Getting an o2 dongle had never really felt like something I would ever need to buy, as I always have had internet provided by a big name internet provider in my house so that I can receive broadband. However, as of recently my contract ended and I knew I'd be moving flat in 2 months so the point in starting a new contract up and paying cancellation fees just didn't seem like an option. This is when the idea of a dongle seemed like the best idea and having my phone with o2 I wanted the dongle with them too as I think they provide a good service.
With the o2 dongles, you can get them in a range of colours, in either pink, black or white which makes it just a little bit more fun. I decided to go for the pink one but they are very compact and easy to use and look just like a usb pen drive. The SIM card to activate it slots in and has a mobile number with it to register you and the blue light appears on the end and flashes which is when you know it is connected right and is working fine. It doesn't stick out too much and you don't even notice it is there really.
To start with, I asked the woman in the shop to install my SIM card as I wasn't sure how to do it, it does seem odd that your dongle is given a mobile number but this does make sense to give it an ID of some sort. Also, when using this I used to have a network usb to give me internet signal but with this I didn't need that anymore as this is like a 2 in 1 device. There are many plus sides to using a dongle but as I've experience while writing this at times the connection can go very slow, however out of the whole time I've had it this is the first time this has happened.
Now, to start using this once your SIM is inserted, you just put in the USB stick to one of the ports and it will start to install drivers automatically then it is ready to go. You will have the connection manager open up which is how you know all of your information. This shows you how much data you've used and all of your account information. It is handy for keeping track of useage as you will be told when you are nearly over your monthly allowance as well as it automatically carrying on from the last time.
Another thing good about the dongle is that if you run over your allowance you can buy 1gb more but it is about £8. I have a business dongle so get 2gb a month which is very basic and is mainly good for emails etc but you cannot wait films or anything with it or your 2gb will go quick. I do find it ok but I used to use the internet for music etc so am finding myself very limited. I am monitoring my MB useage but it seems to get used up so quick which is frustrating.
You can get a monthly contract or pay as you go. Monthly ties you down for about 2 years and is cheaper but pay as you go you just pay £10 for the dongle and then £15 a month which is the most and you can cancel this at anytime also. The dongle seems to connect very easily, at first it kept connecting to the wrong connection but now as soon as my laptop starts up, it seems to connect within under 5 minutes and you are online and the connection seems reliable.
Whe you first use the dongle it doesn't take long before you are up and running. I think these are mostly for people who are on the go and want to check emails etc but I do think I'll be glad to get my unlimited broadband back as I hate constantly watching the MB's I can't go on Skype or anything like that anymore. The dongle is good if you need internet quick and I will keep hold of it but at £18 a month with VAT for 2 gb it just seems quite a lot when I used to pay that a month almost for unlimited broadband.
In terms of downloads when I was downloading music it was still going at about 300kb a minute which isn't really that bad so it isn't the slowest dongle in the world.
The dongle like I said has a £10 charge if you go for the rolling contract on pay as you go. However, to choose your tariff you're best to go instore as they can recommend it best to suit your needs as some tariffs go up to £30 and seem quite pricey for what you are getting. Just make sure you understand it all before buying as I had numerous sales people trying to con me into these whereas o2 their own shop sat down and went through it all very clearly.
The official o2 website is http://www.o2.co.uk
I bought this dongle as one of my current contracts is with o2. I was told by virgin media that they didn't know when my broadband service would be resumed, so I knew I couldn't live without internet so I bought this little did I know the internet was working the next day which was rather annoying although I did get this in a sale so all was good! I have never had any problems with o2, and am proud to recommend anyone.
The modem itself is just like any other pen drive, plugs into a USB port and provides your laptop or desktop mobile broadband. On the black model o2 is in silver on the top part of the stick, and there is a light at the bottom to tell you it's connected which is a bonus as you don't need to look for the application on your computer.
The modem comes with 16 MB storage which is pretty rubbish, although there is a slot for a micro SD card which you can use to store anything you like and can carry it around without fear of forgetting it as you will need the modem for internet.
The modem is very durable consider the amount of usage it gets, in and out of bags, and in and out of the laptop, there is very little marks on the modem, and the USB is still intact which is good considering the use it has been getting and bumps while stuck in the laptop.
O2 has always had great coverage, and will continue to provide excellent coverage to all of its customers nationwide, I must say thought that there are some black spots where the data connection can be really slow. No matter which type of modem you take whether it be pay monthly or pay as you go, you get unlimited access to BT Openzone networks, and other hotspots across the whole United Kingdom.
I got this at in a sale for only £19.99 which is nearly half of the RRP, this is considerably good, due to the service you receive plus I was given 2 GB of free wireless internet.
