Software solutions for a mobile world

I have posted in the past about travelling in Europe, about comms and about mobile routers. Last year I opened an account with the Spanish provider Yoigo, who were charging €10 a month for 1gb data. Due to my misunderstanding of top-ups, I finished up paying €20 per month for 2gb. I cancelled my contract last September. 

So, I was looking around for options. I considered an Orange contract in Spain, but I didn't really want a contract, as it would be a waste most of the time. 

I knew that Three offered a 'Feel At Home' option on their SIM's, but Spain wasn't in the list of countries covered. That all changed on the 1st April 2015, and Spain was added to the list. 

I went into a Three shop to check that I could buy a PAYG Sim, and use it in Spain as it seemed to good to be true. I was assured I was fine to do this. 

Looking at the options, £20 PAYG Broadband for 3gb seemed a good deal - so I bit the bullet and bought a SIM (this is now £20.49). Before I left, I tried it in my ZTE MF60 Mi-Fi and it worked fine. I also had an old T-Mobile dongle that was unlocked, and it worked fine in that, attached to my Zoom mobile router.

Off I toddled to Menorca, tried it in the Mi-Fi, it connected to Movistar, and off we go. There were one or 2 problems where some devices couldn't connect, but it worked for the Surface and my phone, so I was happy. The dongle in the mobile router seemed to work much better. 

I kept a close eye on the data. Three have a web page that will show you how much data you have left - which is great. Something to watch is that you need to register your credit/debit card in the UK so you can top up abroad. I added £10 to my account, just to make sure I was OK. To get an extra 3gb currently costs £15.

When keeping a close eye on the data, it seemed I was using more data than I should be. There were 4 of us connecting, using a variety of phones, and iPads, but no-one appeared to be doing anything out of the ordinary. 

Then it hit me - so here are a couple of things to beware of to save your data, certainly on Windows Phone. 

I had automatic update of store apps, upload of pictures and podcasts set on, but obviously set to only use Wi-Fi. But obviously the Mi-Fi and router ARE Wi-Fi devices, even though they are using 3g (in may case) or 4g. To save your bandwidth, ensure you turn these options off!

I was also away for 'patch Tuesday', but I had already turned off auto updates, but I missed a trick on the phone auto-uploads.

I was very impressed with the service, coverage, speed and cost of the service. Kudos to Three!

It does beg the question though - why don't the other providers do this????


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