Mobile Broadband internet Dongles

  gazmix 18:40 PM 02 Aug 11
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Hi

I need to go down the road of Mobile Internet dongles & am wondering if they can be used on desktop pc's.. I don't have a laptop. Which are the best providers/, i hear '3' are the best & are they easy to set up?

Thanks

  raziel08 18:58 PM 02 Aug 11

Most mobile broadband dongles are easy to set up - usually plug and play. Windows should find the drivers and the included software (which is loaded on the 3 dongle; not sure about the others) will start automatically. Follow an few on screen prompts and you're connected.

I know the T-mobile dongles used to include the software on an cd labeled "web and walk" not sure if they still do that,

And yes dongles can be used on all Windows, Linux, MAC both laptops and desktops.

Others would advise you to check out the support pages of the provider first to check your coverage; mine reaches about 256kb\s in non peak times. peak times drops down to about 60kb\s.

  gazmix 19:11 PM 02 Aug 11

Thanks

I will have to use my Desktop now, but am looking at small laptops, i don't know what they're called!

This is the 1 i'm after :-

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3-%28three%29-zte-mf112-mobile-broadband-pay-as-you-go-plus3-broadband-usb-dongle-3gb-data-inc?utmsource=google+shopping&utmmedium=google+shopping

I currently have BB via Orange & am thinking its a pain to change addresses!! I will ask my new landlord!!

  gigagiggles 19:16 PM 02 Aug 11

They can be used on desktops. However, if the PC is nestled deep in one's home or office, then there may be a loss of signal strength. I'll defer to those knowledgeable as to what that may impact.

Unless there is a WiFi hotspot near your PC, then you will need an InternetServiceProvider plan. Once those options are sorted, then software that is packaged with the dongle will interface between the PC, dongle and the ISP.

  mgmcc 20:08 PM 02 Aug 11

gigagiggles,

"Unless there is a WiFi hotspot near your PC, then you will need an InternetServiceProvider plan"

Aren't you confusing a "USB Wireless Network Adapter" with a "USB Mobile Broadband dongle", which provides internet access via the mobile phone networks?

  raziel08 20:19 PM 02 Aug 11

That is exactly the same one that i use myself and i believe is the latest offering from 3.

I believe that the types of computer you're referring to are netbooks; these were at one point available from pc world on an broadband plan but not sure now.

if you download quite often then you will use up the pay as you go limit very quickly - but i will say that downloading movies (from legal sources) will take an very long time. could take up to an hour or more to download (although and 689mb .iso file for linux took me about 45 mins)

3 currently offer an 24 month plan for £15.99 which comes with 15GB download\upload limit per month

http://threestore.three.co.uk/broadband/broadbandPlans.aspx?phonecode=HWE353EVDY

hopefully the above link will work - if not then go on to the 3 store and click on the mobile broadband link on the right hand side.

  gigagiggles 20:43 PM 02 Aug 11

"Aren't you confusing a "USB Wireless Network Adapter" with a "USB Mobile Broadband dongle", which provides internet access via the mobile phone networks?" -- mgmcc

My dongle is capable of both WiFi hotspots and directly with my ISP. Within a hotspot, direct connection to ISP can be slowed.

"3 currently offer an 24 month plan for £15.99 which comes with 15GB download\upload limit per month" -- raziel08

That is inexpensive. There must be a catch, a fine print on page 92 of the contract. :-)

In the States, limit of 10GB goes for $60 to $80 per month of a 2-year plan.

  woodchip 22:12 PM 02 Aug 11

Web n Walk by T-Mobile is one of the best, as it now joined up with Orange so that you have a better chance of a signal. I say the above as my Daughter as one. and I have used it. not complete coverage but works most of the time

  raziel08 22:18 PM 03 Aug 11

I have used both T mobile (before it merged with orange) and i am currently on the 3 mobile broadband plan that i mentioned and provided the link for.

T mobile started out well but i kept losing connection every 5 minutes after an near perfect (albeit slow) connection. however don't let that affect your decision as that was probably more to do with my location and the old pc that i was using.

The only real catch with the 3 deal is that you become tied into an 24 month contract. However an contract is really the only way to go; not sure what the pay as your go pricing is like for other providers but for 3 an 1GB monthly allowance costs £10 and £15 for 3GB.

If you have lots of applications which need updating such as anti virus - i hope :) anti malware\spyware and windows then these will come out of the allowance.

Ok each download could be between 50KB to 6MB (in the case of Malwarebytes) but it really does add up over the course of an month.

Hope this helps GAZMIX

  Aitchbee 10:09 AM 04 Aug 11

I have a virgin usb alcatel usb modem 1gb/month. I use Onspeed which costs 25 pounds a year. I get a significant speed increase and an equivalent 3gb/month allowance. (compression of data). I use it on a dial-up connection also.Well worth it I reckon.

  Aitchbee 10:18 AM 04 Aug 11
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