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Old April 11th 18, 11:02 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and we
really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop, we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for 2
or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..? I know
that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays (I used
to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's not really
a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's needed again.

--
Ria in Aberdeen

[Send address is invalid, use sipsoup at gmail dot com to reply direct]

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Old April 11th 18, 11:15 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

MissRiaElaine wrote:
Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and we
really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop,


Are you wanting it to connect directly with the laptop or a separate mifi
that would work with multiple devices?

we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for 2
or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..?


That may be more of a function of where you're going to be. Try the
coverage maps for the main networks and see if any them are particularly
good or bad.

How much data do you reckon you're going to need?

I know
that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays (I used
to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's not really
a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's needed again.


You'll still need to use it least one every 90 or 180 days (depending on
network) to keep it alive.

I use a Three data SIM that I top up for a tenner for 1gig and £15 for
3gig. Works for me.


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Old April 11th 18, 11:19 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

On 11/04/2018 12:02, MissRiaElaine wrote:
Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and we
really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop, we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for 2
or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..? I know
that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays (I used
to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's not really
a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's needed again.

What's your budget, how much data and what's coverage on the various
networks like where you're going?

If the former is about £50 you can buy an unlocked Huawei E5330 MiFi
from Amazon for £32 and then get a Three Data Reward SIM - first 200MB
free (if registered) and then 1p/MB so you basically get 2GB included in
your £50, and then next year or whenever just buy another SIM.

Other networks have similar offers I guess.
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Old April 11th 18, 11:43 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

On 11/04/2018 12:19, Someone Somewhere wrote:
On 11/04/2018 12:02, MissRiaElaine wrote:
Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and
we really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop, we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for
2 or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..? I
know that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays
(I used to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's
not really a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's
needed again.

What's your budget, how much data and what's coverage on the various
networks like where you're going?


That is critical since there is no point in having 4G capability in a
remote area with only 2.5G coverage. I use a Mifi with external yagi
antennas to work distant masts in remote places (up to about 30 miles).

I doubt the pointing off a boat would be good enough.

If the former is about £50 you can buy an unlocked Huawei E5330 MiFi
from Amazon for £32 and then get a Three Data Reward SIM - first 200MB
free (if registered) and then 1p/MB so you basically get 2GB included in
your £50, and then next year or whenever just buy another SIM.

Other networks have similar offers I guess.


My recommendations would be a Huawei E5577 or cheaper on 3G E5330 - I
would NOT get a dongle as my only device as they are more tetchy and
interference from the PC/inability to put the thing in the best position
for getting a signal indoors can be a PITA (even with a USB extender).

Three or EE do SIMs with 3 or 12GB and 6 GB respectively. You can get
even better introductory offers on new SIMs if you keep an eye out.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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Old April 11th 18, 12:43 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

It's just going to be the one laptop, so no need for multiple device
access. We both have phones and tablets that can be used if necessary,
it's just to make things easier, I hate trying to type on a phone..!

Not sure on how much data, it's mainly going to be used for checking
emails and the odd bit of web surfing, certainly not terabytes..!

Ok on the Three SIM, our phones are on 3 so that sounds like a plan.


--
Ria in Aberdeen

[Send address is invalid, use sipsoup at gmail dot com to reply direct]


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Old April 11th 18, 12:56 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

On 11/04/2018 13:43, MissRiaElaine wrote:
It's just going to be the one laptop, so no need for multiple device
access. We both have phones and tablets that can be used if necessary,
it's just to make things easier, I hate trying to type on a phone..!

Not sure on how much data, it's mainly going to be used for checking
emails and the odd bit of web surfing, certainly not terabytes..!

Ok on the Three SIM, our phones are on 3 so that sounds like a plan.


If you've got a phone, why not make sure you're allowed to use tethering
and have enough data and run it through that instead?
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Old April 11th 18, 02:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

On 11/04/2018 12:02, MissRiaElaine wrote:
Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and we
really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop, we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for 2
or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..? I know
that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays (I used
to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's not really
a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's needed again.


