The Wi-Reach Classic from Connect One is a clever little gadget that has just arrived to help spread the mobile broadband connections that many people use to more than one person via battery-powered Wi-Fi.
Originally most people would pick up mobile broadband via a single USB dongle that meant only one laptop could use the connection at a time. Then Mifi devices turned up, replacing dongles and allowing multiple users to share a mobile broadband connection, but leaving those with dongles in the lurch.
However, dongle users can now use the Wi-Reach Classic to solve this problem, as it is a portable router that accepts USB dongles of all types. You simply plug in your dongle of choice and then the Wi-Reach broadcasts the connection wirelessly to any nearby computer or mobile phone with Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Wi-Reach Classic has a built in rechargeable battery that its creator claims will last for 5 hours on a single charge. Once it is out of juice you can recharge it via USB, which means it could be powered from your laptop in emergencies.
Connect One has said that although the Wi-Reach Classic supports 3G networking for the time being, when LTE Mobile Broadband and WiMax arrive it will take a simple software update to make its device ready for the mobile broadband dongles of the future.
If you have signed up for a mobile broadband contract and feel as though you are a little bit restricted by the USB dongle that lets you get online, then the arrival of the Wi-Reach Classic could be a significant benefit.