Please don't laugh but.....

(29 Posts)
LittleTyga Sun 03-Feb-13 21:48:19

I have a query which some may find obvious but I am confused! I have been with Plusnet for years supplying my BB to my home laptop. I recently bought a new mobile - on 3 - when friendly assistant was explaining all to me he said my mobile was a router to which I could connect my Tablet.

So far so good - my question is 'Do I still need Plusnet?' Surely I can now run my Tablet and Latop from my mobile? And if I use the Mobile will that interfere with WiFi connection?

nannynick Sun 03-Feb-13 23:18:52

Yes. My Plusnet gets a speed of 28,200Kbps download. Test results (image)
Run a test on your own connection to see what speed PlusNet gives you, based on your phoneline and package... Broadband Speed Checker.

Your phone will not get that sort of speed. Hard to know what speed it will get... www.thinkbroadband.com/mobile-broadband/speed-test.html Try this test on your Mobile (requires Java. My GalaxyAce won't run the test)

If you paid for Tethering then you can connect your laptop to your phone. If you did not pay for Tethering (it's an add-on usually so you should know if you are paying for it) then you can not connect computers/tablet to your phone. Log into your 3 account to check what things you have... I do not have tethering, so not sure if it shows it in the account settings or not but I suspect it might.

Your mobile would connect to your tablet via BlueTooth I would expect. Your mobile can also connect to your WiFi router and use Plusnet to get an internet connection rather than using the 3 mobile signal.

So basically I would say that your phone line is often faster than mobile but it can vary if you are somewhere a long way from the phone exchange.

LittleTyga Sun 03-Feb-13 23:45:24

Thanks Nanny - I'm on it now smile Its working a treat! Yes I have got tethering. It's actually working better than my Plusnet service ? weirdly!

The only downside would be that no one could use the lap top unless my mobile is in range - but that might not be such a bad thing smile

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 03-Feb-13 23:55:36

The other thing to watch (sorry if patronising) but mobile data costs way way way way more than standard broadband.

LittleTyga Mon 04-Feb-13 00:00:22

I've got unlimited data allowance - and don't worry about you didn't sound patronising. I'm learning so much it's all a bit overwhelming!

My dd kicked the router earlier and consequently I wasn't able to connect to PlusNet, so had a thought and managed to connect it to my mobile all by myself grin so then I had another thought (on a roll!) why do I need PlusNet? could save £11 a month!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 04-Feb-13 00:05:19

Check the small print. It is very rare to have truly unlimited Internet. It usually has some sort of "fair usage policy" which if you go over they will either cut the connection, charge you, or slow your connection down.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 07:18:59

I have 'unlimited' on 3. As itsAll said, its not really unlimited.

I was getting better speeds on my phone connection than my wi fi so I used that connection. When I got up to 1.8 gb I got a warning email.

If you use do general surfing and emailing then you should be ok but I was watching hours of YouTube and this eats up the data allowance.

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 11:21:36

3 provide unlimited data on contract packages if using just the phone.
Not sure about when tethered, check fine print.

Run both for a while. Check when you plusnet contract expires, then decide near the time what is working best for you.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 11:40:05

nanny - it's not unlimited if using the phone. I got up to 1.8gb on my phone by watching too many YouTube videos when I got a warning email.

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 14:51:22

That's not what the T&Cs say for All-You-Can-Eat-Data. See here... the limit is 1000GB. There is however Traffic Management.

What did the warning email say - if you have All-You-Can-Eat dataplan were they saying they would charge you extra, or was it warning that you would be restricted by the traffic management system?

Seems unfair if they are imposing say a 2GB limit (I remember a few years back I had a 3GB monthly limit on my contract) when they promote All-You-Can-Eat data. Maybe it was due to type of contract you had/have?

LittleTyga Mon 04-Feb-13 16:47:58

If your smartphone plan includes all you can eat data, then this is for data consumption actually on your smartphone. It does not include using your smartphone as a modem to connect other devices such as laptops and tablets – also known as “Tethering”.

So what does this mean? Will they charge me a separate amount to use the internet on my laptop that I have tethered to my mobile?

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 17:09:48

Yes. The tethering add-on is needed to connect laptop to phone. Check what you have by looking at your online account or contract if you have just got a new contract.

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 17:15:02

If you have The One Plan, then it looks as though tethering is included.

What contract plan do you have, or is it PAYG?

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 17:17:22

You can also check usage and billing info via the Three app on your phone. It may not be in real-time but should update quite quickly, so check it once a day for a while to see what calls, texts, data Three is logging you using.

