Dongle help

Hello all can anybody recommend a dongle for a laptop that works in sw france. I have a guest who needs to have some serious private computer time for 4 days in August and this seem the best option... as against Macdonalds and the local Internet café....

Hello Pete

We use a dongle in France, If you go on the website it will show you the coverage for your area and what the strength is. Even though we are in the middle of nowhere to coverage is excellent, if you are in a good area make sure you get an Orange compatable dongle.

MacDonald's wifi data transfer speeds in comparison is probably somewhere in the region of 11 - 20 Mbps (at least in most of the McD's I've ever connected to). These are voluntarily throttled, apart from being publicly hijackable by anyone ^^

Theoretical maximums :

GPRS: 56Kbit/s
EDGE: 236.8 kbit/s
UMTS: 384 kbit/s
HSDPA: 14,400 kbit/s - 14.4 Mb/s

bearing in mind that slots on the radio packet networks are allotted and routed dynamically, i.e. they are not permanent, so data transfer speeds can vary considerably from one packet of data to the next. I'm also led to believe that for public safety reasons, mobile telephone providers are obliged to reserve bandwidth and prioritise emergency service calls, thereby reducing overall general public consumption bandwidth available from any given mast.

The brand of dongle is, on the whole, irrelevant, in my experience. What matters most is the extent of mobile telephone coverage in your area/house/commune.

If you can't get a decent mobile signal with any of the main mobile phone operators, then using a dongle isn't going to be very helpful, and certainly not as good as McD's.

I have an Orange USB key - it works pretty much in any country where Orange has partnerships with the local telephone provider, but irrespective of that, if it can't get a signal, e.g. 10k from Stirling, or N.Wales, or somewhere between Bourges and Nevers on the train, it is still a useless piece of microcircuitry ;-)