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3g/mobile Broadband Dongles

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I recently purchase a BT dongle, to use on my notebook. I have found it to be near to useless, in that, it doesn't work very well, if at all, in locations that it's predicted to do so! As it is only a PAYG, I'm prepared to chuck it and try another one. It uses the vodaphone network.

Has anyone had any good experience with these?

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I recently purchase a BT dongle, to use on my notebook. I have found it to be near to useless, in that, it doesn't work very well, if at all, in locations that it's predicted to do so! As it is only a PAYG, I'm prepared to chuck it and try another one. It uses the vodaphone network.

Has anyone had any good experience with these?

I have PAYG o2 mobile broadband which generally works ok in my area of London, virtually always picking up a 3G or HSPA signal but its not suitable for much more than surfing and emailing as there is a 2GB limit per month which costs £15.32p with unlimited WIFI access. Downloading of films, games etc would very quickly use this limit up obviously.

There is a thread about o2s adults only verification process below on this board, basically on this there are very incompetent.

Edited by smiths

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Three is the market leader for mobile broadband dongles, they have the highest 3G/HSDPA coverage in the UK (significantly more than Vodafone/O2 etc). They also have the cheapest per GB PAYG price, the only downside is that a top-up only last 30 days after that it expires.

I have used one of their dongles for 2-3 years and have never had a problem and always had great signal connection, i also use a three PAYG sim card for my iPad data plan and get perfect signal/connection speed. They also do a Mifi dongle which creates a small wifi network so you can share one PAYG plan with your computer, mobile phone, iPad at the same time if you wanted. They are surprisingly good

Edited by jamessmith1990

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Three is the market leader for mobile broadband dongles, they have the highest 3G/HSDPA coverage in the UK (significantly more than Vodafone/O2 etc). They also have the cheapest per GB PAYG price, the only downside is that a top-up only last 30 days after that it expires.

I will give them a go!

I noticed they sell two different types, a cheap one and a more expensive "premium" one, which is meant to be faster. I'm tempted to go with the cheap one, first and see how it works.

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I have a very old model and it is still fast enough for what I need. I wouldnt bother with the premium one, I am sure the standard one will be absolutely fine.

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Three is the market leader for mobile broadband dongles, they have the highest 3G/HSDPA coverage in the UK (significantly more than Vodafone/O2 etc). They also have the cheapest per GB PAYG price, the only downside is that a top-up only last 30 days after that it expires.

I have the '3' MyFi mobile wireless hotspot. 7Gb of data is £25, and it lasts 3 months. Its significantly faster then my O2 dongle, and better coverage. Downside is, it's wireless only. To connect my PC to it I had to buy a wireless adapter.

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I have PAYG o2 mobile broadband which generally works ok in my area of London, virtually always picking up a 3G or HSPA signal but its not suitable for much more than surfing and emailing as there is a 2GB limit per month which costs £15.32p with unlimited WIFI access. Downloading of films, games etc would very quickly use this limit up obviously.

There is a thread about o2s adults only verification process below on this board, basically on this there are very incompetent.

I'd echo that. I bought an O2 dongle at xmas as as back up because my home broadband was intermittently going down over a period of weeks. The adult verification process wasn't in place at the time (that process is rather clunky) and although it seemed to install ok, the connection manager software with it isn't very good. Performance and coverage is ok but nothing special. As I said, I use it as a backup but wouldn't want to rely on it.

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I had a dongle on the three network and was quite impressed. If I downloaded movies etc I was getting a consistent 7mbs, which I thought was good for what it is.

Recently though I got the samsung galaxy 2 s smart phone which you can create a wifi hotspot via tethering to use the phone as your internet connection. Same performance as the dongle but with a lot more flexabity as it's a dual core proccessor smart phone.

Also, as for networks blocking adult content, 3 filter all adult content. So for example, if you wanted to view porn etc, you have to pay an extra fiver a month and you can only access content from their selected providers. This is easy to get round though.... For example, if you're on an android phone, if you use opera mini web browser, it uses a proxy so three have no idea what you're accessing. This allows you to access adult content.

Hope that helps.....

