Mifi - phone or dongle?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Mattyjwr, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    I already have 2 Android phones and my spare "dumb" phone running O2, Vodafone and Orange sim cards. Unfortunately, the companies don't like tethering my data allowance to other devices and the 3g signals are not fantastic.


    (My contract is with O2 which, I have learnt to my frustration, gives a 3g signal less often than I would like, my Ovivo sim is new and has not been tested fully but seems pretty good considering it is almost free but the network coverage is Vodafone and struggled over the weekend when we were in Suffolk and my Orange sim is used for 2 for 1 cinema tickets on Weds & the occasional call but web access is not cheap)

    I've just bought a Samba mobile sim (£5) to use as a mifi connection to the interweb for an iPad, netbook etc . and hope that the 3 mobile data signal is as good as people say it is. For the sake of a few clicks to have ads running in the back ground to run up internet credit, it seems a good deal so far.


    I was thinking of getting a Galaxy Ace http://www.tesco.com/direct/tesco-mobile-samsung-galaxy-ace-black/211-4809.prd?pageLevel=&skuId=211-4809#reviews assuming that I can unlock it. This would then be the carrier for the mifi signal for our family as well as allowing use as a GPS, music system, kindle reader etc. and if stored in a secret location, GPS tracker in case some scrote steals our van.

    So my question: Would I get a better signal from a dedicated mifi device or a mobile phone such as the Galaxy Ace (Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)?

    The latter is a little more expensive than the non-usb mifis and will be more attractive to scrotes but it would seem more flexible and the battery would last longer ....




    P.s. I've just seen that if I had been referred to Samba by a friend, the SIM would have cost £2.50 instead of £5. If I put my referral code on to this website for others to use (the user would get the SIM for £2.50 and I would get £2.50 credit), would that be in breach of any forum rules etc?
     
  2. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    you will get a much faster connection with a proper mifi like the huawei e5331. this makes it more useable. otherwise youre sat waiting for pages to load if relying on just a plain mobile phone network. they use different speed networks:thumb:

    samba is free other than viewing adverts but a three 3gb or 3 month sim can be bought for about £11. just replace after 3 months or if the data allowance runs out. from experience 3 has a better network and high speed connection throughout the uk, because it was designed and built for 3g. obviously in the remote countryside theres no coverage, the same as with mobile phones.
     
  3. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I understand that Samba runs on 3's network - does that make any difference? How is the huawei e5331 faster? Would a 3 sim data sim card work effectively in a mobile phone? The phone would be twice the price at £80 but would be more versatile than the huawei e5331.

    So for so many questions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  4. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    My phone runs on a vodafone sim and I tether it all the time to my laptop and tablet. I wonder why they won't let you tether, have you contacted them about this? It seems to run data very fast in a good signal area.

    I have a mifi device too but don't often use it in the uk as my phone contract includes data so I use that. But in europe I use the mifi all the time with a local sim.

    A mifi device is useful in low 3G signal areas in the uk as you can stick it on the roof or high up to get a better signal (and it's a bit cheaper and lighter than the phone if it gets broken or lost).
     
  5. Xan

    Xan Read Only Funster

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    I would opt for and use a dedicated mi-fi device. Three reasons;

    1.Creating a wi-fi hotspot runs your phone battery down at a rate of knots.
    2. You can stick a dedicated my-fi device in a bag and put it on the roof or as some do, on a flag pole, to get the best signal.
    3. Up to 5 connected devices at the same time.

    4g ones are prohibitively expensive, and coverage is still patchy. Look for a 3G one that supports HSPA+ and is unlocked OR locked to the same network as the SIM card you will use.

    I use a Huawei E586
     
  6. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I can tether my phones but I understand that breaches the T&C for the contract.

    I see that the wifi device is cheaper (and, therefore, less expensive to replace) but at £40, I would probably look after it as much as a phone - I hate to lose £££.

    Battery life is less of an issue because we would use it in the van and I can have it attached to the 12V supply.

    Does the Huawei E586 or similar give a better signal to others as a hotspot compared to phones?
     
  7. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    i have a laptop a tablet and i use a dongle unlocked i now have 3 bloody unlocked dongle but have just bought a mifi i believe thats the way to go after checking all other solutions just try to get a unlocked 1 from ebay
     
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