If you’ve been reading my blog then you know that I recently moved into a new build house. Despite having broadband on order and due for an installation only days after moving in due to infrastructure issues on the site i still don’t have any internet connection three months later. This has lead to desperate action. I’ve been researching different ways to provide WIFI throughout the house and narrowed it down to the following:
- Tethering using an existing mobile phone – I already get unlimited mobile data through my Three contract however tethering is not included in my plan. Three do provide tethering as an add on however the allowance is tiny and I’m not sure how many devices can be hooked up at any one time
- Buying a PAYG phone with a tethering facility – I’ve looked into buying a second phone on a pay as you go contract with tethering and a decent data allowance. There aren’t any!
- Buying a 3/4G dongle – My original idea was to buy a 4G dongle and set up internet sharing across this single connection. This is feasible but 4G dongles don’t really like multiple streams of data which means multiple users would make this slow.
With no great solution in place I all but despaired. Coming to my rescue was a fellow new build home owner (and website designer) on one of the groups set up for like minded people to discuss snagging issues. He suggested the EE Osprey device as a great solution.
Having an existing relationship with CarphoneWarehouse I called their sales team and asked to discuss the EE Osprey MiFi device. The chap on the end of the phone explained how for a monthly fee of just £20 with no setup or up front hardware costs i could have up to 10 devices sharing a 4G connection with a data allowance of 15GB per month and 6 hour battery if you plan on taking it mobile. With a 30 day notice period and no 12 month contract required this deal sounded like the one for me.
Anyway down to the device.
In the box you get:
- The EE Osprey device
- Micro USB power supply
- 3 pin power connector
- Manuals & warranty
- Micro Sim card
- A Belt loop attachment
The device is tiny, like a thick coaster and has a handy screen that can be flashed on to show network status, signal strength and number of connected devices etc.
Setting up the EE Osprey
Setting up the MiFi devise is easy. Either plug into your computer/laptop using the micro USB cable provided or add the 3 pin wall plug to get some mains juice., turning the device over you will see a small flap which when removed provides slots for the Micro Sim and interestingly enough a micro SD card.
On the side of the device are slots for the Micro USB cable and a universal rocker which is used to turn on the device and switch on the display of your WiFi credentials.
The device works out of the box and already contains the devices SSID and WiFi password which can be shown by pressing one side of the universal rocker. Then on your phone or PC simply open your WiFi settings, select the SSID of your EE Osprey MiFi device and enter the provided password.
As this package was delivered to work which is outside a 4G area, the device handily switched to 3G and i’ve been successfully downloading web pages and other media outside of works network without any trouble. As with 3G downloads aren’t amazingly fast but it is serviceable.
Plugging your device into a laptop or desktop computer prompts the download of some management software where you can send and receive text messages, update the firmware of your device and perform a number of other tasks. I haven’t had much time to explore this and will look forwards to updating this post when I have.
As a side note, CarphoneWarehouse have coverage guarantee. So if your device doesn’t have coverage in your area you can return the Sim in just 14 days and it will be replaced. Awesome!
Update: 1 month in
Ive been trying to use this device as a full replacement for a standard broadband connection and 15gb just isn’t enough. I burned through this in a single weekend meaning i’ve had to top up for extra data which starts to make these devices expensive. I can only imagine this issue being worse if you have the 10 devices the service says you can connect simultaneously all working together. They do describe this as ‘great if you’re in a hotel room’ and for this type of use then i guess it will be adequate however in 2015 and without unlimited bandwidth, this device is simply impractical as a DSL replacement service.
This being said coverage is good throughout the house, i haven’t really made use of the portability of the unit and download speeds seem good.
Hopefully my phone lines and broadband services will be connected soon however as its taken 4 months i’m not holding up much hope.
Disclosure: This is an independent review. I have accepted no incentives, payments or other perks because of this post.