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Thought this might interest someone:

Until 31 May 09, get the modem dongle for £4.95.
http://www.3dongle4free.co.uk/

More info see Martin Lewis:
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-mobile-broadband#payg

Pay as you go. Top up £10 to get 30-days internet browsing.

It's currently possible to get a PAYG Three dongle for free, paying just a £4.95 postage charge for delivery. Dubiously named yet legit website 3dongle4free has been authorised to offer this deal by Three. It's available to both new and existing customers while stocks last, 1 per household.

To get one, go to the site and fill out the forms, then wait for an email with your login details and a coupon code on it. Return to the site and login, then enter the code on the next page. Take care to click the 'redeem coupon' button, or else you'll pay full price for the dongle.

The Three Network's Pay As You Go package gets you the same service as you'd get on a contract, with the same standard data costs, but you're not obliged to pay every month. Unfortunately, top-ups expire after 30 days, making this less competitive than it could be for infrequent users, but if you get the modem at a good price then it's still a good deal.

QUICK FACTS. Speed: Up to 2.8 Mbps (upgrade due soon) Download Limit: Varies Modem & Connection Fee Included: Connection free, modem bought Technical Support Phone Costs: 4p+ (0870) Additional Usage Costs: £1/mb (£1024/GB) Roaming Costs: £3/6 per mb (except in 3 'like home' areas, which are included) Contract length: N/A

http://www.3dongle4free.co.uk/
 

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Its a great deal, but be aware that link is NOT to a Secure site. You may want to add an "S" to the http, like -

https://www.3dongle4free.co.uk/

This takes you to the Secure pages (padlock in your browser confirms this). You may have to "add an exception" if your Browser objects...thats all ok to do. Best to be safe inputting card details :D
 

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Saw it in moneysavingexpert this morning - ordered one at lunchtime. This site is https when you get to the actual paying for bit.

Weird system -register - they send you a code - then you order.

Will be interested to see the new EU roaming rates after 1 July, but absolutely great for casual use in the UK.
 

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Useful info Addie, but somewhat qualified as you so correctly point out. 8O

I hope everyone reads your comments thoroughly. Sorry to sound negative, but this dongle is not at all suitable for many members. IMHO :?

You quite correctly said, "Unfortunately, top-ups expire after 30 days, making this less competitive than it could be for infrequent users,"

I have a 3 (and wish I hadn't!) but now use a Vodaphone dongle, which is true PAYG, and in two M/H trips totalling a fortnight, I have yet to use two quid's worth.

Your warning should be taken seriously, since I think many of our members could find themselves wasting 7 or 8 pounds every month (they use it) in unused "top up", especially if they only go away for weekends or for a few days per month.

Caveat emptor!!

Dave
 

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RedSonja said:
I Bought one as a spare or for unlocking purposes. At £5 worth a punt for me anyway.
Sonja
Can't disagree there Sonja. :D

I bought mine for £40, and the useless spotty youth (who was actually a very nice lad! :D ) convinced me it really was genuine PAYG.

By the time I found out he was misinformed it was too late to take it back. :evil:

Even at a fiver, if the user loses several pounds of top-up every month it soon becomes uneconomic.

Dave
 

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Zeb

As a mater of interest have you had better signals & more success using Vodaphone compared to "3"??
 

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Telbell said:
Zeb

As a mater of interest have you had better signals & more success using Vodaphone compared to "3"??
Not necessarily better signals Tel, but in poor signal areas the Voda will get a signal, albeit not a strong one, where the 3 just rolls over and gives up altogether.

In strong signal areas I doubt if there's much difference, but there certainly is in a dodgy region. OK, the Voda is very slow in such circumstances (not surprisingly), but at least it does work.

Dave
 

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Thanks for that. My "3" contract terminates soon so I may well go for the payg Vodaphone
 

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Hi All

I have had a '3' dongle for about two years and have now 'binned' it for use in the UK. We travel a lot and it can only be used in very good signal areas - it will only connect to a 3G network and will not connect to GPRS. Another problem is that in high traffic areas, '3' provides a secondary 3G network (search for networks and you may find two '3' '3g' services) which the dongle will default to - this service only supplies the bandwidth left over from the primary network and sometimes you would be quicker to post a letter.

I now use a Vodafone dongle in the UK which seems to have all of the country covered - where you can use a phone, you can use the dongle. The GPRS service in low signal areas is slow but is adequate at about 56KB/secs - at least it is stable and is OK for email etc. Trouble is it is not supported for roaming abroad.

The only advantage with a '3' dongle is for use in Europe where it will connect to a GPRS if necessary and performance in Spain and Portugal, using local networks, is far superior to the 3 network in the UK. The charge of £3.00 for 1Mbyte can be stretched to about 5Mbytes by using 'Onspeed' (www.onspeed.com) which makes it a useable alternative for roaming on the beach.

Cheers, Roger
 

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where you can use a phone, you can use the dongle.
Thanks Roger- I always thought that was the case anyway...until I started using an o2 dongle for occasional use & certainly couldn't get a dongle signal where I could on an o2mobile phone.

I know a while ago there was a lengthy thread on "where do you use your 3 dongle" and on balance there seems to be favourable reports on "3".

More research needed I think-though it seems I may be going for a vodafone later in the year :lol:
 

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Have had a '3' dongle for over a year now.

