How to survive without your traditional Internet for weeks:
Well it has been nearly five weeks since I moved home and tried to get an internet connection sorted.
Why such a large delay? Well I blame it on BT who go and blame the late arrival of Mr engineer on the feral underclass that blighted our UK city centres a few weeks ago….I still struggle to see how a South Yorkshire BT engineer is affected by London’s, Birmingham’s and Manchester’s social problems but what do I know.
So how did I survive and still manage to bring you such amazing articles without the internet at hand?
Simple. Initially one amazing feature of my new Samsung Galaxy S2 and secondly my Partners second hand iPhone I gave her…and what did I do with these clever little devices?…Tethering baby!
Using my Samsung S2:
For the Samsung I downloaded a great application called PdaNet which while in trial mode (14 days) allowed me full access to the internet using my o2 data allowance.
Using an Apple iMac I simply set up the device to run via USB tether and once installed on both my mac and Samsung I simply connect and enjoy amazingly fast speeds (actually faster than my new copper wire that arrived today.
What did happen however was that on the 14th day I was unable to login to my bank as usual. Perplexed as to why as I knew my data allowance was still ok’ish, it took me a while to realise that using the USB method stopped the PdaNet application gaining access to https:// sites, so I could not login to other secure sites to do important work…drat!…Solution?
I was able to take advantage of another great feature of the Samsung S2 and simply go to “settings” – “wireless and network” – “tethering and portable hotspots” – “portable Wi-Fi-hotspot settings” – “portable Wi-Fi hotspot”. This allowed my device to become a internet breathing connection that offered the same speeds as my tethered up application….great
Using my partners iPhone:
Using the iPhone you simply go to settings and set the phone to tether, and then being on an iMac its as easy as picking the new portable internet device…no messing at all.
You never realise how much data you use until it costs a premium, I was running at around 500mb minimum a day, and this was me being a lot more careful. So one issue I had was that I simply had to keep buying more data up until the point where I had maxxed out my extra data options in the “bolt on” area of o2 and was left option-less for the last six days.
How did the articles keep a coming then?
iPhone and T-mobile to the rescue, thanks to my partners much better value SIM only deal from T-mobile, I was able to wait until she got home from her work to use her phone which offered “unlimited” data (until it said she had used 80% of her fair use policy)
How can carriers still get away with saying “unlimited” when it is nowhere near such a thing, perhaps a 1-2 GB allowance at most?
So anyway this is how I have managed to stay in touch, keep writing articles and almost carry on as usual without a traditional landline/modem connection.
Though one interesting area came to my attention while I was tethering away, especially in the early days of being without a connection, and that was wow! This mobile data is fantastic; fast, simple to connect, and no wonder o2 did not want to offer me much more data as it would seriously make me wonder about their internet service they wanted to sell and obviously anyone else’s.
They must be all in this together as I keep going on about how things will change once a company offers excellent data packages for mobile devices. Then it is Skype, Fring, Gmail chat, social networks and browsing the Internet all the way and sod off to the old carriers who have robbed us blind for so long!
But for now I have to say a bit of a thank you to o2, I feel you should offer me more data when I offer to pay for it and not when it suits you, but you saved my ass for a while and in all honesty the service was just as fast as my new copper connection.
I did waste £3 on a 1 hour BT openzone connection when all else had failed in the last few days and I desperately needed to send some emails from home during the day, but please be warned, do not go for this unless you are getting huge bars, mine looked OK but my connection was actually slower than my “limited” o2 service that had been restricted after all the data was used….essentially it was utterly useless.
BT you suck big time and have for many many years.Anthony Munns