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Must be cheaper than BT eh?
October 28, 2011 7:33 AM   Subscribe

I need a pay as you go USB dongle for 3G wireless that will work with eee pc running Easy Peasy Ubuntu. This is in the UK. Contract will also be considered.
posted by By The Grace of God to Technology (8 answers total)
 
Android phone tethering works great with Linux. So that's an option if you can't find a suitable dongle.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:46 AM on October 28, 2011


Giffgaff is PAYG and seems to be easily the cheapest network for mobile internet in the UK at the moment. They have good coverage in pretty much any urban area and, joint with 3, the fasted speeds. Check out the reviews for yourself.

You can use their SIMs (memail me for a site offering £5 bonus credit) in any O2-locked dongle or most dongles are trivially unlockable. Alternatively, if you have an Android phone, tethering is also a decent option.
posted by turkeyphant at 10:59 AM on October 28, 2011


I have an android but it is on a Vodafone contract which gets very poor coverage in this rural area.
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:31 PM on October 28, 2011


In that case I'd ask around to see if anyone in the area can recommend a provider with decent 3G / Data coverage. Once you've decided upon a provider you can find the best deal, (even if that means buying some other branded dongle and unlocking it). If you can't find someone to ask you could try calling Customer Services for each provider and being very clear about wanting to know about data coverage in your area, or as a last resort look up their coverage maps online.
posted by dirm at 3:51 PM on October 28, 2011


Coverage maps aren't perfect but they are better than nothing and usually much better than the people on phone lines. If you say where you are maybe people will be able to weigh in.

For 3G coverage pretty much any major town or city will get you sorted. Outside of these areas, 3 has a big advantage.
posted by turkeyphant at 5:45 PM on October 28, 2011


This is a page I maintain for work that lists known working 3G dongle models: http://wiki.freegeek.org/index.php/3G_Mobile_Broadband_Internet. Note we are US based but the same model dongles are often sold in many different countries, though often rebadged, so you may need to do some googling. The best model is the Sierra Wireless Overdrive 3G/4G mobile hotspot which works out of the box and functions as a wireless access point as well, though it tends to be the most expensive. The A600 has proved solidly reliable.

N.B. you will likely need one-time access to a mac or windows machine to initialize the device but after that you will be good to go.
posted by tallus at 11:41 PM on October 28, 2011


I was in a similar position and ended up going to a Mifi from 3. It acts as a wifi base-station with a SIM card and works really well. They cost around £50, I got mine from Currys.

The only complication is that you'll need to unlock it if you want to use another provider. This was a 10 minute process on a Windows PC, PM me and I can put all the files you need somewhere. It may be possible to pay a few pounds and get it unlocked at one of those high street unlocking places.

I found that T-Mobile has by far the best value PAYG dongle internet. £1/day, £5/week, £15/month for unlimited usage. I haven't had a problem with coverage but also don't go into the deep countryside much.
posted by quiet at 2:51 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


quiet: "I found that T-Mobile has by far the best value PAYG dongle internet. £1/day, £5/week, £15/month for unlimited usage. I haven't had a problem with coverage but also don't go into the deep countryside much"

Except that it's a total lie and not "unlimited" at all - only Giffgaff and 3 offer truly unlimited mobile data in the UK.
posted by turkeyphant at 6:21 PM on October 31, 2011


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