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Hosp stay with DS2 + no wi-fi; explain 'dongles' to me please!?

(15 Posts)
JustBeBuffy Sat 10-Oct-09 20:55:42

DS2 due to spend about 2 weeks in GOSH in November.

Having established last visit that they have no wi-fi for parent/patient use, I think I may go insane without my daily dose of MN/FB/Email blush grin

DH has been muttering about dongles. I am technically ok but have no clue what he's talking about! How & what do I need to do so I can use my laptop in hospital?

[money no object where my sanity is concerned, lol!]

Start simple, imagine i know nothing!

PoppyIsApain Sat 10-Oct-09 22:02:27

Pay as you go dongles, i have found best to be 3 and t-mobile, buy from argos, for £39.99 you can get a 3GB deal and when that runs out,then top up at a local 3 store, they will tell you how but it is simple.

JustBeBuffy Sat 10-Oct-09 22:06:46

Ok, so, I go into Argos, ask for a PAYG Dongle, and bung some money on it, can i only top it up at a 3 store?

Then i plug it into my laptop (USB port?) and carry on as normal?


thanks for replying!

drinkyourmilk Sat 10-Oct-09 22:07:52

They don't have internet access for parents? Blimey! I always assumed they would as kids can be in there for such long stretches. There are plenty of cafes on the high street near by - maybe one of those have free access you can use? (disclaimer -this is assuming you are able to leave DS for an hour or so each day - i ob have no idea of his needs or age)

I guess the only other thing is to check you can use a remote reciever there considering all the machines etc they use (again - have NO idea if this is relevent)

PoppyIsApain Sat 10-Oct-09 22:09:47

Mine is rather new, you are meant to be able to top up at a paypoint, but not dared do that, if you buy the one with 3GB's on already you dont need to top up till that has ran out, good luck in GOSH hope your ds is ok smile

JustBeBuffy Sat 10-Oct-09 22:18:17

Thanks Poppy

Drinkyourmilk - ds is only 20mo so not sure how much we'll be able to leave him - though the first week he should have 24hr nursing care so bizarrely we might be able to leave him more before his main op than after...

Is there a way of finding out which cafes have wi-fi? a website perhaps?

I haven't checked if i can use a dongle, that is true <tries to remember to add to list of questions!>.

I have no idea how many 'minutes' worth of internet-time is worth 3GB blush! How long is that in MN-time?!

MrAnchovy Sat 10-Oct-09 23:23:47

You should be able to use a dongle on the ward - see this article from January about mobile 'phones.

3GB should give you enough for some fairly extensive use, even with a bandwidth sink like Mumsnet, but stay clear of any videos or other downloads - in particular make sure you turn off Windows Update.

Or just get an iPhone.

Ivykaty44 Sat 10-Oct-09 23:26:12

Even my dad worked out how to use a dongle...

He has a 3 one and puts £10 per month (when month is up if anything left it cuts out) PAYG and it is ok, make sure you have it up and running before hosptial visit.

Ivykaty44 Sat 10-Oct-09 23:28:27

Oh and I used 3 to view mumsnet ok smile He got the dongle from 3 rather than argos

JustBeBuffy Sun 11-Oct-09 09:41:26

Thanks MrAnchovy & IvyKaty

Have checked out the 3 website, and think the £40 one is a good option, have asked my brother to have a look too - he's my usual techie advice line, lol!

may wander into town and ask them/get it.

Thanks for the advice

JustBeBuffy Sun 11-Oct-09 21:05:35

Just an update - DH went to PC World, got distracted into buying the £70-odd one with 12GB, lasts 12months. Have tested and all is working.

Thanks for the tips

WebDude Sun 11-Oct-09 22:07:38

Great - had been tempted to suggest the more expensive one (saw two options in Maplin the other day) as it represents better value per GB and won't run out in a short time, unlike the majority of data allowance top-ups.

As you may end up with 8 to 9 GB left over (*), you might flog it off on Ebay, as you will have 10 months at least left for using it - sell it as 'emergency internet access' for a small business perhaps.. Have been using Three dongle (from home) for past 12 months, with 5GB a month allowance.

Hope all goes well for your son.

(*) unless you go mad with YouTube, iPlayer, 4oD or, or someone looks at (!)

JustBeBuffy Sun 11-Oct-09 22:20:20

WebDude - PMSL grin

thanks for the eBay tip though!

WebDude Sun 11-Oct-09 23:15:43

Must admit I don't know whether there are any people flogging part-used allowance on Ebay, but it struck me you might have plenty left over and no need for it from home...

That was why I hesitated to suggest the 12GB option in the first place (apart from the cost).

JustBeBuffy Mon 12-Oct-09 10:53:33

No worries WedDude

And it's working, right now! sat in a cafe in town with a big cup of tea

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