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… or How I Learned About My-Fi … or is that Mi-Fi?

OK. So I have spent a few weekends away at the wonderful as yet unnamed Hotel on the as yet unnamed Lake … although the folks who have been there have recognized it … and there are hints that are intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

But I digress.

It does not have good Wi-Fi. Unless you sit in their lobby or on the porch immediately outside of their lobby.

Thus began the search for a better mousetrap aka internet access in my room.

Take 1

I tried to get the signal from the lobby in various places around the hotel.

My room? Nope.
The antique lounge above the lobby? Nope.
The slightly more private lounge down the hall from the lobby? Nope.
Any other place I tried? Nope.

Take 2

I talked to a friend who is extremely technical for his expert advice. Various approaches were discussed. All involved a lot more than I was really willing to do (read: pay for)

Take 3

abbmodemHolly takes a modem up to the Hotel.

In this scenario, yours truly took up a Broadband Modem up to the room in hopes that a stray internet signal would find its way down the TV cable and into my PC.

This actually worked … more or less … less more often than more, though. I had to reboot things constantly. And the thing still worked despite cables coming unplugged, which makes me think the modem didn’t do nearly as much as I had hoped.

After a short stop at the local Broadband company that provides my internet service here, it was determined that this modem was not souped up enough (technical term) to handle the internet / phone combination at my house.

Great.

Take 4

overdrivepro3g-4gmobilehotspot-gallery-angle-1Holly does research on the internet … hears the term Mi-Fi … and heads to the local Best Buy to return the Broadband Modem.

Holly explains to Best Buy people what she wants (internet access), where she wants it (in Hotel at the End of The World at said Lake), when she will use it (weekends for the next two months only) and for what (one PC doing a nice daily blog, writing a book, and checking emails and Facebook).

The Best Buy people smile politely, listen attentively … and talk Holly into buying an amazing piece of equipment. A Virgin Overdrive Pro Mobile Hotspot with the ability to handle 5 devices.

Unlimited 4G. $5 a day 3G. No contract. Sign me up!

Till I got it home.

Holly gleefully opens the Virgin Hotspot … and  plugs it in to charge it. (something about that vaguely … oh … never mind)

Fleeting thought that if I have a hotspot that handles five devices that I have to pay for … and the people down the hall want to use Wi-Fi … and see my Mi-Fi device …

Then I went about the online registration process as instructed in the nice little brochure included in the contents of it all.

And what to my wandering eyes should appear?

“On Sale … Online … From Virgin USA … Exactly what you just bought from the Boys in Blue at Best Buy … for 40% LESS than you just paid!”

OK. Those weren’t the exact words. But the 40% less certainly was. So I started packing up the super-duper Virgin Overdrive …

AND as I looked around at the Virgin homepage I saw …

Take 5

u6003g-4gusbstick-gallery-angle-1The Virgin U600 3G/4G USB Stick … a little USB Flash Drive sized device … for one-third the price of the Virgin Overdrive.

And at 40% off.

Handles one PC at a time … like I wanted … does internet most anywhere … like I wanted … only pay for what I use … like I wanted … and no long-term contract … like I wanted.

Sarah the very nice faux online help person popped up.

What can I say?

The thing should be here in a few days.

The other gets returned to Best Buy tomorrow.