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I would like a dongle !

Community Veteran
Posts: 18,009
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

I would like a dongle !

I wonder if I can tap the vast numbers of PlusNet customers, who have, or know about, a USB wireless dongle......
I am looking for one that I can buy outright.... and then add, say £10 , or whatever, to use when I want .... not just the month that I have paid for...
similar to how I use my mobile phone (T-Mobile)  it is pay as you go... £10 up front till you have used it up.... is there such a scheme? 
If so... who is best for coverage in the UK and Wales.....
36 REPLIES
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: ‎23-10-2008

Re: I would like a dongle !

Vodafone and Orange generally have the best signal, on account of having the largest networks, but of course coverage is based on local conditions and availability so YMMV.
Orange don't do PAYG Mobile Broadband, so that leaves Vodafone.
£29, no expiry date on usage. Comes with £15 credit already on it.
Community Veteran
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Re: I would like a dongle !

Thanks James.....
How is the "credit" amount used up?  Is it actual time "on air/connected" as with a phone call?  or is it measured amounts of down/up usage?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: I would like a dongle !

try here  for maps of coverage http://www.gadgetstylist.com/blog/mobile-phone-coverage-check-your-mobile-coverage/?gclid=CMGd7qGKzJ....  I have a 3G one that claims more than it gives  it has two maps at least, the one on the wall of the shop looked nice, but the very small print said projected coverage in 2011
Lurker
Grafter
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Registered: ‎23-10-2008

Re: I would like a dongle !

The credit is charged @ £15/GB - not cheap, but it depends what you plan to use it for.
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: I would like a dongle !

I'll go with James there.
For occasional use the Vodafone deal is the best, one of my colleagues has one and it works fine and reception ( in the Manchester area at least ) and speed is ok. He's had his for a few months now and hasn't had the need to top it up yet.
You can see how much data you've used and top up online under Windows. It does work under Linux but the online topup isnt available.
I have a '3' one, which again works reasonably well, but costs £10 for a month/1Gb usage, perhaps better if you are going to use it a lot.
Argos sell the Vodafone one http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5490464/Trail/searchtext%3EMOBILE+BROADBAND.htm and I'm pretty sure I've seen them at a similar price in Tesco.
 
Community Veteran
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Re: I would like a dongle !

OK... well I would only need it to check emails every day (on holiday) and maybe surf a bit to find out if an attraction was open, or even find somewhere to go, or to get a google map of an area....
Assume that there is a minimum top-up for Vodafone....
T-mobile do a similar thing, BUT I see that they are quoting
"Buy the stick then just pay for the days you need: £2 per day, £7 per week or £15 a month."
by that , I am assuming that if I did not use it for 3 days of the week, then I would be paying £7 for the remaining 4 days... (pro rata for the £15 for the month too) ? ? ?

PS... Thanks for the area coverage maps Pierre.
On the other hand, it appears that I could surf all day 24 hours a day for 7 days for £7.00  ?
Lurker
Grafter
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Registered: ‎23-10-2008

Re: I would like a dongle !

Remember that many of the 'unlimited' WiFi dongles have a FUP of 1GB.
So chances are that you are only really going to get 1GB of usage per month if you pay for 'unlimited'
Versus paying for just what you need, which will allow you to use more than 1GB if you need it, but for the rest of the time you aren't paying anything at all.
And when you use less than 1GB in a month, no matter, since your remaining usage carries on until you use it.
Its hard to advise without knowing your actual usage pattern, but its worth remembering that the latency on 3g dongles makes for a pretty rubbish browsing experience, however they are useful for checking emails, where latency is not really important at all, or for small amounts of browsing, where you won't have time to be irritated. (Checking train times, or opening times of attractions etc when travelling)
Superuser
Superuser
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Re: I would like a dongle !

Quote
Assume that there is a minimum top-up for Vodafone....

Yes its £15 which gives 1Gb of usage.
Quote
but its worth remembering that the latency on 3g dongles makes for a pretty rubbish browsing experience, however they are useful for checking emails, where latency is not really important at all, or for small amounts of browsing, where you won't have time to be irritated.

That certainly seems to be the case with my '3' account in the UK, however I use my dongle ( its unlocked ) with a Vodafone SIM in Portugal when I'm over there and the latency is nowhere near as bad. They are also much more competitive, I could purchase just a SIM card for 15 Euro, which includes 10 Euro credit, it gives me 10 hours total internet time over up to 6 months with a download speed of about 1Mb.
Quote
OK... well I would only need it to check emails every day (on holiday) and maybe surf a bit to find out if an attraction was open, or even find somewhere to go, or to get a google map of an area....

I'd be surprised if that would get anywhere near 50MB/day ( probably closer to 20MB ) , on that basis you would expect to get about 20 - 50  days ( in total ) use for your 1GB on the Vodafone plan. Now I dont know how many days holiday you have, but that's probably more than a years usage if you ONLY plan to use it for holidays.
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Re: I would like a dongle !

Thanks guys... very useful info...
I think the vodafone dongle will be the one... and MisterW has it about right in his last para, so should only have to pay out for the once !... might even get a couple of years usage. as we only go for about 3 weeks in a year, and my email traffic is about 2 or 3 a day!.  Smiley
latency and ping times won`t be coming into the frame. as I don`t do gaming,  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
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Re: I would like a dongle !

Remember you have to use your vodafone dongle once every 6 months otherwise they will take the credit away.
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Re: I would like a dongle !

Quote from: shutter
latency and ping times won`t be coming into the frame. as I don`t do gaming,  Roll eyes

Latency is not only important when gaming - you'll notice it when browsing too, as each request takes a noticeable time to get sent and data returned. The throughput is generally OK, meaning that pages load OK, but it takes a little while for the page to be located and start loading.
Quote from: MisterW
That certainly seems to be the case with my '3' account in the UK, however I use my dongle ( its unlocked ) with a Vodafone SIM in Portugal when I'm over there and the latency is nowhere near as bad.

Yeah, our mobile networks often don't have the backhaul capacity to deliver decent experience - many of the Cell masts are connected via microwave repeaters, fine for passing data over in streams, but clearly the available bandwidth has to be aggressively managed to ensure that the core service (voice!) is delivered well.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,009
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: I would like a dongle !

Thanks again guys, for the info... that 6 month thing will be worth remembering.!  and understand about it taking a bit of time to find the sites !... I`m only on 1.2mb on a wireless router, so used to having to "hang" about waiting for sites some times ! !.. Cheesy
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: I would like a dongle !

There is another poster that you have replied to, 7 kilo to exchange and complaining about only 350 kb download,  he should ditch ADSL and go to a dongle  Crazy Crazy
LiamM
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: I would like a dongle !

Just to add to this, I can testify my happiness with the Vodafone PAYG Mobile Broadband dongle.  Topup £15 and it gives you 1Gb with no expiry.  Which is ideal for occasional use... and it's quite difficult to use up unless you're going to do a lot of streaming and downloading.. I primarily use it for web browsing and to keep me in touch with email / intranet when out and about.  I don't use it that often which is why the non-expiry thing is good.  If I used it more often (and knew I'd be topping up at least once a month) I'd probably go with 3.