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I'd echo that. I bought an O2 dongle at xmas as as back up because my home broadband was intermittently going down over a period of weeks. The adult verification process wasn't in place at the time (that process is rather clunky) and although it seemed to install ok, the connection manager software with it isn't very good. Performance and coverage is ok but nothing special. As I said, I use it as a backup but wouldn't want to rely on it.

O2s incompetence has been an advantage as well lately as they have carried any of my data left over over to the next top up.

Edited by smiths

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I have now resolved the problem I had with the BT dongle. It wasn't a network or hardware fault, but a software problem, that can be easily overcome with a bit of tinkering and box ticking. There seems to be a conflict with a windows 7 program and this has been reported on various geek forums, but BT don't seem to want to tell anyone themselves! It's not quite as simple as you'd think, everything works on the first run of a fresh install, just to add confusion to everything!

I am none too happy with this adult-filter lark, I can't access this site or the other one, with my mobile device! I can't even access any of my online dating sites, either. I have a BT phone number to ring and I'm hoping this will remedy the problem, without having to part with any more cash, which sounds like a total piss-take!

I have also already ordered a Three dongle (lack of patience on my part) so if anyone has a way round their adult-filter, I'd be please to hear about it (running windows 7 on a netbook - anything along the line of ATX's phone solution?)

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Update on my previous post:

Removing the adult filter on my BT dongle was straight forward and free. A two minute call to BT was only that was required but was told it would take up 24 hours before it would be activated...

Having viewed the Three website, it seems the same will apply to them, although it does say that not all there devices are currently able to have the filters turned off, but by July 2011, they will.

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Update on my previous post:

Removing the adult filter on my BT dongle was straight forward and free. A two minute call to BT was only that was required but was told it would take up 24 hours before it would be activated...

Having viewed the Three website, it seems the same will apply to them, although it does say that not all there devices are currently able to have the filters turned off, but by July 2011, they will.

O2 told me the same, up to 24 hours, i went to an O2 shop to prove my age and by the time i got back home shortly afterwards the block was gone only to be put back on "by mistake" sometime later which a manager got lifted after i complained, no problems since. Once you have satisfied them on your age it should never be an issue again. As i said previously o2s incompetence on this was a pain in the arse but its also resulted in them carrying over just under 1GB from last months data allowance to this months which isnt supposed to happen.

What speed to you get, on 3G mine is 7.6 Mbps which i find more than adequate.

Edited by smiths

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What speed to you get, on 3G mine is 7.6 Mbps which i find more than adequate.

I'm not sure the BT dongle logs exact speeds?

I've found that speed is very dependent on signal strength and this varies a great deal, with location. I'm mainly in rural Suffolk!

The strongest 3G signal I've got has been 24%, this zips through the web as fast as my landline connection (7.2 mbps). Speed isn't that great a concern, just as long as it works, when I'm out and about, for email, message boards, viewing escort profiles/websites and my dating sites...then I'm happy.

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Another update:

I now have the Three dongle! It blows away the BT (vodafone network) one, for my location in Suffolk. The coverage would seem to be much btter and much much faster. Strangly, there is no adult filter on it, I've accessed this site and @w, no problem!

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All this talk of 3G dongles reminds me of when I visited two branches of Carphone Warehouse before xmas. Upon my asking for a 3G dongle, I had to correct the shop assistant both times that this did not mean a dongle for the 3 network. Hopeless!

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Three is the market leader for mobile broadband dongles, they have the highest 3G/HSDPA coverage in the UK (significantly more than Vodafone/O2 etc). They also have the cheapest per GB PAYG price, the only downside is that a top-up only last 30 days after that it expires.

I have used one of their dongles for 2-3 years and have never had a problem and always had great signal connection, i also use a three PAYG sim card for my iPad data plan and get perfect signal/connection speed. They also do a Mifi dongle which creates a small wifi network so you can share one PAYG plan with your computer, mobile phone, iPad at the same time if you wanted. They are surprisingly good

I have a 3 contact for my iPad (microsim) and wanted to avoid having to buy a second dongle and contract/payg payments to use with a laptop, went into the 3 store to see if they could give me a second sim/dongle linked to my existing contract. the answer was no, but he did suggest a Mifi dongle, and went and got me a microsim adapter which makes a microsim into the same size as an ordinary sim, so I can take my iPad microsim out and use it in the Mifi no problem, ad can use this when I want to take my laptop with me rather than my iPad.

