Getting settled in to a new house is as exciting as it is terrifying - and exhausting! One of the most frustrating things can be the lack of internet when you first move in. Not being able to get online to check emails or find important details on the internet can make life really difficult, so it's good to know there are devices to tide you over until your new home is fully connected and beyond.
Create your own mobile broadband hotspot
Mobile broadband devices let you create an internet connection wherever you are. They work by sending and receiving internet data over mobile phone networks; depending on the device and the service in your area, this will be at 3G or 4G speeds.
What's the difference between 3G and 4G?
3G and 4G are mobile communications standards. 4G is newer and faster, meaning that it's better suited for things that involve lots of data - such as streaming movies, uploading and downloading big files or playing online games. For general internet use, checking email and social media, many people will find 3G is fast enough.
Does this cost an arm and a leg?
Mobile broadband devices are, generally speaking, not that expensive, but you will also need to pay for the data you send and receive over the internet.
Like mobile phones, there are a wide range of tariffs and payment types to choose from, from pay-as-you go to pay monthly. pay-as-you-go mobile broadband devices often come pre-loaded with some data included in the price. Unlike pay monthly mobile phones, on mobile broadband, pay monthly options are available which are more flexible, whereby they are on a 1 month rolling basis; this gives you the flexibility of Pay-as-you-go but with the data allowance of a contract.
I only want to connect one device
If you're connecting to a device with a USB port, such as your laptop, you might want to consider a USB dongle. These are often slightly cheaper than mobile wireless hubs and ideal for just one device. The downside is that many of them only work at 3G speeds.
If you're using a device that has built-in 3G or 4G and accepts a SIM card, you can get data based SIM cards in both pay-as-you-go and pay monthly versions. This is probably the best and cheapest option for this type of device.
The rest of my family want to get online too
If you need to connect with more than one device, you should look for a mobile WiFi device, also known as a MiFi. These will create a Wi-Fi signal you can all connect to and get online, on some products you can connect up to 10 devices. These come in 3G and 4G versions, but we would recommend choosing a 4G model if several people will be online at once.
What do I do after I've got connected at home?
Your mobile broadband device doesn't have to end its life there. These devices are ideal for ensuring you can get online wherever you are. Some devices also allow you to stay connected when on holiday at home and abroad, without having to suffer the dreaded roaming or hotel WiFi costs.
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