I would highly recommend this device to students, and people who work away from their desks ie change location a lot with train travel etc, you will get high speed access on a reliable network which you can trust.
As our home broadband was only out for the one day, I gave the modem to my son as he likes to go on his laptop at break and lunch or in his free periods, the school allows this, also if he is doing a class project where you have to research information. The dongle gets put to good use which is great for all.
Thanks for reading! I hope this has been of interest to you and has helped assist you in your decision.
My laptop and the internet need to be very accessible at all times so that I can work while away from my desk. I do have broadband access at home and the office but I do travel quite a bit and this is when getting internet access can be a real pain. I don't like using wifi hotspots because I always think it isn't secure as it is basically a public access thing and anyone can use it. This is why a mobile broadband was the perfect solution for me.
Mobile broadband is essentially a modem USB that is used to get an internet connection. This means there is no reliance on having to find a hotspot to get a connection. This makes mobile broadband really good for students and those who travel a lot. It is portable and convenient so you can connect virtually anywhere you can find a signal. There are no landlines so this would be good in particular for students. It can be used as back up for when the home internet is down. The speed of mobile broadband is not as good as home broadband but this may change in the new future with the advancement of technology.
There are many companies that provide mobile broadband such as O2, orange, 3 mobile, t-mobile ect. Generally all the telecommunications companies have mobile broadband. I chose O2 because I had home broadband with them and I had no problems with service or connection whist with them. They offer either pay as you go or pay monthly broadband and I opted for the monthly broadband because I know that I will use it regularly. The pay as you go broadband is better for those who will only use it when they really need it ie when away from home and there are no wifi spots.
The pay monthly plans available depend on the allowance and the higher the allowance the more expensive the plan. They have 1GB and 3GB allowance for those on the 18 month contract and 500mb, 1GB and 2GB for the 1 month rolling contract. You get 3 months free when taking the 18 month contract and the USB modem comes free whereas with the 1 month contract there is a £10.20 one off fee. I have the 18 month contract as it is cheaper over the long term and I know I will make full use out of it.
I have the 3GB version which cost £15.32 per month. I did look at other deals as well and I found that this is the standard price and I couldn't find anything cheaper. This is a pretty decent price and anyway mobile broadband is going to be more expensive than home broadband. There is a reduction in the home broadband if you buy the mobile broadband to only £5 per month so this makes it quite a good deal if you have their home broadband. There is a choice of either a white or black USB modem.
It does say that the modem works on both Microsoft and Mac OS. The modem instillation is very simple and is just basically following the steps and its simply plugs and connects after. I have as yet not had any problems with the connection and I have managed to get connection everywhere I have been. If I am out and about I am in rural places 80% of the time and I am only in a built up town when at home. I probably spend 2-3 hours on the internet for 2-3 days. I haven't as yet exceeded my allowance but I have made good use of it so it has worked out well.
Overall this is a great mobile broadband with good speed, connection, service and value.
I run my own business and am a self-confessed work-a-holic! So whilst most my work is from home when I'm not home I still needed (or rather wanted!) a way to access the internet when not at home. I have an O2 mobile for years and have had no complaints with them and so the obvious choice for me was a O2 as a mobile broadband provider.
There is a pay monthly range in which case the dongle is free, however I chose pay and go since I wouldn't be using it all the time. For this option the dongle is £20.42 but if you buy it with data it comes with:
* 1GB to use over three months and unlimited wifi for £30.64
* 2GB to use over one month and unlimited wifi for £35.74
The dongle itself comes in three colours black, white or pink. In the box you get the modem, a quick start guide, terms and conditions and a sim card - the assistants in the store put the sim card in the modem for me.
Installation is surprisingly simple, all you need to do is plug the modem into your computer and all the drivers are on the modem already and so install themselves automatically. Connection is automatic once it has been installed, you can also set it up to automatically connect to your home broadband when in range and so you can keep the software running without worrying about using up usage.
The modem also has a micro SD slot allowing you to use it as a memory stick to transfer files between computers or simply just to save specific files on as a back up.
I personally live in an area with good O2 strength and so have had no connection problems and haven't had any problems with signal loss or being disconnected at random times. On the one occasion it did disconnect me I was on a train going through the middle of nowhere, however as soon as I was back in range it automatically reconnected itself with no hassle and no prompting from me.
Topping up can get expensive depending on how much you want to download, the options are:
* £2.04 for 200MB and unlimited Wifi to use over 24hours
* £10.21 for 1GB and unlimited Wifi to use over 30 days
* £15.32 for 2GB and unlimited Wifi to use over 30days
Wifi not only includes your home broadband but also BTOpenzone available countrywide.
