Joy recently was asked to give a presentation in a converted barn. (The audience was human.)

Being a real barn, there was no Internet connection. But for $15, she could set one up for the day. What she needed was a new “MiFi 2200” from Virgin Mobile. It’s a pocket-sized device that creates a WiFi region around any device within 30 feet. It gets its initial signal from a cell phone tower, and converts that into a Wi-Fi signal. If you want friends to get on the Internet too, you just show them the password printed on the bottom of the device.

Unlike all other other such personal WiFi hotspots, the MiFi, doesn’t need a contract, which can be expensive. A typical cellphone contract is $80 a month, or $60 a month to get a special air card for your laptop. The Virgin Mobile deal is $40 per month for however long you choose. Or you can pay just $10 for ten days service. You can get more info from We saw it for $224 (without a contract) on or $75 used.  We find it worth buying on Amazon because of their easy return policy. We bought a similar device from a “Clearwire” store. We couldn’t get a signal but never got our money back.


  1. Cricket cell phone service has wifi for laptops starting at $40 per month, with no contracts. Unfortunately they don’t have nationwide coverage. If you require customer service, expect to learn a foreign language. Just wish I could Bluetooth my Mac laptop to my iPhone (not allowed).