Three mobile broadband

A little while Our Man in Newcastle asked us all to take the pledge not to shout stuff like, ‘hey! I’m blogging from the train station!’ And quite right too. But indulge me. What about: ‘I’m blogging from a moving train!’

Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying out a mobile broadband dongle kindly lent out by those nice guys at 3mobilebuzz, the 3 sponsored website dedicated to getting us talking about 3 and the same people who asked me to try the 3 Skype Phone.

With Wi-Fi everywhere, you might not feel a need to connect to the inevitably slower mobile internet using your laptop. But as Bob Piper recently discovered, Wi-Fi can come expensive. This little USB device currently offers between 1GB and 7GB a month for between £5 and £12.50 per month.

And I have to report it works pretty well. Although, a train trip from Manchester to Preston did push it beyond its limits. It was okay-ish as far as Bolton, but after that pretty ropey. The annoying thing is that it doesn’t tell you when the connection drops or automatically try to reconnect. It needs to much more aggressive here so as to minimise user interventions.

Anyway. Here’s the technical bit. I tried checking my speed using SPEEDTEST.NET. If you run the same test a couple of times the results do vary a fair bit, but it still gives you an idea of the difference between broadband over the mobile phone network and broadband over ADSL. Using my laptop, wirelessly connected to my BT home broadband (signal strength rating ‘excellent’) I’ve got a reading of 5,524kbs downstream and 370kbs upstream. The Three mobile broadband dongle got me 1,166kbs downstream and 338kbs upstream.

Fine for emails and blogging, but wait upto five times longer for that MP3 to download. Great for when you’re on the move.

3 thoughts on “Three mobile broadband

  1. Hi Stephen,

    I guess it depends where you travel, but I use mine on the London->Brighton run and can rarely stay online for more than 10 minutes, the time it takes for us to traverse the ‘good’ areas. On some parts of the journey it’s not even worth bothering. I probably should add that I’m using an eeePC…

    Still, it’s useful enough when I can connect for me to look over those annoyances.

  2. Hi Stephen,

    Like you, I use my dongle on the train but it keeps on dropping out and I need to manually connect. Is there anyway to set to auto connect after a dropout?

    Thanks,

    Amit.

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