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Internet speed

hodmandod
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 28-06-2011

Internet speed

Over the years, I've had regular problems with my Internet speeds. Invariably, these were caused by line faults, most of which necessitated visits from Open Reach, after a lengthy period of waiting.
At the moment, my download speed hovers around 2mbps,, which is historically as high as I've ever had it. I have no complaints. However, yesterday a friend visited. He has a 3G service through '3', which provides unlimited Internet access plus a call and text allowance for £1 more per month than I currently pay Plusnet for 60gb.
Out of interest, he compared my wifi line speed with  his 3G connection. The 3G came out at more than three times faster.
Is this a viable alternative to having a landline for which I pay BT monthly rental in addition to Plunet?
The most obvious downside I can see would be the extra cost for those contacting me and having to phone my mobile rather than a landline; and for me making lengthy calls to those without Skype.
3 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,013
Thanks: 301
Fixes: 4
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Internet speed

I've heard mixed reviews of people using 3G dongles.  It's usually dreadful for things like Gaming as the latency can be pretty variable on them.
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: Internet speed

I have a Huawei E353 dongle from Three, connected to my Draytek router as failover for the ADSL. I have a 2Mbps-ish connection with Plusnet and it runs circles around the 3G dongle.
Online speedtests gave extremely misleading results - many of them indicated download speeds to be between 2 and 4Mbps download but in reality it barely exceeded 1.5Mbps and the average as indicated by the traffic flowing through the router was around 1Mbps. To be fair, the 3G upload speeds were better than the 448kbps I get with ADSL, but that's only when the network is quiet. Speed varied significantly at different times during the day whereas ADSL is pretty much constant. Overall, web browsing was pretty unresponsive with the 3G dongle. Usable, but I wouldn't want to use it as my main connection unless I had no other option.
Then there's the cost vs usage balance. Most of the more reasonable-looking contracts are for phone only and prohibit use of dongles (I don't know whether this is just T&C or whether they are physically locked out). The dongle PAYG and contracts are far more expensive than even the cheapest package from Plusnet and are not unlimited (the monthly allowances range from "unworkable" to "stingy").
hodmandod
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 28-06-2011

Re: Internet speed

Thanks for the replies. I guess it's not a realistic option ... yet.