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ribs99
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Our first trip in our caravan over the August bank holday was great. The only thing letting it down was the lack of Internet Connectivity.

 

I'm self employed and my business requires that I have an Internet connection all the time in case of a problem, over the bank holiday weekend I struggled to get a good connection on my Vodafone phone and the parks (paid for) internet wasn't much better.

 

This got me thinking about a better solution and after doing some research yesterday I ordered the following from Amazon:

 

  • Huawei E5372 4G SIM Free Mi-fi device
  • 3G Outdoor Mobile Broadband External Antenna
  • EE 4G 2GB Pay As You Go Mobile Broadband
  • Three Mobile Broadband Ready to Go 1GB Preloaded Data

 

For those not familar with tecnology the Huawei box is a bit like your home router it's just you put a SIM card in, you can then share that internet connection with up to 10 devices. The outdoor Antenna is self expanatory so I'll see how that goes. The Huawei box is unlocked meaning I can use any network I choose which is why I have ordered two SIMs from different providers.

 

We're going away in October so I'll report my findings once I've had a good play and tested it all.

 

The only downside to the pay as you go data sims is they expire after 30 days regardless of how much data is left. The good thing is that the 30 day counter doesn't start until you activate it so you could purchase a few and keep them until they're required.

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You'll still need to check network coverage maps in relationship to the sites you go to.

 

Three network Huawei 3G dongle using HSPA+ positioned in the caravan sunroof and using a USB extension cable to the laptop works well enough in those areas with signal, for which Three network is best. You can buy 30day 1GB or 90day 3GB sim cards - cheapest ordered from internet suppliers. Nothing else is needed in most cases but that's only broadband, not voice.

 

For your new set-up the outdoor aerial needs to be up very high, eg a flagpole or carbon fishing rod as height is your friend when it comes to signal.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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You'll still need to check network coverage maps in relationship to the sites you go to.

 

Three network Huawei 3G dongle using HSPA+ positioned in the caravan sunroof and using a USB extension cable to the laptop works well enough in those areas with signal, for which Three network is best. You can buy 30day 1GB or 90day 3GB sim cards - cheapest ordered from internet suppliers. Nothing else is needed in most cases but that's only broadband, not voice.

 

For your new set-up the outdoor aerial needs to be up very high, eg a flagpole or carbon fishing rod as height is your friend when it comes to signal.

 

I've never used any other provider other than Vodafone which is why I purchased a Three and EE data sim so I could try both.

 

I considered a simple dongle but it does mean it's tied to a single device and if the signal isn't that great then there isn't much you can do about it.

 

I did see this: http://www. towsure. com/product/CaravanCamping_AirerTV_Mast_Support_Stand which looks like a good starting point for mounting the aerial.

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I've never used any other provider other than Vodafone which is why I purchased a Three and EE data sim so I could try both.

 

I considered a simple dongle but it does mean it's tied to a single device and if the signal isn't that great then there isn't much you can do about it.

 

I did see this: http://www. towsure. com/product/CaravanCamping_AirerTV_Mast_Support_Stand which looks like a good starting point for mounting the aerial.

The reality of DTV, mobile phone and mobile broadband signals is that the further you go from large conurbations the more chance you have of no signal at all - most providers give reasonable coverage near the main transport routes, even through remote areas but there's many places where going a mile or two off the route to a site loses the signal altogether.

 

The phone providers boast of reaching 80% of the UK soon - but they mean population, not area, so there will always be big areas of the UK with no coverage - often the best scenic areas!

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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The phone providers boast of reaching 80% of the UK soon - but they mean population, not area, so there will always be big areas of the UK with no coverage - often the best scenic areas!

 

I agree but I'm not expecting brilliant coverage everywhere just more predicatable. As an example I've checked the coverage for Vodafone, o2, EE and Three in the area we stayed over the bank holiday weekend and all have good 3G coverage except Vodafone. :rolleyes: None have 4G coverage.

 

I'm not looking for superfast connectivity just some reliable connectivity.

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Our first trip in our caravan over the August bank holday was great. The only thing letting it down was the lack of Internet Connectivity.

 

I'm self employed and my business requires that I have an Internet connection all the time in case of a problem, over the bank holiday weekend I struggled to get a good connection on my Vodafone phone and the parks (paid for) internet wasn't much better.

