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3G dongles..

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
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Registered: 01-08-2007

3G dongles..

Well ages ago I asked here somewhere what people thought of these dongles all the mobile networks are selling for mobile broadband. I got varied responses, some saying they were ok, others crap etc.
Well.. this year I took the plunge and bought one from 3. It's PAYG and apart from a few days where I had trouble getting connected I've had very little trouble with it - in fact less than I've had with PN.
I'm able to host servers on it (public IP so you can literally host a website on a netbook) access the web, download files, P2P is untested but I'm assuming it will work and the speed has been pretty reasonable.
Now, I've got a bit miffed with PN over the years with several issues. The latest being unable to access a website which is still not resolved. We're thinking of moving and lets face it... BT and their cessation charges, BB enabling charges and all the rest of it which PN pass to the customer (or call 'free' if you stay for X amount of months) is a bit of a turn off.
So.. I'm thinking of subscribing to a contract dongle. 3's best is 15GB per month over 24 months for £15 per month (actually might be £25). Now thats a pretty good deal considering there is no line rental involved, no charges to move home, no downtime while moving home etc. It's got a lot of good points to it. When you consider mobile sim only contracts can also abolish the land line we're seriously looking at this option.
So.. does anyone have any experience of using a dongle on a permanent basis as a replacement internet connection? - I'd be interested in hearing good things, tales of woe and the horror stories!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
23 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: 3G dongles..

Have you looked at the Three Mifi ? http://threestore.three.co.uk/broadband/?mifi=1&ID=1184
Maybe more convenient if your going to use mobile broadband as your main access as you can connect multiple PC's ( as long as they've got wireless facilities ). Not sure about running a server via it though, since its effectively a router and will use NAT, like your typical ADSL router.
Community Veteran
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Re: 3G dongles..

I haven't used it as a permanent solution, but have used it while on holiday for 2 weeks and no real issues, the b/w is too small for me to contemplate dropping my ll though  Wink
That and the fact that I don't actually get ANY mobile signals in the house  Roll eyes
I have done p2p on 3 it "works" but not at any great speed, and congestion is an issue in some areas, it could take me an hour or so to get a connection when on holls.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: 3G dongles..

I personally have 2 dongles, One with 3 and one with O2 simply to increase my 3G coverage. I have no 3G coverage on any network at my actual home address.
Both PAYG and used when out and about but that is definitely all I would use them for. Latenancy, speed, reliability, contention are all up and down with cellular connections in my opinion.
I personally think that wireless devices of any description including WIFI will never replace cables and I personally would only use them when cables are not an option.
It is of course up to your individual needs but there are other DSL broadband providers apart from PN and BT. I am moving to AAISP soon as the PN connection I have had for many years can no longer meet my requirments.
N/A

Re: 3G dongles..

I suppose that due to the increasing use of mobile telephones more and more people will prefer this option and do away with the landline.
I can see how tempting this is as from what I have read on the forum a lot of folk just have the basic telephone service but never actually use it for calls.
The only problem that I have with this is that perhaps it is worthwhile sparing a thought for people who do not have mobile contracts and who may need to contact you.  They are way too expensive IMO.
Community Veteran
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Re: 3G dongles..

Quote from: poppy
I can see how tempting this is as from what I have read on the forum a lot of folk just have the basic telephone service but never actually use it for calls.
The only problem that I have with this is that perhaps it is worthwhile sparing a thought for people who do not have mobile contracts and who may need to contact you.  They are way too expensive IMO.

I am in that category, my calls on my LL are in total about 10 over 3 months. If I could drop it and keep my BB I would. As to expensive for people to phone you, (I don't have a phone contract either only payg) it is up to them, as 75%+ of the calls I get are from telemarketing (even though I have been on the TPS for years) I have no issues about it costing them more  Wink
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: 3G dongles..

This is exactly the reason I think BT should be offering a full internet line service like SDSL at every exchange or ADSL making use of the entire line. If you are concerned about how much it costs for people to phone you sign up for a local phone number using voip like Vonage. I have a package with them and can phone just about any landline in the western world for free. I pay them 7.99 a month and generally the call quality is better than my BT line. So for me my BT phoneline is not a phoneline, it is an internet line.
N/A

Re: 3G dongles..

