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Mobile Broadband Charges- What's the latest?


Uncle Bulgaria

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Sorry to start a new thread, but the Internet On The Move thread has not been updated for some time, and the situation seems to change rapidly. I've seen many cotributions recently on the subject of dongles and associated charges, but unfortunately the search facility seems to struggle these days to retrieve previous threads.

 

I'm about to buy a netbook for internet access whilst we are away. Some touring in the UK but mostly Western Europe. I need to access simple domestic emails a couple of times a week and find information on prospective campsites, so my data usage will not be great. 1GB a month would more than cover it. Of all the network providers, only 3 seem willing to provide information on the costs of using a UK sourced dongle outside the UK. On a PAYG basis I will pay £10 for 1GB of data. In Europe, the charge is £1.25 per MB! I believe there are 1000 MB in a GB so European use is 125 times more expensive than UK use. Have I got that right? It seems out of all proportion. Do any of the other network providers provide a better deal when outside the UK?

 

Thanks for putting me straight on this one.

 

Richard.

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Hiya

 

Unfortunately you are correct, using a dongle abroad is basically a fool's game unless you are loaded!

 

From what you've said, the best bet in your case would be to stick to a PAYG dongle, which for you I'd suggest the Vodaphone 'old' one with the credit that doesn't run out after 30 days, for use in the UK.

 

For abroad, treat yourself to a nice cup of coffee at McDonalds and take advantage of the free wifi connection there to access your email etc. :-D

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Unfortunately despite Viviane Reding's best efforts, or not as the case may be, ( Member of the European Commission (Information Society and Media) data roaming in the EU is still far, far too expensive. Vodafone is perhaps the least worst of the bunch. On contract you can buy 50MB download per 24 hours at £10. You can reduce the cost and allowance by 50% if you use your phone as a modem. A couple of years ago 3 Network had a promotion where you could use your UK allowance in countries where they have networks, handy for Italy and Austria but they don't seem to have repeated that offer. When I have looked at Mobile Broadband in various countries it does seem not as good value as in the UK but even then it does not justify some of the charges being made. Mind you a couple of years ago £10 a MB was not uncommon!

 

David

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Orange.fr have got an offer on until 3 March. E160 dongle pay 39€ get baci 30€ which includes 2H internet access plus another 4H which is useable for 4 months. After that 20mins = 3€. The rest of the top-ups are all useable for one month: 1H = 8€, 2H = 14€, 6H = 25€ and 12H = 35€. If you buy over the internet you have to have a French address but you may be able to buy and register it in an Orange outlet. You will need your passport though. These dongles are only for use in France - I boarded the ferry and had some credit left but it would not work even though the ferry was still berthed in Calais. The offer is called Internet Everywhere.

 

3 network charge £1.25 per mg as already mentioned as I think T-Mobile do too. O2 have bundles but they are expensive: 10 mb for £20 and 50mb for £50. Unfortunately internet access in France is much dearer than in England, typically over 40€ including line rental.

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Here in Spain at least, mobile broadband is VERY expensive. (As is broadband in the home, when compared to UK prices).

 

Instead of using mobile broadband, when touring around Spain/Portugal, we just use our little Acer netbook (fantastic thing: 10.1 inch screen, 160gb hard drive, 1gb of RAM, has wifi and internet camera built in, got it with a 7 hour battery, weighs buggerall, and cost was about 220 quid) either on camping sites....most of the ACSI sites that we've used in the past year or so now have on-site wifi (some are free, some charge a euro or two for 24 hours worth of access); or in some of the thousands of bars/cafe's or MacDonalds which now have free wifi.

 

Also use the Acer to play all our music through the MH sound system when on the move of parked up, and to play films that we've previously downloaded to it whilst at home on "proper compouter" broadband.

Kathy also uses it to store/amend/photoshop all the gazillions of digital photos she takes whilst we are away, as by dumping them to the Acer from the SDD card in her camera each evening, her camera memory never gets full.

Works a treat.

 

Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

Just remember that like all the other netbooks, the Acer doesn't have a disc drive slot....so you may need to have a "mother" computer at home that you can connect it to via a LAN cable (easy peasy to setup), or buy a separate external disc drive unit.

