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 Post subject: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:34 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:33 pm
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Location: Brighton
silly name aside, i am trying to figure out if a 3G dongle for my laptop could be a way to get rid of our virgin media account?

currently pay 37snids a month for a shit load of channels we harldy watch (mostly cbeebies), but we just record that. and internet we only use for ebay, retrobike (when the mrs isnt on ebay) and email/facebook (when the mrs isnt on ebay).

so, was thinking of getting a freeview HD recorder box plus a dongle which would cut the tie with Virgin and also reduce outgoings per month.

anyone use a 3G dongle? been looking at getting a dongle sim free and hooking it up to Giffgaff data package.
unless someone knows of a better deal...??


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:06 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:29 pm
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I used a PAYG 4G dongle for a week at work after an office move

The dongle was £50 with 2GB data that we had to use in a month with EE. Download speed was about 7meg, you couldn't tell it wasn't broadband.

It was cheaper to top up the data but we didn't need to do so. We now have that as a backup if the broadband goes down.

I was quite impressed by the performance. Can't help on the giff gaff ... not sure if that's any help to you!


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:26 pm 
retrobike rider
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Would you still keep a landline? That's about £15 I think, and some of the cheaper ADSL providers, TalkTalk, Plusnet etc would stick a broadband service on that for an extra £5 or so.

If you don't already have a BT(provided) landline you can forget that.

If you're on a cable provided line (virgin) I'd try virgin's retentions and tell them you're off as you only want a very basic service, see what they offer you.

As for 3g depends on your signal, my phone is pants on 3g at my house with vodaphone, plus a few hours of online video an 2gb would sooooon go, never mind the odd download.


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:46 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:21 pm
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Location: Ripon
I was on talk talk shite bt 62 pound a mth
now with home telecom brill 23 pound a mth
:wink: reall y pleased


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:01 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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There is a third way...

Do you have a mobile phone?

Do you have a 'smart' phone?

Do you have a good contract which gives you lots of data?

If 'yes', then you already have a 3G 'dongle'

Look up 'phone tethering' on Google for your phone and switch on the wifi on your PC/ laptop and off you go.

My fraudband is barely around 0.9 meg at best whereas my 3 phone sitting on the sofa next to me can get up to 12 meg - my contract has an 'all you can eat' data option. I use it when the fraudband drops out. I dont download much or watch TV but its good for youtube and all that. I can actually watch stuff without it buffering every five seconds.


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:13 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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legrandefromage wrote:
There is a third way...

Do you have a mobile phone?

Do you have a 'smart' phone?

Do you have a good contract which gives you lots of data?

If 'yes', then you already have a 3G 'dongle'

Look up 'phone tethering' on Google for your phone and switch on the wifi on your PC/ laptop and off you go.

My fraudband is barely around 0.9 meg at best whereas my 3 phone sitting on the sofa next to me can get up to 12 meg - my contract has an 'all you can eat' data option. I use it when the fraudband drops out. I dont download much or watch TV but its good for youtube and all that. I can actually watch stuff without it buffering every five seconds.


I wouldn't rely on smartphone tethering. It may work at present, but on some networks they actively employ ECMs against it. And yes, even on unlimited data plans.

Oddly enough, I switched mobile providers earlier on this year, and was previously on a data allowance of 1G per month. Tethering under those contract terms was allowed, but any change or renegotiation resulted in tethering being officially "unallowed". And moving to their unlimited data plan, definitely removed their permission for tethering - counter intuitive, though that may sound.

I'm with a different provider, who officially don't allow tethering, but for my current solution when I occasionally use it, it works, but several networks employ tactics to stop it from working. So it may, or may not work for people, currently, and I suspect - like traffic shaping and throttling - will be restricted as soon as they have the necessary means.


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:11 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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I have had no issues with tethering on the 3 network for the last 2 years


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:30 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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legrandefromage wrote:
I have had no issues with tethering on the 3 network for the last 2 years


All I'm saying, is that if somebody is planning on ditching their existing broadband, on the basis that they can tether using their smartphone using a normal sim that has data, they may well come unstuck if not now, then in the near future.

Network / provider forums are littlered with disgruntled customers, finding over time, that they can no longer tether on their data plan. Networks are only going to be more restrictive about it, not less. Especially if they sell data-only plans / sims.

Mine has always worked, and it shouldn't, officially, now - but they're only going enforce that better, not relax on it.


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:09 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 am
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Location: Whelmington on Sea
Options if on Virgin cable,
1: go Internet only & get Freeview + .
2: get basic tv & internet only.

If you need a landline go with Vonage for about £5.99 a month with all landline calls included, its a rolling monthly contract & you do not pay line rental to anyone, caller id, email notifications of messages received (read message or listen to it), anonymous call block are also included in the monthly charge.


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 Post subject: Re: 3G internet dongle
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:10 am 
retrobike rider
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iscervo wrote:
Options if on Virgin cable,
1: go Internet only & get Freeview + .
2: get basic tv & internet only.

If you need a landline go with Vonage for about £5.99 a month with all landline calls included, its a rolling monthly contract & you do not pay line rental to anyone, caller id, email notifications of messages received (read message or listen to it), anonymous call block are also included in the monthly charge.



interesting. worth looking into.
not keen on the tethering as the mrs will need to know how to do that - which is a no go area, trust me.

would be better if we can at least keep the wifi, its a ballache that we have to keep the landline - we dont even have a phone connected to ours, so we'd only really end up spending about £10 less a month 9coupled with boradband fees). which i know is £120 saving per year, but ideally, i'd like to be just paying for internet (£10-£15/month) with no fagging line rental bullshit.

just did a Uswitch check. even with Virgin media offer of £4 for 8 months then £14.50 PLUS line rental of £14.99 per month, we'd still be paying £22 per month. why is it so much more complicated to get a better deal with broadband than it is with a mobile phone? i've gone from a £22.50 per month 2 year moibile contract to paying £10 a month - no contract with better usage limits.

if it wasnt for the "line rental" which Virgin dont even use to supply broadband, then i'd be happy enough with that offer.

Talk Talk and PLus NEt seem to offer something that hits the £17 mark.....but then there's 'installation fees' 'Broadband startup fees blah blah blah...' it almost turns into a Ryan Air type affair.


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