Thursday, 22 April 2010

My Dongle-ong

Dongle. It sounds rude. It even, if you squint and have a dirty mind, look rude. A bit. Or at least looks like it could have rude applications.

But anyway, dongles: the means by which one connects to the internet free of the shackles of landline oppression. And more importantly, in the case of my girlfriend and I, free of the £125 charge required of British Telecom to connect our flat's landline. Since we're only going to be living here for six months, we deemed it an extravagance in the face of no-strings-attached mobile broadband, although if it turns out that said net connection is not workable, we may give in and pay up. Still, a quick 10-man poke-Noth-with-sticks last night gave me hope that dongle-net will at least be workable: pings in the region of 300—500ms, but no lag spikes, no disconnects, no freezing. No Ventrilo either, since I didn't want to push my luck. Guild raiding without Vent is weird.

It seems we are quite fortunate in that we live in an area of strong 3G mojo – the Three "3Connect" program informs me my connection is 5-out-of-5-bars HSDPA, which I gather is the best available.

One of the downsides of dongling is although it's only £15 a month, there is a rather tight-fisted 5GB monthly data limit. I am informed by a guildie that WoW will account for 1.8 of those gigabytes, so that's a relief. The other downside is that the dongle only is only beholden to my computer. In order to get her ladyship's computer connected, either I'll have to perform some connection-sharing theurgy, or she'll have to get her own dongle, and pay her own £15 a month. To be honest, I doubt a single connection would be able to cope with the force of two data streams surging through it, so it's looking likely we'll be going with Plan B. On balance it still works out cheaper than getting the landline connected, even accounting for the lower monthly cost of such an earthbound link.

And hey, it's only ("only") six months. We'll be back on a real net connection just in time for Cataclysm.

1 comment:

  1. As you well know, my better half and I lived with such a connection for a few weeks when we moved house. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the 3G mojo in our area is decidedly weak we had constant problems with disconnections and occasional huge lag (into the thousands).

    When it was working, however, we did both manage to play WoW off of the one connection (using internet connection sharing) - although weren't really able to raid. Don't know if you remember, but specifically AoE heavy fights (like Onyxia or the first trash mobs of Naxx spider wing) would result in one or both of us disconnecting.

    You should try the one dongle/ICA route out first before shelling out for another one, it might work fine for you.