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February 01, 2012

MiFi 4G = Fail ....Here Is How To Fix It

The Verizon MiFi 4G hotspot is a fundamentally broken product. Its blazing fast 4G wireless connection shuts down whenever you plug it in. That means you can only use it for about two hours, while its battery is charged - and then you have to go without internet access for a few hours while the damn thing charges. As a MiFi 4G hotspot owner, let me tell you, I wanted to torture and hang the designer when I figured this out. And I’m not the only one: The unlucky owners of this product are basically in revolt

Mifi 1

If you’re one of those unhappy people, I’ve got good news: I figured out a hack that lets me get uninterrupted 4G service with the MiFi - and stop cursing the name of the moron who designed it.

Basically, when the USB cable is connected, the MiFi sees an open data connection and shuts down its wireless connection, possibly because it’s expecting a firmware upgrade. So what you’re going to do is to make it see a closed data connection. You’ll need the USB cable that came with the MiFi and a razor blade.

Step 1:

Using the razor blade, cut away the black plastic cover and metal strand protective wrap to expose the green, white, red, and black wires.  Obviously, be careful not to cut the wires.  I made my incision near the USB connection end, but you can do this anywhere along the cable.   

Wires 2

Step 2:

The white and green wires are the data wires. Cut them, but be sure to leave the red and black power wires intact. 

Cut wires 3

Step 3:

On the USB side of the cable, strip the white and green wires.  

Exposed wires 4

Step 4:

Connect the white and green wires by twisting the exposed metal together.  You can hide the exposed wires with a piece of tape.  Since the green and white wires do not carry current, you won’t shock yourself as long as the red and black wires are covered and protected.

Wire connect 2

Congratulations!  Now your Mifi will see a closed data connection and stay on when plugged in.  Happy web surfing!

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Alex Kinnier

Alex Kinnier is a Venture Captial Partner at NEA. He's an Xoogler, a passionate product developer (from ad servers to air conditioners to Febreze) and a fan of NYC pizza. He is a father of 2 angels.

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