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Review: JioFi 2 Wifi Dongle+Jio LTE Service.

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Samarth 619, Jun 27, 2017.

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How do you rate the JioFi 2?

  1. Awesome!

  2. Average, does its job ok.

  3. Bad. Doesn't meet expectations.

  4. Not tested/ too early to decide.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Samarth 619

    Samarth 619 Modrator @ Xbhp Biking

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    Hey Guys, Samarth this side. You must remember me from my reviews of Redmi 1s, Redmi 2, their twin powerbanks (5200 & 10400), etc.. By the way I got the 20800 Mah powerbank too later on... :D

    Anyhow, this review is about Jio Fi 2, the wifi-hotspot dongle given by Reliance Jio, for 4G internet.

    My wife had a Airtel 3G dongle lying around, so I thought why not exchange it? So, this made the Jio Fi 2 cost just Rs. 999, and I recharged its SIM with Rs. 608, for 2 GB data per day for 3 months. That's a good amount of data. As it is, I'm going to review both the data service and the dongle as a hardware.

    There're many aspects of a product that you never realize on seeing its specs sheet. I'll be trying to focus on those first. So, its a 4G wifi hotspot dongle that supports only Jio SIM cards, and it tries to bundle some additional features like MicroSD support, etc.

    Here we go....


    Unboxing

    A typical little box in a choice of blue or red color theme, no difference in contents, for starters. Then, we open it and find the documents, basically the Quick Start Guide and the warranty card, and a card instructing on how to use 4G Voice on your smartphone (which means you can even use Jio's unlimited calls and SMS on your non-4G smartphone, its awesome, right?).

    IMG_0640 (1600x1067).jpg

    Further inside, it has a 1A charger, and a 1 meter long MicroUSB cord (which is good length). So, you can use this to charge your phone too, although with 1A it isn't exactly fastest. This dongle has a 2300 mah battery, which can be charged using a PC too.


    The Jio SIM needs to be brought separately, its not in the box.


    Connection modes & No. Of Devices Supported


    A total of 32 devices can be connected to internet using this hotspot, out of which 31 can be Wifi connected, and 1 would be USB tethering, just like a mobile phone. Its battery life on Wifi usage would be approx 5 hours, which is the reason why I love using USB tethering, as it keeps battery charged.

    IMG_0637 (1600x1192).jpg

    Using this dongle for USB tethering (instead of a phone) has its own merits. You don't share the bandwidth with other apps typically active on a smartphone, like Whatsapp, Facebook, etc. Those who need this speed for video chatting or online gaming, etc will be happy, specially if they don't have access to broadband, like me for example. I'm in a very small city, economy wise.


    Please note that Jio service supports IPv6, and there have been privacy concerns regarding it, and you can disable it too. lthough, IPv6 is the future as internet users continue to increase..


    Internet: Browsing & Downloading



    The best speedtest performance I got was, about 50 mbps download, 20 mbps upload, and wait for it... 22ms ping. This was in the night time, approx 3 AM.

    Anyhow, for any possible time during the day, I’ve only got results good enough for a wireless network. So, browsing and downloading is no big deal. At 50 mbps, you’re downloading at a speed of approx 6MB/ second. That’s huge.

    The below result is around 1:50 AM in night.

    At other times of the day when the network is busy, you still get 1~MB/ second, so you’re still getting great speeds, considering that its a portable wireless network.


    Internet: Interactive Service like online gaming & voice/video chatting.


    22ms ping. This is the best response I’ve seen on this device on PC via USB tethering, which is good enough for generally enjoyable gaming and voice/ video chatting. Backed by a good download & upload speed, this makes it a pretty robust connection, mind you, by wireless network standards...

    You can use it for Skype, Whatsapp, anything modern that we use. But, if you’re using it on PC, try using USB hotpost instead. Wifi would add another layer of wireless data exchange and would've slowed it down its response (ping) probably. Although, it won’t matter much, except for online gaming.


    However, if you’re deeply into online gaming and wish to rule the world, then you’re better off with a common broadband or fiber line connection from BSNL or better yet, Airtel. That’s because we’re talking about a 4G LTE connection which is, yup, its wireless.


    I played on European servers in Far Cry 3, and due to the distance I usually get a red ping. Sometimes, I get yellow, but never a green ping. That results in me being a mid range player on the game, sometimes I win, other times I linger around the lower to middle ranks. Overall, not bad.


    I’ve tried speedtesting on Europe and US servers, and its gave me around 300-500ms ping. For a wireless network, considering the huge distance, its actually good enough. Jio’s fiber backbone makes its presence felt here.


    If you game on Indian servers and with a light frame of mind, to enjoy and not to measure miliseconds, then the JioFi 2 should do an awesome job! Of course, a lot depends on your area and Jio’s coverage too, this review was about my area. So, check yourself before you buy.


    Side Use: MicroSD Card.


    The MicroSD card slot, just like the SIM card, rests under the battery itself. So, no hot changing, but apart from that no problem. Using the browser based interface, we can configure the microSD card to work,

    1. via the USB connection in My Computer, or

    2. to work via a wireless connection and appear on the pc.

