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By 7 September 2012 | Categories: gizmos

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As cellular service providers start offering more affordable 3G data packages, using these for home or office usage is becoming increasingly popular.  A 3G modem is of course key, with Belgian company Option’s Xyfi (pronounced ex-Wi-Fi) now available locally.
 
In terms of size, the Xyfi is much smaller than regular hotspot modems, only slightly bigger in size than a USB flash disk. In fact, Option describes it as the world’s smallest personal hotspot. This is because it does not carry its own battery, rather relying on a USB power source (such as your PC or the optional battery pack) for power.
 
With this little 802.11n router, you are able to connect up to eight devices simultaneously, with Option claiming speeds of up to 72 Mbps, depending of course on your provider’s network.
 
Easy as pie
 
To use the Xyfi is an absolute breeze and you’ll be surfing within five minutes. Insert your SIM into the device, plug it into a USB slot and you are almost there. From here, you can either install the driver, or simply connect to the Xyfi Wi-Fi hotspot (network name and password provided inside the box). The Xyfi has a little trick up its sleeve – it can connect to available Wi-Fi networks. For example, you can connect the Xyfi to your work or home Wi-Fi network instead of using your cellular data bundle. If the connection drops for whatever reason, the Xyfi connects to the 3G connection again.
 
Inside the well-designed browser-based administration page you’ll first be required to set up a username and password, from where you’ll be able to change the name of your Xyfi connection and passwords, as well as set up the Wi-Fi connection that it can connect to.
 
Accessories
 
With a number of accessories available for the Xyfi, our first choice would be the battery pack, which should provide a solid eight hours of battery life. The Xyfi simply slips into the battery pack, making it easy to carry around in a jacket pocket.  Also available is a car adaptor, ideal for those more on the road than in the office, while the wall adapter is suitable for families or small offices.
 
The Option Xyfi is small, easy to use and will have you surfing in no time. It retails for R1 800 from Advinne on 010-130-0010. Mail them on info@advinne.com, or visit www.advinne.com.

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