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Internet access from a narrowboat.


Marc Hartley
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While the usb dongles are certainly easy to set up, i wouldn't say they are the best solution.

 

If you've got 1 device that needs internet access, and you are in a strong signal area (or don't mind your dongle hanging on a pole in the wind) they are fine.

 

If you've got more than 1 device that would like some internet (we've got 5 laptops and a nokia n95), then your best option is a pcmcia modem (all the major networks will supply these, or you can get them fairly cheap from shops/fleabay). This pcmcia modem can then be plugged into a 3g wireless router (we've got the vodafone one), which will share your internet over a secure wireless connection.

 

Advantages are :

 

You can have a couple of laptops round, and all have a connection.

You can put router on roof (in waterproof bag), and get a connection in bad areas.

You can put router in best position in boat to get a signal.

You can sit anywhere in the boat, and get good internet.

 

Cons are:

 

More expensive than a dongle

More difficult to setup

People will call you a "geek", or question your need for 5 laptops on a boat (which i'm sure will happen!)

 

Hope that's useful :lol:

 

Marc.

 

*edit*

 

Thoughts on laptops with built in 3g modem.... If you've got a very strong signal, they are fine. Also, if you like pitching a tent on your roof in the rain to get internet in bad signal areas, they are also fine :lol:

 

*Further edit*

 

If you see an EDGE connection instead of the usual HSDPA or GPRS connection, then check your mooring ropes, as you've come adrift and are now moored in North America! Tie your ropes up, and call the Guiness Book of Records!! :lol:

Edited by Marc Harris
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hello Mark,1st is VODAFONE IS BEST RANGE TO HAVE

2 ND IT CONNECTS VIA A SMALL MODEM [FOB SIZED] INTO A PORT,NEEDS NO WIRES OR THE LIKE WHATSOEVER,

3RD I HAVE TRAVELLED EVERYWHERE WITH MY LAPTOP AND VODAFONE MODEM AND ALWAYS CONNECTED TO INTERNET WITH NO PROBLEM

4th whats more the vodafone modem right now is free at pc world,all you pay is £15 per month for 3 g modem brilliant offer

HOPE ALL THIS HELPS SOMEWHAT,KIND REGARDS BRIAN

This just shows one person's happiness is another's nightmare. I had nothing but trouble with Vodaphone and ended up contacting the customer service director. I couldn't wait for my contract to end so I could leave.

Sue

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I use a Vodafone 3G dongle on a long USB extension lead - so I can have the laptop inside in the warm, and the 'aerial' running out through the vent and up onto the roof under an upturned plastic bowl.

 

So I get a nice signal and good access without having to sit out in the rain.

 

This, in my opinion, is the major difference between cards that slot into the side of your laptop (or, worse, something built right in) and USB - the flexibility to sit inside a steel tube and still get good reception.

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I use a Vodafone 3G dongle on a long USB extension lead - so I can have the laptop inside in the warm, and the 'aerial' running out through the vent and up onto the roof under an upturned plastic bowl.

 

So I get a nice signal and good access without having to sit out in the rain.

 

This, in my opinion, is the major difference between cards that slot into the side of your laptop (or, worse, something built right in) and USB - the flexibility to sit inside a steel tube and still get good reception.

Excellently put !

 

I don't think our set-up with a dongle would have worked many places if we had laid the dongle immediately beside the laptop.

 

So unless what is built in to a PC is a much more effective "tranceiver" than a USB dongle, I can't see a laptop where the capability is integral working too well inside a steel boat, in too many places.

 

As has been said, with it on a cable, if things get too bad, you can get it outside, waterproofed if needs be....

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Just noticed today that "3" are doing 5gb for £30 per month on a two year contract, but that includes a "free"-ish HP Laptop. I have a 3 modem its the big square one with the green line through the middle, which has the advantage of having an external antenna socket.

 

Lee

 

http://threestore.three.co.uk/broadband/

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*Further edit*

 

If you see an EDGE connection instead of the usual HSDPA or GPRS connection, then check your mooring ropes, as you've come adrift and are now moored in North America! Tie your ropes up, and call the Guiness Book of Records!! :lol:

 

And they'll just laugh at you

 

http://www.orangepartner.com/site/enuk/new...edge_launch.jsp

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/14/o2_edge/

http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/news.pht...t-edge-uk.phtml

Edited by fuzzyduck
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Orange have a free PC plus dongle for £25 per month or just the dongle for £15.

 

There is a limit on download 3Gb, just like every other mobile phone company.

 

http://shop.orange.co.uk/shop/mobile_broadband?WT.svl=202

 

I am also sure that when looking previously (cannot find it now) this dongle was 'EDGE' enabled.

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This is from the Orange T&C's

 

My bold

 

 

Mobile Internet Bundles

 

 

Mobile internet browsing is subject to the monthly limit set out in your service plan terms and conditions. Mobile internet browsing is not to be used for other activities, such as using your handset as a modem, non-Orange internet based streaming services, voice or video over the internet, instant messaging, peer to peer file sharing, non-Orange internet based video. Should you exceed your monthly limit or if such use is detected, notice may be given and Network protection controls may be applied to all services which Orange does not believe constitutes mobile browsing. This may result in, at Orange’s discretion, your inability to purchase the Offer, a reduced speed of transmission, suspension of data browsing services and/or suspension of your account.

 

 

If you need a better connection try putting the 3G dongle sim in a phone as they tend to get better signals.

 

 

You can also get a box to plug the dongle into with network ports & wirless so you can use a dongle like a house internet.

 

Also some dongles have a port for an external ariel.

 

 

Justme

Edited by Justme
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The one advantage of the PCMCIA cards (also called PC Cards) is that some models have an external antenna connector (some having a removable antenna on the connector), so, it you got something like the following and sat it on your roof, you'd get a good signal pretty much anywhere... :lol:

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=290252641719

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This is from the Orange T&C's

 

My bold

 

 

 

 

 

If you need a better connection try putting the 3G dongle sim in a phone as they tend to get better signals.

 

 

You can also get a box to plug the dongle into with network ports & wirless so you can use a dongle like a house internet.

 

Also some dongles have a port for an external ariel.

 

 

Justme

Thanks for that. Who reads the T&Cs? Using a phone as a modem works.

Sue

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Saddly I do.

 

I know I have done it & was going to do so till I found that out (was actualy looking for download limits & speeds using gprs). So went for the 5gb £7.50 special deal with 3G. Signal is a bit weak (but still usable at 1/4mb inside & 1/2mb outside download speed with the standard dongle) where i want to use it most (others have no signal) but will try an external ariel and or using the broadband sim in a mobile as that often boosts reception.

 

 

Justme

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