Smartphone WiFi Hotspot as sole Laptop home internet connection?

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  • Smartphone WiFi Hotspot as sole Laptop home internet connection?
  • Premier Icon ampthill

    You just need a provider that allows data tethering

    But you could just try it now and see how you get on. I don’ think any one minds a quick tether….

    The way you describe your usage then I’d say unlimited will be fine

    The cheapest options will be giff gaff or 3 sim only contract on your current phone. Buying a new phone on credit (a regular contract) is rarely cheap. Unless you really want a new high end phone. Even then buying a nexus 4 and then using the above options will be cheaper


    Hi all,

    Hopefully this is not a daft question…

    Currently I have a HTC One due for upgrade (with a cheaper plan mainly for calls) and bloody expensive BT Internet for the home.

    What I am wondering is:
    Is it feasible to use a smartphone’s internet capability and WiFi hotspot creation as the sole source of internet in the home?

    I am travelling more and more for work and it would be nice to have unlimited data allowance on my phone/ pick up emails etc on the move/ do my normal internet browsing when away from home.
    While upgrading the phone and plan to allow this I am wondering if I can cut my home internet out all together?
    My home internet use is small, mainly finding ways to spend more money on my bike, watch short bike videos, email and perhaps occasionally watch the odd TV online. We only ever have one laptop accessing the home broadband in the house- so not multiple devices accessing it at any one time.

    More questions…
    Is an unlimited mobile data plan truly “unlimited”?
    Would you notice a difference between 3G and 4G running the laptops internet through a phone’s WiFi hotspot?
    I have noticed 4G coverage is rather limited at the moment- Is this likely to improve in the near future?
    Would the download speeds/ internet on a laptop through a smartphone be fast enough to not be annoying and perhaps even stream live TV?
    Are there any handsets which make particularly good or poor use of 3G/ 4G? Are all phone equal in how they use the available mobile internet in your area?

    I know I could get a cheaper home internet deal but if I am thinking of upgrading the phone and plan to get decent mobile internet anyway, why not cut out the home broadband all together?

    Thanks in advance!



    I just gave this a quick try and was surprised how easy it was and how well it worked, even watching iplayed through the phone’s 3G.

    Did I just get lucky or can I expect reliable, good quality internet on the laptop through the phone?

    I did it a few years back on a 3g phone and i don’t think it did the phone any good. It got quite hot, and would sometimes just stop working. I don’t think they really designed to stream “home use” volumes of internet traffic, but it will certainly work for a while.

    Speed was quite variable in my experience.


    That makes sense. I knew there must be some reason to not make a habit out of it otherwise everyone would do it surely?

    I did it for two weeks when we moved house and had no landline. Should be fine.

    If anyone in the family has an older contract/phone, check the terms. My wife was all set to renew with a smartphone and new contract. She had a Nokia dumbphone (as opposed to smart) that had an unlimited/3gb data allowance for £12 a month. O2 were telling her although it was unlimited data she wouldn’t be able to access anything, she needed a new contract with a bigger download limit. After lots of shaking my head and mouthing ‘she’s wrong’! she opted to get a smartphone on her existing tariff. Turns out we were fine and she now has a 3gb limit for £12 a month.

    Mine is also an older contract, 3gb for £15. They both allow tethering, many newer contracts don’t.

    Finally, I think you can tell some browsers to request the thinned down mobile versions of website, which will lower the data requirements though your phone.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    How fast is your mobile data connection ?
    On WiFi mine reads about 21Mb, but with WiFi off it drops to 4Mb.
    Suppose it would work.

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