Both my partner and I's 24 month mobile contracts are due for renewal in the next few weeks, so we need to sort out the best way forward. If it is new 24 month contracts then I'm anxious that we make the right choice.
We must rely on mobile broadband for our internet connection for our laptop and tablet (no landline broadband access).
My partner has a current Orange phone contract with internet access but that can only be used on her phone.
My current Three phone contract has a tethering add-on that we have been using for our mobile broadband connection at home. So often when I leave home I have to leave my phone behind so that my partner can use the internet with the laptop, which is a bit of an inconvenience for me.
There is a mobile mast nearby and we get an excellent signal for Three which has been great for our home broadband – having said that I'm not sure if my Sony Xperia Arc S phone is actually using standard 3G or Three's “Advanced 3G”. The Orange signal seems to be fairly good, but for the signal quality and the price I think we would like to use Three for our internet access in future - but we could be persuaded otherwise!
I have seen the MiFi type units (with contract) that the phone shops sell that allows up to 10 devices to share a mobile internet connection, and that sounds an attractive alternative to using the tethering option of my phone. However, I quite like the idea of setting up a local WiFi network at home so that we can share files across computers at home, and maybe even add some local media/video streaming later on. Can these MiFi units create such a local WiFi network ?
Even if they can, I'm still attracted by the flexibility of a mobile router instead. I've heard that you can get some kind of SIM-only contract and insert the SIM into the mobile router, but I'm not sure how easy it is to get such a contract or whether it is cost effective. Can anyone advise on how this works, and whether it is available on Three ?
Whether we get mobile broadband from a Mifi unit or a mobile router I'd like to keep our options open for using 4G when it becomes available without having to buy replacement hardware if at all possible.
That would then set us both free to get new phone contracts without the necessity to tether, but I think we would still want tethering to be available on one of our phones as a fall-back internet connection in case the MiFi/router goes faulty. Three's “One Plan” seems to include unlimited tethered data, so that sounds like a good candidate.
Can anyone comment on our proposals, any better or cheaper suggestions or advice etc?