Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

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Simon_100
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Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by Simon_100 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:28 am

Hello boys and girls,

Sorry but this is probably a dumb question from an old git who isn’t very ‘connected’ – I’m database man myself!

I’m up shit creek at my cottage in the Spanish Pyrenees as the mobile network provider, Orange, has dropped 4G cover after it being perfect for over five years! I need constant but light access to internet, no films, media, games, etc. although I do like to listen in to BBC radio while I’m working …

Orange has a plan called ‘4G en Casa’ which uses the cell network and SIM card in a Wifi hub which is portable enough for me to lug it down to my tiny apartment in the city of Tarragona, where until now I have my study, and obviously the system works there. But as of Christmas we’re living up here more or less full time and over the coming months that where my study will be, hence the shit creek.

I’ve learned that Orange has its own network, the other two being Vodaphone and Moviestar, a sub-group of the ‘national’ telecommunications firm Telefónica. As well as having phone accounts with Orange, which I don’t like much as the phone cover has gone down in quality too so me and Mrs S are always getting fed up as we can’t hear each other when we call, I also have a pay-as-you-go with Lebara, which I have in my reliable Nokia ‘dumb’ phone and use for emergencies and travelling, which is Lebara’s speciality. With that plan it’s voice only but I don’t have to top it up unless I use the phone, sometimes months at a time in winter.

Lebara has a lot of plans that would work for me and it’s hooked up with Vodaphone’s network which, to be fair, says that 4G has a ‘gap’ in cover next to my village so I bought a 3Gig plan for a few Euros to try it out in my Nokia 3, which I can also use as a mobile hotspot using the data on my Orange phone account. So, in goes the Lebara SIM into the spare slot and … no ‘wifi’ for the Macbook. But the apps on Nokia 3 works perfectly with the Lebara SIM, unlike the Orange and this is sending me to the outer edges of my understanding, so: Does a mobile need 4G to run apps? If it’s using 4G to run the apps why isn’t the wifi hotspot work – both the 4G en Casa and the Orange SIM in the Nokia still function, albeit in ‘bursts’ of a few minutes up to a quarter of an hour! – so what’s going on with the Vodaphone?

There is also the option of trying a Moviestar plan, either in house or a pay-as-you-go type. Their map claims to have 4G but from experience in other contexts I’m not sure, and my patience with this is running thin …

As well as wanting some idea of what is going on I also have to think of a long-term ‘strategy’ as to where do I go from here, based on the ‘life’ decision to live here all the time (it’s been a holiday home for thirty years!) My ‘work’ involved writing, which is mostly off-line of course but I do need to have access to reference materials e.g. Wikipedia, press articles, etc. and some quite heavy duty mapping, especially as I0m the Linesman for the Spain TET of course, hence my question here, which involves being online on Wikilock and other mapping applications such as Plotaroute and being able to toggle between these and Basecamp on the Macbook – I’ll be moving my big monitor up here soon, searching on satellite views, etc. for tiny TET trails on the 9” screen is no joke and my eyes aren’t what they once were! – and I can’t do this is busy cafes with wifi spots, which would also involve a 40 kms round trip in any event – I’ve been there already before Orange came up with ots 4G en Casa product.

so one option if I’m dependent on a mobile machine is to get a tablet, iPad, etc. and slowly ‘migrate’ over to that from the Macbook. But I really have to idea about tablets and what they are capable of. My intuition would be to get a Mac, I’ve been looking at the iPad, not the ‘pro’ versions, and even that’s at the very furthest extent of my budget, or with Android devices, or just sticking with the Nokia. But with all options I don’t understand how I can transfer data between the two devices and also how it’s possible to ‘toggle’ between them while I’m working.

Part of the problem is a need to ‘see’ how things work and the nearest Mac Store is day trip away, in Andorra, and I’m a bit reluctant to ask too much of the local PC shop about the Android option as I’m already stretching favours a bit there. So can anyone help explain to me how it all fits together.

Big thanks folks.
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by oriolporcar » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:56 am

Hi Simon,
Simon_100 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:28 am
So, in goes the Lebara SIM into the spare slot and … no ‘wifi’ for the Macbook. But the apps on Nokia 3 works perfectly with the Lebara SIM, unlike the Orange and this is sending me to the outer edges of my understanding, so: Does a mobile need 4G to run apps? If it’s using 4G to run the apps why isn’t the wifi hotspot work – both the 4G en Casa and the Orange SIM in the Nokia still function, albeit in ‘bursts’ of a few minutes up to a quarter of an hour! – so what’s going on with the Vodaphone?
Apps do not need a specific connection to work, either 3G/4G/Wifi will do the trick (unless its a specific connection app, that is).
Is the Wifi hub from Vodafone? If it is, it is probably locked so only Vodafone SIMs will work. You cannot test the Lebara SIM on it.
I guess your Nokia 3 is an unlocked device? If it is, we can use it to test the different 3g/4g connections provided by Orange and Lebara following these tests:
Could you try to set your Nokia 3 phone with the Lebara SIM as a "Wifi hot spot", connect to the wifi you just created with your Macbook, and see if you experience the same connection bursts as with the 4G en Casa Hub?
Could you also repeat the experiment with the Orange SIM on your Nokia 3, and see which connection is best?
How to set up a wifi Hot Spot on Android: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/ho ... -hot-spot/
Simon_100 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:28 am
so one option if I’m dependent on a mobile machine is to get a tablet, iPad, etc. and slowly ‘migrate’ over to that from the Macbook. But I really have to idea about tablets and what they are capable of. My intuition would be to get a Mac, I’ve been looking at the iPad, not the ‘pro’ versions, and even that’s at the very furthest extent of my budget, or with Android devices, or just sticking with the Nokia. But with all options I don’t understand how I can transfer data between the two devices and also how it’s possible to ‘toggle’ between them while I’m working.
For proper working tasks, tablets or phones cannot replace a laptop/desktop computer. Since you are already into Apple, a Mac laptop should be your best bet (and expensive one).
Sharing files should be done over the Cloud, either Google Drive, Apple's iCloud or Dropbox. The problem with Apple is that they also want you to have the whole package, making it easier to pair Apple laptop with iPhones for sharing files. It is not impossible to share files from your Mac to your Android devices using Google Drive or Dropbox, it's just not that convenient. For Andoid devices, Google Drive is the best embedded solution. And if you don't mind Apple, a normal Windows laptop should do the trick.

