Budget Internet Access Using Mobile and WiFi Technology 28.9.17Modern mobile phones now incorporate Internet access, via direct tethering to a PC or laptop, or, by acting as a hotspot, connecting to the Internet by conventional onboard wifi, or, external wifi, or, tethering hardware. Mobile phone usage pricing has also now become more reasonable, and, data rates as well, all usually offered in ‘packages’ of a renewable fixed duration. Also, be sure to turn off any unnecessary data consuming apps in the phone, plus adblockers, animations, and video sources,etc, in your browsers, whether in the phone, or, in a hot-spot-connected or tethered computer/laptop, etc.
Putting these two main factors together, the aspiring light-to-medium Internet user can now avoid both needing a home land phone line, and accompanying Internet access, via a Telecom provider. They can also have Internet and phone access on demand anywhere that their current SIM card is valid, usually within a national boundary. This is also good news for travellers who may plan to remain in a country for some duration, which makes purchasing a local SIM card worthwhile, eg, a SIM that covering the UK and Northern Ireland is a good example. Note that swapping SIM cards is only possible with unlocked phones.
Note also that Smartfone SIMs are not needed just to access wifi hotspots alone, in this situation, you could remove your SIM to be sure that there is no access to your data package.
Also now available for Internet access are street cafés, (in return for food and beverage $ patronage), plus the localised ‘hot spots’, (including sometimes local phone booths), city library access, as well as community or urban blanket access, plus transport modes such as buses and rail, and, all of which are usually free, although some sort of access registration may be needed when using your personal laptop or smartfone. The Great Library, and on-demand universal individual personalised access, now both beckon, especially for those with a knowledge-based motive for use, beyond just seeking the commercially-dominated areas of the Internet.
Budget measures are thus important in a current Market climate preferring that consumers ‘think not but consume’, so, to stretch your Internet access $$, shop around for optimal Internet and phone ‘packages’, especially ones with carry-over of data and $$, plus, here are some extra important tips for Internet access using mobile and wifi technology:
Firstly, any mobile phone or similar device, regardless of price or ‘newness’, and, having current tethering and/or hotspot facilities, will do the access job effectively, and even if there is a weak battery, just being connected to the charger and mains will enable function. Your laptop or PC can then access the Internet via mobile USB tethering, or hotspot settings, and, more than one system can/should have potential hotspot access concurrently, depending on connection capabilities. Otherwise, note that any external local hotspot, anywhere, can be accessed with a PC, laptop, or, SIM-less smartfone, given extant wifi capabilities.
2) Use a Linux O/S (f) on your laptop or PC, either via double/multi-boot, or, a dedicated Linux O/S installation. As long as you can match any PC or laptop system to a Linux O/S, an expensive system and/or OS outlay is not necessary, older systems may still be quite adequate, offering both smooth function, plus, the means to just boot up, connect to the modem in the usual way, then clicking on the Internet browser icon. Magically, no extra drivers are needed, especially for tethering to your mobile, or, for using the wireless to connect to any available hotspot. See also Linux User’s Mini-Factfile
3) Check settings on your mobile, PC, and/or laptop, for unnecessary or unwanted data access, so that emails are text-only, or, you have shortcuts/bookmarks direct to preferred sites, and/or that search engines are restricted as to History, Tracking, Cookies, ads, animations, images, etc. Google Maps use large amounts of data, use an alternative if you can. Do not resend large emails as replies, especially with attachments, unnecessarily. More advanced users could try Opera, which has data compression utilities incorporated. Note that tethering does not require wifi, but again, ensure that all potential updates are turned off. Even restore smartfones, etc, to their original factory settings, after all, any corporate ISP has a vested interest in wasted data allocation. Then, reset anti-theft, GPS, background wifi on/off, mobile data ‘on’ with tethering, etc., as and if required. Use Airplane Mode to conserve data, as well, or better still, turn off when not in urgent use. RTFM applies, even if you need to download this, OK!.
Re those ‘packages’ of a renewable fixed duration, though, even if ‘rollover’, beware that, just like a casino, the ‘house’, aka phone access provider, always will have a winning margin, and, remember that casino analogy at all times,OK! So, be very sure of what your package entails, and, whether the constituents can be manipulated, eg, more data for less phone time, and/or text totals, etc. So, again, be sure to turn off any unnecessary data-consuming apps in the phone, also animations and video sources etc., in your browsers, whether in the phone, or, in a tethered computer or hot-spot-connected computer. Note also that weather apps use global roaming as well, so, these should be turned off if not required, in that situation.
If you are unaccustomed to online use of mobile wifi, Nofrillstech recommends trialling prepaid usage only, until you have an established and coherent pattern of data use, before committing to a ‘package’, whose terms are calculated to be so confusing that you easily lose track of where the $$$ actually do go....? Plus, these new ‘roll-over’ mobile packages expire if not kept in credit. The newer adjustable mobile packages are an improvement, and, will require a newer phone, although do note that online connections, to ascertain balances, will be part of your own data usage, of course….! Best to phone for those remaining credit totals, in that case, using your package phoning allowance for that purpose…?
Finally, record your webmail u/n and p/w, suitably disguised, to hard copy, and keep this safe with your passport, or, use a password manager; note that current webmail security measures can be most unforgiving, if you fudge your logins....OK!!