There was a time when PC Laptops and PC Notebooks were the preserve of businessmen on the move. Compared to traditional desktop PCs, they cost an absolute fortune the price gap was closing year on year and now, you can get powerful laptops for similar prices to desktops.
At home, wireless routers meant you could move around the house and keep your internet access without the need of wires. Its quite liberating for anyone who works at home to do so lying on the sofa in front of the TV.
However, outside the house and abroad has still been an issue. Wifi hotspots have been popping up all over the place but compared to home broadband costs, its not cheaper. I’ve paid as much for 24 hours access in a hotel as I pay for a month at home. In fact, the availability of free WiFi is becoming more of an issue when people chose their hotels. The Radisson chain are one of the few major chains that offer this service.
Over the weekend, I think I found a good alternative. 3G USB dongles have been around for a while and I finally got round to buying one at the weekend from T-Mobile. It cost £18.99 on a Pay As You Go plan and included £10 credit. The thing I liked with the tariff is that it is unlimited usage (subject to fair use) and is price at £2 a day, £7 a week or £15 a month. This is far better than having to pay an amount per Megabyte (which is usually 1,000Kb, not 1,024Kb).
The big advantage comes when travelling abroad. I’m going to South Africa during the World Cup so all I need to do is get the USB Dongle unlocked (costs around £10) so I can use any providers SIM card and then I’ll pop a South African SIM card in while I’m over there allowing me to us the internet at local rates. At present, roaming rates for data usage are outrageous and you have to be mad or a lottery winner to use data services when you are aboard. The 3G USB dongle is a great solution and I wish I’d bought one a long time ago.