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3 Homefi not mi-fi


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As we prepare for our new (to us) boat I am looking at on board wi-fi.  As we hope not to spend too much time at our home in NI I was considering cancelling our BT broadband and line rental.  The wife and I have mobiles with lots of data so was going to replace the broad band with a 3 homefi with a large data allowance for when we are home and taking it on the boat when cruising using the onboard 240v via inverter.

The alternative is to get a 3 mi-fi, again with a large data allowance.

What are the esteemed members view on the above and am I missing something obvious?

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I have poor broadband at home so use my EE contract via a 4g ‘ house’ router ... I have been with EE for a while and got a decent 64gb for 18 quid. I can take this with me but if I do I have no internet at home and I have a few devices that enable me to keep an eye on the cottage while away. So I also have a 3 phone with 30gb tether limit and unlimited data on the phone. See my other posts about my LG phone not registering its tethered data ! I use this on the boat ..... still would like fibre at home though !!

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Hi,

how do I work out how much data I need, and how best to get it on a boat.

I don't have a smart phone. So I assume I can ignore "tethering" whatever that is.

I was thinking about an external aerial so the modem thngy [myfi]  can sit inside out of the weather, they are not waterproof.

I have a laptop and will buy a tablet, so I can listen to music on headphones in stereo.

I expect to use the net for six hours per day. no downloading of films.

Budget for tablet is £200, not sure what bluetooth is, I just want stereo earphones.

Budget for dongles etc £100

Monthly cost budget £40pcm

Edited by LadyG
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10 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Hi,

how do I work out how much data I need, and how best to get it on a boat.

I don't have a smart phone. So I assume I can ignore "tethering" whatever that is.

I was thinking about an external aerial so the modem thngy [myfi]  can sit inside out of the weather, they are not waterproof.

I have a laptop and will buy a tablet, so I can listen to music on headphones in stereo.

I expect to use the net for six hours per day. no downloading of films.

Budget for tablet is £200, not sure what bluetooth is, I just want stereo earphones.

Budget for dongles etc £100

Monthly cost budget £40pcm

In general, mobile broadband is charged by the quantity of data transferred (either way) and connection time is 'free'. Hence it does not matter how long you are connected but it does matter what you do with the internet. As is the way of things, the quantities increase over time, just because web site providers are always seeking to increase the user experience.

You dismiss having a smart phone. In practice, there will soon be little else (although a new concept will no doubt come along to make today's smart phone a commonplace). We find that with the current Three tethering limit and with at least three devices regularly connected, we keep within the monthly limit - although we are rarely on board for a full month at a time, our usage levels are consistent with that. We do make quite extensive use of the internet and I don't think that at home we use much more, except that we are less cautious about watching YouTube links. Downloading or streaming music does not seem to use excessive bandwidth.

We do not have an external aerial and only occasionally do we have an issue - just place the phone near to a window and only rarely does it matter which side of the boat the window is on.

I would only consider anything more expensive than our current solution if we were permanently on board and our lives (or livelihoods) depended on greater data transfers.

 

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1 hour ago, Dartagnan said:

As we prepare for our new (to us) boat I am looking at on board wi-fi.  As we hope not to spend too much time at our home in NI I was considering cancelling our BT broadband and line rental.  The wife and I have mobiles with lots of data so was going to replace the broad band with a 3 homefi with a large data allowance for when we are home and taking it on the boat when cruising using the onboard 240v via inverter.

The alternative is to get a 3 mi-fi, again with a large data allowance.

What are the esteemed members view on the above and am I missing something obvious?

2 smart phones 4s and 6s with good allowances on 2 different networks EE and BT and tethering (via personal hotspot) has kept us happy for business use for 4 years+ I suspect NO use for streaming though but not tried it

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16 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

 

You dismiss having a smart phone. In practice, there will soon be little else (although a new concept will no doubt come along to make today's smart phone a commonplace). We find that with the current Three tethering limit and with at least three devices regularly connected, we keep within the monthly limit - although we are rarely on board for a full month at a time, our usage levels are consistent with that. We do make quite extensive use of the internet and I don't think that at home we use much more, except that we are less cautious about watching YouTube links. Downloading or streaming music does not seem to use excessive bandwidth.

 

I am very fond of my pocket sized button operated Samsung phone, its the third one I have had in ten years it has been through the washing machine and still works pretty well,  its a phone, and I pay about £10 per year for top ups. A replacement is difficult to find at a reasonable price [ie £20], for some reason Samsung ration the manufacture of them.

I could get a smartphone, but it seems a bit silly if all I want is a tablet so I can play bridge and watch the racing, and I'd rather spend more money on a "better" tablet.

I also watch youtube and browse a bit, and have a few emails.

Edited by LadyG
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2 hours ago, Dartagnan said:

As we prepare for our new (to us) boat I am looking at on board wi-fi.  As we hope not to spend too much time at our home in NI I was considering cancelling our BT broadband and line rental.  The wife and I have mobiles with lots of data so was going to replace the broad band with a 3 homefi with a large data allowance for when we are home and taking it on the boat when cruising using the onboard 240v via inverter.

