Student Broadband: Get Connected Simply

March 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Study Abroad

It’s difficult for students. In the UK getting a regular home Internet account is difficult enough, having to provide bank statements and other information as it is, but once you add to that the complexity of not having a fixed mailing address and the bills that are associated with it, which applies to most students studying away from home, the issues just get even more complicated.

Simply doing without broadband is not really an option however – aside from the social aspects the Internet is currently one of the best research tools available and those that do not have access to the plethora of information there are severely disadvantaged versus their peers.

There actually is an option for students though – namely Mobile Broadband. Now this is different to simple Internet on a mobile phone (although the name does seem somewhat similar) – rather it is utilizing an Internet dongle to provide mobile Internet access on your laptop or tablet PC (iPad or equivalent).

Choosing the company and the type of plan does need some research and I’d suggest Broadband Genie (http://www.broadbandgenie.co.uk/mobilebroadband/student) as a good starting point in your selection process. Here you will get assistance in a simple easy to understand fashion of the current dongle deals available in your area and the extra features and freebies that might be available to you, from great dongle deals to brand new laptops!

How it works

Simply put, sign up for a contract (pay monthly or pay as you go) with one of the major UK mobile phone providers, get a dongle from them which you plug into the USB port of your laptop or tablet computer, install the software and away you go.

In addition to having access to the Internet, the other advantage to Mobile Broadband is that you can take it with you – you’re not tied to a specific address or location and can browse in the library or coffee shop if that better suits your style & with some of the dongle deals available, you can actually share your broadband connection with up to five other devices at the same time!

Remember – with some of the dongle deals currently available in the market it is possible to not only get an extremely competitive price for your monthly contract and usage (even greater discounts are available if you choose to combine your broadband deal with your current mobile phone provider), but you could also acquire or obtain a new laptop (or other freebies) for your use too!

Broadband Phones

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Study Abroad

Broadband Phones – stay in touch when you study abroad.

One of the main issues faced when students move to the UK it culture shock – the anxiety felt by students when having to study within a different cultural or social environment. To help you survive it is important to stay in touch with family and friends at home. Email is an obvious choice but can be very impersonal. Calling from the UK on a land line or mobile can be expensive. An option often overlooked by students is that of broadband phones – using the internet to make calls, cheaply and effectively. Broadband ensures that the quality is good and the voice of Internet protocol (VoIP) system keeps the cost down.

There are two types of phones that you can use

* software broadband phones that require the other person to have a similar system on their PC. You use a microphone and speakers connected to you PC or notebook.

*hardware broadband phones that act like you usual fixed line phone.

There are many suppliers in the UK offering broadband services, usually as part of an Internet package. Some examples of providers include O2, BT, Virgin, Talk Talk and so on. Prices and bandwidth do vary so be sure to shop around before choosing a package – you are typically required to sign up for a fixed time so make sure it fits with you study dates and may not be the cheapest. Prices range from about GBP6.00 per month for an 8MB connection to GBP20 per month for 24MB.

Leading suppliers of VoIP services include Skype, Vonage, Plusnet and so on. Each has different deals and you need to carry out your own research to make sure that you select the correct package to suit your needs. Perhaps one of the best sources of information is to ask your fellow students for their advice. Be sure to ask about quality since this can still be an issue – make sure they are getting good reception to your home country.

Keep in mind that mobile broadband is becoming more widely available and this may be an attractive alternative to fixed broadband if you intend to move around. Prices start at about GBP10 per month but prices will rise depending on speed. Currently speeds can reach 7.2MB so the system can be used for a broadband phone set-up.

Finally, look for special offers. Some providers are offering a “free” notebook PC when you sign up – it may not be a top spec computer but it will get you on-line cheaply and easily.