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Tethering or a simple basic mifi?


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Having got over the shock of my OH racking up a large Asda Mobile data bill last year in Germany we've since tethered my dual sim phone with a 1P sim (at 1p per Mb) for use in the UK. It works well for simple surfing.

 

On the cusp of a 6 week tour to Hungary I've virtually decided to buy EE's 12GB for £27 and tether in similar manner. The alternative is to buy a simple 3G MiFi dongle from Currys or Argos and use that. (Not that bothered about 4G for basic surfing - news, weather, oh and Groupon!!)

 

What advantage would the MiFi concept have over a tethered phone being used as a "hotspot"? frankly I can't see one, but then they may be factors I'm missing here.

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I have a Three .co.uk Mifi and they offer loads of alternative options, I have 12GB 12 months use at the moment and it seems reasonable, had it for 2 years, top ups and also many other options. Fesspark buy my sims on amazon they are cheaper.
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I would first check that a data only SIM will work in your particular phone (is it locked to a network or have other restrictions?). As it is data only, your phone will not able to recieve voice calls or txt messages or be able to dial out etc.

 

Tethering can be quite heavy on your phone battery as the wifi and 3g is active more that with tethering off. You will need to charge your phone more often.

 

Mifis can have better reception than your phone and many have external antenna connections. In areas with poor coverage, the mifi may work better (and/or give faster speeds) that a tethered phone.

 

Most mifis can display your MB usage a bit easier than on your phone.

 

Overall, your tethered phone will probably work ok but a mifi can give better results.

 

The more advanced mifis can "offload" your data usage onto free wifi when it is available (so doesn't use up your data allowance). My Aircard 810 has this feature although I haven't tried it yet.

 

Personally, I would recommend the Vodafone payg data SIM (£25 for 15GB) with 90 days limit. It also supports 4G+ (LTE) so is much faster than my 3 SIM.

 

 

 

 

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We have a mifi which is 4G but hardly ever got a 4G signal in France Spain or Portugal so IMO not worth worrying about a 4G one. A advantage to having one is that .if signal not to good we can put it on the roof or fit extension aerial and all our kit works wifi off the same sim
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Thank you all for your excellent advice.

 

I'll opt for a mifi then. I take the point about 4 G in France, and that's probably true of Hungary and maybe even Austria on our journey. I note that Robert Dyas has a TP-link for £67 (cheaper than Amazon) and this weekend there's 15% off making it £57. I'll go for that as "chief cashier" has given the the "go ahead"

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Have a Huewai mobile WiFi unit in van with 3internet with legs 12gb 12 month SIM. Works all over France really well. Did use too much data (5 GB, still trying to fathom out how)) in first 12 days and they stopped my usage on 23 April and kept asking for more top up. Came back on on the 2 May. In between used my phone as a tether, but beware uses lots of battery and mobile data on phones SIM. Hopes this helps. Good luck.
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I recently bought a 3g MiFi from (My Memory) and a 12gb data sim from 3 I think the sim was £27.00 and the dlink MiFi was £25.00.

Has worked well everywhere that I have used it for my laptop,phone and my wife's Kindle and have used very little data just checking out websites and email.the data last 12 months or not depending on how quickly you use it. it can also be used abroad on their feel at home service.

Pete

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We also use a Mifi with ‘3’ 12 GB data sim when travelling in Europe and Oz with external antenna. Just have to remember to turn off auto updates on phones and tablets to preserve data. Even ‘update over wifi only’ needs to be disabled when using a Mifi and auto update apps in the Apple and Google play stores should be disabled. Then of course you have individual apps such as Spotify that stream but you can download music before you leave for offline use only. Got caught out last year after purchasing a new iPad which decided to do a major upgrade when it saw it was connected to a Wifi (Mifi) network : (

For voice calls I just use a voip app with an account I setup at home. I also leave the SIM card in for text only and just disable mobile data.

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witzend - 2018-05-03 9:59 PM

 

We have a mifi which is 4G but hardly ever got a 4G signal in France Spain or Portugal so IMO not worth worrying about a 4G one. A advantage to having one is that .if signal not to good we can put it on the roof or fit extension aerial and all our kit works wifi off the same sim

 

The 3G/4G thing seems to be somewhat complicated.

 

Our Tescomobile (O2) phones wouldn't select a 4G signal in either France or Spain, sticking resolutely to 3G or H/H+. Numerous emails to customer services later we insisted that our case be raised to the technical department and, as if by magic, both phones selected 4G the next day and stuck with it for the rest of the trip.

 

Our Huawei Mifi also 'prefers' 3G if that signal is even slightly stronger than the 4G one and needs the 4G selecting manually using the Huawei HiLink app.

 

A LG K4 phone that I sometimes use as a hotspot is the same and needs 'LTE only' mode selecting via a hidden modem menu.

 

It seems that what devices and SIM cards automatically select isn't really representative of what's out there..

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