Which canal? The Caledonian Canal has WiFi at each set of lochs, it
used to be BT but now some other company so quite possibly not cheap.
Other canals might be similar.

At one set of lochs I usually connect to the BT Fon at one of the houses
near where I park though I also have 4G.

You might find that if there are cafes or pubs near the lochs then there
might be free WiFi.


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Old April 11th 18, 05:41 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile,uk.telecom.broadband
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Posts: 100
Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

MissRiaElaine wrote:

we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop


I bought an unlocked Huawei E3372 from eBay and use it with a free 4G
Three 200MB/month SIM. It's a couple of quid more expensive now than
when I bought it ...

<https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Huawei-E3372/371943578299

Arrived from China in a couple of weeks (mine's actually branded for the
"MTN" carrier, who I think operate in Africa).

It arrived with the "HiLink router" firmware, which worked out of the
box on Windows, but I wanted to use it with Linux, there is a fairly
picky procedure to load the "NDIS stick" firmware, which does also work
with Windows, but again the driver install is picky.
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Old April 11th 18, 06:56 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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First recorded activity by MobileBanter: Feb 2016
Posts: 51
Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

MB wrote:
On 11/04/2018 12:02, MissRiaElaine wrote:
Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and we
really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop, we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for 2
or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..? I know
that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays (I used
to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's not really
a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's needed again.


Which canal? The Caledonian Canal has WiFi at each set of lochs, it
used to be BT but now some other company so quite possibly not cheap.
Other canals might be similar.

At one set of lochs I usually connect to the BT Fon at one of the houses
near where I park though I also have 4G.

You might find that if there are cafes or pubs near the lochs then there
might be free WiFi.




I would imagine that a MiFi device might give better results. Canals by
their nature are low down. A USB adapter in your laptop is going to be
further screened by the boat’s structure (assuming you are using the laptop
in the cabin). With a MiFi you could tape it to a bamboo pole and raise it
upwards to gain height. (Assuming you are moored and not about to pass
under a low bridge...). Six feet of extra height can make a huge difference
in such a situation. MiFi devices are often quite cheap on eBay.

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Old April 11th 18, 08:41 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Posts: 54
Default Cheap 4G dongle for short trip..?

Tweed wrote:
MB wrote:
On 11/04/2018 12:02, MissRiaElaine wrote:
Hi all,

My other half and I are planning a canal cruise again this year, and we
really want some form of connectivity while we're away.

So we're looking for a USB 'dongle' that we can use on the laptop, we
don't want any sort of contract, as it's only going to be required for 2
or 3 weeks in any one year.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best one to go for..? I know
that PAYG credit expires after a month on these things nowadays (I used
to have one of the Vodafone ones where it didn't) but that's not really
a problem as long as it can be reactivated later when it's needed again.


Which canal? The Caledonian Canal has WiFi at each set of lochs, it
used to be BT but now some other company so quite possibly not cheap.
Other canals might be similar.

At one set of lochs I usually connect to the BT Fon at one of the houses
near where I park though I also have 4G.

You might find that if there are cafes or pubs near the lochs then there
might be free WiFi.




I would imagine that a MiFi device might give better results. Canals by
their nature are low down. A USB adapter in your laptop is going to be
further screened by the boat’s structure (assuming you are using the laptop
in the cabin). With a MiFi you could tape it to a bamboo pole and raise it
upwards to gain height. (Assuming you are moored and not about to pass
under a low bridge...). Six feet of extra height can make a huge difference
in such a situation. MiFi devices are often quite cheap on eBay.

I use a cheap TP-Link TL-WR843ND router which can work in WISP client
mode. I use it with an external aerial which is stuck up on a mast
outside. This is on a boat in France. It's rarely that I can't find
a WiFi signal of some sort.

--
Chris Green
·


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