You may remember I wrote an article last September about my first impressions of this relativley new mobile broadband technology and was quite impressed.
In May I stumbled across a Three mobile dongle for the special price of £4.95 and thought I would get one for emergencies, holidays etc. However, I didn't expect I'd need it so soon.
The upside of having the dongle is the speed is on a par with my home broadband connection. The downside however for occasional use like this, is that you don't know how much to top it up by. On Three they offer different levels of top-ups. The more you spend the more bandwidth you get. For £10 you get 1GB. For £15 you get 3GB and for £25 you get 7GB. Because I thought the connection would only be down for 7-10 days, I bought a £10 top-up. With Orange not fixing the problem within this time, the 1GB data allowance proved not enough.
Whilst reading some of the Nokia related news feeds I subscribe to, I read an article on nokiAAddict.com about a piece of software called JoikuSpot. JoikuSpot is piece of software for Nokia Smart phones (I have the E71) that allows you to use your phone as a wireless hotspot. As I have a 500MB data allowance on my Orange mobile phone tariff I thought I might as well use some of this data, as I never seem to use all of it every month. As my phone supports HSDPA at 3.6Mbps the same as the dongle, I thought the performance should be about the same.
Below are two speed tests. One from the dongle and one from the phone. Although the dongle is faster in the test, for web browsing the phone was fast enough and allowed for multiple machines to be connected to it easier due to the fact it shows as a wireless access point and there is no connection sharing necessary. The only downsides with the phone is that with the free version of JoikuSpot, you cannot secure the connection. Also, once you've used the 500MB you get with Orange for £5 per month, extra data is charged at £0.98/MB.
3 Mobile Broadband Dongle
Nokia E71 on Orange