 

 

 

 

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Agree with Bruce, the Acer Netbook is a brilliant piece of kit when travelling around.

In addition to the usual hotspots, we're lucky??? in the UK in that all the Wetherspoon establishments have free internet access via "The Cloud". Just takes a couple of minutes to first register and then away you go.

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I have a netbook too (Asus 9") which is great in many ways but I do have two grumbles and wish I had bought differently. Firstly, I can still touch-type on the small keypad but the cursor keeps jumping all over the place so when possible (as now) I attach a keyboard. Secondly, I bought the solid state hard disk being afraid that carrying around campsites I might drop it, but the small 12gb disk is driving me insane as it keeps locking up and I have to delete something!!
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My thanks to everyone for their contributions. Isn't it good to actually find that some things are cheaper this side of la Manche! I'd rather they were cheaper the other side, but c'est la vie. I'd definitely be breaking a most solemn vow if I went to McDonalds, even if it was just for the wi-fi connection!

Richard.

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Patricia - 2010-02-19 3:00 PM I have a netbook too (Asus 9") which is great in many ways but I do have two grumbles and wish I had bought differently. Firstly, I can still touch-type on the small keypad but the cursor keeps jumping all over the place so when possible (as now) I attach a keyboard. Secondly, I bought the solid state hard disk being afraid that carrying around campsites I might drop it, but the small 12gb disk is driving me insane as it keeps locking up and I have to delete something!!
  If it has a built in SD card reader, or more probably a USP port, get a decent sized SD card, or a pen drive (flash memory stick or whatehver) and just save to that, using the built in memory for programmes and expansion space.  Either is available @16Gb, some a lot more, but you need to check if there is a max size your Asus can read.  However, 16Gb of pics/written date, is "a awful lot"!  :-)
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Brian Kirby - 2010-02-23 7:17 PM

 

Patricia - 2010-02-19 3:00 PM I have a netbook too (Asus 9") which is great in many ways but I do have two grumbles and wish I had bought differently. Firstly, I can still touch-type on the small keypad but the cursor keeps jumping all over the place so when possible (as now) I attach a keyboard. Secondly, I bought the solid state hard disk being afraid that carrying around campsites I might drop it, but the small 12gb disk is driving me insane as it keeps locking up and I have to delete something!!
  If it has a built in SD card reader, or more probably a USP port, get a decent sized SD card, or a pen drive (flash memory stick or whatehver) and just save to that, using the built in memory for programmes and expansion space.  Either is available @16Gb, some a lot more, but you need to check if there is a max size your Asus can read.  However, 16Gb of pics/written date, is "a awful lot"!  :-)

 

If using an SD card to back up I recommend you use 2 as I have had them for no reason decide to fry them selves.

Glad I brought an NC10 has biggest keyboard of the netbooks, 160GB drive & SD card reader.

 

Another option is to use on line storage when you are away providing you can get internet access, or you could even set up a VPN tunnel & save to your home computer (would need to be left on).

 

 

 

 

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The simplest and cheapest answer to internet and e-mail while travelling, is to use WiFi.  If you use campsites, many now have free WiFi access - though there are still a few comedians around.  To the comedians, I just smile sweetly, tell then I get a month's unlimited access in UK for what they want to charge for an hour or two, thank them and decline to use.  A few make token charges, which I don't mind paying.  Once you have internet access, it should be possible to get to your own (ISP's) normal e-mail box, so that you can read and reply to incoming mails, delete the ones you don't want, and write new, so that you don't return home to a mailbox stuffed with accumulated mails, and with all your "travelling" mails on the mobile provider's mailbox.  That way, it is also less obvious you are away.

Don't think I'd bother with VPN "tunnels" while away.  Leaving the home computer running wholly unattended while away would make it very vulnerable to power outages, spikes, and possible intruder tampering.  Besides, I isolate most of the power while away.

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Brian Kirby - 2010-02-24 1:15 PM

Don't think I'd bother with VPN "tunnels" while away.  Leaving the home computer running wholly unattended while away would make it very vulnerable to power outages, spikes, and possible intruder tampering.  Besides, I isolate most of the power while away.

I would agree Brian it was just a suggestion that there are several ways of coping with a storage problem.
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