Thursday, 26 April 2012

How To Do More With Mobile Internet Access

Internet access in my birthplace is a pain. There's still no land telephone line available and the only access there is is mobile internet powered by mobile networks! There is HSPDA (enhanced 3G) signal but sometimes it is intermittent. This is due to the location of our family house which is very near the hills and mountains with tall trees around the area.

My sister's experience with mobile internet using a dongle by Globe, a local mobile network, is most of the time disappointing. She explained that the signal is intermittent, it takes a lot of time to load a page and sometimes the "load", data allowance or internet time, is finished even before the webpage is shown! I tried it myself and I've waited infront of her laptop with the hope to check my emails. I gave up after 5 minutes!

My suspects for the let down were the network's signal strength, the network's data bandwidth.and the dongle's capability of detecting data signals.

I remembered my UK phone with UK sim, turned it on and my phone roamed to Globe! Configurations for internet were automatically received and installed them on my phone. Next thing I did was to buy a regular local globe network sim card and tried going into the internet. Surprisingly, the signal is good and the web pages loaded fast, at least in my phone! How about in my sister's laptop?

Luckily, my phone has a hotspot function. It's similar to internet tethering on iPhones. The advantage of hotspot function over iPhone's tethering is it can provide internet for multiple devices instead of just one.

My sister's laptop was connected into the internet for the first time without much waiting. But still, there are sites that the laptop struggled to load and showed error in loading web pages. This might be because the mobile internet allowance was not enough and that other web pages has a lot of components that drain fast the total amount of data purchased. Then I thought of ways on how to save mobile data allowance and on how to stretch the time online while using a laptop. 

1. Access wap or mobile version  of a web page. 

This makes really a difference when you are using a laptop using a mobile internet access. You can just type in the wap page address and the wap page appears faster than the normal web page. This version of a website is like a "mini" version of the full sites. It is trimmed in a way that unnecessary web page elements are not shown. This saves data allowance therefore stretching your time online.

Below are samples of web pages accessed using their wap addresses and full web versions

Yahoo log in wap version

Yahoo log in full version

Yahoo home wap version

Yahoo home full web

Most websites has wap versions, just google wap or mobile versions of websites you usually access. You can also use the wap version of google to search.

2. Choose data limit over time limit.

When purchasing mobile internet using globe network, it is wiser to choose the amount of data limit rather than time limit. When you choose time limit, your internet access will then be cut off once you've reached your time without any regards of the data you have used, while in data limit, your internet will not cut off until all your data allowance is finished.

Here's how to set up using globe network's POWERSURF50. This tariff will give you 100MB of data or 5 hours surfing the net valid for 3 days.

Text POWERSURF50 to 8888. A confirmation message will be texted back to you and an instruction for you whether you like 5 hours of internet or 100MB of internet data over 3 days. Text TIME50 (time limit) if you choose 5 hours or MB50 (data limit) to get 100MB of internet valid for 3 days.

3. You can also save data by compressing or resizing your photo if you want to upload them.

4. Viewing videos and listening to streaming radio or music can drain up fast your mobile internet allowance.

5. Avoid viewing high definition images.

6. As much as possible, use mobile devices when using mobile internet specially when your data allowance is  limited.

Remember that accessing mobile internet using your laptop is much different from accessing from full broadband access. The key to enjoy it is to make your data use into minimum as much as possible.

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