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Xiaomi USB Portable WiFi Review

Required Software

So you have the hardware now but just plugging it in does nothing? Unfortunately, the Xiaomi Portable WiFi does not include any installer for the proper setup of the Portable WiFi. The official program is in Chinese and it is available at the MiWifi site. However, there’s good news for people who cant read Chinese as well, there is an English patched version of the program available as well and it is available at the MIUI Forum.

This version is unofficial as it was created by a member of the MiUi forum but it has a great review within the community. The owner calls it the Mi Portable Wifi PC Client English Patched UI and so far it is working well for me. The interface might be lacking in some descriptions but it serves its function perfectly well. Do take note that you need to install the official Chinese program before you can apply the patch.

The lack of English support might have been a big deal breaker for many people but with this patched installer available it certainly does look good. Other than some weird translation and  minor UI layout problems, it works exactly the same like the Chinese version.

Sharing the Internet Connection

miwifi 1

As mentioned earlier, the first function of the device is to share the Internet connection via WiFi. The settings of the Mi Portable WiFi are simple as they should be, you can rename your access point (SSID) as you wish and have 3 security settings that you might want to experiment with. The first is the standard password required security. The second allows you to approve the connection from your computer via a pop-up that appears asking if the connection is to be allowed when a device connects. This removes the need to remember a password but can be annoying if many people are trying to connect and you’re using the computer. You can also be a good Samaritan and allow everyone to connect but almost nobody uses this option for security reasons.

miwifi 2

Connecting to Existing WiFi

miwifi 3

The other way to use the portable WiFi is to use it to connect to other WiFi connection if you do not have a WiFi adapter or the WiFi adaptor has broken. You can select ‘IDS_SWITCH_MODE_STATION‘ and choose ‘IDS_SWITCH’ to toggle between both modes. Then, you can connect to WiFi network as usual on your computer.

Speed Test

For those who concern about connection speed, you probably do not have to worry anything about it. I performed speed test on my computer and my devices connected to the WiFi connected and here are the results:

4319716712PC

IMG_3938Mobile Device

Even though the speed on WiFi network created seems slow as compared to the Internet speed we used on the computer, 33Mbps is already very, very fast and there isn’t a lot of places where we can get this connection speed.

 

Conclusion

So is it really worth the purchase? XiaoMi is selling the units at around 19.90 Yuan (around RM11.50) excluding shipping fee so it is very cheap at the moment. There is another version which comes with 8GB flash memory, a larger footprint and a higher price (49.90 Yuan). However, for such a low-cost product, the usefulness of the basic Xiaomi Portable Wifi definitely outweighs any disadvantage it might have. Get it if you constantly find yourself without a good WiFi connection and have a computer constantly hooked with an Internet connection. Caution though, you might find that the dusty Mi WiFi is stuck to your PC for long periods of time.

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5 Comments

  1. The Miwifi is a dog. Here in Korea 100/100Mbs internet is standard, and this dongle can’t keep up. 360.cn also makes a usb wifi dongle, and I’ve measured its speeds at ~80Mbs down and ~50Mbs up, which is far better!

  2. Hey man,
    thank u for this review..
    Had hard time finding english guide and was a bit intimidated with installing and messing with chinese program that I didn’t know for sure what it said :)
    Anyhow, thank you =]

  3. Now i can connect my handphone through my office connection although wifi is not available. Not hard to setup at all since i can find the driver and guide from youtube. thanks a lot, man. hey and its cheap!

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