The great plus for me is that I just forget it until about to set off on a trip, then buy a £10 voucher, which lasts me one month.

Now on 3rd week of a trip to Bonnie (wet) Scotland, and whilst accepting that it is very hit and miss, it is a great fallback, and much cheaper than the C & CC wireless system, which I have used once.

Now happily using the dongle at the Delamere Forest site, and it fairly zooming along.

If it is critical that you go online every day, then forget it - however if going online every few days will do, then I think it good value.

As for Scotland, forget it in the Highlands with 3.

Paul
 

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oldenstar said:
Have had a '3' dongle for over a year now.

The great plus for me is that I just forget it until about to set off on a trip, then buy a £10 voucher, which lasts me one month.

Now on 3rd week of a trip to Bonnie (wet) Scotland, and whilst accepting that it is very hit and miss, it is a great fallback, and much cheaper than the C & CC wireless system, which I have used once.

Now happily using the dongle at the Delamere Forest site, and it fairly zooming along.

If it is critical that you go online every day, then forget it - however if going online every few days will do, then I think it good value.

As for Scotland, forget it in the Highlands with 3.

Paul
Does Braemar count as the 'proper' Highlands? If so, I'm happily using my 3 dongle from the CC site just out of town. Thing is, if you depend on 3's start-up menu to tell you there's a signal in the boonies, forget it. You have to exit their menu, go to network connections and click on 1.3g manually (your dongle's direct connection). I find that if I can get four or five bars on my Orange phone, there is usually a signal strong enough for broadband. You just have to play around a bit. I figured all this out while in Italy with jokey signals. 9/10, I got enough of one to check and send emails.
I'm heading towards Ullapool in a couple of days, will report from there (if possible!)

Regards, Jacquie
 

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JacSprat said:
oldenstar said:
As for Scotland, forget it in the Highlands with 3.

Paul
Does Braemar count as the 'proper' Highlands? If so, I'm happily using my 3 dongle from the CC site just out of town. Thing is, if you depend on 3's start-up menu to tell you there's a signal in the boonies, forget it. You have to exit their menu, go to network connections and click on 1.3g manually (your dongle's direct connection). I find that if I can get four or five bars on my Orange phone, there is usually a signal strong enough for broadband. You just have to play around a bit. I figured all this out while in Italy with jokey signals. 9/10, I got enough of one to check and send emails.
I'm heading towards Ullapool in a couple of days, will report from there (if possible!)

Regards, Jacquie
I have just come back from a visit to the Western Highlands & Skye, where we were generally able to get an internet connection using a 3 dongle, albeit normally only on 2G. A bit like watching paint dry, but usable for email. I'd also been able to use it in Northumberland recently - and in both cases sometimes where my mobile (Tesco) had no signal at all.

The day before we left I received and installed a supposed upgrade to the 3Connect software, to v2.0. When I looked at this software, though, it had removed the option, in Network settings, to select 3G Preferred, rather than the default 3G Only - so in effect removing the ability to drop back to 2G where there is no 3G signal. In their blurb 3 claim they only want users to experience their service at its best - but I suspect that the suggestion in another recent thread on here that it was more to do with changes in their contract to purchase a dropdown 2G service from Orange is closer to the truth. Of course I'd rather use 3G where a signal exists - but if not 2G is surely better than nothing.

What I was able to do - and I assume other users with an older dongle could do likewise - was uninstall the v2.0 3Connect, and reinstall v1.0 from the dongle. I think the update gets "reprompted" every now and again but there is a command to leave it for up to 3 days ("Snooze") which I intend to keep using. Unless anyone can suggest a way of stopping the update prompt altogether?

I understand that newer dongles already have the v2.0 software installed so this will not be an option for everyone, I guess.

I guess that at some point I may have to accept the update - if it is down to 3's contractual arrangements I'm sure they'll make it unavoidable - but I hope this may help anyone else who wants to use a 3 dongle where there's no 3G signal, at least for now.
 

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Can someone help please? Our new 3 dongle arrived today (we thought we'd give this freebie a go whilst we decide what permanent arrangements to make regarding our home wireless supplier, so we aren't looking on this as a permanency). However, I've installed it (I think!) and went to the MY3 to pay for the add-on time and it said it had sent the password to the broadband opening page. Blowed if I can find it -can anyone tell me where it's likely to be? I tried starting again but it just says that an account has already been set up.

Jean
 

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Has it sent you a text? I think mine did, though I seem to remember there were false attempts at the beginning - & I currently can't get on to my3 from a different connection (i.e. not through the dongle) at all now, it says I'm using an invalid phone no to log on with!
 

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hiker said:
Has it sent you a text? I think mine did, though I seem to remember there were false attempts at the beginning - & I currently can't get on to my3 from a different connection (i.e. not through the dongle) at all now, it says I'm using an invalid phone no to log on with!
That's the problem - it says it will text a mobile or, if only mobile broadband (which it is - it isn't a mobile phone) the password will appear on starting - but it doesn't. Or at least it might do if I knew where to look! I think I may have to ring the help number.
 

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Hi

I hope that I'm not getting the wrong end of the sticky stuff, but, in the 3 connection manager there are 5 options at the bottom. Click on the 'envelope' and you will get the 'messages' page.

When I started my account they sent me a message with the password, it is still there, under 'Thank you for registering.......'. You can then change this on your first login.

Sorry if I am being stupid, Roger
 
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