When I got my Nexus 7 recently, I got one that didn’t have the new 3G connection and was only wifi-enabled.
Now, being used to an iPad with an always-on internet connection with its postpaid SmartBro SIM, this was a bummer. I didn’t want to have to rely on whatever wifi was on in the place I was currently in. Most often then not, they were all passworded. Of course I could always rely on the Personal Hotspot feature of my iPhone, which turns my phone into a wifi router, and let Smart charge me P5 for every 30 minutes I used their internet. (I had an ancient plan that didn’t have an included unlimited internet connection.) Or I could just bring the iPad along so I use that one’s PH, but that sorta defeats the purpose of having a more portable tablet.
So I figured, to democratize internet usage among my devices, I needed a MiFi device that I could move the SmartBro SIM to. So I set about to looking for a nice MiFi.
I got me a ZTE MF60 4G MiFi Router. I realize this is a slightly older model, superceded by the newer, more expensive MF80, but still fairly new. It used to sell for P7500, but now goes for P4000 or maybe a little less. I got mine from an online seller for P3800.
It comes in a nondescript little generic box marked “ZTE” and a bunch of Chinese characters, with most of the pertinent infomation on the bottom of the box.
The ZTE MF60 is a thin, palm-sized, glossy-black little device that comes with a micro-USB cable and a wall charger. There’s a small white OLED display in the front that gives you your power status, signal status and other connection information. It takes a couple of hours or more to fully charge, and lasts for five hours on full bore with 8 concurrent users. When not in use, it can run on standby mode for a full four days.
As it is, it can run off any postpaid or prepaid SIM from Smart, Globe or Sun, or any other carrier for that matter. It starts up pretty quickly, about ten to 15 seconds or so, which is wicked fast for MiFi devices. You can use the default password, or you can hook it up to your computer and change the SSID and password to your liking, and configure the MiFi device to your specifications. There’s a little slot on the side for you to insert up to a 32GB microSD card for additional storage.
The router runs fast, and can do up to 21Mbps downloading (the newer M80 can do up to twice that—42 Mbps) and up to 5.76Mbps uploads. It isn’t quite 4G yet, more like the limited HSPA+ local carriers are more adept at. ZTE and its 4G label sorta fibbed on that little thing, but the throughput is fast enough so it’s forgivable. It works fine on the Nexus 7, and on my other devices. I love it.
ZTE MF60 4G MiFi Router
HSDPA/HSUPA/UMTS 850/1900/2100 MHz
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
HSPA+: DL 21.6Mbps, UL 5.76Mbps
WCDMA CS: 64Kbps UL/DL
WCDMA PS: 384Kbps UL/DL
WiFi Standard: 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Security: WEP/WPA/WPA2/WAPI
Up to 8 concurrent users/devices on WiFi
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