The alternative is to get a 3 mi-fi, again with a large data allowance.

What are the esteemed members view on the above and am I missing something obvious?

We did exactly this, replacing our home broadband with a mini wifi router from EE which we take from home to the boat. 64GB for £30.00 per month, so about the same monthly cost. Can't see any deals quite this good at the moment, though. We have, on occasion, exceeded the 64GB, but are being a bit more careful about that, now.

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We have just bought a 3 Homefi router.  The best deals seem to be available only from a 3 shop, and not offered online.  For a monthly contract its £60 for the router and £30 per month for 100Gb.  The 12 month contract is £30 per month for 100Gb with no charge for the router.

When in use on the boat, the router can be powered direct from 12V, to save using the inverter.  We have an external aerial with two connections into the back of the router, and have seen speeds in excess of 50Mb.

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6 minutes ago, Boredrider said:

We have just bought a 3 Homefi router.  The best deals seem to be available only from a 3 shop, and not offered online.  For a monthly contract its £60 for the router and £30 per month for 100Gb.  The 12 month contract is £30 per month for 100Gb with no charge for the router.

When in use on the boat, the router can be powered direct from 12V, to save using the inverter.  We have an external aerial with two connections into the back of the router, and have seen speeds in excess of 50Mb.

Thanks - that's good to know. Perhaps I'll get a decent deal from EE (I like the coverage) when it's time to renew?

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I am interested in the answers for different reasons, but have trouble with the actual hardware items that are needed and their terminology'.

I think I understand 'cell-phone' and 'modem' - but what is a 'tether' - is it it a special cable ? - and what does it plug into each end ?

and what is a mi-fi ?

I appreciate I can research the internet but since these are items for a boat - is there a ready made package  - what is in it ? or does Dartagnan have to buy bits and pieces of equipment to build his own system. 

 

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I kinda did it the other way around to Dartagnan, I was using only mobile data at home and away but then I saw a good broadband deal and was tempted, but my broadband speeds are crap so I'm considering going back to mobile when my contract ends. 

LadyG asked 

1 hour ago, LadyG said:

how do I work out how much data I need, and how best to get it on a boat.

If you have broadband at home you can call your internet service provider and ask them how must data you use - I just tried this with mine to make sure and they told me my average daily usage over the time I've had the contract, and how to get it? I use an unlocked Huawei E5577 but the 3 Homefi mentioned above is a Huawei Mobile Wi-fi Router B315, both of these things can be found on Amazon along with lots of info and reviews. Happy hunting.

Nokia have just reissued the 3310 - back by popular demand, so I don't think a lack of non smart phones are going to be a problem just yet :wub:.

Edited by Tumshie
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2 hours ago, Dartagnan said:

As we prepare for our new (to us) boat I am looking at on board wi-fi.  As we hope not to spend too much time at our home in NI I was considering cancelling our BT broadband and line rental.  The wife and I have mobiles with lots of data so was going to replace the broad band with a 3 homefi with a large data allowance for when we are home and taking it on the boat when cruising using the onboard 240v via inverter.

The alternative is to get a 3 mi-fi, again with a large data allowance.

What are the esteemed members view on the above and am I missing something obvious?

If I had better 3 coverage where I live I would go for this option. Have you considered just bringing the sim card with you and putting it in an unlocked MiFi when you are on the boat, that can be powered by a USB feed. I have not tried this so can't say if it would work, but it is something I would try.

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37 minutes ago, Horace42 said:

what is a 'tether' - is it it a special cable ? - and what does it plug into each end ?

It’s using your smartphone as a ‘hot spot’. It then becomes a WiFi hub to which other devices connect (via WiFi of course) with no cables. The smartphone makes the data connection and the other devices connect to the smartphone. 

39 minutes ago, Horace42 said:

what is a mi-fi ?

It’s a little box (smaller than a fag packet) that is fitted with a data sim which operates as a wireless hub.  It creates a data connection to the network and then other devices connect to it via WiFi (just like using a phone as a hotspot when tethering). 

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36 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

I kinda did it the other way around to Dartagnan, I was using only mobile data at home and away but then I saw a good broadband deal and was tempted, but my broadband speeds are crap so I'm considering going back to mobile when my contract ends. 

LadyG asked 

If you have broadband at home you can call your internet service provider and ask them how must data you use - I just tried this with mine to make sure and they told me my average daily usage over the time I've had the contract, and how to get it? I use an unlocked Huawei E5577 but the 3 Homefi mentioned above is a Huawei Mobile Wi-fi Router B315, both of these things can be found on Amazon along with lots of info and reviews. Happy hunting.

Nokia have just reissued the 3310 - back by popular demand, so I don't think a lack of non smart phones are going to be a problem just yet :wub:.

ty,

I have unlimited use from BT, and am currently doing a lot more research than I would do normally,  so not going to help much, other than guessing its half my current use.