Well, each to their own I suppose. At the risk of sounding like a total old fuddy duddy, I have to say that I dislike mobile telephones, which is why I only have PAYG and £10 lasts for months.  I think the record was nearly 2 years and they switched me off for non-usage!  The landline suits me perfectly well.
I think it goes back to work when we used to have a pager and I absolutely hated it as when it went off I knew it was going to be problems.
Nowadays when I am out I am just that - i.e. non-contactable and free. 
To me mobiles are very intrusive and it so annoys me when you are in discussion with someone e.g. workman and you have to discontinue your conversation because the telephone rings. 
However, I can see that they are an important part of business life for people such as yourself.  Only thing is, I recall that we managed without them not so long ago and things did get done.  Huh
nadger
Rising Star
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Re: 3G dongles..

I can nearly agree with you regarding mobile phones.
I have Virgin PAYG and the spare phone has half the original £5 credit they gave me with free sim card over 4 years ago. I occasionally turn that phone on and text my daughter and account stays alive.
On main mobile a £5 lasts me ages but wouldn't be without it - suppose car breaks down for example.
Having a mobile was also handy during the 5 weeks I spent in hospital over a 16 month period.
Moderator
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Re: 3G dongles..

I have a land-line but make about 5 or 6 call a year on it as I have a company mobile Wink
However my circumstances are changing and the land-line will get more use.
My daughter has a T-Mobile dongle as her single source of broadband (no land-line) and is quite happy with it.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
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pierre_pierre
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Re: 3G dongles..

my useless company (when I was working) were one of the first with mobile phones - the old brick ones and also had one of the first transmitter mast - its still in use - at the Entrance to Boreham Airfield, currently the Essex High speed police home
Back in 1994 we had a few mobiles that we could use in Italy and a good company system where we could divert our desk phone to the mobile, good - the wife used to phone me in Italy by phoning my desk as a local call
When we got our own personal phones, via the company, they became miserable sods, paid the bill but got a copy of it and we had to pay for private calls
At first they had there own ID, but later changed to O2, still have my original number and use it for the free 500 mins a month local to home made calls -any place in the UK 01,02,03  cost £10 per month PAYG, only use the £10 when away from home an a few texts, got to use some up my credit is now over £100
N/A

Re: 3G dongles..

I agree with Sean in that the landline companies need to be more aware, and cater for people who only want the facility for broadband.
A family member who currently has PN broadband is moving house within the next couple of months and she much prefers her mobile telephone, which is on contract.  She doesn't really want a landline and as she will be on a tight budget I think that we will have to look at going down the dongle route in the same way that Strat's daughter has.  Will therefore be open to any advice on the matter as I know nothing about it.  I can see the attraction of such a set up.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: 3G dongles..

I agree that mobile phones can be a pain because people can reach you anywhere, anytime but that is not really the case. Phones can be switched off and calls can be rejected and dealt with at a later time which I have to say I would do regurarly. If I am in conversation with someone I will reject a call in most cases and return it at a suitable time.
We can't really talk about how life went by fine before mobile phones. The same could then be said about cars, airplanes, tv's, computers, everything. Mobile phones are in general a good thing. I am sure since their invention they have saved countless lives. Lives will have been lost also through car accidents while on the phone etc. but I am sure many more will have been saved.
I got my first phone in 1998, it was an 18th birthday present. I was the only person I knew that had one at the time but everyone soon followed. I have had the same phone number since 1999. It is one of the old numbers that started 04 before the "Big Number" and now starts 077. It started with Cellnet and after being ported accross every major network over the years it is now recently back with Cellnet, O2 now obviously.
There is always one advantage that traditional landlines have, security. If you suffer a power failure, didn't have the mobile charged, you will still have the traditional landline so long as you have at least one corded phone and not entirly cordless.
pierre_pierre
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Re: 3G dongles..

on costings
Quote
So.. I'm thinking of subscribing to a contract dongle. 3's best is 15GB per month over 24 months for £15 per month (actually might be £25). Now thats a pretty good deal considering there is no line rental involved, no charges to move home, no downtime while moving home etc. It's got a lot of good points to it. When you consider mobile sim only contracts can also abolish the land line we're seriously looking at this option.

and when you take off the BT line cost  £11.25  it works out cheaper than Value
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: 3G dongles..

On a releated topic, coverage, when are the UK networks going to sort this out? As I mentioned above I can get no 3G coverage on any network where I live and I carry dongles from 2 networks with my laptop because unless you are in a city, in my case, Belfast, 3G coverage is patchy at best.
The UK is not exactly a large area to cover. I was recently on a storm chasing trip in the states. We covered over 6000 miles by road, 10 states in 10 days and also travelled into Canada. Internet access is vital for this and whe had broadband speed on the move absolutely everywhere we went without exception. The hardware in use was Verizon but much of the coverage was on local networks but still 3G coverage everywhere.