At £15 per month for 10GB data on contract, 3 is cheaper than any other, and have had good reception pretty much anywhere I have tried to use it so far.

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I recently had to buy a new dongle and attempted to buy an Orange payg. The 1st orange store didnt have any in stock (of their own dongle??) and the second one demanded I pass a credit check.

"Why do I need a credit check..its a fecking payg?"

"Because you pay by how much you use! "

"Do i pay in advance or at the end of the month?"

"In advance! "

"So WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE A FREAKING CREDIT CHECK DONE THEN? "

"Cos you do!"

"But its pay as you go dagnamit!!!"

[ i was then witness to the blank stare of gormlessness ]

"GOOD BY AND FECK OFF".

Several times over the years I have dallied briefly with the idea of an orange product...and every single time they piss me off so much I end up NOT buying the thing.

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I recently had to buy a new dongle and attempted to buy an Orange payg. The 1st orange store didnt have any in stock (of their own dongle??) and the second one demanded I pass a credit check.

"Why do I need a credit check..its a fecking payg?"

"Because you pay by how much you use! "

"Do i pay in advance or at the end of the month?"

"In advance! "

"So WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE A FREAKING CREDIT CHECK DONE THEN? "

"Cos you do!"

"But its pay as you go dagnamit!!!"

[ i was then witness to the blank stare of gormlessness ]

"GOOD BY AND FECK OFF".

Several times over the years I have dallied briefly with the idea of an orange product...and every single time they piss me off so much I end up NOT buying the thing.

I have had this bollocks with my mobile phone which is also a PAYG, obviously to most its clear by definition that a PAYG as opposed to a contract or rolling contract phone shouldnt be subject to a credit check as your NOT GETTING ANY CREDIT. It took a manager with a brain to sort the matter out, the two staff were beyond dense and seriously didnt seem to understand the difference between contract and PAYG despite working in a dedicated mobile phone store, one for two years so she told me. To use a punting comparison, its like a WG not knowing that a man has different genitals to a woman or that its the punter who pays the WG not the other way round. As you say gormless halfwits wasting 20 minutes of my life in my case. :)

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I have had this bollocks with my mobile phone which is also a PAYG, obviously to most its clear by definition that a PAYG as opposed to a contract or rolling contract phone shouldnt be subject to a credit check as your NOT GETTING ANY CREDIT. It took a manager with a brain to sort the matter out, the two staff were beyond dense and seriously didnt seem to understand the difference between contract and PAYG despite working in a dedicated mobile phone store, one for two years so she told me. To use a punting comparison, its like a WG not knowing that a man has different genitals to a woman or that its the punter who pays the WG not the other way round. As you say gormless halfwits wasting 20 minutes of my life in my case. :)

This kind of insipid corrosion of our privacy really pisses me off.

Every time I go into Tescos or Asda I get offered a 'club card' and turn it down on the groups of it being an invasion of my privacy. It's even become a bit of a pitiful Joke in my local Tesco because the staff recognise me, know I'm going to turn it and it embarrasses them to keep offering it but they get into trouble if they don't offer it.

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I recently had to buy a new dongle and attempted to buy an Orange payg. The 1st orange store didnt have any in stock (of their own dongle??) and the second one demanded I pass a credit check.

"Why do I need a credit check..its a fecking payg?"

"Because you pay by how much you use! "

"Do i pay in advance or at the end of the month?"

"In advance! "

"So WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE A FREAKING CREDIT CHECK DONE THEN? "

"Cos you do!"

"But its pay as you go dagnamit!!!"

[ i was then witness to the blank stare of gormlessness ]

"GOOD BY AND FECK OFF".

Several times over the years I have dallied briefly with the idea of an orange product...and every single time they piss me off so much I end up NOT buying the thing.

Orange used to be very good when they first started in 1994, they were the innovative new kid on the block who gave mobile operators like BT Cellnet and Vodafone a kick up the arse. I was with them from '94 but sadly, once they got taken over by France Telecom around 2000, they went downhill rapidly, especially customer service. Their mobile broadband in particular is notoriously bad. In some magazine group tests against other providers, their offering has failed to even connect.

It remains to be seen whether their merger with T-Mobile will improve things. I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

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