Its a good job that I like trying to solve problems....because I seem to do a lot of it. Latest problem...find a cheaper alternative to my father's current broadband setup. His current ADSL connection is only running at 800kbps due to the old copper phone lines on his street. It also disconnects regularly due to interference on the line. He is a very light internet user so data caps and limits are not a concern...but I'd like him to have enough allowance to download security and operating system updates to his PC without concern. This sounds like an easy enough problem to solve....except for the conditions.
1) No software or drivers must be required on his PC..because it runs Ubuntu and attempting to troubleshoot Linux is my idea of hell. So an Ethernet connection is required.
2) It should 'just work' - requiring no additional connection steps by the user.
3) Avoid using his old rusty crackling phone lines.
Well, luckily for me, Three Mobile stores in the UK have recently started selling the ZTE MF10 home 3G Wifi and Ethernet router. This was the piece of the puzzle that enables me to slot all the other pieces into place. So in theory I can now use 3G Broadband in the home, in the same way that a normal wired ADSL connection was used previously.
So the question is, does is work and is it as simple to set up as just plugging all the pieces together and turning it on? Watch my short demonstration video to find out.
....If you've seen the clip above, you'll see that it does work and it works well. Of course all this relies upon having a good strong 3G signal. Assuming that you do, and your usage falls within the limits there are some other reasons why you might want to go down this route rather than the traditional wired alternative.
Firstly there is no need for a monthly telephone line rental, you could disconnect your phone entirely. There is no 'installation fee' there is no need to wait in all day for an engineer to turn up in a van. You can relocate it in seconds (within the UK) and you aren't tied into long agreements....etc etc.
Now of course prices could go up in the future, but they could also go down. However I think it's more likely that as the average user consumes more and more data per month, the low data user will benefit from cheaper costs per GB.
Anyway, I hope this has given you something to think about. I still need my 50 meg connection. But for those people who just want to stay connected at a low cost and with minimal fuss, this seems like a good option.