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    (A bit of a long post, sorry.)

    Need some advice from people who know about how internet access works best while away from home at university, please.

    How did you get internet access while at university? Thoughts overall?

    I have thought of three main ways, but can't really decide. Any insight on which is best from personal experience would be really helpful.

    1. Go with an official provider (e.g., BT) and get a router, etc.

    Pros:
    - Unlimited plans very common
    - Increased reliability (unlikely to have downtime)
    - Works with multiple devices very easily
    - Download speeds are quite decent, hopefully fibre optic (good enough for YouTube, etc.)

    Cons:
    - Registration process could be a minor hassle
    - Contract / early cancellation fees
    - Line rental fee, along with cost of broadband, may be relatively expensive after offers/bundles (or whatever) expire and you start paying full price
    - If you're going away for the holidays, it might be a waste of money for certain months (so more expensive in the long run)
    - Additional equipment / setup

    2. Buy some kind of mobile broadband dongle

    Pros:
    - Portable
    - Unlimited / high usage plans out there (so unlikely to worry about being drastically overcharged)
    - Just works out of the box: minimal setup; convenience of access wherever you go
    - If on pay as you go, you have some flexibility in the amount of data you need / not forced to pay for more than you need / you can skip payments whenever you feel like it

    Cons:
    - May end up paying twice for the same thing (i.e., internet access for iPhone and laptop)
    - If I did go with a pay monthly plan, I might accidentally use up my allowance and be overcharged for something unexpected (surprise, gigabyte-sized Windows updates...)
    - Network coverage: actually being connected in the first place
    - Reliability: more likely to experience downtime
    - Speeds: might be slower than expected

    3. Stick with my iPhone, get a pay as you go plan and tether with that

    Pros:
    - Can cancel anytime
    - Portable
    - Paying once for two devices; spending less overall every month
    - No worry of being overcharged
    - Ultimate convenience - setup is virtually instant
    - Have seen speeds of ~ 20 Mbps, which is decent for general usage
    - Easy to monitor data usage
    - Can always top up if absolutely necessary (should avoid this though)

    Cons:
    - Reliability (arguably the least reliable option of the three)
    - Would be tempted to watch everything on DVD (lol, not really), but streaming anything in HD would rapidly consume data
    - Data plans are more susceptible to change if not on a contract

    I don't really know which one to go with. They all have good and bad points. The cheapest would probably be option 3, but might be awkward in practical terms.

    Is there definitely one I should try to get, no matter what?

    Is there a fourth option that supersedes all three mentioned here?

    Cheers!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    (A bit of a long post, sorry.)

    Need some advice from people who know about how internet access works best while away from home at university, please.

    How did you get internet access while at university? Thoughts overall?

    I have thought of three main ways, but can't really decide. Any insight on which is best from personal experience would be really helpful.

    1. Go with an official provider (e.g., BT) and get a router, etc.

    Pros:
    - Unlimited plans very common
    - Increased reliability (unlikely to have downtime)
    - Works with multiple devices very easily
    - Download speeds are quite decent, hopefully fibre optic (good enough for YouTube, etc.)

    Cons:
    - Registration process could be a minor hassle
    - Contract / early cancellation fees
    - Line rental fee, along with cost of broadband, may be relatively expensive after offers/bundles (or whatever) expire and you start paying full price
    - If you're going away for the holidays, it might be a waste of money for certain months (so more expensive in the long run)
    - Additional equipment / setup

    2. Buy some kind of mobile broadband dongle

    Pros:
    - Portable
    - Unlimited / high usage plans out there (so unlikely to worry about being drastically overcharged)
    - Just works out of the box: minimal setup; convenience of access wherever you go
    - If on pay as you go, you have some flexibility in the amount of data you need / not forced to pay for more than you need / you can skip payments whenever you feel like it

    Cons:
    - May end up paying twice for the same thing (i.e., internet access for iPhone and laptop)
    - If I did go with a pay monthly plan, I might accidentally use up my allowance and be overcharged for something unexpected (surprise, gigabyte-sized Windows updates...)
    - Network coverage: actually being connected in the first place
    - Reliability: more likely to experience downtime
    - Speeds: might be slower than expected

    3. Stick with my iPhone, get a pay as you go plan and tether with that

    Pros:
    - Can cancel anytime
    - Portable
    - Paying once for two devices; spending less overall every month
    - No worry of being overcharged
    - Ultimate convenience - setup is virtually instant
    - Have seen speeds of ~ 20 Mbps, which is decent for general usage
    - Easy to monitor data usage
    - Can always top up if absolutely necessary (should avoid this though)

    Cons:
    - Reliability (arguably the least reliable option of the three)
    - Would be tempted to watch everything on DVD (lol, not really), but streaming anything in HD would rapidly consume data
    - Data plans are more susceptible to change if not on a contract

    I don't really know which one to go with. They all have good and bad points. The cheapest would probably be option 3, but might be awkward in practical terms.

    Is there definitely one I should try to get, no matter what?

    Is there a fourth option that supersedes all three mentioned here?

    Cheers!
    If you will be in halls in 1st year then internet is usually included in the rent. Sometimes its only at a basic level and you have to pay extra for a better connection but you should be informed if that is the case. When in shared private housing people club together and go for an official provider.
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    it will be included in your rent in first year, often this is a wired connection so you may wish to get a wireless box (you can get them for like £20) but that's all you have to do

    after that you'll usually find a student deal (they'll do 9 month contracts) with an internet provider at whatever speed your flat agree to pay for
 
 
 
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