Today I finally bit the bullet and bought JoikuSopot Premium for my Nokia E71. I must admit a little envy for those little MiFi devices, but didn’t think it was worth buying one. I used a Sprint PC Card and D-Link 3G router for some time, and it worked brilliantly, but that $40/month for something I rarely use was hard to justify so I cancelled it. On the other hand, having a bit of software I can startup on my mobile when I need it is a no brainer.
This purchase was a milestone on a couple of levels. To begin with, I bought the software from the Ovi store on my mobile. The payment was carrier-billed, meaning it went onto my phone bill so no credit card fumbling, and the purchase was painless (and password protected). This software used to be included free with the E71, but my installation was corrupted, and for $7 this seemed like a justifiable reward for the developers of such useful software (if it worked). Finally, while I’ve used Bluetooth to tether my MacBook to my E71 on countless occasions, this is the first time I ever tried to use wi-fi. So far, so good.
So here I sit typing in this nice little update on a cool technology, over wi-fi to my mobile, with AT&T’s HSDPA network carrying my traffic at a lovely 1.3Mbps downstream but only about 10k upstream. I won’t be sending any big files this way. I tested my speed with Speedtest.net, which is my favourite bandwidth meter. Speed results were inconsistent, but the overall experience with a Web browser is fine.
I haven’t tried to connect other devices yet, but will add another laptop, and perhaps add my iPhone (for fun) to the mix. The network shows up as an Ad Hoc network, which means that it will appear in the “computers” or “devices” part of your Wi-Fi (a.k.a. Airport on the Mac) menu. I set a 64-bit WEP password, which is more a nuisance than actual protection from hackers, but it will keep casual users from hijacking my phone’s Wi-Fi. I imagine that using WPA (AES or TKIP) encryption would be a CPU-intensive option, which would quickly drain the battery.
For most uses, I will probably stick with Bluetooth to make a direct, secure connection to my mobile. It’s faster to use Bluetooth, and my mobile is optimised for this function, but when I’m in the car and the wife and kids want Internet, I now have an option that will keep the troops quiet and allow us all to check and update our Facebook *ahem* I mean email and Google Maps. For raw speed and dependability, I will definitely use my Sierra 881u USB dongle. But for that sweet spot, where I need a shared connection, only need it for a short time, and my mobile is plugged-in or has a full battery, I have JoikuSpot. In the sweet spot, JoikuSpot is a great deal. I hope they keep the price at $7 (normally $15) so that people can buy it for the narrow range that this software works best in.
My final takeaway is that I plan to stick with Bluetooth tethering, but for times when I need to share tethering isn’t an option, Joikuspot is a nice addition to my tool kit.
You can read another review from Nokia5800.net.