Overall I would highly recommend this broadband, its not only cheap if not used to download to much but does exactly what its supposed to and is very easy to set up
I've had my little internet dongle from o2 on pay as you go for almost 2 years now, and after getting over a few niggles to start with its been worth the money and has been more reliable than you would think.
I really needed internet at a new flat i had moved into but when i called round all the internet providers they wanted to tie me into a contract of 18months minimum and then i would have to pay a connection fee and then with the cost of the phone line and internet it would have worked out costing me more than £30 a month! and all i wanted was to be able to check my emails! it was just not worth it.
A mobile modem was my only option. I did a lot of research around the different mobile companies to see what their tariffs were, how much the dongle was on pay as you go or contract and o2 topped the lot! I was already with o2 for my mobile and knew them to be a very reliable company that has always provided excellent customer service so i thought why not.
Another reason I decided on o2 was because they where the only company that would give a refund if I found it not to work in my area. I thought it was terrible when I went into a Three store and they told me they would check my postcode for signal strength before I bought one but once bought they would not refund it even if when I got it home I could not get signal! this really appalled me and put me off there option completely.
The dongle is quite a bit bigger than you would first think as its about double the size of your average USB memory stick but its still not bulky and is a good size and weight to carry about with you. The outer casing is a strong shiny white plastic with a silver stripe running around the sides. It has a little lid that clicks on tightly over the USB part that you slot into your lap top. There is a light on the side that changes between constant or flashing green, blue and turquoise depending on your signal strength when plugged in.
When I first picked mine up in store it came in a box about the same size as a CD case but about an inch thick. Inside the box is an instruction booklet and an extra USB cable thingy (i never used this, the guy in the o2 shop said it can help improve your signal but the you don't really need it so it s kind of a waist really)
To get it started the idea is you just plug it in to your laptop, it installs itself automatically then when you click on your browser icon it should take you directly to the o2 site to top up so you can go online. This sounds great but in my case this is not what happened! it just would not work, a little O2 connection manager window would open up but that's it. It was really frustrating as i could not get to the page to top up so it would not work, so very frustrating.
Thankfully o2s excellent customer service came to the rescue and i was up and running within a week. This sounds like a long time but i had to take my laptop along with my dongle into store where the tech guys messed about with it for about an hour till it was up and running.
From then on it was fine, they saved the top up site to me bookmarks so i could get to it from then on if it did not load automatically when i ran out of credit. (the one in the booklet was wrong) Also each dongle comes with its own mobile number, this is printed on the side of the box. It is a good idea to save this too your contacts on your mobile as you will need this number every time you top up.
As for signal mine was always fine, its obviously not as fast as broadband but it is not noticeably slow when you are using it apart from at peak times of use. I live in Sheffield city centre and it was always fine. Also to make pages load quickly when you are online by loading the images at low quality. Most of the time this is fine but if you are doing online shopping and want to get a good look at something it can be really annoying as you want to see the detail. You can get round this by reloading the pictures again or individually but this just takes more time so is rather time consuming.
Over all this is a good buy and a well made little piece. O2 is definitely the best provider for these for customer service and price. I usually topped up £15 for 30 days which was the most cost effective option, I think this has gone down in the last 8 months since i stopped using mine. You can top up for 24hrs or 7 days also. Although you are given these time periods your credit can run out sooner if you down load a lot of stuff or watch a lots of you tube videos for example it can run out really fast, but this only happened to me once.
I would recommend this mobile modem and O2. If you need internet out and about its great and for students who dont want to sign up for a long contract at one address this dongle is a really good option.
I use to have my mobile broadband through 3 but when I moved address I couldn't pick up any signal so I bought the O2 Pay As You Go Dongle in till I had sky fitted.
They came in Pink or White when I purchased my dongle and it was on offer for £10!
It's £2 for 1 day, £10 for 7 days and £15 for 30 days.
The dongle is so easy to use, you just need to follow the screens to install when you first use it.
When you plug the dongle in it gives you a box which advises what networks can be picked up, so it doesn't just look for O2, but it will automatically connect to O2 if there is signal.
The opening screen shows how much usage you have left so you are always aware, and there is a link to click on if you wish to make payment by card for more usage.
The only problem I have experienced is sometimes the O2 screen will show a good signal but will keep on coming up with an error message saying 'unable to connect'. What I normally do it move the dongle to the usb port on the other side of my laptop and it works!!
I think it is ideal for people who use the internet for general browsing but if you are into downloading your movies etc then i think this would not be quick enough for you.