 

This got me thinking about a better solution and after doing some research yesterday I ordered the following from Amazon:

 

 

  • Huawei E5372 4G SIM Free Mi-fi device
  • 3G Outdoor Mobile Broadband External Antenna
  • EE 4G 2GB Pay As You Go Mobile Broadband
  • Three Mobile Broadband Ready to Go 1GB Preloaded Data

For those not familar with tecnology the Huawei box is a bit like your home router it's just you put a SIM card in, you can then share that internet connection with up to 10 devices. The outdoor Antenna is self expanatory so I'll see how that goes. The Huawei box is unlocked meaning I can use any network I choose which is why I have ordered two SIMs from different providers.

 

We're going away in October so I'll report my findings once I've had a good play and tested it all.

 

The only downside to the pay as you go data sims is they expire after 30 days regardless of how much data is left. The good thing is that the 30 day counter doesn't start until you activate it so you could purchase a few and keep them until they're required.

90 day EE sims are available here

 

http://www. amazon. co. uk/6GB-Pay-Mobile-Broadband-Combi-White/dp/B00FSDAMT8

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Have you considered Tooway ? It uses a satellite dish so if you can point the dish in the right direction you'll get a connection, and starts at around £15pm for 2Gb data (and IIRC speeds of about 20Mbit). I'm not sure what the minimum contract term is or the price of the kit etc but I do have a friend that uses it at home as he can't get a mobile signal and ADSL speeds are 512k.

It's quite simple to set a dish up as I take a small digital kit with me in our caravan for areas where terrestrial signals are bad, and it usually takes me about 15mins to set up, and I believe the Tooway kit is just as easy to set up on the move.

 

(I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just remembered that a friend uses it, and now I'm wondering for myself too!)

Edited by fatgit
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Thanks for that, I did look for these but there was some confusion about the amount time it lasted. This one does seem to last for 90 days though.

Have you considered Tooway ? It uses a satellite dish so if you can point the dish in the right direction you'll get a connection, and starts at around £15pm for 2Gb data (and IIRC speeds of about 20Mbit). I'm not sure what the minimum contract term is or the price of the kit etc but I do have a friend that uses it at home as he can't get a mobile signal and ADSL speeds are 512k.

It's quite simple to set a dish up as I take a small digital kit with me in our caravan for areas where terrestrial signals are bad, and it usually takes me about 15mins to set up, and I believe the Tooway kit is just as easy to set up on the move.

 

(I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just remembered that a friend uses it, and now I'm wondering for myself too!)

 

Thanks but that's a bit overkill as we'll only get away a maximum of 6 times a year and most of these will be long weekends.

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If you know where you are going have a look at sitefinder. ofcom. org. uk, enter the place or a postcode and it will show you a map with blue 'lollipop' markers of the surrounding masts. Single click on the marker and it will bring up a box showing you who is on the site and whether they are 2G or 3G - you'll be surprised how many rural sites do not have 3G!

 

The other option is to buy a reasonable but inexpensive unlocked smartphone most of which can operate as a wi-fi access point to your laptop. Huawei are quite good at the price, and if you buy from CPW or a 3 shop the phone should be unlocked (or in the case of 3 they will unlock it for you free of charge.)

 

Otherwise find a McDonalds, although their free and unlimited wi-fi is run by O2 who require your mother's maiden name, inside leg measurement etc before you get on. Mind you once you have registered it does remember you for any O2 wi-fi hotspot.

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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Combi SIM? Not a pure data SIm so if you're using the combi for data only, EE will spot this and block the sim. Combi's fine for a smart phone or similar where you're using it for calls, texts etc. . At least this is what EE told me when I questioned the data usage part.

 

Or have I misunderstood what "combi" means? If it is data usage only, then I've seen some other 6GB 90 day deals.

Edited by Pebble

2019 Adria Adora Thames

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I think the "combi sim" refers to the full size sim having a removable micro sim inside it? So it will fit more phones with one sim.

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I think the "combi sim" refers to the full size sim having a removable micro sim inside it? So it will fit more phones with one sim.

