Following on from our post onOrange, in our series on broadband providers, we’re going to take a look at O2 Mobile Broadband, which last month, we decided to purchase a …
How it works.
Essentially, the exact same way in which mobile broadband works on your mobile phone – over the 3G network, in fact when O2 sold us the mobile broadband dongle, they even provided us with a SIM card with its own mobile phone number.
3G Mobile Broadband, as you will know from using the Internet on your smart-phone, is not the fastest connection – its good, but it just is not as good as the wired broadband you get at your home, or place of work – so keeping this in mind, our expectations were fairly low.
But O2 Mobile Broadband is good!
We were actually blown away by the speed at which the pages load and render – and even pages that were quite large in size and contained lots of images, rendered at speeds comparable to those on a wired connection.
- Images seem to be downloaded at inferior quality – and appear to be compressed by the software installed by the dongle, which we suspect is largely the reason for the quick download speeds – which a lot of the time would not be a problem, but for those times where you want to download a quality image, or even just see one, you have to settle for image quality that is a little bit rubbish.
- Connectivity – it is, at first, fantastic – connectivity is pretty much everywhere we tend to go – however in some area’s it can suddenly become weak, causing the connection to be lost, just at that moment when you most need it. This can be a little bit annoying.
There are two pricing options, a contract option (from £10.20 per month), and a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) option (which costs about £21 for the dongle, and you just top up the data when you need it). We opted for PAYG, partly because we did not want to sign up for yet another contract, and also because we believe our use of it to be quite minimal, since we have a wired connection too.
To sum up
O2 Mobile Broadband is good; in fact we would give it 7/10. Yes – it does have a couple of problems, but these will only be improved over time (we hope).
Coping with images that are rendered not quite so well as you would like is a small price to pay for having broadband on your computer/laptop anywhere you go, and for most people’s use, it won’t even be a glitch on the radar!
We would recommend O2 Mobile Broadband – for those of you who use the Internet for simple applications – like searching for information, checking emails, etc., but for those of you who want the latest experience, packed with graphics, it does have a little way to go yet.