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Question re internet connection

(4 Posts)
HairBearz Wed 27-Jul-11 00:21:19

Is there a way to get on the net if you are visiting someone who does not have broadband, using a laptop? Can you buy pre-paid tokens or something.

MrsShrekTheThird Wed 27-Jul-11 02:24:34

Get a dongle. It's mobile broadband. All the main phone providers do them, can get pay as you go for just the sort of use you describe, probably looking at around £15 to start with. I get 2gb of data a month and rarely use all of it, I visit the parents or go camping a lot and am away for a month at a time at this time of year. if you don't intend to use it for long, or don't plan to download loads if stuff, then get the minimum data amount. You just plug it into a USB port on your laptop/netbook.
I use one as we visit parents away from home, as they don't have any Internet at all and I'm doing an OU course and need Internet access most of the time!

NetworkGuy Thu 28-Jul-11 13:45:20

HB - I'd second the comments above, about using a dongle. It depends how important the internet is and how long you expect to be away.... 20-30 quid for using the internet for a couple of days would be 'expensive' in my view and I'd do without, but if I was expecting business e-mail and away with someone for a week, it may be worthwhile...

One thing to check for is whether you can get a deal including some amount of web traffic. I looked at Asda's online site because I have seen dongles at about 20 quid in Asda Living... There's one from T-Mobile which costs 20 quid (and there may be a mandatory 10 pound top-up), while one from Vodafone (item 871-4441 on Asda Direct, which can be available with no extra charge at your local store) for a quid more includes 2 GB of data. O2 and T-Mob charge 2 quid a day (other options available) while the Vodafone one has 2 GB valid for 30 days as far as I can see.

I am using a Three dongle (have been since October 2008) and can say that if you have coverage, it might be worth looking for one from a Three store, as there are people selling SIMs preloaded with 3 GB/3 months (expires when you hit either limit) for under 12 quid, on Ebay. (Must admit I paid around 8, but even at 12 pounds it is better value than a 15 pound top-up giving only 2 GB which is what is offered by Vodafone).

Watch out for "unlimited" as some of the mobile networks suggest 50 MB to 250 MB is adequate, and it is easy to exceed in my view (I use 15 GB a month, and at least 100 GB on my landline internet service).

If you don't want to take a punt on buying a dongle and finding that coverage is poor, you can buy a USB dial up modem and use someone like emergencyinternet.com. It will be a lot slower than broadband and a good 3G service. It shouldn't be significantly slower than GPRS (the old 2G service you might get if there's no 3G coverage). It may be more reliable than a dongle and it will almost certainly be cheaper.

You will want to have an ad blocker installed to minimise the wasted bandwidth and if it's really slow you could also turn off automatic downloading of images in the browser.

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