My review of Fonmigo (A Mifi-like device I rented in the UK)

I’ve been using Fonmigo’s mifi-like device while I’ve been traveling in the United Kingdom (aka UK aka England) this week.

It works well and I recommend the service. Of the options I looked at, this was the lower cost one. I think it’s costing me something like $10 per day (you can see their full price information on their website).

So far, I’ve mostly used it outside of London, in Wales. I’ve used it on the First Great Western train and it’s worked well. I’ve used it while in Swansea (a town in Wales) and it’s worked well. I even FaceTime’ed with my Dad from the train!

The device isn’t actually the Novatel Mi-Fi device, which has been popular in the States — it’s something similar, the Huawei E5830. One of the theoretical advantages of this device over the MiFi is it has all of these lights on the front that tells you its status.

The Novetel MiFi, in contrast, tries to communicate all status information through one light that changes colors and blinks at different frequencies. Which is to say, Hell if I ever know what the MiFi’s status indicator is trying to tell me! But the Huawei E5830, isn’t really a lot better: While the MiFi has only one cryptic light, the Huawei has FIVE of them! But the device definitely works, once you figure out how the different buttons make it turn on. Still, there’s an opportunity for some device maker to do a much better job.

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