Do signal boosters increase the speed of Turbo Stick & MiFi?

Posted by on June 29, 2015

Increase the mobile data transfer rate of a Turbo Stick and MiFi

On its own, a signal booster cannot increase any of these. You need to have a weBoost signal booster and an inside and outside antennae. Once you have such a mobile hotspot signal booster set up, the outside antenna will collect the outside signal (even if it is weak or distant). That signal will go through the cable to the signal booster which will boost the weakened signal and make it stronger. That stronger signal will then go through the cable to an inside antenna, which will send out the strong signal. The booster cradle at link above does not need this latter portion because signal amplifier is built into the cradle itself. This will then amplify all data signals in the room (or rooms, or building, depending on your environment). This action will then amplify your Aircard, Turbo Stick, and MiFi reception signals.

Aircards, Turbo Sticks, and Mi-Fi's.

Aircard.

In a previous entry (see https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/blog/can-weboost-cell-phone-signal-boosters-and-antennas-be-used-with-a-wireless-aircard/), we covered what an Aircard is, and why you would want the weBoost signal booster with inside and outside antennas to amplify it. As a reminder, an Aircard is a device that you can connect to your computer to get Internet access through your cellphone data instead of getting it through Wi-Fi. It is purchased alongside an Internet mobile plan from your cellphone carrier.

Turbo Stick.

Like an Aircard, a Turbo Stick can also be connected to your computer to gain Internet access through your cellphone data. A Turbo Stick is a "USB modem" that "gives you access" to the Web (Baryer, “Mobile Internet: How to Choose Between Tethering, MiFi, or a Turbo Stick”). However, setting up the Turbo Stick is a little more complicated. With a Turbo Stick, you don’t always just plug in the device, sign on to your mobile account, and get Internet access. Instead, if it is not plug-and-play, you have to install a software called Mobile Connect or a similar synonym, to get Internet connection. Once it is installed, you will be able to connect to the Web. To help you with installation and connection of your Turbo Stick, each Turbo Stick comes with an easy to understand, "user's guide".

MiFi.

Like the Aircard and Turbo Stick, a MiFi device also allows you to create an Internet Connection while sharing your cell phone data plan (If you have sharing set-up. Otherwise, it uses amount of data allotted in your mobile data plan associated with your Turbo Stick or Mi-Fi device). However, it is also very different. Standing for "my WiFi", MiFi is a portable broadband device that allows multiple end users and mobile devices to share a 3G or 4G mobile broadband Internet connection and create a local network ("MiFi"). This statement means that you do not connect the MiFi device to your laptop or desktop computer. Instead, MiFi acts as a portable WiFi hotspot that you can connect to, with multiple devices. It does not have cables like a modem or router and you can take it with you when you’re traveling to instantly have a connection without paying high prices for airport or hotel WiFi rates. More importantly, it is way more secure than those WiFis from unknown places.

The only downside is that the device is battery powered. Cheaper batteries will last for four hours and more expensive batteries can last up to 20 hours. If you’re a person that wants constant Internet access, having to worry about a dying battery can be a real pain. However, you can bring along the battery charger always included with purchase. If it is lost or you have forgotten it at home, you can purchase a battery charger to charge your batteries before they die and keep your MiFi device running longer.  Remember, the MiFi device also needs to be purchased with an Internet plan from your carrier (an independent, or a sharing plan with your smartphone plan).

Comparing Aircards, Turbo Sticks, and MiFis.

While all three of these devices offer you Internet connection, they each have their pros and cons.

Set Up.

Of the three, the most difficult and time consuming set up seems to be the Turbo Stick (if it is not plug-n-play). Not only do you have to load a software onto your computer to get it to work, you also have to uninstall and reinstall the software each time you upgrade your Turbo Stick. Therefore please check with the wireless retailer whether it is plug-and-play which is a much easier one to begin using right out of the box. The Aircard is just a simple connect, log in to the mobile Internet site, and get connected. Okay, there’s more detail in how that’s done in the user guide, but at least there isn’t any software to install. The MiFi connection is also pretty straightforward. All you need to do is turn on your device and read the Wi-Fi network name and password. Then find that network name on your computer’s Wi-Fi manager, and select it followed by entering the password. Once that is done, you log into the MiFi website and you’re connected.

Monitoring Data Usage.

Of the three, MiFi has the most convenient way to monitor data usage because it displays how much data you’re using right on the device’s screen. You can monitor data usage with the Aircard and Turbo Stick, but you have to go onto a website to find out that information. Going onto a website might not seem like a difficult thing, but it can become frustrating if you have trouble logging in or your Internet is down. It is also very easy to forget to check the website for data usage when you’re busy.

Purchase.

Of the three, the Turbo Stick has the most limited purchase options. The most commonly known place to purchase a Turbo Stick is AT&T in USA and Bell in Canada. Other carriers are also likely to carry it. Having fewer places to purchase the Turbo Stick may limit where you can go if you want to try a Turbo Stick from a different carrier. In comparison, Aircards and MiFi are widely available at many different carriers. They are also available in many different versions depending on your needs and budget.

Choosing the Device That is Right For You.

When it really comes down to it, each of these device options are similar in price and service. If you’re looking for a device that you can physically connect to your computer for instant Internet access without having to worry about fading battery life, then you will probably prefer the Air Card or Turbo Stick. If you’re okay with paying a little more and want a device that can connect to multiple devices, then you’ll probably prefer MiFi.

Finally, it is important to remember that using these devices all the time can be costly and use up your Internet data quickly. It is important to keep track of your data, be smart when choosing a plan, and consider using these devices more for traveling than home Internet service.

References:

Baryer, Andy. “Mobile Internet: How to Choose Between Tethering, MiFi, or a Turbo Stick.” Blog.bell. Bell Canada. February 7 2014. August 1 2015.

"MiFi." Whatis.techtarget. TechTarget. n.d. June 29, 2015.

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