1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Advice: Netbooks and Roaming Broadband

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by A_Teacher_Of_Computing, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. I intend to buy a netbook before I go travelling this year, so instead of buying dozens of 4GB CF cards I can just have one or two and back them up at the end of each day. It seems many of them offer a 3G service and this is something I know little about, as such I have a few questions:

    1. Will the 3G work outside the UK (especially China, Japan and Australia)
    2. Is it possible to buy 3G broadband access without a mobile phone?
    3. Anyone know of a really good deal on one of the Samsung ones (10 hour battery life seems useful).
     
  2. I intend to buy a netbook before I go travelling this year, so instead of buying dozens of 4GB CF cards I can just have one or two and back them up at the end of each day. It seems many of them offer a 3G service and this is something I know little about, as such I have a few questions:



    1. Will the 3G work outside the UK (especially China, Japan and Australia)


    2. Is it possible to buy 3G broadband access without a mobile phone?


    3. Anyone know of a really good deal on one of the Samsung ones (10 hour battery life seems useful).




    one day Tes will make this forum suitable for people not using IE
     
  3. I think you need to ask this question of the 3G Service providers themselves.
    I believe (like phones) there is compatibility between the technology. You can physically talk to the services okay. (I'm pretty sure you can get 3G for laptops etc.)
    Whether it will allow you to access their systems or not is another matter altogether. If it does, is it affordable.
    As an example, I can use my HTC Legend in France perfectly well, but unless I set up a specific plan it is extremely expensive to do so.
    Perhaps you could look at the availability of free wi-fi areas - using cafes with wifi for example ? If you want to upload lots of photos (for example) 3G might be slow.

     
  4. colpee

    colpee Lead commenter

    3G isn't linked to having a phone -all providers supply dongles with built-in sim cards which will work with any netbook. Most have some sort of roaming package that you can buy, but it will be hideously expensive and the choice is usually between the least extortionate deals. (note you can pay &pound;&pound;&pound;s per text and phone calls <u>recieved</u>). Fixed credit deals that you buy in advance at least prevent potentially running up bills of thousands. I agree that free Wifi is the most prudent way of reaching the internet when abroad, lots of hotels do it and I believe free public access is more prevalent in developed Asian countries than elsewhere. I would also be wary of using a netbook unless you intend to be pretty much in reach of a compatible power supply; netbook batteries are notoriously poor on battery life.
     
  5. I have a broadband dongle but I wouldn't dream of using it abroad - far too expensive. I've had a look on the "3" website and their cost range is from £1.28 per mb in Europe, then:(£3)Australia, Cyprus North, Israel, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey,
    Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (USA) and USA, Hong Kong,
    South Africa

    £6 per mb:Rest of the world excluding:
    £10 per mb:India, Thailand, Canada, Croatia. Kenya, Malaysia, Oman

    In EU only you can set a limit on your monthly spend (default is £45).
    You can view about 3 website pages per mb according to 3 (so don't EVER download anything unles you are very very rich).
     
  6. If it turns out it's not possible to use 3G abroad on your netbook or it's really expensive, your best bet may be to get a device like a Mifi http://www.three.co.uk/Mobile_Broadband/MiFi on PAYG which has a sim card slot, then buying pre-paid sim cards for the locations you're going to. It's a bit of a hassle, but you'll save a lot of money, and you can re-use the cards another time.
    It's wireless and lets you use up to 5 devices on it at the same time (such as your phone and laptop).
    Out of interest, which browser are you using?
     
  7. Firefox works fine as well. Opera, Chrome and Safari all don't display the RT editing.
    If the bu**ers would just simply check for Is*ddingE rather than IE/Firefox it'd probably work. Compared to the problems with IE, the differences between the other four are tiny.

     
  8. I just checked and can see that too. Weird that it works in Firefox and IE but not Opera, Safari or Chrome. I'll pass it onto their development team.
     
  9. colpee

    colpee Lead commenter

    I'd be cautious of investing in MiFi as you are likely to have problems in many countries (Japan for instance) trying to buy a Sim card. In essence, unless you are rich or on corporate expenses, the mobile world can still be prohibitively expensive for the ordinary traveller to have a permanent personal connection.
     
  10. In the UK, you can simply wander in to any highstreet mobile phone shop and buy a pay-as-you-go broadband USB dongle for around &pound;15, with top-ups being around &pound;10 a time. I don't know about other countries, but your best bet might simply be to buy a new pay-as-you-go dongle when you get to wherever you're going.
     
  11. That said any android phone/handset will tether to your netbook through wifi and accept sims when abroad.
    In the UK Tmobile do unlimted 3G broadband for &pound;20 per 6 months for PAYG customers, not sure if others are as cheap. Eitherway a device that accepts local sim cards and tethers is probably the cheapest option.
    As for phone 3G hardware abroad that is dicey, I believe you will need a multi band phone/device for the regions you are suggesting.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UMTS_networks
    Some nerding will be required...
     
  12. Thanks for the advice everyone, I think some further nerding will be required but it looks like my initial research that it may be prohibatively expensive are not as far off the mark as I may have hoped.



    On the positive side not having 3G on a netbook drops the price by at least &pound;100.



    Someone commented on the battery life of the netbooks, I've found one with a reasonably reliable 10hour life which will realistically offer 7 hours of backing up from a CF card. Given the USB 2.0 transfer rate this should easily last the month or so I'll be out the country if its not to be used for anything else.



    I know there are one or two dedicated devices for photo-backup but they tend to be more expensive than the netbooks, be less reliable, have smaller capacities and surprisingly even lower battery lives.



    ...providing the netbook returns with me in good order I can probably sell it on ebay for almost the same amount as I buy it too :)
     

Share This Page