Since I got my iPad a couple of years ago, one of its best features has been the always-on internet. Knowing that pretty much wherever I go I can be online has been a revelation, particularly when commuting to work, and when holidaying away from home. Being able to download each day’s Daily Telegraph, to get the cryptic crossword, has meant that I avoided spending my holidays chasing a wifi signal (or, to be old-school, a newsagent).
I have a data SIM from O2 — it gives me 1GB for £10.21 per month (with no long-term committment), and has worked well for me. But it has a couple of downsides.
- While I use mobile data on an almost daily basis, looking back over the past six months, my average usage is under 200MB per month (although that fluctuates quite a bit, depending whether I’m traveling away from home), so I’m not making good use of my allocation.
- The ridiculous content filtering that all of the mobile companies saddle us with. Why do they ask for a credit card payment to prove I’m an adult, when I pay them a monthly fee using a credit card? Why do they filter LiveJournal?
This week I noticed that my ISP offer a data SIM service, with sane technical features and a price that would work for me. They use Three for the mobile connection, but route the data through their own network. I get a fixed real IP address, no NAT, and no filtering. The SIM is £10.20 up front, and then a monthly rental of £2.40 per month plus 2.4p per MB used. For my usage it should work out around £7 per month.
I ordered a couple of their SIMs, one for Kate’s iPad and one for mine, and we’re giving them a go.
So far so good, although Kate’s iPad gets a signal in our house, and mine doesn’t. Don’t understand that.