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HELP!Internet access (broadband/wifi) but no landline, possible with iphone and ipad??

(8 Posts)
Russettbella1000 Thu 08-Jan-15 22:40:37

Hi I wonder if anyone can help??

My flat has NO BT line socket. For this reason, years again I installed a virgin line which is there but dormant ifyswim..

I'm now trying to see what the most cost effective solution will be to meet my internet/mobile needs.

At the moment I use a dongle with my laptop (£20 per month) and have internet access on my iphone contract package (£25).

In April dongle package ends and I'll be buying an ipad...

What will be the best solution for Ipad and iphone to access internet? Are dongles compatible with ipads anyway??

Ideally I want wifi but without phone line it's tricky and if looking at virgin think that would be over £60 a month. Do any other company's use the virgin line??

I'm pretty clueless...


INickedAName Thu 08-Jan-15 22:51:56

You can get mobile broadband wifi dongles now. Or some extension thing that allows wifi connections to your dongle package. I'm not sure how much they are though. You can't connect a dongle directly to your ipad though.

Another option is when you buy your ipad, is to go for a wifi and cell model, rather than just a wifi only. They are more expensive but allow you to use a SIM card inside the ipad. My ipad mini cost £100 more than the wifi on,y model but because I also didn't have a landline or wifi and I wanted to be able to connect out and about I saved up the extra and went with lesser storage to get the wifi/cell.

Loads if company's offer various sim packages, from contracts to pay as you go, if your not getting the ipad until April you can look around and see reviews etc, mine is with 3 and I £15 a month for 15gb of internet usage and I've never ever gone over and I'm on it all day long. Signal has been fantastic over the 2 years I've had it. It would have cost that alone for line rental with bt plus an internet plan so this way worked out cheaper for me.

We have wifi now but I've kept my plan, as I use mynipad when out a lot, and it's good to still have internet access when weekends away etc.

INickedAName Thu 08-Jan-15 22:53:50

Oh and it's possible to use your iPhone/ipad internet on the other device, so if you had iPhone internet plan, you can turn that into a wifi hotspot for your ipad to connect to. It's called tethering. I'm shit at explaining it though.

prh47bridge Fri 09-Jan-15 12:12:58

If the Virgin line is a telephone line it is actually a BT line. You can therefore use it with any ISP. Regardless of who you pay for telephone services the physical line belongs to BT.

I don't know what you think would cost £60 a month. You can get broadband only from Virgin Media for £28.50 a month including a WiFi hub.

Russettbella1000 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:52:13

Ah thank you both- really helpful!:0)

Russettbella1000 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:56:48 PRH47, really?? Do I actually have a bt line then?? My flat never had a phone socket so virgin built one but are you saying that this could be suitable then for any other company?

Sorry dongle wifi sounds great but actually if I could utilise phone line that would be cool...

NetworkGuy Mon 12-Jan-15 08:55:20

If you have (or can borrow, or buy) a cheap landline phone (with a cord) then you could check for dialtone... if you can get a tone, dial 17070 and it will tell you the phone number ("circuit"). Hang up after that - it's an Openreach test facility for engineers really...

While cordless phones are very popular these days, it's handy to have a corded phone for emergencies (given a power cut stops cordless phones working).

I just had a landline installed for free on Friday.

NetworkGuy Mon 12-Jan-15 09:13:40

Was meaning to add, have you long term plans to stay where you are (eg you own your flat, or on long term lease) as most landline contracts will be for a minimum of 12 months and some broadband deals have a minimum of 18 months (unless you pay a setup fee, and sometimes higher monthly fees).

Loads of companies offering deals, some with vouchers or cashback. If you can name your exchange (or find the code on - 'exchange search' will give you a BT Openreach exchange code of 4 to 8 letters), it will be easier to determine which offers are available in your area. Not all services are available nationwide.

Like InickedaName, I've used the Three dongle in the past with 15 GB data each month (my contract was initially 7.50 and then increased to 8 quid) for the period October 2008 to Sept 2012, but recently I have been using hundreds (*) of GB a month with a Now TV box, for example watching the first 4 series of 24 over a couple of weekends smile

Also some video podcasts are over 1 GB per show, so an unlimited data allowance, if you are ever tempted to view films or catch up TV via the internet, is probably best.

I bought a Three router (like a MiFi unit but a MiFi is a rechargeable mobile unit, and mine is a mains powered one). That takes the 3G mobile signal via the dongle, and provides 2 ethernet sockets (for laptops, CCTV boxes, satellite/TV systems needing internet access) and gives a wireless hotspot for your home for Now TV, tablets, mobile phones (so as not to be using a fairly low data allowance).

Three offers a maximum of 15 GB for their standalone data dongles, and only 4 GB of 'tethering' (where the mobile phones gives a wireless signal to allow other devices to connect), so although they are the most generous with phone use of data (lots of 'unlimited' options from other networks slow down after 5 GB of data, where Three's 'All You Can Eat' means just that), it doesn't help anyone wanting to connect a laptop for more than a few GB of data a month.

(*) the line installed on Friday is my second internet connection, as I got myself a Chromecast for Christmas, which can stream video to the TV off my router. I expect to see my usage hit 450-500 GB in the next few months.

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