Mobile broadband dongles are great, but what if you’re out and about and you need to connect more than one device to the internet? Then you need a so-called ‘Mi-fi’ device – a mobile broadband dongle with Wi-Fi, such as the Vodafone Mobile Wi-Fi R201.
Five in one
The Vodafone Mobile Wi-Fi R201 supports mobile broadband to a maximum of 7.2Mbit/s downloads and 5.76Mbit/s uploads. The dongle’s main claim to fame is its ability to connect up to five devices via Wi-Fi, and it has a microSD card slot too for file sharing and streaming.
Neat and tidy
The Vodafone Mobile Wi-Fi R201 is larger than a standard Wi-Fi dongle, at 90x60x12mm – and it’ll add 90g to your pocket or bag. It has a nice flat profile on the desk and a neat white, red and silver design.
Your SIM and microSD card are inserted in slots under the back cover, and that’s also where the Wi-Fi key is written down. Switching on is a simple matter of sliding a large lozenge on the front of the device that’s a well disguised on/off switch.
Easy to use
The silver section to the right of the large on/off switch is a small OLED display. This tells you the operator name, network connection type (3G+, 3G, GPRS/EDGE), Wi-Fi connection status and the number of devices connected, battery level, signal strength, and whether there’s an SMS on the SIM. The security-conscious can press a button on the edge of the device to start up WPS security if they want it. The dongle goes online automatically when you switch it on, and to connect a Wi-Fi device you just enter the key.
With four-hour battery life and a USB charge cable in case the battery runs down, the Vodafone Mobile Wi-Fi R201 is a great little broadband widget.
- Small; very easy to use; WPS security.
- No slip case provided.
Vodafone's Mobile Wi-Fi R201 is a very neat and easy to use Wi-Fi dongle. It's a shame Vodafone doesn't bundle a slipcase to keep its white and silver fascia scratch free, though.