“Dude, get a MiFi!,” Howard might say. But that implies battery power. Or at least plugging the MiFi into the car’s power port and switching it on before I can finally get to use it.
Yeah, I’m too lazy for all those rituals.
I want something that fires up as soon as I start the car. That’s all I ask.
Fortunately, there’s a low-cost solution to make this happen.
The CNet Wireless-N Pico 3.5G Broadband Router (that’s a mouthful!) is a low-cost 3G router that you can get for less than two grand. The feature (or non-feature, depending on your point of view) that I like most about this is that it starts up as soon as you plug it in, just like a regular home router.
Plus, it’s tiny. It is, after all, a “pico hotspot,” as its box says. Apparently, “pico” is the new hot prefix these days, as in pico projectors.
My car has a spare power port in the cargo hold. So all I needed to do was to plug the CNet into that, plug my Sun 3G stick into the CNet, and voila! WiFi on the go. It also helps that the car happened to have a mini-shelf where the router could tuck in snugly:
For the power adapter, I used a cheap (100 pesos) CD-R King USB adapter. Jason is terrified of these things and worries that it might burn his car down or something, but I probably have a bit more trust in CD-R King, the purveyor of all things cheap. So I’m okay with it, and it’s been doing its job fine thus far.
It takes a couple of minutes for the router + modem to orient itself upon startup, but that’s normal for these 3G modems anyway. And then it’s all good.
Hello, automatic WiFi!
The CNet Wireless-N Pico 3.5G Broadband Router is available at Compex stores for Php 1,690. Add a car USB power adapter and a mini-USB to USB cable and you’re on!
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