Free Your Data With 3G Technology

There are still many locations where it’s either impossible to get landline broadband or at least to get a decent connection speed. So what’s the alternative?

Image courtesy of Yoskov

Image courtesy of Yoskov

Using 3G Broadband

There are alternatives such as satellite broadband, but these tend to be expensive and need specialist equipment installed. A more convenient and simpler solution is to use the 3G mobile phone network. In its early days mobile broadband could be frustrating as speeds were slow and coverage was patchy, meaning you’d suffer regular drop outs. These days, however, coverage is much improved and most service providers offer speeds up to 10 Mbits/sec, which will be faster than ADSL in many areas that don’t yet have fibre.

In order to connect to 3G broadband you’ll need a receiver, usually referred to as a dongle and a SIM card. You’ll then need a data plan that determines how much you can download each month. Visit the website of a service provider to see whether coverage is available in your area and what plans are on offer. There’s often an online calculator that will help you decide how much data you need each month. Plans start from around 5GB each month and you’ll generally pay a higher monthly fee the more data you need. Prices are lower than you might think, though and are competitive with ADSL packages.

Spreading the Love

The disadvantage of using a dongle to connect to the internet is that it only gives you access on one computer. You can use the PC itself to share this, but it’s inconvenient as it means if the machine with the dongle is switched off, other machines in your home or office won’t be able to get online.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to this in the form of 3G routers. These work in the same way as conventional ADSL or cable routers, receiving the broadband signal and then broadcasting it via Wi-Fi so that all of your PCs and other devices such as tablets and ebook readers can access it.

There are plenty of companies in existence that can offer 3G solutions for many purposes. This includes situations where you need a network or access to IP surveillance cameras in a remote location, you need a fall back in the event of ADSL failure, or you need access on a temporary site and can’t afford to wait for ADSL or cable to be installed.

[author ] Ian Barker is a freelance technology journalist and has written this article on behalf of[/author]

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