Regards.
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by webmonstro » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:53 am

Hi
Just get a 3G/4G unlocked hotspot/router, if you don't know what is a good one check a wifi forum or go to a computer store and explain the issue
Then get a pay per use sim card from each provider
Then just swap cards until you find the best provider and get a good contract on that one
You will spend a bit a money up front but then in the future if that provider goes bust, or losses coverage in your area, you can just swap the sim card and keep the equipment !
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by Simon_100 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:51 pm

Thanks guys, quite a bit to digest there. I have set the Lebara SIM to be the default data slot so that should be the one with the Wifi. The Nokia is free but with Lebara I'm getting nothing while when I was using the Orange SIM I was getting the same'bursts' as the Orange Flybox.

I've since found a plan that uses Moviestar that is as good for my use as Lebara so the next stage is to test the coverage . So down to the local PC store to beg, steal borrow or in the last resort buy a plan to test it.

I could try asking a neighbour but I'm likely to get the 'Que?' response! :)

Simple life in the country!

Simon
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by Simon_100 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:09 pm

oriolporcar wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:56 am

Could you try to set your Nokia 3 phone with the Lebara SIM as a "Wifi hot spot", connect to the wifi you just created with your Macbook, and see if you experience the same connection bursts as with the 4G en Casa Hub?
Could you also repeat the experiment with the Orange SIM on your Nokia 3, and see which connection is best?
How to set up a wifi Hot Spot on Android: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/ho ... -hot-spot/
Thanks oriol, I've just checked and the portable hotspot is recognising my Mac. I set yp te hotspot with the Orage SIM and now have the Lebara as the default data SIM slot, i.e. slot 2. [/quote]
oriolporcar wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:56 am

For proper working tasks, tablets or phones cannot replace a laptop/desktop computer. Since you are already into Apple, a Mac laptop should be your best bet (and expensive one).
Sharing files should be done over the Cloud, either Google Drive, Apple's iCloud or Dropbox. The problem with Apple is that they also want you to have the whole package, making it easier to pair Apple laptop with iPhones for sharing files. It is not impossible to share files from your Mac to your Android devices using Google Drive or Dropbox, it's just not that convenient. For Andoid devices, Google Drive is the best embedded solution. And if you don't mind Apple, a normal Windows laptop should do the trick.

Regards.
I'm inclined to agree with you and being dependent on the Cloud just begs the question of nt having internet access in the first place. I'm a lifetime Mac user - sijc ethe late '80s! - but not a fan of the The Apple Empire or the Cloud ... :)
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by padowan.si » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:29 pm

Have you thought about a satellite broadband connection into your property? Is not dependent on any mobile phone network, and once connected to a suitable wireless router, will give you wifi access for mobile phones, PCs, macs, anything.

I've got a friend who also lives in Spain in the middle of nowhere (near Cervera) and I'm sure that's how he got reliable broadband into his villa. I'll see what info I can get from him on providers and costs...

Simon
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by padowan.si » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:40 pm

While I wait for my friend to reply I had a little search myself. SkyDSL seem to have some satellite offerings, so with a one time setup of 80 EUR, and a monthly cost of about 20 EUR, you get 10MB/s download speed and 1MB/s upload speeds, with a monthly allowance of 10GB data. Then you pay per GB over that usage.

Perhaps more expensive than a mobile option, but probably more reliable.

When I get details from my friend I'll post an update.
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by Simon_100 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:41 am

Thanks for this. I have just had the dish installed and am looking at best ways to use it now. Mrs S is a serious film buff so probably looking at some sort of pay bundle anyway.

Regs

Simon

PS I'm quite near Cervera, although up ovw rthe pre-Pyrenees. Love the Segarra region, really wild in places and it reminds me of the Cotswolds ... :)

Simon
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by padowan.si » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:43 pm

It's a different Sky, not the same as the TV people, unfortunately. My friend was using a system by Tooway, but i can't find a lot of information on exactly what he has.

Have a look at www.Skydsl.eu for some more info, it seems to be pretty straight forward with a setup fee covering the equipmemt and a monthly fee.
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Re: Internet access problems - please help an illiterate!

Post by Didado » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:03 pm

Hi Simon, to solve your up-shit-creek problem we need to break up your description of the problem into simpler terms. Some of the other inmates already gave the possible answer to your problem.

1- Can you get some decent 4G reception with another telecom provider that is within your budget?

If so, your problem would be solved with the already mentioned 4G hotspot router which is not related to MacBooks and iPads wifi etc.

To keep it simple I will not say anymore. Let's solve number 1 :-)
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