It could be argued that with modern Android phones offering to act as WIFI access points, there is no longer a need for the likes of the THREE WIFI pocket Access points, the successor to “WIFI dongles”.
Mine has been sitting in my case doing nothing for the better part of a year and it is only by chance that I’ve never handed it back. I use my phone as an access point and that generally works well for my laptop and tablet.
But this week, all of that changed. We’re having a week off for the school holidays and my wife Maureen and I are in Cornwall, staying in a little cottage. When we got here, the promised WIFI never padded out.
The building was split in two with the owners in one half and us in the other. The access point was in their half and the walls were just too much for the connection – in addition they have a limited connection and asked that we take it easy – that is just NOT what either of us do as we have so many gadgets that need WIFI for updates, browsing, email, watching video etc.
In addition we had friends with us both of whom spend much of their spare time on the web – such is the modern world.
To make things worse, I’d just installed some cloud software on the phone which wanted to back up all 8,000 photos from the phone to the cloud – not to mention the usual numerous updates of Apps and laptop programs and operating system.
A part-time next-door WIFI was just not going to do it.
My first line of attack was to use my phone as an access point – after all it has 4G and I have an unlimited use contract with 3. Well, that option vanished as I realised I had almost no signal.
It was at this point I realised I still had the dongle-type unit in my bag, a black THREE-based unit able to share a 3G connection with several devices/ people at once. I switched it on and… nothing – months of lying around and the battery was utterly flat – but within 10 minutes of charging it had enough power to run and I was delighted to find FULL SIGNAL.
Unlike phones these gadgets are designed for no other purpose than to take in a 3G signal and re-broadcast as WIFI… and they do it very well, In addition I could stick it in a window for best signal. The unit gave access throughput the tiny cottage without any problems for the week, left charging 24-7 and requiring a reboot only once in the process (most likely due to too many gadgets trying to access it).
If I don’t use this again for a while, the unit has well and truly earned it’s keep. The weather down here has been and continues to be ATTROCIOUS and so we’ve spent slightly more time indoors than we expected. The continuous, high speed, reliable connection has been more than welcome.