My Samsung is flip top, fits in any pocket, lasts for weeks with no charging issues, and it costs nothing pcm. I will never give it up.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Samsung-GT-E1270-Flip-Phone-Clamshell-Unlocked-Black/382014370991?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

 

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7 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I have unlimited use from BT, and am currently doing a lot more research than I would do normally,  so not going to help much, other than guessing its half my current use.

 

Me too. But at least you know you won't need more that that. Plus now that I have broadband I watch boat tubers on youtube which I didn't do before. I soon forget about internet when I'm out and about so unless you need it for work you could start with a smaller data pack and then increase it as you need. I could easily get by on a data only sim of 15gb a month if I wasn't doing any thing data heavy but if I wanted to be using data at a similar rate to the broadband at home I would need 64gb. I think that a mobile phone company will give you a better deal if you want to up you data limit.

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Thank you all for the info and suggestions.

I didn’t realise that you could power the Home-fi router via 12v so that’s even better.  So the 3 Home fi route it is.  The 100GB data deal is not available in all areas e.g London.  In those areas I believe you are limited to 40GB.  Fortunately I live in NI so I suspect the 100GB will be available.  I may also buy the mi-fi and swap the SIM card between the two for comparison purposes.

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Different networks have different levels of coverage around the country, so for example in one location 3 may be best, in another EE or O2.

If you are going to be predominately in one location, it may be prudent to see which network works best there before deciding on a network.

That said EE is reckoned to have the best national coverage, followed by 3,  with O2 and Vodafone bringing up the rear. If you intend to cover a wide area, it may be prudent to use two SIM cards, each on a different network. 

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35 minutes ago, cuthound said:

That said EE is reckoned to have the best national coverage, followed by 3,  with O2 and Vodafone bringing up the rear. If you intend to cover a wide area, it may be prudent to use two SIM cards, each on a different network. 

 I was getting carried away a little.  I have EE and the wife has 3 so I think I will now keep it that way.  I hope to do some extended cruising round the system so hopefully we will get a signal between the two of us lol.

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8 hours ago, WotEver said:

 

It’s a little box (smaller than a fag packet) that is fitted with a data sim which operates as a wireless hub.  It creates a data connection to the network and then other devices connect to it via WiFi (just like using a phone as a hotspot when tethering). 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Vodafone-4g-Mobile-WiFi-R216-Android-Huawei-Smartphone-Apple/1041236605?iid=292330636072

Capture.JPG

Edited by ditchcrawler
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9 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

If I had better 3 coverage where I live I would go for this option. Have you considered just bringing the sim card with you and putting it in an unlocked MiFi when you are on the boat, that can be powered by a USB feed. I have not tried this so can't say if it would work, but it is something I would try.

That’s what I’m doing right now. Although I’m also looking at the Three Huawei Router which has my old EE sim in it, plugged into a 12v socket.

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I use a 3 MiFi like the one pictured in post 19.  I've found the coverage pretty good and in problematical areas I just attach it to a cabin shaft with an elastic band!

It costs £9 pm for 20 gig.  An added bonus is that we can watch unlimited Netflix with the "Go Binge" option  at no extra charge.

Just checked the download speed and it's a very respectable 25Mb/s.  It's not always as fast as this, but it never drops more than 10Mb/s.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Be careful  - the types of Huawei Mi-Fis that are branded as R216 have Voidafone's own software which can't be unlocked unless you join Voda for at least a month. It's the same case and hardware as the E5573, so folks list them on eBay as the same - they aren't. I'm not convinced that Voda's modifications are as efficient as the proprietary one. AFAIK you can't reflash them with the Huawei code. That's why they're cheap to buy.

The home 'router with a sim'  to my mind is daft, they're a lot more expensive than the MiFis and don't have an aerial socket. Great for home use as you can distribute the connection via Cat5 cable - but who needs more wires on a boat? 

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7 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

 

The home 'router with a sim'  to my mind is daft, they're a lot more expensive than the MiFis and don't have an aerial socket. Great for home use as you can distribute the connection via Cat5 cable - but who needs more wires on a boat? 

In my case where I spend 6 months at home and 6 on the boat I would use the Home router at home and take the sim to the boat to use in a Mifi. At the moment I pay BT for 12 months Broadband as well as paying 3 for 12 months. I just need them to put a transmitter nearer my house. The spec says it does support an aerial by the way

Capture.JPG

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13 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

The home 'router with a sim'  to my mind is daft, they're a lot more expensive than the MiFis and don't have an aerial socket. Great for home use as you can distribute the connection via Cat5 cable - but who needs more wires on a boat? 

The Homefi is free with a 12 month contract, and £60 with a monthly contract - about the same cost as a mifi from 3.

The Homefi has two aerial sockets.

I can't see what is "daft" about any of it!

 

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1 hour ago, OldGoat said:

The home 'router with a sim'  to my mind is daft, they're a lot more expensive than the MiFis and don't have an aerial socket. Great for home use as you can distribute the connection via Cat5 cable - but who needs more wires on a boat? 

The Three Home router, HomeFi, I've got, was free with a 12 month contract or £60 with a monthly contract. It has 2 aerial sockets, and is currently plugged into the 12v supply on the boat.

100Gb per month for £30 - what's not to like?

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