Most college dorms and coffee shops have wi-fi, but what if the lecture hall for your most important (or most boring) class is a hot-spot-free zone? The solution: your own personal wi-fi network, small enough to follow you wherever you go. About the size of a small stack of credit cards, the Novatel Wireless MiFi ($99 with a two-year service plan) taps into cellular 3G networks (both Sprint and Verizon Wireless are supported) and creates a 30-ft. (9 m) wi-fi cloud for up to five users, which you can encrypt or, if you're feeling generous, make available as a temporary public hot spot. The MiFi's rechargeable battery is rated for about four hours of continuous use before it conks out. Pretty cool, but be prepared to spend up to $60 a month in data fees (mind you, that's in addition to your current cell-phone bill).
Price: $99 with a two-year Sprint or Verizon contract