ADSL or Fibre Optic Broadband? Have You Thought about Mobile Broadband Instead?

Jul 25




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This article guides you through the different types of internet and broadband available from ADSL to Mifi and helps you make the right choice on which service is most suited to your needs.


Most of us these days go straight for ADSL or fibre optic broadband depending on what’s available to us.  That is understandable considering the history of mobile broadband but today we have more options to get better connections with MiFi devices and 4G connectivity and mobile broadband is a serious option for certain usage profiles. 

Why people go for fibre optic and ADSL

Fibre optic broadband and ADSL are fixed line broadband options and are the more conventional means of getting connected to the internet.  Fibre optic broadband is exciting because it offers speeds up to 100Mbps on Virgin Broadband and you can get super-fast connections with good reliability.  ADSL broadband is available to around 99% of the UK population and it is the most used form of broadband out there.

Unfortunately,ADSL or Fibre Optic Broadband?  Have You Thought about Mobile Broadband Instead? Articles the further you are from the telephone exchange with ADSL broadband the slower the connections you can get.  If you live quite a long way from the telephone exchange you may only be able to get 4 or 5Mbps and you of course have to get a landline and pay landline rental in order to use a connection as it passes over the telephone infrastructure. 

With fibre-to-the-home packages, you can forego a landline; however, with fibre-to-the-cabinet packages you may well have to have an active phone line. 

The Advantages of Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband has a number of distinct advantages that people in the market for broadband should be aware of.  Let’s consider some now.

Flexibility of Mobile Broadband

With mobile broadband, you can choose to go with a pay-as-you-go contract, a one-month pay in advance or a fixed term contract.  with ADSL and fibre optic broadband, you tend to have to go for a fixed term contract of 18 or 24 months in order to get any connection.  If you leave a contract for a stipulated time, you may well have to pay exit fees and you may have to pay additional costs for installation and so on.

With mobile broadband you can simply buy a dongle or MiFi device and be up and running in minutes.  You don’t have to wait for installation and you don’t have to wait for activation.  You can get going just by buying the device and topping up the service.  Pay-as-you-go keeps you light on your feet so if you want a solution part time or during certain periods of the year when you’re in the UK then mobile broadband is a terrific option.  Indeed, you can take it with you wherever you go as well.

The one month contracts effectively mean that you pay for a certain amount of data and then that data will lasts you 30 days and if you run out you simply buy an add-on.  It is a very flexible way and also cheaper than pay-as-you-go.

With fixed term contracts on mobile broadband, you are committed for the stipulated contract period much like you are with fixed broadband such as ADSL or fibre optic broadband.

Portability of Mobile Broadband

With mobile broadband, you can take your dongle or MiFi device with you and get on the line wherever you go.  You could even take it overseas and get connectivity in Spain, France, Italy, and much of the European Union. 

The data costs are fairly expensive on mobile broadband when you are overseas but if you need a basic provision to do a bit of browsing and check e-mail you shouldn’t end up with particularly high fees.

If you travel a lot and spend time in hotels, mobile broadband may well be a lot cheaper than getting tied in to using hotel broadband connections which can tend to be around £10 per day or a few Pounds per hour.  It really is much better to have your own solution than to go for the hotel option in a lot of cases,

MiFi Devices

MiFi devices nowadays make it possible to do much of what you would on an ADSL or fibre optic broadband connection on a mobile broadband connection.  Affectively a MiFi device is a Wi-Fi hotspot that broadcasts your mobile broadband connection so that you can pick it up on different devices.  No longer do you have to be plugged in to the device you’re connecting and now you can get up to five devices on the same connection.  Indeed you can have your smartphone, your laptop, your tablet, your TV, and also another device from someone else on the connection at the same time.

Who is mobile broadband good for?

Mobile broadband is excellent for couples, singles, and small families.  You can share the connection but you can also take with you and if you often spend time away together then you can have this same mobile broadband solution and for home and for away.

Who is mobile broadband not good for?

Mobile broadband is not good for people who are high intensity internet users who spend their time streaming, multiplayer gaming, and generally consuming gigabyte after gigabyte per hour.  The data allowances on mobile broadband tend to be fairly stingy with 15 to 20GB around the top limits.  Even the unlimited packages are limited by fair usage polices normally to around 15 or 20GB.

Many of the fibre optic broadband and ADSL broadband packages are also limited by fair usage policies but these tend to be limited to around 50 or 100GB and are also cheaper on data than mobile broadband.

So there you have it, a look at why mobile broadband may be a serious consideration for your home.  Indeed you can gain a number of benefits from selecting this type of broadband as a main broadband solution and not just as a secondary broadband solution.  Of course if you’re looking for a second solution, mobile broadband is the way to go.  You can use your connection out and about while travelling and even overseas and of course you can preserve your connection data allowances by tapping in to Wi-Fi hotspots when they are available.  Often, our fibre optic or ADSL broadband connections have Wi-Fi minutes included so when we are within reach of the BT network, Cloud, or whichever other network we have access to, we can jump on those and only use your mobile broadband when we can’t get onto a cheaper broadband connection.

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