mobile phone internet or usb dongle for laptop?

  theDarkness 20:39 13 Oct 2008

Ive heard usb dongles for internet access wont work for many websites and pc programs (eg some bank websites, businesses wanting to file share, internet messengers etc) as since there is a sim card or its equivalent inside the usual dongle, most sites and programs will think you are connecting using a mobile phone? click here does anyone have experience with using a dongle and be able to confirm if this is true for them? i am trying to find out if its a similar situation for all companies offering a usb dongle net service. Connection speeds seem to vary hugely at the moment depending on where you are, so i am wondering if im better off just sticking to using my mobile phone for the net with opera mini and java messenger programs, or buying a usb dongle? Thanks

  Forum Editor 17:19 14 Oct 2008

USB mobile adapter with my laptop for some months now, and I'm reasonably happy with the service. I say 'reasonably' because it would always be nice to have more speed, but provided there's a decent mobile signal I get a very good connection.

It worked perfectly on a recent trip to Spain - the adapter acted as a normal roaming SIM does, and searched for the strongest signal. I got a Spanish network message telling me that I would be charged an additional fee because I was roaming, and I needed to accept that. As soon as I clicked OK I was connected within seconds, and the downstream speed was excellent.

In the UK I've had no real problems, and for me it's well worth the £15 a month charge.

  theDarkness 18:33 14 Oct 2008

after browsing around it does seem that t mobile currently offer the best service at the moment. have you come across any websites or pc programs using net access that will limit access thinking you are using a mobile phone? I guess the only way of knowing it will work is to try a dongle out, i think there is a try out period for most. thanks

  theDarkness 22:34 19 Nov 2008

bringing up an old post! im going to go for a monthly pay as you go deal for mobile broadband (minimum one month contract), so i am wondering if it will matter where i buy my mobile dongle stick from, and where to buy one? Will all dongles work with all providers? Obviously dongles may vary in speed, but i am wondering if any providers limit usage of third party dongles comparing to their own, or if it doesnt matter. As to the above, it seems t mobile dont offer the cheapest one month contract (o2 are £5 less, although the dongle is £50 more than the t mobile dongle!).. where can i go for a dead cheap third party dongle? Surely cant go wrong with a cheap dongle and cheapest monthly deal, setting aside lastability of a cheap dongle! The only other problem i can see is that with some providers, they may not let me join a pay as you go one month contract for mobile net, UNLESS i pay for their own dongle!.. hard to tell if this is true for most companies or not though

  dms_05 09:09 20 Nov 2008

I would expect branded dongles to be SIM locked to the host network rather like mobile phones are. So it would seem sensible to buy a dongle on your chosen network. Also watch for any differences between Contract and PaYG.

I have seen independent dongles offered on ebay for £32 del from HK. Search ebay on mobile broadband and see what you can find. The 3 dongle can be had for £39 del from a UK supplier on ebay. You will need a SIM Card and in the case of '3' the standard SIM doesn't work - you need a specific Broadband SIM, it may be similar with other networks.

  theDarkness 16:09 21 Nov 2008

Differences- do u mean pay as you go dongles may operate at a slower speed to ones given on a contract? I bet the phone companies have compared third party prices of dongles too, so ill assume sim cards for broadband wont be cheap, or will only be available from the original provider? i bet not all dongles are able to be opened to replace or add a sim card

  theDarkness 16:44 21 Nov 2008

I think the pay as you go dongle from t mobile could well be alot slower- if you go for a contract instead, they state you will be given 'our fastest dongle'.. not sure about paying the £50 on pay as you go for something alot slower! couldnt see any specific dongle speeds on their site though for either contract or pay as you go though... click here

  dms_05 11:49 23 Nov 2008

In the case of '3' their standard SIM won't work in a Dongle, you need a Broadband SIM and '3' charge a lot for them. However you can buy them off ebay for about £8 - but make sure they are for the broadband Dongle.

  lucybrightly 16:17 01 Jan 2009

USB dongle is better than mobile internet for laptop. I don't think the website access problem should not be there.

<a href="click here">Mobile broadband deals</a> in UK are available with these dongles and most of the business executives use them.

  theDarkness 14:08 30 Apr 2009

i can see that on compare websites click here they all state the speed of each dongle, "up to xxx". I am wondering if different dongles are technically faster/slower, or if it just depends on your contract, eg they connect you to a faster/slower service? Or could it be both?

  Phil2071 12:11 11 May 2009

The speed of the dongle is all related to the access speed allowed by the networks. It's just like landline broadband modems, they may be able to cope with 8mb but the question is will the provider allow it. When compared against each other click here Tmobile seems to offer the better speeds on their network. I personally reckon on USB dongle against a mobile, as it keeps your options open.

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