Internet sharing is not a new concept. For awhile now we’ve been able to ‘tether’ our mobile handsets to laptops and computers via USB to share internet. Some high end Wi-Fi enabled mobiles have also done away with the wire bit altogether. This is thanks to pre-loaded, built-in and downloadable third party apps that allow you to share your mobile internet via Wi-Fi with your other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Ain’t Wi-Fi just grand!
TATA’s Photon service is one of the most used hi-speed internet services used in the country for quite a while now and their latest offering is a neat system that allows you to just pack up your and take it with you anytime anyplace - enter the Photon Mobile Wi-Fi. Here’s a closer look.
A lot of people have been asking me for awhile to review this system and quite a few, might I add, presumed it was some sort of mobile internet service plan for your handsets since the ads simply say – TATA Photon Mobile Wi-Fi Service. In actuality guys, it’s one of the simplest devices ever. It’s equipped with a built-in CDMA chip and has an RJ45 LAN port, a mini USB port for charging and a power button. A The Photon Wi-Fi is a light weight, sleek looking router that’s smaller than most mobile phones. It’s designed for easy portability. Slip it into your pocket or you can even use a mobile phone pouch.
The topic of setting up the Photon Wi-Fi router is a mute topic. There isn’t any. Out of the box it’s ready to do as soon as you switch it on. A default password is provided with the instructions and if you wish to change that hook it up to your PC via LAN and make any adjustments you want. A list of instructions are included with the packaging, or you can call up the help line, but good luck with that.
There’s really no preparation or settings that need to be adjusted however except for changing the password. It’s a ready to use system straight out of the box. Switch it on and you’re good to go. You can easily have at least five devices connected to the same network at one time. Don’t expect the speed to be the same though as the connection is obviously shared. A single user will able to get downlink speeds of at least 3.1Mbps which is very impressive. Uplink speeds could go up to 1.8Mbps. The main USP of this device, other than the fact that it’s an extremely portable Wi-Fi hotspot, is that it works completely independent of any operating system. There’s no need to connect it to a PC for any kind of set up procedures.
The battery life of the router is really a non issue. It’s equipped with a 1,350mAh battery that would seem more than adequate but sadly it's supposed to proved no more than 2.5 hours of usage. That's less than a mobile phone. If you're indoors though, you can leave it connected to a wall socket via the packaged charger.
The Bottom Line
We’ve come to a day and age in technology where it’s so easy to pretty much just pick up your internet service and take it with you on the road, with no bothersome cables to get in the way. The wireless generation is truly remarkable. When it comes to real time speeds, TATA’s Photon Pocket Wi-Fi gets as good as 3G. If you’re not getting the EDGE speeds you need while traveling just switch this baby on and you’re good to go. At the movement it’s available for a special introductory offer of Rs. 4,999. You will have to choose a plan of course (plans available here).
That’s a bit pricey but then again you are paying for a wireless option that will allow you to not only connect your laptop to the service but your Wi-Fi enabled mobile as well. USB powered Photon’s or others don’t exactly allow for this feature, however, laptops and mobiles are now available with Wi-Fi hot spot functionality and with us being on cusp of the 3G generation, perhaps waiting till that kicks in before investing in the Photon Pocket Wi-Fi router would be a good idea.