    I prefer the former, as its just like using a card reader. It supports upto 32GB officially, but I tried a 64GB card (with 300 MB free space) and it worked flawlessly. It appears as a portable drive in My Computer.

    IMG_0636 (1600x970).jpg

    The MicroSD card read speed is around 15MB/ second when used in a USB 3.0 port for a transfer of multiple files. The device probably works in USB 2.0. Write speed to MicroSD is a bit slow, around 1 MB/ second for a mix of small files.


    Control interface/ Admin Panel


    The Jio’s browser based control interface (just like MTS, Airtel & many others), enables us an access to general information, or to make changes.

    You connect the device when its on, then you browse to http://jiofi.local.html/ to access this area. To make changes, you have to login, using a temporary login id and password, both being “administrator”.


    The things that you can view are (skip it if you’re not that technical):

    LTE STATUS: Connected Status, Connection Time, Operating Mode, Operation Band, Bandwidth in Mhz, EARFCN, Physical Cell ID, PLMN, APN In Use, Global Cell ID, ECGI, RSRP, RSRQ, SINR.

    LAN INFO: SSID, LAN Operating Mode, Subnet Mask, Gateway IP, MAC Address, Number Of Clients Attached, Wi-Fi Channel, Wi-Fi Status, Automatic Channel Selection Status, Wi-Fi Channel Bandwidth, Wireless Security & LAN Client List.

    WAN INFO: Total Data Used In UL, Total Data Used In DL, Packet Loss Per Session(DL/UL), Host Name, WAN IPv4, IPv4 Address, IPv4 Subnet Mask, IPv4 Default Gateway, IPv4 DNS Server Primary, IPv4 DNS Server Secondary, WAN IPv6 Address, IPv6 Prefix Length, IPv6 Default Gateway, IPv6 DNS Server Primary, IPv6 DNS Server Secondary.

    DEVICE DETAILS: Current Local Time, ODM (Pegasus), Product ID, Serial Number, IMEI, IMSI, Firmware Version, Firmware Creation Date, Hardware Version, Primary Mac Id, Battery Level, Battery Status, OUI, Device Make, Frequency Bands Supported.

    SYSTEM PERFORMANCE: System Perf. Monitor Period, CPU Utilization, CPU Max. Usage, CPU Min. Usage, Memory Max. Usage, Memory Min. Usage, Uplink Data Rate, Current Data Rate, Max Data Rate, Min Data Rate, Downlink Data Rate, Current Data Rate, Max Data Rate, Min Data Rate.



    Logging in using the “administrator” id password, you get a whole lot of settings to change, like PIN of the SIM, SSID name (Wifi name), Wifi password, Storage mode (Local/ Wifi), Admin panel user ID/ password, Firmware update, config file backup/ restore, Upnp/ Port forward, WPS/ PBC, Power Saving, etc....

    Here, you also see the “Wifi Storage” tab which shows the MicroSD card in the device. This works solely over Wifi, and it won’t work in USB mode.


    Pics from all angles/ Other Pics (Please note that some pics are uploaded on a free image hosting site, you need to click them to view full size)

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    Tried at 3 AM in morning... The below result. :D

    [​IMG]

    As you can see below, the high ping is due to a European server, still not bad at all:-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IMG_0631 (1480x1600).jpg

    IMG_0627 (1600x933).jpg

    IMG_0625 (1600x1067).jpg

    IMG_0618 (1600x1067).jpg

    IMG_0617 (1600x1067).jpg

    IMG_0593 (1600x1248).jpg

    Conclusion


    Overall, a very potent device and SIM combination indeed. But, its not perfect and a lot depends on your own needs and usage. Let’s summarize it with its merits and demerits.


    Merits:

    (+) Loads of data at a good price, 1/2 GB everyday,

    (+) Very high speed for a wireless device, (Best 50.56 mbps download)

    (+) Service is responsive enough for online gaming or video calling, etc. (Best 22ms ping)

    (+) Lots of devices can be connected, upto 32 total, and speed is more than sufficient,

    (+) Unlimited calling, internet, SMS can be used on non 4G phones too,

    (+) Charger supplied, MicroUSB cord long enough, and can be used with phones,

    (+) 2300 Mah Battery, so ultra portable & good battery life & standby times,

    (+) Jio has a host of other service like music, movies, TV, etc which are complimentary for its users,

    (+) Purchase schemes by Jio, like Home Delivery of JioFi 2 in 90 minutes & old dongle exchange,

    (+) Card Reader works with both Wifi & USB,


    Demerits:

    (-) Common wireless device demerits, like speed depends on time of the day, etc.

    (-) Supports IP v6 by default, which is generally a merit, but privacy concerns are there, (you can disable IPv6),

    (-) Totally dependant on Jio’s 4G service, won’t work in 3G/2G supported areas,

    (-) MicroSD card write speed is average, seems to be USB 2.0 only,

    (-) The glossy front of the JioFi 2 is scratch prone, looks wrecked within a few days,(see pics)


    Yes, I understand the demerits are not that big, and can be lived with. Its an awesome device and performs exceptionally well for a wireless device.

