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Mobile broadband

(11 Posts)
brightwell Tue 22-Sep-09 05:53:37

Can someone explain it do me, what do I need to get it, mobile phone/dongle. Don't want to make a fool of myself in carphone warehouse. Thanks

hf128219 Tue 22-Sep-09 06:52:39

For a laptop you need a dongle.
A mobile phone can have internet access built in aleady.

BadgersPaws Tue 22-Sep-09 10:37:46

Some mobile phones on some networks can also be used to enable a computer to access the internet when you're on the move.

brightwell Tue 22-Sep-09 18:27:53

How much does it cost, do you pay per day, per connection???? Is it contract, pay as you go?

WebDude Tue 22-Sep-09 19:19:12

There are a number of options, depending on whether you expect to use it a little or a lot, and as an emergency or longer term.

I'm using Three on an 18 month contract, but there are PAYG options. The better deals are for long term contracts, but there are too many variables to just say what's best.

Do you expect to use mobile broadband for a long time, or just for emergencies ?

Do you have any idea how much data you might transfer in a month ?

I ask both those questions because PAYG is expensive, but equally, a long contract (18 or 24 months) would be daft if you aren't sure you would use it very much.

Although there are better prices for multiple GB of data, unless you know you will use several GB in a month, it would be silly to spend the money but not fully use it.

I can only give 'hands on' comments about Three but have read a bit about the services from Vodafone and T-Mobile too.

WebDude Tue 22-Sep-09 19:30:38

The contract I'm using was 7.50/month for 5 GB of traffic per month (that's about 150 MB a day on average, given I'm using this from home most days - no landline at all).

They have started offering 15 GB for 15 pounds (which is better value) but there's sometimes a 'sting in the tail' if you exceed the amount allowed in a month. In the case of Three they charge 10p per MB which tots up to 100+ pounds for an extra GB (!) However, O2 may charge double that for 1 GB (200 pounds) if you go over their limit.

T-Mobile seems to just slow the connection down, so long as you don't go over the limit too often. Don't know if they wiykd cancel user accounts, or charge big penalty if it happened every month.

On PAYG there are various costs, not least the cost of the dongle...

Sometimes you might see a 'get started' package which costs say 100 pounds, where there's the dongle (mine is on the end of a 2 metre USB cable so I can see at a glance whether it is active by the blue LED inside - it would be hopeless if it was plugged in the back of my mini-tower PC under the desk!)

Some of the dongles have been sold at 49.99 or 39.99. Three had them at 19.99 for a while (in Maplins I saw the same price, debated on getting one as a spare). However they are also offering a dongle for free (will try to find the website - it was mentioned on MoneySaving Expert, I think).

However, at 15 pounds for 1 GB of data, you can see that's 15 times the cost compared with their contract deal. Some firms offer 3 GB, 5 GB or more. All are differently priced.

For low users the Vodafone PAYG deal may be best. At £15/GB it seems expensive, but you r credit doesn't expire, so if you only use 100 MB a month then it would last 10 months. OTOH if you use 1GB really quickly then it could prove expensive.

WebDude Fri 25-Sep-09 00:33:14

Agreed, that Voda deal is probably best for those with low usage needs - perhaps just downloading mail from a POP mailbox.

I think one thing to beware of would be any applications which 'call home' to check for updates (and, of course, MS 'Windows update' which they encourage users to leave 'on' - could gobble quite a lot if there's a big Service Pack that downloads).

WebDude Fri 25-Sep-09 13:24:02

Very sorry but now having checked about the free dongle at 'http://www.3dongle4free.co.uk/' it seems the 'free dongle' offer is over.

Argos (item 549/0464) is offering a Vodafone 'Top Up and Go' at 29.99 including a 15 pound top-up giving 1 GB as per CAUP's post.

WebDude Fri 25-Sep-09 13:43:37

Incidentally the wording online and on one part of the item description could be taken to mean that one has to buy the top-up.

However, I was going from page 7 of a brochure (autumn price drops?) which had a mark on the photo saying the top up was included. Best check in a shop to see what the current deal is.

brightwell Sun 27-Sep-09 10:01:11

Thanks everyone, I'll check vodaphone out. It'll be PAYG for occasional use

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