(UK) Mobile Internet Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by NightFox, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. NightFox macrumors 68000

    NightFox

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #1
    I'm shortly going to be spending quite a bit of time away from home in the UK, so I'm looking at getting a 3G mobile broadband dongle for my MacBook (probably PAYG). I've read lots of problems that people have had getting various Service Providers set up with their Macs, especially as most if not all of these modems seem to require the installation of addition software (yuk!) which seems to lead to a lot of problems in itself.

    So I'm just wondering which mobile broadband service providers people of using with their MacBooks in the UK, and what their experience has been in terms of service and installation/running.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ZunePod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    #2
    You're going to be spending time outside of the UK? You won't be able to use ANY UK 3G Dongle without incurring very high charges.

    If its for the UK though. I'd go with 3
     
  3. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I use T-Mobile and their software for OS X is terrible. I have to use boot camp or Fusion to run the Windows version instead.

    I think the Vodafone PAYG device doesn't come with OS X software at all.
     
  4. NightFox thread starter macrumors 68000

    NightFox

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #4
    I'll just be in the UK. Are you using 3? Any problems with the software?
     
  5. NightFox thread starter macrumors 68000

    NightFox

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #5
    Thanks. Do you mean it doesn't need any software, or it just doesn't work on a Mac?

    Edit: Think I've just answered that myself, looking at the Vodafone web site it has a big red X next to Apple Mac.

    So it looks like it comes down to 3 or O2... I've heard that 3G can be a sod to set up, but I've also heard that the O2 software disables your wireless connections - this information was quite old though so perhaps things have improved? Anyone?
     
  6. ZunePod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    #6
    I'm not using 3, but a friend of mine is on a White MacBook, he needed to do a bit of fiddling he said.
     
  7. iann1982 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    #7
    3 have the best 3G coverage in the country - it really is a no brainer for coverage. I think it's something like 85% of the population, could be higher now.

    I bought the ZTE modem on 3 about a year ago, works perfectly with OSX, the software is all on the device, the only gripe is that it prevents the macbook from sleeping.. no hassle - just yank the usb cable out.

    I'm looking to get a newer one as there's some offers on for 12 months use for £80 including the modem, clearly this is better than the current £10 a month i'm paying..
     
  8. Prenvo macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    Yup, 3 for me too: I use them across the UK and Ireland (3 let you use their mobile broadband in any country they operate: who else is as cool as that?!). Their coverage is awesome: I used BBC iPlayer on my laptop constantly on a four hour journey (by car; on motorways) a few months ago and it only dropped a couple of times.

    Although I use a Windows laptop with their dongles, I'm certain all of their dongles (including the originals) work on OS X and - apparently - their Huawei dongles are easier/nicer on OS X than their ZTE dongles (I'm not sure they even sell ZTE dongles anymore), but then iann1982 didn't seem to have any issues.

    I got a Huawei PAYG dongle from 3 for £20 (usually about £80-100?) during an offer: keep tabs on http://hotukdeals.com incase they're running something similar now.

    Also: the Huawei (and maybe ZTE: iann1982?) dongles act as virtual CD drives when you plug them in, so you can install the software/drivers needed from the dongle itself (no need for additional CDs, etc)

    Hope that helps :)
     
  9. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #9
    I have 3 as it was the cheapest payg provider when I got it. I haven't really had any problems with it and it still seems to be one of the cheapest payg providers. It all depends on how much you are going to use it. If you are going to use it every month for a year it may be better value to get a contract. :)
     

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