 

It sure does, just received my EE combi SIM and you can punch it out to a full size or Micro SIM. The Three SIM I received yesterday was not a combi SIM and therefore only usable in a full size SIM socket (although you could cut it out with scissors if required)

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Me my wife and my daughter were all on Vodafone, I'm fed up with paying for "3g" and not getting it unless we're are in a city. ... A friend of mine who changed over to EE has always got 3g sometimes 4g. My wife's contract run out on Vodafone so I changed her over to EE, and she loves it. Mine and my daughters doesn't run out till next year :( when we're away in the van 9 times out of 10 I have to tether on my wife's phone for internet. ... Can't wait to change to EE. I know we're live in the fens and signal in this area isn't good, but I'm fed up with paying for something that I can't get. ..

Citroen ds4 2. 0 hdi 163bhp Lunar Venus 500 2012.

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my experience of EE and THree in the Dales is that although both can be obtained in 3G mode most of the time where we are, the EE 3G is at least twice as slow as the Three 3G, probably slower. From what I can work out it seems EE are using some of their 2G frequencies for 3G transmissions.

Mike

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I am at Scarborough cc site at west Ayton at the moment and using my Huawei mifi on 3 sim. It is working really well and shows H+ signal. Ihave a monthly rolling contract which gives me 10 gb a month for £15 . I can connect up to 5 different things to it. I would recommend this set up to anyone. I think that 3mobile network is 1 of the best.

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If you are in an area with poor mobile phone coverage/connection then you won't get good internet reception no matter what or how much you throw at it.

The only solution would be a satellite connection and that is pretty pricey to say the least.

Most Caravan Club and Camping & Caravan Club sites offer decent coverage so if it is important to you I would plan your visits around sites that have connection - their fees are now very competitive and good value.

On other sites where you have decent coverage (check your service prividers coverage first) then just turn your phone into a hot spot and connect from there.

We have been doing that now with our iphone and ipad for several years.

Hyundai Santa Fe Premium SE 2015 with Lunar Clubman si 2011

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If you are in an area with poor mobile phone coverage/connection then you won't get good internet reception no matter what or how much you throw at it.

 

On other sites where you have decent coverage (check your service prividers coverage first) then just turn your phone into a hot spot and connect from there.

We have been doing that now with our iphone and ipad for several years.

I think the point several of us are making is that the Huawei mifi units seem to be much better at picking up a borderline 3G signal than our iphones or ipads so by 'throwing' £50 at the problem you may find you can indeed get good internet reception.

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tested out the Huawei E5372 this weekend and it worked great, haven't used the external ariel yet as it wasn't needed because the 3G signal on Three was fine without it.

 

Everyone was using the connection and it worked flawlessly until the mother-in-law tried to download an IOS update to her iPhone and used up all the bandwidth :angry:

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We're on ee but my Samsung galaxy often can't get a signal when my daughter gets a good signal and good 3 and 4g with her iPhone and my wife gets a reasonable signal with her htc sensation.

I'm due for a new phone in December and can't make my mind up on whether to stay with Samsung or go iPhone 5, don't really want the iPhone 6 as I want to keep my costs as they are at around £7. 50 a month for both internet and calls.

 

I do like my galaxy and I'm reluctant to change as I don't know how good the new Samsungs are at getting a signal

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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We're on ee but my Samsung galaxy often can't get a signal when my daughter gets a good signal and good 3 and 4g with her iPhone and my wife gets a reasonable signal with her htc sensation.

I'm due for a new phone in December and can't make my mind up on whether to stay with Samsung or go iPhone 5, don't really want the iPhone 6 as I want to keep my costs as they are at around £7. 50 a month for both internet and calls.

 

I do like my galaxy and I'm reluctant to change as I don't know how good the new Samsungs are at getting a signal

 

Paul, You don't mention which Galaxy you are on but I have an S3 (old in tooth!) on EE and I cannot remember ever having poor reception in the 2 years I have had it. On occasion in the van I have had a better signal than my mifi on 3 and have used the S3 to connect wifi only Pad.

Just wondering if it's your phone?

Tested out the Huawei E5372 this weekend and it worked great, haven't used the external ariel yet as it wasn't needed because the 3G signal on Three was fine without it.

 

Everyone was using the connection and it worked flawlessly until the mother-in-law tried to download an IOS update to her iPhone and used up all the bandwidth :angry:

 

Yep I have the 5372 and works really well but doesn't show anything on connection-type other than 3g or 4g. So, for example in Norfolk last month I was pulling in 20+mbps and it still only shows '3g' not H+ or whatever which the older models did.

Sam :beardy:

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