these posts, MIFI looks like a good way to go. Can someone clarify...can you really not stream when using it? I, too, am looking at ways to beef up the WIFI in my Airstream. I will be working on the road during certain parts of the year.
I am sensing a certain unfamiliarity with these things, so . . . [sorry if I have misjudged the situation!]
MIFI and WIFI are two entirely separate and distinct systems. Hard to describe precisely if you are not already familiar with the terminology. See Wikipedia link below.
MIFI -- is a device like the one from Verizon, which uses the cell phone network airwaves to let you access the Internet anywhere a provider like Verizon has cell phone coverage. The device simply translates the Internet access over its own local wireless network You do not need to own a cell phone to use such a MIFI network. A laptop or tablet can use the device to access the Internet.
When you do use a cell phone to access the internet, you are also using this same cell network. Indeed many cell phones are able to become a "Hot spot" which generates its own local WIFI signal (or Bluetooth signal, just to confuse things for you) which others can use to access the Internet with your permission.
Whether you use MIFI device, or a cell phone, you have to pay for the data you use, which in the case of a streaming movie, or music, can add up real quick. Most data plans are capped at certain amounts per month, and anything over the cap is also expensive.
WIFI -- Totally different from MIFI. A WIFI zone starts with a business, hotel, campground, employer, etc. getting its own Internet access from its own Internet Service Provider (ISP), and then turning that access into a local wireless signal for the convenience of their customers, employees and so forth.
In most WIFI hot spots, you do not
pay for the data you use -- the cost is usually included in some other fee you are paying -- campground site rental, hotel room expense, employer-covered cost, cost-of-doing business etc..
The problem is that with so many people all trying to use the same
WIFI hotspot, say at a campground, the "pipe" carrying the data to all the users gets crowded and unreliable. A drag when the movie you are watching stops to re-buffer the signal . . .
Also WIFI hot spots depend on the WIFI signal remaining on and constant. What happens when someone in the campground office accidentally unplug the WIFI router? The signal dies. In contrast, with a MIFI or cell phone connection to Verizon, in theory the signal source you are relying on is more dependable. Or not, but that is a different story!
Sorry, too many words to cover. Gotta go . . .
Clear as mud, right?
Again, hard to explain if you are not already familiar with the terminology.
Maybe this article will help?