LittleTyga Mon 04-Feb-13 17:18:33

Yes nanny I have the tethering add on - I'm on their one plan. So since Saturday I have been connecting/tethering my laptop to my mobile as my router for PlusNet is broken. What I'm worried about though is will 3 charge me more for tethering to my laptop - the above T&C sounds as if the unlimited data is for my phone not my laptop - am I making any sense? I'm so confused!

I will cry if I have to spend out on a new router - so expensive - unless I can convince PlusNet to give me free one smile have been with them for years!

MikeLitoris Mon 04-Feb-13 17:33:46

My mum is with 3 and uses it to tether her laptop.

She is on bingo websites day and night and has never been charged anything more than her contract amount.

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 17:42:07

New ADSL routers are quite low cost these days, though depends exactly what you need. Have you spoken to PlusNet support, they may be able to arrange replacement if it was supplied in the last 12 months. If it is older than that they may be able to tell you how much a replacement would be.
ADSL routers are from around £40, as are the cheap ADSL2+ routers such as TP Link (TD-W8960N) from Dabs.com to give you a comparison. Something from PlusNet though may already be configured or their support will be able to tell you how to set it up, where as if you buy your own PlusNet may not be able to help you if you need assistance setting it up.

Yes you are making sense with regard to your mobile data allowance. One Plan seems to me to include tethering, so it should not be an issue, though I can not find exact details on how much data you get to use. As TotallyBS says, if you get close to the limit they will probably let you know. Meanwhile just use it and keep an eye on your usage, use the Three app and click the MyAccount circle to see your usage.

nannynick Mon 04-Feb-13 17:52:26

One Plan is costly, so I would imagine it's all included. That's the point of One Plan. Looks like typical plans are £30 a month or more depending on the handset, where as I pay £13 a month for Internet 100 plan which gives me 100 mins, 5000 texts, all I can use data on handset (1000GB limit according to T&Cs).

So I really do not think you need to worry, you are paying a large monthly fee in return for having something like 2000 mins talk time, 5000 mins Three-Three talk time, 5000 texts, and unlimited data, probably on a 2 year contract.

LittleTyga Mon 04-Feb-13 21:23:35

Mike that's funny - thank you for the information smile

Nanny thanks for all your advice. Yes I'm paying £30 for 3 than another £11 for Plus Net and don't forget BT too - so I can ditch both Plusnet and Bt and just run things on 3 instead - I can always go crawling back if it doesn't work out.

Thank you all.

LittleTyga Mon 04-Feb-13 21:24:16

Feel bad now - 3 are American and BT and PlusNet are British sad

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 05:08:10

I was using Three for data for 4 years using a dongle (made moving home at the start of 2012 really easy), but can see how you might want to cut costs and ditch the broadband and phone line.

I think you will find Three is not American, but a Far Eastern firm... Orange was originally set up by Hutchison, and later sold to France Telecom. Three was set up specifically to operate phones on a 3G network, by what is now Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, from Hong Kong (ie China).

See their overview and a house magazine explains (last page) under the heading 'Community Spirit' that 3 UK has a London 3store which employs staff who can speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Taiwanese. On the left of the page is a key to the different business sectors the articles relate to (Ports, Property and Hotels, Retail, Telecomms, Energy etc).

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 05:09:11

Speed wise, there are benefits using a landline, particularly if you have more than one computer/tablet (or want to use iPlayer or LoveFilm from a games system or TV set top box - my Humax Freesat box can play TV from ITV and BBC, and a Sky box can show TV from BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky), and now that PlusNet has its new accounts offering unlimited usage, at lower prices, it's gone down to 9.99 a month for me. In the past, it would likely use up all the PlusNet allowance {60GB/month} if you watched 3 or more hours of video via the internet)

Also do remember that in a power cut, the cell network may go down, but a landline should still work as they have backup batteries to power your phone handset...

The One Plan is the only account that allows tethering on Three (though it does work if your phone permits it and they don't find out) as I have had an 'unlimited' SIM only deal with them for the last year. I was hoping to switch to a deal they had on their clearance website giving 500 minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited data for 11/month (with a refurbished Nokia phone) but the phone was out of stock.

Have cancelled because I saw a different deal from T-Mobile which will provide the 'Full Monty' account (unlimited calls, texts and data) for half what it was costing me on Three (under 7.75 a month, vs 15.50 or so) and I'll use the same Android phone as I was using on Three.

