Mobile Broadband for Samsung Tab 2(14 Posts)
Help! I want to take my tablet away this summer on camping trips and be able to access emails, mumsnet, facebook, general other internet browsing and perhaps some youtube.
I don't want to be tied into a contract as I'll only need it for about 3 months.
How do I do this? I think I need a SIM card, but really unsure what level of internet usage I need!
Would be very grateful for any advice.
Was about to type (from bed) but wanted to check some info and came away to a PC as it may already have some info on other web browser tabs!
First you need to know which mobile network gives coverage at the places you plan to visit. In the first instance, I'd suggest you check coverage from Three and O2 (reason will become clear later)...
2 ways I can suggest of doing this :-
1 with a 'dedicated' portable wireless router (a "MiFi" or mobile Wi-Fi, I suppose was their thinking) from one of the mobile networks. The device is a wireless router, and 3G 'mobile' unit, with battery which lasts for say 4-6 hours (I don't have one, but some other MNetters do). They're far from cheap at about 60-100 quid, but then again, neither is the alternative... I know Three, Vodafone and EE have such devices.
You can sometimes find people selling them on Ebay and I'd suggest looking for ones which are either unlocked, or on Three. I have a home unit from Three which was about 40 quid, but mine is just the wireless router part, and has a USB slot for a dongle to go in. Why do I suggest Three ? Only because the cost of data is usually lower.
Three sells (as brand new items) USB dongles with 3 GB or 12 GB pre-loaded SIMs. The 3 GB SIM will work as a PAYG SIM, in the sense that you've paid for 3 GB and it will allow access either (a) until you have used up 3 GB, or (b) until 3 months after the first day you use the SIM. The 12 GB SIM will run until 12 months after. However, of significance is that the 3 GB SIM may be found on Ebay for about 13-15 quid which may be enough for all your summer trips, and then you buy another next year... (or in 6-8 months, perhaps). I've seen the cost of these go from 8-9 pounds up to the current price, but I would not suggest buying 'several' in case they have some form of 'expiry date' and you're left with 45 quids worth of unusable SIMs in 3 years time...
Do watch out on Ebay though, because there are 3 GB Three SIMs and other listings for micro SIMs (to fit directly into a tablet). Probably worth asking the seller of a s/h MiFi what size SIM it needs... a brand new MiFi may be worth considering, but not on a contract, as a PAYG...
I am assuming the MiFi takes the normal size (mini) SIM. NB A full size SIM would be credit card size. I used to have such a SIM for an old Motorola on Orange in the 90s.
2 with a mobile phone, using tethering (where the mobile phone is used as the 3G link to the mobil network and either a USB cable (to a laptop) or wireless link (for tablets, mobile phones, laptops) can be used.
Perhaps easiest would be one running Android, and either some 30 day rolling contract SIM or by buying a GiffGaff 'goodybag' (I think they have one which allows tethering for 15 quid (which allows 1 GB of data and is valid for a month... also has calls and texts bundled with it).
GiffGaff uses the O2 network (hence my mention of checking coverage on O2). You'd also need a 3G (ie smartphone) suitable for it, so either on O2 or unlocked. Have just checked and you could get a refurbished Sony Tipo from O2 at 49.99 (I bought one a few weeks ago, and use it in the house, as I have a T-Mobile contract giving me unlimited calls, texts, data, so have not yet tried GiffGaff)
NB GiffGaff does not recommend iPhone - so if you had an older model, even unlocked, it may not work with GiffGaff and I wouldn't even try it... Three only offers tethering on their One Plan (at 25 quid a month!). Not all networks even offer tethering, so you have few options to do this.
Thanks NG for all this info. I didn't know about tethering - I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 with t-mobile - would that work?
I got one of these on PPD for when we are at my mum's etc
It will link more than 1 device at a time ie chromebook/netbook/tab so it's handy if more than 1 of you want to be on at the same time.
Thanks stumped - I'm thinking now that MiFi might be a better option. Ihadn't really thought of the rest of the family before [selfish]!
Yes, that's the sort of thing, just that I know it has been possible to get 3 GB of data for around 5 quid/GB while some other networks are twice that price...
I'd say what you choose depends on what network claims to give good coverage wherever you will be staying...
T-Mobile does a MiFi device on a 30 day rolling contract at 30 quid up front and 15 quid for 30 days (giving 5 GB) You'd need to give them 30 days notice to cancel (which you could do after say 10 days of use and ave a total of about 40-50 days during the summer when it would be usable with plenty of data to not 'run out'
Always check how much extra they charge if you exceed allowance on a contract as it could clock up (on Three, it was around 100 pounds per GB, so I was very careful and I was getting 15 GB a month on contract for 4 years).
Thanks so much for all the help. I've gone for a Three 3gb SIM card from ebay (£11) which I can try out on a short trip next week.
If it's no good, I may well invest in Mifi for the longer trips.
I assume you mean 'any good'... if it's no good, I suppose I could buy it from you
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