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Is a MiFi the answer to cheap mobile internet?


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I plan to take my homeworking on the road in a campervan, first around the UK and then in France. It seems that the only cost-effective way to do this (short of seeking out WiFi hotspots which isn't ideal because I need a constant connection and I don't plan driving a big van around urban areas, with WiFi cafes, much) is to buy a Huawei MiFi device – either the R205 through Vodafone or the E586 from 3 – unlock it and then get the best Data SIM deal around (and with a local provider when in France). That sorts out the internet. Or is there a better, cheaper way?

As for the phone, I assume I just get a bundle with whatever minutes I need (plus some bandwidth for when I'm not near my van/MiFi connection), and the SIM for this could be with a different provider from my MiFi SIM. Is that correct? And if I’m in a van somewhere remote and the MiFi has, say, a 3 SIM card and the phone is on Orange, does it mean I increase my chances of getting a phone signal because the phone can connect either through directly through Orange or via the MiFi through 3? Surely not?

I've got many more questions about MiFi's and how to avoid forking out for a punitively expensive contract, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Thanks all Bertie

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I have been using dongles for ages and three seemed the best. Asluck would have it I stumbled across T mobile doing their mifi for £10 pm instead of £15, for 10gb so took out a contract with them. One real advantage is now my phone, laptop and kindle all sync via this, where with a dongle this would not happen easily. I also have a gig on my orange phone, and as you surmise, one is better than the other, remembering t mobile and orange are the same. for convenience,definitely mifi, tmobile use the same one as three. For reception, perhaps consider a mifi contract and pay as you go with another provider. This works well with me, and is useful when the contract gigs are used up. One other tip, if in Ireland, get a PAYG 3 Dongle, you can use your allowance in the UK. Best if you phone them to register a card so you can pay on line as their site only accepts irish addresses. Once set up it is no hassle. Happy roving.

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