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Vodafone 3G USB Modem

Discussion in 'Internet, Connectivity and Communications' started by Arroryn, May 26, 2008.

  1. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Got one of these recently, as opposed to sign up for a BT landline and internet connection of any variety in the house I'm renting.

    I don't do any level of downloading, except for PDFs from Safari and podcasts, so the 3GB per month limit is neither here nor there to me.

    Their blurb states that their card will reach speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. This I now believe is only in exceptional signal areas and exceptional circumstances, despite what their coverage information states.

    I normally end up on their 3G or 3G+ signal strength, which is more than adequate for my measly lurking and document reading :)

    Just wanted to recommend it to anyone looking for a low cost solution. As I am renting my current property and have a mobile and works mobile anyway, I had no need for a landline. The cost of £15 per month for the mobile broadband easily undercuts the combined cost of a landline fee and internet connection, and moving both the buggers when I move house.

    The only caveat was that the contract is a mind-boggling 2 years. However, I have plans to wriggle my way out of that one way or the other :twisted:

    The only technical hitch I have found so far relates to IPv6. The USB device doesn't seem to like having this as default. I configure the network connection to support IPv6 before connecting up; whenever I move the device to a different USB port, it re-plugs and plays the modem, dropping off the IPv6 support. I'm pretty sure this is a problem with the modem, and similair to the way USB to parallel print cables will replicate virtual print ports when you move which USB port they are in. But it's an annoyance, especially as it seems to stop me from using Facebook when I have IPv6 off; it won't even load the site, stating DNS errors. Bah humbug. I shall be contacting their technical support forthwith :)

    I have one question though. When I was last downloading at the 3G+ speeds, I clocked the downstream/upstream rates and 712Kbps/8Kbps(!) respectively. The overall download speed of the site (openoffice) was 55KBps at this rate.

    Now, I'm not exactly au-fait with the transfer rates and how it all pans down. Does the rate of 55KB come from the slow upstream dragging down the downstream, or is the overhead of acks and so on?
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  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    At work on most of the end users laptop we've setup Vodafone 3G cards and also T-Mobile 3G USB cards.

    Judging from my own experience with the T-Mobile USB cards I've experienced connection speeds of 7.2kbps and with the Vodafone 3.6kbps. I can't comment on the download speeds as I've not used these to download anything yet. Cheerio:)
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  3. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    You'll not get out of the 2 year contract Dawn. The 'place' I work for uses VF 3G cards, and I have to say VF do stick rigidly to the 2 years.

    Never tried them with IPv6.

    I do know that if you use a VF 3G card with the Internet APN, there can be a fair bit of latency. Even on the more specific MYLAN and MYLAN2 APNs, they are not brilliant.

    However, that said, the main idea of the 3G card (and HSDPA) is that you have access while mobile. The fact that 3G is now badged as Broadband is a bit cheeky, given that I assume your USB 3G speeds can vary from GPRS (normal PSTN) through to the oft quoted but rarely achieved 7.2 Mbps.

    You will no doubt find, as I do, that the speed and strength of connection will vary from room to room and, indeed, you may see the connection falling off from time to time. Again, if you accept that this happens, then it's worth having.

    VF are generally good in terms of coverage, although they all tend to work on demographics. When they say 80% coverage, they mean 80% of the user population. What they do do though is to make their cells overlap, so that as more people use 3G or HSDPA, and the cell shrinks as a consequence, you still get a decent signal.
  4. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    Arroryn, trouble is with these devices is that they suffer from god awful latency!

    Now when you say 55Kbps are you referring to Kilobits per second? Normally Kbps is (small b) is Kilobits.

    Now if your getting 55Kbps then that means your getting 55 / 8 (8 bits in a byte) approx 6.8 Kilobytes a second! Now that is just higher then what would - in reality - be achieved by using a 56k modem!

    Is it down to the "connected at" speed - possibly as 1 Kilobyte upload is piss poor for 89 Kilobyte download...

    we use the Orange 3G cards at work - even though they connect at 2mbit I have nver seen anything higher then 14Kiliobyte download transfer speed...absolute Sh1Te!!!! But what else is their?
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  5. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Nah it was a big B - 55KBps download - which I was mildly impressed with, as I also have the Orange 3G card for my work lappy and I agree that they are pee-poor on performance.
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