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I know I'm going to regret asking the techos this as I suspect it's rather like asking the pope for a few words on original sin!

What exactly is Myfi?

What do I need to get it?

Which one is best for broads use? and...

Roughly how much will it cost me?... oh and...

Where best do I buy it?


Please be gentle with me and only use little words. :)

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hi john,i just use my i-phone,it has a setting to use it as a hotspot,if its not working pat has a galaxy ace 3 which has same facility,friday night t-mobile 3 internet was down and i had to use pats with ee 4g, both are fast enough to run or win a quiz.




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Ok, it seems I need to give a little more information.


Objective.   To run my elderly laptop on my boat whilst not necessarily being in range of someones router.

What I have at the moment.   IBM Thinkpad T23, A Nokia 6303i, that's over 10 years old, running O2 on contract (sim only).


I do not have an i-anything, nor I think does my phone connect to the internet.


Does any of that help?

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I use the same sort of thing as Jonzo, on the Three network. I buy a "disposable" data only SIM card from Amazon which gives 3 months of light use for about £20. I went down this route, rather then the phone tether  because our home mooring is in the notorious internet "black hole" of Horning and you can plug a booster aerial into the MiFi box, which is essential where we are.


The aerial is a Huoshang high gain 4GHz/3GHz 25dBi omni-directional booster antenna, which 

came from Amazon. It has  a TS-9 connector, compatible with the MiFi box.  With it connected, I get a signal in my bit of Horning which is faster than the ASDL broadband we get in E. Kent.


Good luck!

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From my extensive experience of using computers on the Broads (I can't go without one) you can get by using a phone as a hotspot - but they just don't match the speeds of the dedicated units, get hot and drains the battery like there is no tomorrow.


A 'MiFi' unit acts like a mobile - it has a battery and a SIM card in it, but its data throughput (and this is only my opinion) is far faster.  I used Three, and it is a bad day if I have 3G - usually I have the faster HSPDA speeds - this is faster than 3G and theoretically could get you 20 Mbps download speeds. Usually I get between 4 and 6 Mbps depending on location which means you can stream iPlayer without buffering but doing so will eat into your data allowance big time.


I top up with £15.00 of credit, buying me 3GB of data.  Sometimes that can last a week, other times 4 days - depending how much data I use - I tend to route my calls though the O2 'TU Go' app (O2 is appalling where coverage is concerned and forget 3g speeds outside the likes of Norwich and Stalham).  Using TU Go eats data as voice calls are sent over the internet, Spotify also eats into data (music streaming service).


So in my opinion go on Amazon, get a MiFi unit unlocked - Here is a good one for under £40.00 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HQJATOU


At least then you could use any providers SIM card in it, but I would go with Three - bung £15.00 on it and hey presto your boat will now have onboard WiFi you can connect up to 5 devices to with about a 20 metre range - so you could share your internet with friends just give them the password to connect. 


Other than Horning, more so outside the Ferry Inn actually, I don't have much issue with coverage and the boon is pop it in your pocket and take it with you places - you become a mini WiFi hotspot.


For best speeds I connect it to my computer visa the supplied USB cable.  This also charges the device and there is no loss of speed through interference with the WiFi signal.

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" I used Three, and it is a bad day if I have 3G - usually I have the faster HSPDA speeds "

Sorry Robin, you lost me a bit there, but thanks, I followed the rest of it.


I have a Belkin thingy to pick up wifi which I plug into the side of my IBM T23. instead of USB, it uses a thin wide connection, I forget the name. Is that ok? or too slow/old?


I am after e-mail and the forum for the most part plus IMDB, Amazon, e-Bay and You-tube. That's about it really (Youtube usage is very small on the boat, just where forum posts give links) so disregarding YouTube, what level of data usage am I consuming? Ie, the £15 credit on the sim would last me how long continuous use? very roughly... really very roughly indeed? :)

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In very simple terms the ‘MiFi’ unit is very much the same as your home Broadband Router – it has no sockets however. It emits a WiFi radio signal just the same as your home router would, so if your Thinkpad works at home on WiFi it would work on the Boat with the MiFi unit – or the train, sat by the sea you name it.


As to data use, this really is very hard to work out – but let us say an hour programme on iPlayer in Standard Definition used 600Mb of data and you have 3,000Mb (3GB) of available data, you can see you could watch 3 hours of iPlayer and have just about 1.2GB of data left to use.


With normal web browsing – forum, email etc (not video or music) your data will last a lot longer of course – a couple of weeks would be easy to achieve.  However it is like asking how long a piece of string is my usage would be different to yours and yours different to another’s.  I think £15 for 3GB is not the best value considering how cheap home broadband is, but what you get is the ease of getting online as you’re moored at How Hill so it does have its advantages.  


I also have a Vodafone USB dongle for my laptop for backup, but it simply does not get as good as signal as Three, and is very much slower also because fewer people use Three compared to the likes of Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile (EE) and O2 Three’s network capacity has more room and so drop outs and slowing down during peak usage times does not seem to happen.


What is important to know is even if you are very frugal your data will expire after 30 days anyway.  So if you still had 500Mb left that would not roll over.  Now because I am not away all of the time that is ok for me, if however I was going to be on away a lot more often then a Contract may work out better in the long run and I may then be able to get the unit ‘free’ and just pay a monthly fee.

Hope that helps.

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I use a "3" dongle when on the rivers, only in Horning will it not work for me. I agree with Robin that £15 is a bit expensive for 3Gs worth. Mine is PAYG, as only use it on the Broads and at my mates caravan at Haggerston. Also "3" changed their dongle type earlier this year I believe.


cheers Iain.

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