The o2 broadband dongle is a device in which you plug into your pc/laptop/mac via a usb port. You can purchase alot of different ones which 02 produce, and they range from £10 to £30 depending on the; memory, downloading space and browsing time.
I myself have a £30 dongle which i purchased for £20 in a sale :)
The dongle is very good and if you dont want to get a landline for any reason, this would be the way to go. The setup is very easy input your dongle and it searches for connections you connect to o2, you tp your dongle up how for how ever many days you wish and away you go. This is the same for every other use of the dongle, its just plug, search and browse. Once you are connected to the internet you are free to do whatever you wish no websites are fobidden by o2 or anything like that. The speed is superb, this does depend on where you are however o2 have alot of masts in the most areas which are used to transmit a signal. Once you have used all of you days online you must top up to access the internet again, this is very easy to do, due to the exceptional friendlyness of the interface.
So i ended up buying the mobile broadband becuase it was on offer at my local o2 shop. It was half price and i got it for £10, i do have a laptop and thought for £10 why not?
This is the pay and go version and that i like very much, just because i dont use it all the time and i thought that if i go on contract il just be paying for something i dont use.
The device itself is very easy to use and to set up. You just plug it into the laptop and then it installs itself. Alot easier than if you had to use a cd. Wants its installed the o2 connection manager will come up and it will auto connect to the o2 netowrk. You can then click buy access in the bottom right hand corner of the connection manager. This connection manager makes things very easy to use beacuse you can see all the wifi hot spots available in your area and you can also view how much data you have left.
There are there top ups to buy, £2 for the day (500mb), £7.50 for the week (1gb) or £15 for the month (3gb). If you have any data left after the day, week or month is up this does not roll over, which isnt fantastic!
The spped of the modem is good and i have never really experienced any problems with it. I would advise everyone to get their reception checked if they are using it in the house.
One thing i like about it aswell is that you can stick a memory card init and use it as a pendrive too.
Overall a great product that gives you a lot of flexibility and a great price.
Due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to persuade BT to supply me with a standard home phone line and am unable to receive any form of broadband through the 'Pay & Call' line that they would allow, but I still wanted to be able to access the internet. So I spent a little while looking through my options and decided that Pay As You Go mobile broadband through O2 was the best solution. In order to access the mobile broadband I had to purchase a suitable modem and this, the E160 was on sale in Phones 4 U at a pretty reasonable price of £24.99 (it's also available free on the pay monthly option).
For under £25 I received a fairly small box containing the modem itself, a USB lead, quick start guide, terms and conditions and SIM card. I was surprised that there was no driver disc or user manual but soon discovered that both are on the actual modem and that drivers are automatically installed as soon as the modem is plugged into the computer's USB port. But I'm getting ahead of myself, the instructions in the quick start guide were easy to follow, and the only preparation needed was to fit the SIM card into the modem which was a little fiddly, but no harder than it would have been to place it in a phone. As soon as the SIM was in place all that was needed was to plug the modem into the USB port and the drivers and O2 connection manager were installed automatically. Installation took a matter of minutes and connection occurred a few minutes after that. I will say that the system resources required for this modem to work are quite high (1GB RAM) and this does mean that older computer systems may struggle, but it works just fine on mine as long as I don't have too many other programs running.
Although the modem looks fairly smart and modern, I do think it's quite large and I don't like simply plugging it into the front of the computer, but lucky enough the supplied USB lead allows me to place it on my computer desk where it is far more unobtrusive. This 'extension' lead also allows me to try and improve signal strength, not that I really need to where I live. Talking of reception, this modem works using the O2 mobile network and as such if you get a poor O2 signal then you won't get a very fast or consistent connection. I actual get a signal that ranges from 'good' to 'excellent' but is normally reported as 'very good'. This means that I get a reasonably stable connection with an available bandwidth of up to 3.6MB. This is not the fastest connection possible, and I occasionally lose connection, but I'm satisfied as I'm really only using the internet for browsing and downloading the occasional utility.
As well as being a modem the E160 is able to house a Micro SD card, and this means that as well as being simple to use to connect any computer to the internet it can also be used to transfer files between different computers.
While being satisfied with the E160's performance, I was a little put out that it didn't come with any free access, but topping the account up is a fairly simple exercise, as long as you have access to a credit or debit card. I also occasionally find the signal drops at inconvenient times, but overall this is a good option for those, who like me, find themselves without any other means of accessing the internet. It is simplicity itself to install, does what it's supposed to and has allowed me to once more keep in touch with my friends across the globe. Of course how well it works for you will depend on a number of factors, such as mobile signal strength and how much downloading you want to do. But I'm quite happy to recommend this modem and as such I'm giving it four stars out of five.