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 05:17:42

A new router isn't necessarily all that expensive - think they can be had for 40 quid or so (though different routers can cost well over 100, and if you chose to buy in a PC World then expect them to be rip-off prices compared with internet search!).

The T+C are worded to remind people not using the One Plan that they're not allowed to tether. It's common on most networks not to allow it. Also, when tethering, some services which would work via a landline may be blocked because of the way your IP address is allocated on a mobile network (or on Three's network, at least!).

Final note on whether they limit on AYCE - I really don't think so. I've hit more than 2 GB in a day (from my phone, watching video and using the 'TV catchup' App) and well over 20 GB a month for several months in the past 12.

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 05:24:16

Sorry, Nick, see you also said routers from 40 quid.

Was going to add that if basic line is all one needs, then switching to Primus may save cash (visit MoneySavingExpert.com and search for 'phone line' - think they charge as low as 6.99/month at very lowest level with no calls 'included' and no 'caller display' (as someone with the One Plan would make 01/02/03 landline calls, and calls to mobiles, using Three), and may keep the landline for incoming calls, 08xx calls, and internet... PlusNet works fine on a Primus line (that combination is what I'm using to post this).

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 05:27:43

Oh, rats! Seems there are complaints about talking to Primus CS - see MSE about 'cheap line rental' - clearly very recent problem (Monday 04.02.2013)

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 05:30:55

Oh yes - when I have wanted to make a lengthy landline call, or calling abroad, I use > 1899.com < (1p/min to USA, low to other popular destinations, and only 5p per call to 01/02/03 landline, whether it lasts 5 minutes or 10 hours, and no need to hang up and redial).

LittleTyga Tue 05-Feb-13 12:37:20

Thank you NetworkGuy. I have to get on and do some work so can't go in to detail now but I will come back later tonight and have a good read through.

I have a BT Basic account - my last quarter bill was £15 - only use it as you say for 0800 and broadband. I'm still on £10.99 PlusNet have not reduced my payment and I've given them referrals! Will be talking to them about that - anyway gotta go, thank you.

NetworkGuy Tue 05-Feb-13 14:07:49

No prob. Just about to have some breakfast (!)

Don't switch to unlimited at 9.99 unless you plan to stay for another year. I should have mentioned it earlier but it had been a long night on the net and I was close to bedtime...

I know that you're paying a pretty high cost (but that's 'cos you chose an iPhone, rather than a 13/16/18 quid deal with some other phone, and the One Plan starts at 25 pounds anyway... don't think it is that high, my ex-neighbour on O2 with an iPhone from early 2012 was paying 45 to 50 before she dialled any chargeable calls like directory enquiries {hellish expensive from a mobile and I'd always try the BT website first, or a search engine for a business!})

Also there's the issue of insurance. If using a phone costing 50-150 quid, it's cheap enough to buy a replacement rather than be hit a fiver or more a month for 2 years, whereas a top end phone is more attractive for theft and costs far more to replace, another reason for some mobile contracts being far more costly than others. I've 'cheap and cheerful' phones (lots of them though!)

I know I would not expect mobile broadband (via a phone) to work well enough as a replacement for using a landline. It will mean needing to keep your phone on charge a lot more (I suspect) because using it for tethering it is transmitting a mobile signal as well as a local wi-fi signal for your laptop (and perhaps a bluetooth signal if you are using that). I 'shared' my USB dongle using a desktop (powered) unit from Three so I could access it from in the house, and while that was OK for a short YouTube clip, I know it would have been quite hot (and possibly have paused with 'buffering' a few times if I had tried to watch something using iPlayer. I could probably have downloaded OK, but it wasn't an unlimited a/c... 'generous' at 15 GB {seeing as it was only 8 quid a month, and on many networks it costs a tenner for 1 or 2 GB and they don't even offer 15 GB} but I used that and 60+++ GB via PlusNet (except when moving home and then the mobile facility was ideal before the phone line was set up with Primus and broadband reinstated from PlusNet).

Admittedly I typically download a lot more (20-30 GB then, 50-60 GB a week now) but my sister was without any signal from Three for a couple of days (Friday, Saturday, I think) so no mobile, no internet, if she had been using only Three. Sister is down near Brighton, so hardly "in the middle of nowhere" smile

LittleTyga Wed 06-Feb-13 12:39:28

Well I tried to watch something on iplayer last night and halfway through a message popped telling me I had insufficient bandwidth - whatever that means - something to do with all those GB's you mentioned NetworkGuy?

So better stick with PlusNet and BT for another while! Thank you all for your advice and opinions. I'll call PlusNet see if I can beg a new router smile

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