Monday, August 11, 2008

How to use and share mobile broadband at home

Many people have already invested in a monthly contract for 3G mobile broadband at home or on the road, but the question is how to share that connection?

Typically, home users will need to share an internet connection between more than one PC. The good news is that this is entirely possible with 3G mobile broadband. Many home users are even considering ditching traditional fixed-line broadband altogether, however they require a robust system to share their 3G at home. In fact, for some in remote areas out of range of fixed-line ADSL service, 3G mobile broadband may be the only option if they want broadband.

So, what do you need to share a 3G mobile broadband connection? Well, in simple terms, all you need is a router - but one that can accept a 3G dongle instead of (or in addition to) a wired connection to the fixed-line ADSL service. 3G mobile broadband routers enable you to share your mobile broadband at home, or even to create your own portable hot spot while travelling, at shows, exhibitions, field trips etc.

One such router is the Billion BiPAC 7402GXL. Priced at a reasonable £88 incl VAT RRP, the Billion BiPAC 7402GXL is compatible with Vodafone, T-Mobile, 3, Orange, O2 (dongle not included) - you can check compatibility with your dongle here. Billion have led the market in the development and release of 3G routers and their UK MD Edward Kung has said: "[A 3G router] is the ideal product for the latest boom in 3G broadband – and Billion is enabling consumers to maximise their connection easily and flexibly. The BiPAC 7402GXL is a very useful gadget for home and business users at an unbeatable price!"

Basic setup is relatively straightforward; simply plug your 3G mobile broadband dongle into the USB port on the back of the router, connect you PC (either via and ethernet cable or wirelessly), check the router configuration and that's it; 3G mobile broadband available to your entire suite of PC's.

A word of caution though; just remember your data limit. It is obviously far more difficult to keep an accurate monitor of your data usage if your kids, granny or anyone else in the family has unfettered access. A couple of films downloaded or an episode of Eastenders on the iPlayer will quickly devour your allowance. Use our broadband usage calculator to get an idea of how much data you might need.

Update:

3 Mobile now offer this mobile broadband router designed specifically for sharing 3 Mobile mobile broadband from a single dongle.

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