Lets face it. College WiFi sucks. Some more then the other. With a 3GB limit per month and the internet connection being disabled after 12:30 AM, not being able to connect multiple devices at the same time, its a real pain in the ass for someone like me who practically lives on the internet.
I did have a WiFi hotspot before. MiFi as they are otherwise called. Mobile WiFi Hotspots. The one that I had previously was the E355. It was a good device, but it lacked portability. I had to plug it into a USB port for it to work and the absence of a battery made it even harder to use it for my phone.
Enter the E5151. I simply love the look of this device. Although it is priced high, it is a good buy for anyone who wants good internet connectivity on the go.
Priced at Rs 4699, it isnt exactly wallet friendly, but you’ll soon realise that the investment is worth it. The device comes with a standard SIM card slot into which you can insert any GSM SIM card, 2G and 3G. I had an airtel SIM card which began working as soon as I entered into the device. The packaging for the device is very minimal. You get the device itself (Surprise!) , battery and a standard Micro USB cable for charging.
There is a large power button on the front face of the device which you absolutely cannot miss. The device was already charged to some extent and the power button brings it to life in a few seconds. Initially, there is standard SSID that is given to the WiFi network and it is also secured with the password. As a good measure, Huawei has printed those two on the back plate of the battery compartment. This is useful in case you forget your WiFi password or need to reset your device for some reason.
When you connect to the WiFi network, it redirects you to a page where you can complete the initial setup. You can set your own network name and password and also, configure PPoE settings. Yes, it has an ethernet port for creating a WAN or LAN network with an existing network. It only works as a router or an access point in this mode though. There’s no option for inserting a RJ-11 cable. You can however, use your Data SIM to connect to your Non-WiFi desktop using a RJ-45 cable.
Setting up the device was a breeze. I had to enable roaming, which wasn’t a problem. And since Airtel has a notorious history in dropping 3G signals and happily latching on to 2G network, the inclusion of the option to set your network mode as 2G/3G is appreciated.
The device itself functions very well, I did run into some hiccups but it was more of a network issue and a small neglect of the data balance in my number.
One thing the device lacks is the support for USSD. It’d be incredibly useful to check the data balance and validity, but SMS support covers it up, somewhat.
Its small enough to put into your pockets and roam about with your own WiFi network when everyone else is struggling to find a decent WiFi network in range.
Normally, when I am using multiple devices, I connect my Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Kindle 4th Gen and my laptop of course., all at the same time and haven’t experienced any drop in the WiFi range or signal quality. The device supports upto 10 connections at the same time, but I haven’t been able to test more than 5 devices, which is plenty for me.
The device supports HSPA+, which AirTel is widely using now, and which is a precursor to 4G LTE, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
Living in an area which is full of people using the same network and data cards, getting decent speeds is hard, and the device didn’t prove me wrong. Within the confines of my room, I barely managed to get a stable speed of 2 Mbps, but it quickly became fast when I moved outdoors. Its not the fault of the device though, the network itself is pretty bad. I’m sure the promised speeds of 21 Mbps wont magically appear, but lets hope for the best.
Overall, its a great device, no complaints as of yet. Works exactly the way it is supposed to, it has a good battery life, if you want something stable and something that you want to carry with you at all times, this is your go-to device.
I will post a new entry on my blog with a full review after a few days, since I haven’t tested all the features. Hope you enjoyed it, feedback and comments are always welcome.