I've had my MiFi for about 3 weeks. Here is what I am seeing:
- about 3.5 hours wireless with light usage (some surfing, email)
- The Power button light is never Amber, only solid green or flashing red (when battery is critically low and beginning to recharge)
The reason I ask is that I hear tech luminaries like Andy Ihnatko contnue to talk about 6-7 hour battery life. Do i have a bad unit or what?
Any info is appreciated?
I get 3-4 hours, which is the claimed life for light usage (2 hours for heavy). Today's (6/10) Wall Street Journal had an article on the MiFi that also confirmed 4 hours in their tests. It is a little annoying that it doesn't warn you of low battery until it's too late, and also doesn't tell you when it is fully charged.
You can get intermediate state of charge by logging on the the MiFi itself via a wireless connection. Just point a browser to http://192.168.1.1. If you have never done this before the password is "admin". You should change it immediately, of course.
Thanks. I do use the admin page to manage security etc. and yes that is the only battery indicator, such as it is, that I've seen anywhere.
A couple more questions:
- Does your device charge via USB? Is there any trick to this? I use both a Mac and PC with it and I heard that you muct be using the admin software (presumably the VZAccess) to charge via USB. I don't have VZAccess on the MAC because it wasn't required but regardless, neither seems to put much of a charge into the device, though it does work indefinitely when tethered.
- Also, how's the heat coming off that thing? I don't think it can stay packed away in a bag while in use.
My MiFi charges via USB. However, USB ports are only required to supply 1/2 amp, while the MiFi charger supplies 1 amp. So it may take longer using a computer port. Many newer computers also supply 1 amp, so this is not a hard and fast rule. If you are using a hub that does not have its own power that 1/2 (or 1) amp is divided among the ports, so if you use a hub only use one that has its own power supply.
On a Mac the keyboard USB port cannot supply power, so don't use that one (unless it is the newer aluminum keyboard). On a PC desktop if there are ports on the front they are most likely an unpowered hub under the covers, so only use ports on the back.
On a laptop all ports are usually separate.
You don't have to use VZaccess to get it to charge.
Charging thru the included charger/cable should take up to 2.5 hours. Charging via USB may take as long as 8 hours.
I complained to Verizon today about the lack of a charging indicator and they are escalating the issue to Novatel. I expect to hear back from Verizon by early next week. I have had 2 units and neither EVER shows an amber light for charging--just green. The first unit sporadically flashed red even with a fully charged battery. I've had the second unit less than 24 hours so it's too soon to know if it will also begin flashing red when it shouldn't. Apparently Novatel rushed these units to market, not fully tested.
2 hours is quite short. even after 2.5 hours of continuous usage, mine is still in the green. it's rated at 4 hours of average usage, with 2 hours being heavy usage, IIRC, or what you'd expect with several clients. I would at least try another unit. Be aware, that when I had a problem with mine, they sent me ONLY the MiFi unit! No battery or any other items. Just a bare MiFi wrapped in bubble wrap and tossed into a large box for Fed Ex delivery.
I've got until the 28th, but my patience is wearing thin with the status light issue. If, by next week it isn't resolved, I'm getting a refund. Too much hassle trying to keep track of the charging the way it is now.
Yes, I was on vacation in LA, and called the Verizon support number. They offered to send one to my hotel the next day. It arrived by 10AM the next day and I picked it up in the evening (I was out all day) and placed it into service. The new unit SEEMS to have resolved the intermittent flashing red light, but I still don't get an amber light when charging, so I've escalated the issue and am now dealing with Novatel directly. Verizon will not want to contact Novatel on your behalf unless you make a huge stink. I ended up emailing Novatel twice, AND left them a detailed message at their corporate headquarters in San Diego. I suggest you might want to start with a replacement unit first, then see what happens. But, like I said, I didn't get a new battery, so be sure to let them know you suspect the battery itself may be the culprit.
FYI: you will need to activate a new unit, but of course if all you get is a battery, you won't have to go through that routine. My replacement MiFi hadn't been registered with Verizon before it was shipped, so I had to call tech support in order to activate it--another small hassle.
I've got one that is working as it's supposed to:
1. The light flashes red when the battery is low.
2. The light turns amber when it is charging (it does not turn amber right away, but after a minute).
3. It charges to full in about 2.5 hours.
4. The charge lasts about 4 hours.
Do you have the Novatel contact information? I also spent a long amount of time on support w/ Verizon about the usb/wireless switching, and would love to hear directly from the source.
If I cant connect USB to my laptop and still broadcast wifi, the card is useless to me.
I've heard the card runs some sort of linux, anybody know which one?
I have about a week to go before my 30 day "worry free" period is up. I started this thread with my concerns about the device so I called Verizon tech support today and they very agreeably encouraged me to just stop into a corporate store and get a new replacement. So I did.
The experience was a blast from the past. Service attitude was ok to start, replace the unit no problem. They brought out an opened box. I asked if I could have a sealed box. They encouraged me to look at it, said they never re-sell equipment and that managers sometimes opened boxes to "check" them (uh huh). I took a quick look, the rep said "does it look new to you?" which at the time didn't seem sarcastic and I reluctantly accepted it. As I left I looked more closely and noticed the battery had been installed. Only one reason to install the battery. I turned around and the rep was helping someone else, gave me a **bleep** look and I quickly said this has been used and asked for another at which point the rep's attitude turned to silent disdain. Lots off back-turned comments to coworkers as she finished with the other guy then without a word or look to me went into the back, came back once, went back again and finally came out with another MiFi box. The rep rang it up and again, no words at all, just gave me to the new receipt etc. and that's it. Mind you, I'm apologizing for being a bit **bleep** and she does break silence to tell me that a manager may have been showing it to someone (like that makes it okay for me to accept?).
Anyhoo, i believe the new one was unopened, though I do wonder why it took the rep about 10 minutes to get it from the back. Whatever. The whole thing is a customer service FAIL. Like Verizon staff should be so put out by the five minutes it takes to ring this up? Why was I even apologizing for wanting a closed box that once opened I'm responsible for? Sheesh.
This experience alone is enough to make me chuck the whole thing while I can and say screw you Verizon. That's how much one idiot can hurt an organization. If I wasn't so damned web addicted I might do it. Maybe I should just hold out for the iPhone tethered 3GS. I don't know but I do know that $700 a year is a lot to pay for customer abuse. Worry free my!