A Must-Have Device . . . That Isn’t Out Yet

In ministry, so many of us are on the go a vast majority of the time that we have to find new and creative ways to stay connected. We have smartphones, iPads, broadband cards and some of you still have PDAs (they don’t make those any more . . .).

For myself, I’ve always used a mifi. Many of you are familiar but for those of you who aren’t, it’s a 3G modem that provides internet access to up to 5 different devices anywhere you have cell tower signal. I can throw it down in a meeting and everyone there can securely hit the Web. It’s my 15 minutes of fame.

The downside has always been speed, bandwidth and price. If I’m syncing up with DropBox, browsing is like watching a tree grow and the monthly $$. . . it hurts sometimes.

But there’s hope!

Verizon has been touting their 4G network extensively and all they have are their two broadband cards and the new Thunderbolt. There’s nothing extremely impressive about the devices themselves but the 4G speed . . . it’s out of this world. I’ve done several speed tests with their broadband cards and it’s often been faster than an ethernet connection. You can see if it’s available in your area.

Very soon, Verizon will be releasing their 4G mifi and the monthly cost will be about $10 less than it has been on 3G broadband devices.

How does this help you in ministry? Here are all of the ways we use mifis currently:

  1. Conferences: How many times have you attended a conference or had a booth and had to surrender your first born child to get internet access? No more!
  2. Driving: When someone else is at the helm, we aren’t losing a minute of getting things done and staying on top of everything that’s coming in.
  3. Traveling: Ever been stuck in an airport for umpteen hours and the web is either slow, expensive or non-existent? Problem solved.
  4. Meetings: As I mentioned earlier, it’s great to be able to tell meeting participants you brought the Web with you. No more exchanging wifi passwords, mac addresses and hidden wifi names.
  5. Home/Office: Even with the latest technology, cable and DSL lines still go down. Don’t let it stop you. Some people and companies even use broadband cards to plug into their firewall/router as a backup if it’s critical that they have access.

Btw, if you need more range than then 20ish feet a mifi provides, grab a Cradlepoint.

Will this help you be more productive in your ministry? What tools do you use to be more effective/productive?



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2 thoughts on “A Must-Have Device . . . That Isn’t Out Yet

  1. You've convinced me. I'm calling Verizon Monday! We've struggled in the office (church) with an unreliable DSL connection that seems to be getting worse. We're in a corner that must be "no man's land" when it comes to Internet connectivity. Cable will cost $4k just to install and $$$ every month. And a T-1 line doesn't promise to make the difference and still requires $$$ monthly. Wish me godspeed!

    • Awesome! I wish Verizon were sending me finders fees. ;)

      Be sure to check it as soon as you get it to ensure the signal is strong where you will be using it. If it isn't, you can return it within a few days and get everything (including your activation fee) returned to you.