WiFi Dongles? Please Explain

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by emmitdb, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    Greetings All,

    Its a question and its in the title. Me and her are off on our travels in the winter. We have aquired a laptop which we use both at our home and our childrens (as we and them are on wifi)
    We would like the benefit of using it on our travels without the need to go parking up in McHorribles (we understand the concept of 'cuddling' up to a provider)
    This leads me to the above.
    Can someone gently lead us by the hand thru the minefield of computerspeak for plugging in a 'dongle' and using the phone Companies to provide a service.

    I've also read about foreign SIM cards but don't know if that is a seperate issue.
    In other words, all non techie advice greatfully received.

    Regards
     
  2. Gonewiththewind

    Gonewiththewind Read Only Funster

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    I use an unlocked Dongle with an O2 Iphone sim which gives 12 months Broadband for a single £10 top up. I only use it in UK. Not tried a foreign sim. Did have a contract with 3 and used it for about 10 min in France and got slated when I got my bill.
    So the above only applies to UK.

    Don
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    You don't say which country you are going to operate is so I will assume that its out of the UK

    OK. First; wifi dongle and a telephone dongle are not the same thing. So, think of the telephone dongle as a mobile phone that you connect to you computer

    You can use a UK Sim card and go "roaming" and also pay through the nose or you can get a phone dongle freed from its service provider and then buy a Sim card from the country you want to use it in, (much cheaper) but of course if its only for a couple of weeks that its not worth it.

    If you have already got wifi working then I would suggest that you give that some more thought, many of the Euro countries have a far better wifi infrastructure that the UK, IE in Portugal most of the government building have free wifi, Libraries and such like also there are far more cafes that offer free wifi just to attract you in, this link I am on now is in La Duquesa and is via a bar that has free wifi.

    Doug...
     
  4. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    Further to the above and talking about mobile broadband dongles only:

    Pretty much all the major networks can supply mobile broadband which will use one of their dongles. (I know nothing about unlocking, so I won't go there - might be worth investigating though). You can get mobile broadband in the same ways as you can get mobile phone - i.e. by contract or by pay-as-you-go.
    You'll not be surprised to know that contract m.b. you pay for month in month out and the usage is capped to a certain level. Obviously if you spend most of the year touring around, this could be an option; we don't, so for us it's not.
    Pay-as-you-go comes in several types of service. Some (e.g. Orange, 3) charge a fixed fee for the usage which last a month. At the end of that period whatever is unused is lost. Vodaphone, on the other hand (and as far as I'm aware, only Vodaphone) sell a usage package in the form of £15 vouchers (and only £15 vouchers - 3 x £5 won't work) which last for ever (well until the 1gB that the vouchers gives has been used up) and can be topped up any time - so in effect you could have, say £90-worth of usage on your phone if you wanted. The only stipulation that Vodaphone have is that, in common with PAYG mobile, it has to be used (i.e. a connection made) within a three month period or the connection will be terminated, and any unused will be lost. This is what we use and so far (barring coverage issues) it's worked OK.

    There will no doubt be other folk on here with a different take.

    Hope this is helpful.

    John
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  5. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    November issue of Practical Motohome has a 2 page article titled "Broadband on the move" which may help you. It also provides a short comparison on 'monthly' versus 'Pay as you go' cost/performance details.


    Regards

    Phil
     
  6. wkdtroll

    wkdtroll Read Only Funster

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    Take it from one who found out the hard way.....

    I used to have a Blackberry with a Sim that provided free International roaming (in other words free access to Internet/EMails etc anywhere in the world (I used it in the middle of the African bush on Safari). It was simply brilliant. Unfortunately I found that £23 per month (excluding phone calls) was a little steep even being away travelling for 12 weeks per year so I ditched it - big mistake number 1.

    Big mistake number 2 was buying a PAYG 3 dongle thinking this would allow me to access the internet anywhere - it doesn't (in fact the UK coverage is pretty useless).

    You can buy dongles and SIMs local to where you are staying but it will cost you around 40 euros before you even connect to the internet.

    So my advice is either use WiFi points abroad or get a Blackberry on contract with free International roaming.:thumb:
     
  7. gunerdoo

    gunerdoo Read Only Funster

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    Unlocked dongle

    Hi I would love to know more about the Unlocked Dongle as it made my ears prick up when
    you mentioned 12mths broadband for a Tenner (£10):thumb:
     
  8. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    We have a company dongle on O3, runs out every 30 days, works fine at Robertsbridge at the NEC's and the various shows we go to.

    Won't work at home (Finchanpstead, Berks) or at the Marina at Poole.

    Last week the marina wifi went down at Poole so I bought a Vodaphone dongle £29-95 with a £15 pre-loaded credit as I have to have internet access 24/7.

    Worked fine everywhere but what I did notice, Fun was slow on loading pages, was OK everywhere else.

    Peter
     
  9. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Peter,

    I found the same problem with slow loading of pages or no loading at all with vodafone. This was due to vodafone having content control enabled by default. This can only be removed by visting a vodafone retail centre with proof of age. (no problem in your case :Rofl1:)

    Lunarman
     
  10. BigJohn

    BigJohn Read Only Funster

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    I've just contracted a BlackBerry with Vodafone. MAGIC!:thumb:

    £29.38/month (@ 17.5% VAT) for 500 minutes with unlimited landline calls and internet. Two year contract, but hey ... ...

    The internet service (from home) is perfect, reasonably fast, and connects to my usual email address and incoming emails are also copied to the mobile. Sending emails is easy and browsing is easy, although the small screen is limiting.
    But for keeping in touch when in my motorhome next year - PERFICK. :Smile:

    No dingles or dongles, and the mobile that it replaced cost me exactly the same without internet facility.
     
  11. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Idiot salesman didn't tell me that!!!:Doh:
     
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