"order for sea is given"
March 26, 2008 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to get a broadband ISP without a landline?

My father is moving to live on a boat*. He will not have a landline, but he has a Vodafone mobile broadband connected to a laptop through a USB modem. Vodafone provides the link but is not an internet service provider. He needs an ISP that does not requure a landline. He says that this can't be a dial-up provider because the Vodafone setup requires broadband.

Can anyone suggest a way round this? Thanks.

*Damp, cold and inconvenient, not romantic.
posted by paduasoy to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I suppose he will not have Cable television either. Because if he has, cable will work for Internet as well.
posted by McSly at 3:22 PM on March 26, 2008

This doesn't make any sense at all. The Vodaphone USB modem will connect him to the internet, and Vodaphone acts as the ISP. The only thing he could possibly need from a 'traditional' ISP would be something like an email address, which he can get for free from Yahoo or Google or whoever.
posted by zsazsa at 3:23 PM on March 26, 2008

Not 100% sure what he still needs. It sounds like Vodaphone is providing the actual internet connection -- at least in the US mobile providers like Sprint and at&t/Cingular do that over their 3G mobile networks, and it sounds like you're saying he's got that.

So, if he can get online, what else does he need an ISP for? Hosting of his e-mail?

For email I'd say use Yahoo's Premium product, which lets you use POP mail for $10 a year, so you can download messages to Outlook or Thunderbird. Otherwise there's gMail, but I think that means he could only read and write message while he's actually online, which isn't ideal if his connections a bit dodgy, as mobile broadband can be.

BTW, all this assumes he's staying pretty close to land. If he's going off on the high seas, he'd need a satellite connection from Inmarsat or Seamobile, and that's big buck$.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 3:23 PM on March 26, 2008

I presume he has something like this today?

If using this, then Vodafone is acting as the ISP... they are providing the connectivity to the internet. What other ISP services does he require that Vodafone do not provide?
posted by saintsguy at 3:25 PM on March 26, 2008

Use Gmail for the email. Gmail connects through POP or IMAP and you can use Thunderbird or Outlook at your leisure.
posted by unexpected at 3:31 PM on March 26, 2008

One of you is confused. Vodafone is the ISP - you don't need any other service.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:00 PM on March 26, 2008

Vodafone 3G data service provides you an internet connection. They provide internet access, so therefore they are the Internet Service Provider. If he needs a portal and e-mail service, he can get that from a variety of people for free like Yahoo! and Google. If you cannot connect with the Vodafone service, then that's just a configuration issue, you do not need a second provider.
posted by cgomez at 5:39 PM on March 26, 2008

Seconding Gmail for mail. I generally advise people to switch to Gmail even if they do have ISP-provided mail, since that way they only have to change their email address once instead of every time they switch ISPs.
posted by flabdablet at 6:07 PM on March 26, 2008

He will not have a landline, but he has a Vodafone mobile broadband connected to a laptop through a USB modem. Vodafone provides the link but is not an internet service provider.

There are two ways to intrepret this:

1. He has a Vodafone phone that does HSDPA or EDGE, thus what everyone else said above.

2. He has Vodafone branded DSL.

If 2 is correct then he should get a phone that works as 'phone as modem.'
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:15 PM on March 26, 2008

Vodafone Mobile Broadband is not DSL.

At this point, paduasoy, it would be useful for you to chime in and tell everybody exactly what it is that your dad isn't getting from Vodafone.
posted by flabdablet at 7:03 PM on March 26, 2008

Can he get an aerial, access point and connect to a wireless network somewhere?

Funnily enough, I've just done this for two boat owners 8kms away from our wifi source...
posted by DrtyBlvd at 1:58 AM on March 27, 2008

Thanks to all of you for this - my father says you have solved his problem. Here's his response:

Your correspondents have solved the problem, and I now have a new email account with Gmail.

It seems that my Vodafone mobile link does work like an ISP in connecting me to the net (or newt as I first typed), although the email address has to come from another provider.

Those of you who said we were confused were correct - thanks for that. I'd had various late-night conversations with him about it but wasn't as clear as I thought I was.
posted by paduasoy at 1:58 AM on March 27, 2008

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