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Verizon MiFi's Greatness has 4G Catch

Stocks in this article: VZ

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- At last, a ray of 4G, small-business hope.

I am writing this column on what is probably the only 4G small-business networking option that is at least almost worth the money: the Verizon (VZ) Wireless MiFi 4510L 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot ($99 with a two-year contract and online discount).

This latest in LTE personal hotspots from Verizon came to market in mid-April and, like most such portable devices, connects any Wi-Fi enabled device to the Web. For sure, the unit is far from perfect. You will still taste the 4G rage of overpaying for underperformance. But in about a month of testing, which included my regular road trip of cellular death from New York to Maine and back and solid usage with Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4 and iPad, several PCs, a Verizon Droid 2 and a BlackBerry (RIMM) PlayBook, I found this MiFi to be useful and a reasonable way to connect to my office while on the go.

What you get
This is, without question, the smartest way as of now for a small-business owner to stay connected while out of the office.

The MiFi Mobile Hotspot is simple. It is essentially an itty-bitty cellular data connectivity appliance from San Diego-based Novatel Wireless (NVTL) that brokers a connection between Verizon's almost hilarious mishmash of cellular standards and a dead simple WiFi connection.

Since this device is designed from the ground up to do just one thing, it does it well. So there is not of the usual 4G wireless kludgefest of handoffs, incompatible software and incomplete deployments that must be managed by already taxed PCs, smartphones and tablets.

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