    I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

    And yes, I recommend it to anyone who needs internet in urban locations, for the most common uses of internet. Specially those who share internet with other users and need lots of data.


    The 4G & Telecom Scenario right now


    4G towers are comparatively a small investment, and they carry only internet data, so the calls and SMS work on data too, they’re just sent as an internet packet through the mobile device. So, a free voice call on Jio is just like a whatsapp voice call, technically.

    This makes 4G towers very simple in operations and thus cheaper to setup and maintain too, compared to 3G.


    So, ideally 4G should’ve always been cheaper than 3G. However, when Airtel launched it, Airtel kept the 4G and 3G prices equal. But Jio played a very fine card by offering a free welcome package, and they were well rewarded too.

    As for speeds, TRAI says Jio is the fastest,
    Ookla Speedtest says Airtel is the fastest,

    So, let me clarify, it might be possible that you get better 4G speeds from other players like Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, etc, maybe because of network coverage difference too, however none of these seem to have a great offer on the entire telephony scene.

    Most of these operators have reduced data package rates to similar as Jio, but they still don’t combine unlimited SMS and voice calls in that package.

    On the flip side, with Jio you’re totally dependant on their 4G towers only, and 3G/ 2G won’t even connect to the dongle, simply because Jio has no 3G/2G presence at all. This, combined with roaming worries, have prevented most users from making Jio their primary SIM i.e. Most users use it with secondary SIM slot/ with a dongle.

    Let's see what the future holds...

    As usual, any questions or feedback is welcome.... :)
     

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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    Nerevarine and billubakra like this.
  2. topgear

    topgear Fast 'N' Furious Staff Member

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    Interesting review. I would like to know more :

    1. Do we need to install any additional driver for this to work under windows ?
    2. Version of windows supported ( I mean the win 9x, Xp - just curious ) ?
    3. Linux Support ?
     
  3. sujoyp

    sujoyp Well-Known Member

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    It was working fine but in rainy season I am facing slow speeds and disconnections :(

    @topgear
    no installation required..its like wireless hotspot. I have used on windows 7,8 and multiple android versions. No idea of linux support, but I feel OS does not matter as its a hotspot.
     
  4. topgear

    topgear Fast 'N' Furious Staff Member

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    Got it but did you try the USB tethering mode ?

    BTW, rain affecting jio connection - now this is something new to me. I thought the the problem was only associated with BSNL LL BB connection.
     
  5. sujoyp

    sujoyp Well-Known Member

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    Yaah even I thought so.. Photon plus didnt have problem.. Jio have slight issue

    Sent from my E5563 using Tapatalk
     
  6. dissel

    dissel Active Member

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    Hi,
    I have a same looking device with Redish colour since Sep,2016 which comes with Full-Size Sim (Mini-SIM) slot - Which Generation JioFi is that....Jiofi 1 ?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Samarth 619

    Samarth 619 Modrator @ Xbhp Biking

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    Hey guys,

    1. No additional driver required. It installs itself automatically on my Windows 7 laptop.
    In fact, there's no PC Suite for it, its' settings can be accessed by typing http://jiofi.local.html/ in any common browser.
    2. Xp requires Service Pack 3, and Vista, 7, 8, 10 all are supported accd. to Quick Start Guide.
    3. Yes, I just checked the QS Guide. Linux is mentioned there as a "Supported OS". Even MAC is supported.

    Hi,

    It works over both Wifi and USB tethering.
    OS should matter in case of USB tethering though. No big worries, anything newer than Xp SP3 is supported officially. Even Linux and MAC is supported.

    No idea about rain affecting service. Its rainy here too, but I'm yet to see a long enough speed drop or blackout... Rarely, it went black for 5-10 minutes, but it was ok after that.

    --
    --
    EDIT:
    I just came to know that Photobucket has now disabled third party hosting at all....
    So, my review images are reuploaded on a different site, because digit allows only 10 attachments.
    You might need to click the images to view them full size... Sorry for the trouble. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  8. OP
    OP
    Samarth 619

    Samarth 619 Modrator @ Xbhp Biking

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    Guys, a long term review is due.... A lot of things have changed.

    1. The Jio Fi is priced lower now, just Rs. 999.


    2. For some reason, my Jio Fi battery is expanding/ swelling.
    I believe it might be due to the fact that I have spent a lot of time, using it with USB, and thus the battery gets overcharged. Normally, there must be overcharge protection, but what happened here, I have no idea.
    Now I use it with USB but without battery. It is possible, it starts up a bit late and starts working normally, taking power over just USB.
    So, anyone who uses it a lot with usb cable, I would sincerely recommend that you remove the battery. Wifi works ok too.


    3. The battery cost is Rs. 540 at service center. Pretty high, given the device itself is just Rs. 999.


    4. Otherwise, except for battery, the device is working fine. The service is still good as usual.

    I'm thinking of getting the Jio Fiber line connection, but without the homespy stuff... Let's see, its preorders open on 15 August...
     
  9. dissel

    dissel Active Member

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    ^^^ just use a power bank, and it will work forever.
     

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