Recently I mentioned using my wife's Verizon MiFi 2200 pocket wireless modem in the Overland during a road trip. Thought I'd share some impressions and get input on other solutions members have tried. Obviously this is not a WK2-specific topic, but I'd be interested in comments and comparisons to uConnect web (which I haven't heard much chatter about). I have no affiliation or vested interest in the device manufacturer or service provider other than being (married to) a satisfied customer.
The MiFi 2200 is branded to Verizon Wireless but is made by Novatel and runs at 3G speeds. It supports up to 5 wireless users who can just plunk down within range and type in the SSID and password credentials that are printed on the label's device. Initial setup was complicated a bit by the windoze-centric tool on a Mac, but once initialized it offers essentially a zero config user experience for the owner and any guests.
This device's price point and data plans make it better suited to the business user with an expense account. The purchase price varies from $400 w/o a plan to $100 with a 2-year plan. The data plans are $40 for 250MB or $60 for 5GB (our plan).
The user experience is straightforward once you connect. The connection speed is reasonable enough that you don't feel like there's a bottleneck even with 3 passengers hooked up simultaneously. Out of respect for my wife's data plan caps I usually tell the kids to avoid downloading movies or watching a lot of streaming content, but casual surfing, Facebook, email, and grabbing the occasional song from iTunes are all fairly low overhead activities.
The device is the size of a credit card so it easily drops into a cup holder or atop the dash during use. Battery life is ~4hrs and it charges via USB car charger or 2-prong adapter, so it can be used in the outlet at the lower rear of the Overland's center console.
Has anyone used the uConnect web solution? It looks like it's about $500 to purchase the hardware and around $30/month for service, depending on duration of plan selected. Not sure if you get a break on the hardware if you select a longer service plan duration (as with the MiFi). I would be interested in hearing any user experiences. Had the monthly data plans been similar I would have had a hard time understanding the value proposition for the uConnect, but at half the monthly price of the MiFi ($30 vs $60) it might make sense for some people even if it does tether you to your vehicle when you want to use it.
I think Virgin Mobile and others offer similar products. Any input welcomed.
PS: I'm using this device to send this message as I wait for the Verizon tech to come and fix my downed FiOS service.