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Did anyone else choose a dongle for internet access ?

bosque

Distinguished Member
18 months ago, I was having connection problems with my AOL ISP (unable to go on-line for over two weeks). A mobile dongle which could be simply plugged into a USB port on the PC to enable an easy connection seemd a good idea at the time, so I cancelled AOL and signed up for a Vodafone dongle for two years at £15 a month.

Before long it became clear that the dongle 3GB monthly limit is actually pretty measly (and far less than AOL's unannounced higher limit GB limit). If you exceed the 3GB limit you start paying an extra £15 for each GB over the limit: so if you used a further 3GB you'd be charged £60 in that month. It's worth noting that a casual viewing of BBC's iPlayer can rack up the GB usage, 3 shows would exceed 3GB.

Of course the dongle adverts claim that average monthly usage of the internet would rarely if ever exceed 3GB. I've found the opposite is the case in that you rarely if ever use less than 4GB. I can see the early popularity of these things plummeting as people realise how they're being bilked for broadband access.
 

Phil57

Well-known Member
18 months ago, I was having connection problems with my AOL ISP (unable to go on-line for over two weeks). A mobile dongle which could be simply plugged into a USB port on the PC to enable an easy connection seemd a good idea at the time, so I cancelled AOL and signed up for a Vodafone dongle for two years at £15 a month.

Before long it became clear that the dongle 3GB monthly limit is actually pretty measly (and far less than AOL's unannounced higher limit GB limit). If you exceed the 3GB limit you start paying an extra £15 for each GB over the limit: so if you used a further 3GB you'd be charged £60 in that month. It's worth noting that a casual viewing of BBC's iPlayer can rack up the GB usage, 3 shows would exceed 3GB.

Of course the dongle adverts claim that average monthly usage of the internet would rarely if ever exceed 3GB. I've found the opposite is the case in that you rarely if ever use less than 4GB. I can see the early popularity of these things plummeting as people realise how they're being bilked for broadband access.

Correct me if I am reading your post wrong, but it appears that your maths needs a little attention, 3GB over the limit at £15 a GB is £45, not £60.
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Correct me if I am reading your post wrong, but it appears that your maths needs a little attention, 3GB over the limit at £15 a GB is £45, not £60.
£15 fixed charge + £45 for "further 3GB" = "£60 in that month"


But anyone who uses such a thing on a two-year (!!) contract in a house with a landline probably needs to pay a little attention to something
 
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Phil57

Well-known Member
£15 fixed charge + £45 for "further 3GB" = "£60 in that month"


But anyone who uses such a thing on a two-year (!!) contract in a house with a landline probably needs to pay a little attention to something

Okay, but it doesn't read that in the OP's post.
 

JackFord

Active Member
They seem a joke to me, I got given a leaflet about such dongles, one advertised 4GB monthly allocation, the other for the same price was 'Unlimited', yet when I read the fine print the fair use policy states that was 4GB also.
 

figoagogo

Distinguished Member
these mobile dongles are really for just that - mobile internet access - they are too slow and cumbersom for day to day use?

For £15/month can you not get a decent bb internet connection, I have only eveyr been in Cable, but soon to be on BT + Service Provider.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
These things should only ever be used for mobile internet really unless you can't get a decent BB connection at your house. They're not built for heavy use at all although are probably fine for a bit of browsing and checking of emails. Using them for iPlayer is a deffo no no and I wouldn't consider that average use of the internet.
 

bosque

Distinguished Member
Okay, but it doesn't read that in the OP's post.

Perhaps you should pay a little attention to your reading ability. Why does it not "read that" in the OP's post.

As soon as I noticed what a joke they were, I re-joined AOL who by then had managed to get their service back on line (after 2/3 months down-time).
 

Penski

Active Member
My friend is thinking of getting a dongle. I am recommending heavily against it but he of course is not prepared to take that advice.

He plays online games too; does anybody know if the lag/latency/pings on these things are higher than normal-good broadband?
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
They will be absolutely terrible for online gaming.
 

Phil57

Well-known Member
Perhaps you should pay a little attention to your reading ability. Why does it not "read that" in the OP's post.

As soon as I noticed what a joke they were, I re-joined AOL who by then had managed to get their service back on line (after 2/3 months down-time).

"Before long it became clear that the dongle 3GB monthly limit is actually pretty measly (and far less than AOL's unannounced higher limit GB limit). If you exceed the 3GB limit you start paying an extra £15 for each GB over the limit: so if you used a further 3GB you'd be charged £60 in that month. It's worth noting that a casual viewing of BBC's iPlayer can rack up the GB usage, 3 shows would exceed 3GB".

Please do highlight where you say that a fee of £15 is payable when exceeding the 3GB limit.
It only reads to me that you are charged for £15 for each GB used that exceeds the 3GB limit, you then say that 3GB over the limit equates to £60.
Now if a reader had prior knowledge that a fee of £15 is payable for exceeding the 3GB limit your calculation would make sense.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
He says it costs £15 a month for the first 3GB and then a further £15 per GB thereafter. There isn't a "fee" for going over your limit :)
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
These things should only ever be used for mobile internet really unless you can't get a decent BB connection at your house. They're not built for heavy use at all although are probably fine for a bit of browsing and checking of emails.
Absolutely. I have a Vodafone dongle for internet on the go and I do find it very useful - especially when I am away on work I have no need to hunt down a WiFi spot. I just use it for surfing (mainly AVF :) ) and maybe downloading the odd podcast - and for that it works fine - I use it for several hours a day normally and never get anywhere near the data limits (considering the majority of the time I get a 2G rather than 3G connection that is hardly surprising).

But there is no way in hell this could replace a fixed broadband connection. Far too slow - even in 3G zones. Plus I find the software is far from ideal - so many programmes seem to conflict with the software - even auto-running a CD/DVD disconnects from the internet! And then of course there are the data limits although I seem to be under different terms and conditions than the OP - if I exceed 3GB they will "write to me telling me how to moderate my useage". Finally online gaming is a no-go even in areas where you get 3G reception.

If yu possibly can, stick with landline broadband IMHO.
 

bosque

Distinguished Member
I seem to be under different terms and conditions than the OP - if I exceed 3GB they will "write to me telling me how to moderate my useage". Finally online gaming is a no-go even in areas where you get 3G reception.

If yu possibly can, stick with landline broadband IMHO.

Vodafone were quite generous in first writing to warn me I was regularly exceeding the 3GB limit and that they would start to charge for excessive usuage on a specified date a month after the date of the letter. Given that I had used 18 GB that month (£15 monthly charge plus £225 excessive usage) I thought that was pretty good of them. The dongle has a usage check feature which lets you see how near the 3GB limit you are, but I'd set it wrongly and assumed I was well under the limit :suicide: But it did spur me to stop using the dongle and return to phone-line broadband.
 
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