MiFi vs WiFi: What are the Differences?

mifi vs wifi

What is there to know about MiFi vs WiFi? In today’s world of new gadgets and software, it’s familiar to hear some technical jargons thrown around. Such words include LTE, 5G, 3G, GSM, CDMA, WiFi and MiFi. Surprisingly most of these words are vital as they show how our smart devices connect to the internet to browse, play games, and send messages.

Although these words are related, they have significant differences between them. Keeping up with these differences might also be hard and confusing. However, I will use this article to show you to explain the last two words- MiFi vs WiFi as well as show their various characteristics. Now let’s get started with their definitions.

What is WiFi?

WiFi is a wireless networking standard which smartphones, computers, or other devices use to share information without physical wires connecting them. If your device has the “WiFi compatible” tag, it means can communicate with other WiFi compatible devices. Devices that can use WiFi include computers, smartphones and tablets, smart TVs, printers, digital audio players, digital cameras, vehicles and drones

WiFi compatible devices connect via a wireless access point or connected Ethernet technology. In a building, this access point/hotspot can reach devices as far as 20 meters; however, it has covered more considerable distances outdoors.

What is MiFi?

Unlike WiFi, MiFi is a registered brand name of a portable router which enables numerous users with their devices to share a 3G or 4G mobile broadband internet and create a hotspot. Usually, a MiFi device can offer internet access to as much as ten smart devices.

Although Novatel Wireless coined the “MiFi” name, the company has never provided any details concerning the meaning of the word. However, most analysts think it means “My WiFi” or “Mobile WiFi” while most companies use the “MiFi” tag for any item that works as a WiFi hotspot.


MiFi vs WiFi: What is the Major Difference Between Both Terms

So, what sets both terms apart? Let’s check out the differences under these subheadings.

Names and Meaning

WiFi is a wireless networking standard, while MiFi is a device/ mobile hotspot that connects to a cellular network and connects as much as ten devices to the internet at the same time. With such features, you can describe a MiFi as a modem or router as it offers both components.

Connectivity/ Cellular Support

Apart from WiFi technology, MiFi supports mobile data networks such as 3G or 4G LTE. Due to these networks, a MiFi product can receive mobile data from telecom companies within your location. 

As mentioned earlier, a MiFi device consists of a modem and WiFi router. It uses the modem component to access 3G or 4G LTE technology while the WiFi router supports WiFi connectivity.

Besides, WiFi does not work with cellular or mobile data networks. Instead, it works with a WLAN AP (Access Point) or router. It also operates on bands with frequencies of 2.4 and 5GHz

MiFi vs WiFi: Which is More Preferable?

Between both technologies, there are some advantages and downsides to their use. For instance, a broadband WiFi router offers wireless internet access in a fixed location such as a living space, office, or classroom. This is ideal as internet service providers offer WiFi bundles with a considerable amount of data that can last for an extended period with heavy usage.

MiFi routers also offer internet access, but they are ideal when you are on a trip or the move. Although they can be used at home or the workplace, they provide less data caps that depend on mobile data plans.


And that wraps up this article on the differences between MiFi vs WiFi. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments in the box below.

Posted by Abiodun Adewusi

Abiodun Adewusi is a freelance writer who lives in Nigeria. As a writer, he is passionate about providing content on technology helping people keep up with the latest trends. You can see some of his work on Medium and Ezine.

One comment

  1. nice information, so many a times when i think i have put on my hotspsot on my tecno device for a friend to tap from, i was just putting on my Mifi without knowing.

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