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SIM and/or USB stick

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:22 pm
by Surfn Chick
Having never had anything to do with wireless broadband could the forum kindly explain it to me. I have read the mobile broadband FAQ and been searching here for a few hours.

Here is the situation:

Travelling with a laptop & do not want to go into contract. Do I need a SIM card and the USB stick? And is the 3GO the modem?
The wireless service will only be required for emails and a little browsing.

Many thanks for your help.

Re: SIM and/or USB stick

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:30 am
by Dazzled
That's correct - you need only a USB modem with the appropriate plan's SIM card fitted. Plug it into a laptop and select wireless broadband from the icon on the desktop and it connects.

Some operating systems (Windows) need drivers installed, and Huawei for example include these in the device itself - it acts like a memory stick. The devices are actually small dial-up modems for the 3G mobile phone service, so you need to be in an area with signal.

I've never tried a 3GO myself, but have regularly used a Huawei with a Linux powered netbook, and it is very satisfactory. This little computer needs no driver installation. The netbook also has a VoIP softphone on board. You can use your home VoIP service when away if you de-register the home ATA before you leave. If you don't want to be seen talking to your laptop, get a small inexpensive microphone/earphone set, designed for this job.

Re: SIM and/or USB stick

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:07 am
by Surfn Chick
Thanks that is the info I need.

Also if you get the prepaid wireless broadband through members facilities can it be just a one off - it isn't really that clear on the order form, Wiki FAQS,or billing.

Re: SIM and/or USB stick

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:36 pm
by Dazzled
You pay so much a month in advance, depending on plan, with whatever data allowance is included in that price. These are not high data plans, but more than adequate for emails, browsing and holiday telephony, so don't watch movies. There is no contract time for Premium, so you can cancel when you don't need it. The $20 SIM activation fee for a service would work against very short term use of the service for most people, but there's nothing except $$$ to stop you doing it over and over.

I have only used an older "premium" plan, and have no complaints at all. For standard plans performance would be comparable to 3G mobile phone data for a given location.

If a tower is sufficiently busy, and you spend a very long time reading one web page, the tower may think you have gone to sleep, and give priority to someone else. Easily fixed - set a process to periodically ping somebody so your computer keeps the connection active for you.