The ever popular Novatel MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot, the best selling self-contained mobile of all time not without it's flaws and common technical issues. Following are the top issues and problems with the MiFi 2200 and possible solutions that have worked for many users. Most of these issues revolve around installation and connection. It is important to note that some of these troubleshooting issues involve accessing or checking the device’s web based device configuration window, usually called the “Access Manager” (although this may be called something else, depending on your MiFi provider) The device may show up in the standard Windows control panel devices window, but there is very limited functionality there. The device’s administration tool can also be accessed by entering “http://192.168.1.1” into a web browser window.
1. Random or Intermittent Loss of Wi-Fi Connection
First, rule out any power related issues. The battery requires an initial charge before its first use. This will take up to 2 hours. If the device is used before being fully charged, that may be the cause of many issues. The 3G MiFi 2200 can be very fickle when the battery in below 25% charge.
Once power issues have been ruled out, the most common reason for random disconnection are the device’s own settings. The default setting for the device is to enter a dormant mode after 30 minutes of no use. It is important to realize that “no use” means no data is being downloaded uploaded within that timeframe. It has nothing to do with an open web page. If you pull up a web page and then sit reading it for 30 minutes without refreshing or performing any other internet-based activities the MiFi will still go dormant. This is an intended feature designed to save battery life. This setting can be changed in 10 minute increments to as low as 10 minutes, as high as 60 minutes, or “never”.
To change this setting: access the MiFi’s web management page. Navigate to “advanced”, then “power”, change the “Enter Standby Mode” setting in the “battery power” options.
2. When to know when to "throw in the towel" and reset MiFi back to factory setting
If you are having trouble accessing the device or the Access Manager, resetting the device may fix the issue. If the device is disconnecting or unresponsive and you have ruled out the disconnection issues discussed in numbers 1 and 3, a "factory reset" is the next logical step. This will also work if you have forgotten the access passwords you created. The reset will delete these passcodes and any other personalized changes you have made and restore the device to it's original factory settings. This means you will lose the SSID you set as well as all WEP or WPA Wi-Fi security settings - keep this fact in mind, because when you reset device will boot up with "open" access - anyone can gain access to you Mi-Fi.
A device reset is the most common and very simple way to fix a surprising number of issues with the MiFi. Restoring factory settings is also known as a "hard reset". A hard reset can be performed by pushing the tiny recessed reset button on the rear of the device for 5 seconds. This is a very small, internal button. A bent small size paper clip works best for this. A "Factory Reset" is not as scary as it sounds. All you'll lose is your choice of security encryption and the WiFi security passcode.
3. MiFi 2200 frequently freezes or becomes non-responsive
The MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot device can also disconnect because of overheating issues. The more data the device processes, the hotter it will become. Online gaming or meeting the needs of multiple computers at once can cause overheating issues. When the device overheats, it will automatically turn itself off. Sometimes the MiFi will get so hot, yet not shut itself off. This is when you're likely to see weird, random problems like 3G and WiFi disconnects and an unresponsive MiFi device. If overheating occurs, there's not much you can do but wait for the device to cool. Don't even think about "speeding up" the cool off by throwing it in the freezer for a few minutes. Yes, this will get it cool enough to start-up, but it can be a recipe for disaster: The rapid and dramatic temperature drop can cause micro cracks on he circuit board and possible moisture entrapment, killing your MiFi.
A good method to help with overheating issues is to place the device on a flat metal surface. The metal surface area will act as a heat sink. Also, be the sure the device has plenty of surrounding airflow. Keep a space of at least six inches all around the device. As you might imagine, keeping the a hot running MiFi in a pocket or purse without adequate air circulation can also cause overheating.
4. Signs that your MiFi may need a firmware update
If your MiFi mobile hotspot is not working properly, will not install, or will not connect , outdated firmware may be to blame. This is also likely if your device was working, and then suddenly stopped working, or if you changed or updated the OS on your computer. Outdated firmware may cause device problems with recent updates applied to your computer.
Firmware updates will need to be performed manually. Even if your device is operating well, it might be a good idea to check for firmware update every few months or so. In almost every case, firmware updates are intended to correct internal software flaws or glitches, increase the device's radio performance, or reduce security risks with Wi-Fi encryption. In general, the benefits usually outweigh the hassle of finding the firmware files and running the "firmware flash"
The MiFi 2200 does not perform automatic updates to its firmware or PRL. Since the MiFi was released in 2009, over 30 new firmware updates have been released. It's not too hard for even a total non-techie to update the firmware.
You will need to download a copy of the firmware file. Because there are many private branded MiFi 2200's offered by different companies like Verizon, Sprint, Virgin Mobile, DataJack and others, it's important you get the matching firmware file from the company that is branded on the MiFi. Make sure to ONLY download files from the company website directly, for example, if you have a Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200, get the file from virginmobile.com, not verizon.com. If you have a Verizon branded MiFi, a Google search on "Verizon MiFi 2200 firmware update" will deliver the results you need. Another important tip: Make sure you are looking for "MiFi 2200, not just "MiFi", as there are lots of other MiFi's that are totally different than the 2200 3G mobile hotspot.
Updating firmware is simple. Log into your device's web based control panel at http://192.168.1.1. Go to WWAN then "Configuration" then "update firmware". The program will check to see if your device has the most recent updates. One of the most critical things to remember when updating the firmware: Never start the update with anything less than 90% battery charge.
5. Power and Charging Issues
Some users have experienced charging issues with the MiFi’s USB charging capabilities. This is largely due to the misnomer that all USB adapter chargers are the same. They are not. The MiFi requires a specific power output from its charger. Use of any other type of charger does not work or charges inconsistently.
A USB wall charger that puts out at least 2000 ma works best. The MiFi 2200 draws alot of power when the 3G and Wi-Fi radio's are humming along at full speed. Some USB ports on laptops, and even some desktops, do not output sufficient amperage to keep up with the MiFi's power draw, therefore the hotspot's battery will not stay in a "positive net charging state" - which means the MiFi runs out of juice while using it - even though the MiFi was plugged into the computers USB port. This will often occur when continuously downloading or streaming video nonstop for one hour or more. One quick fix: get an extended capacity battery for the MiFi 2200. Check out venfors like 3gstore.com for some good deals on high capacity batteries.
Below are links to various helpful forums and the device's online user guide:
User guide: http://cache.vzw.com/multimedia/mim/mifi_2200/mifi2200.pdf
Disconnect Issue: https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/599046