Vodafone recently launched the Vodafone Mobile Wi-fi R201. This is
another not just a great device that has earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo, it is the first mobile router to do so! This simple device is about the size of a credit card that creates a mobile hot spot using your sim card. This may not sound like a big deal, but this hot spot allows up to 5 devices to simultaneously connect.
Unfortunately, it’s not available in the United States, but it is available in the following countries with further Vodafone countries following soon after:
- South Africa
I was lucky enough to get to play with this device. The experience is very intuitive. The only time I had to look at the manual was to figure out how to open the case to insert my SIM. You simply slide the slider to turn the device on. The startup experience was very fast and the R201 automatically connects to your cellular network. The simple icons let you know the device status.
My pc running Windows 7 automatically recognized the new network and asked if I wanted to connect. In my case the SSID was “VodafoneMobileWiFI-2EE733.” Simply enter the wifi key on the back to authenticate yourself. I recommend leaving the back cover off until you are connected. The key is hidden on the inside of the device next to the battery.
In seconds you are connected to your new secure mobile hot spot. Overall, this was a very simple straightforward experience.
Update: Vodafone provided additional detail as a follow-up to this post. They are also building in support for UpNp and DNLA so you can share the media contents of the Micro SD card to any consumer device including DNLA TVs/MP3 players/Xbox 360 and other wi-fi enabled devices. If you already purchased the R201, you will be able to have this same functionality through an upcoming software update. You can also use it as a digitmal media server by mapping a network drive to the device.