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3 Mobile Broadband

Discussion in 'Internet, Connectivity and Communications' started by TruthOrDare, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. TruthOrDare

    TruthOrDare Bit Poster

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    Does anyone use it?

    If so, how would you rate it?

    What's the typical download speed and what is the latency like compared to landlines? Do you get randomly disconnected a lot or is as stable as a rock? What is it like for downloading files (large and small)?

    I'm tempted to try the PAYG but I don't want to spend money on the dongle just to find out it's rubbish.
     
    WIP: A+
  2. skulkerboyo

    skulkerboyo Megabyte Poster

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    I use it but wouldnt depend on it as my only internet connection.
    I mainly use when I travel.

    Beats the crap out of dial up depending on network coverage. Almost unusable when in gprs mode but if 3g is available its good. I have downloaded large files with it and had no issues

    Other companies do dongles that double as as free wireless access if near an AP. I think I'd prefer that

    My two cents:biggrin
     
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  3. Metalstar

    Metalstar Kilobyte Poster

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    I got mine for £7.50 a month on a special offer.

    I am very pleased with it, Most of the time when I am on the train etc it isn't much slower than using a normal BB connection (for browsing/email etc. it is slower for file transfers). I rarely see the dreaded "GPRS" in the connection software, it is fairly slow when it is on GPRS though, having said that I still managed to send a bunch of PDF's to the office whilst I was in the back of beyond!

    I haven't suffered any drop-outs whilst on the train so far and the one I got works with my GF's Ubuntu Laptop which is cool as she works weekends (and stays over) sometimes at a premises without a web connection.

    I would be happy to pay £15 a month for the service so £7.50 was a bargain. Another alternative would be to get a 3G phone that can double as a modem via bluetooth/usb.
     
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  4. Johnd76

    Johnd76 Megabyte Poster

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    I use the 3 network dongle, havnet had any problems with it, the download speed does go up and down a fair bit but i think thats obviously because of where i stay, so make sure that you do have coverage where you stay....you can find that out by going to the 3 website
     
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  5. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    I'd personally use a more reliable network like Vodafone, but I shouldn't image Three would be bad if you were in a good signal area.
     
  6. scottm

    scottm Bit Poster

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    Three is pretty good downloads speeds are really good and its reliable. The service is very good always get 3G were ever i go. Price is cheaper than any other network can offer. If you're a existing customer you can get it as cheap at £5 a month for 1GB.
     
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  7. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    What exactly do you mean by 'existing customer', could I get a PAYG sim from them?
     
  8. scottm

    scottm Bit Poster

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    if you currently have a pay monthly contract with 3 (phone) then you get 50% discount. still says it on there website. http://threestore.three.co.uk/broadband/?id=1201 not to sure if you can still get it if you're on payngo. you'd be better calling into the store or phone the sales line.
     
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  9. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    I have helped some mates set this up and from what they have said "the signal/download speed does depend on your location, whether you can get a a good signal)

    It's good in the sense if you have moved into a place that doesn't have a BT land line or you don't want to pay for BT land line and quite happy to use a mobile network!

    I would do your research first shop around, before signing up! My mate was going to go for 3g on Utility warehouse package, whereby you only pay 1 bill at the end of the month. It covers Telephone, gas, electric water and internet and they even give a free laptop...or so you think!:dry

    In the end we worked out, it was cheaper to buy a laptop (the same spec) and get a better deal at carphone warehouse!:biggrin
     
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  10. TruthOrDare

    TruthOrDare Bit Poster

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    3 are the mobile broadband provider that do PAYG AFAIK.

    I can get a BT landline, however, it would tie me to a 12 month contract. Also, I'd have to pay set-up fees for broadband, and pay a monthly subscription. The chances are I won't be where I am in 6 months, so being tied down is not a good idea.

    The BT line rental alone is £10.50 a month, which makes it equivilent to £14.50 a month for the 7GB bundle. I am in a good area, signal wise. Plus, the flexibility is what makes mobile broadband attractive.

    Which is why I wanted to know what it is like. :)
     
    WIP: A+
  11. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    There was a fantastic article on the breakdown of the big mobile broadband providers in a recent micromart mag. I was hoping to find said article for you, but it's eluding me.

    Suffice it to say though AFAIK 3 are the only provider who specialise in pay as you go mobile broadband - all of the other providers require you to sign up for a set period of time (12, 18 etc months)

    Qs

    PS - If I find the damn article I'll PM you with it.
     
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  12. TruthOrDare

    TruthOrDare Bit Poster

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    Well I ended up getting 3 mobile broadband PAYG.

    I got the Huawei E169 dongle, the one capable of higher speeds.

    The performance of the 3 network is pretty good in my view.

    I have been getting a signal strength of 2 to 3/10 bars (not great, but not too bad) indoors, with speeds of between 512Kb and 1Mbps, with latency similar to dialup, ie: 150ms give or take. Web browsing is perfectly fine, and the difference is hardly noticable to a landline, coupled with firefox plus the "essential" addons, it keeps wasted data transfers and load times to a minimum.

    I'm sure I could get a better signal if I used it outside or had a longer USB cable extension.

    I have some issues with the connection cutting out, probably due to the signal, however they fix themselves after 10-30 seconds.

    Overall, I'd give it a 8/10.
     
    WIP: A+
  13. dwhyte85

    dwhyte85 Nibble Poster

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    The only reason i'd go with Voda would be for coverage, it has a better coverage than Three but, I think O2 has the best coverage; I would suggest the new BT dongles, if you order broadband & telephone on 2 year contract I think you now receive the USB 3g dongles with 1gb b/w and 3000 openzone mins, although, it's 10p per meg after that - if you sign up for the contract you can get 5gb and more openzone mins for 17.50 but they use Vodafone as the service provider (real benefit is the openzone coverage).

    Bit late as you've already purchased, but that's my opinion - I think Orange also do PAYG too.
     
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