French Dongle - Cherbourg?

Playtime

Active member
Joined
29 Jan 2007
Messages
1,194
Location
Chichester
Visit site
Free wifi is getting more difficult to find in France so I'm thinking a cheap PAYG 3G French dongle may be the way forward this year.

We will be going via Cherbourg in a few weeks so can anyone recommend -

a) a good French PAYG dongle to buy

b) somewhere in Cherbourg, preferably English speaking, that sells the recommended dongle.

If there are any 'universal' dongles that are cheap for France these would obviously also be of interest.

Thanks in advance.
 

maxi77

Active member
Joined
11 Nov 2007
Messages
6,084
Location
Kingdom of Fife
Visit site
Cheap and dongles dont seem to appear in the same sentence. We looked for one last summer and the going rate seemed to be between 60 and 90 euros. It all depends how much use you need. In reality we only were without affordable or free wifi in a couplke of places from Cherbourg to Arcahon. In those cases we got by with a 3 dongle which worked if it was costly, it was certainly cheaper than the froggy dongle
 

charles_reed

Active member
Joined
29 Jun 2001
Messages
10,413
Location
Home Shropshire 6/12; boat Greece 6/12
Visit site
Why a (sic) dongle? (It's really an USB modem)

Far better and more usable is an ordinary mobile - Nokia Ovi even include a wizard for all the various European ISPs, so you don't have to set up the handshake manually.

Having tried both, I wouldn't give an Huawei modem house room, even if were free!
 

Playtime

Active member
Joined
29 Jan 2007
Messages
1,194
Location
Chichester
Visit site
Why a (sic) dongle? (It's really an USB modem)

Far better and more usable is an ordinary mobile - Nokia Ovi even include a wizard for all the various European ISPs, so you don't have to set up the handshake manually.

Having tried both, I wouldn't give an Huawei modem house room, even if were free!

3G dongle seems to be the accepted terminology in the UK.

If you use a mobile phone how do you achieve the modem connection to the laptop; Nokia proprietary software maybe? Also, what rate per MB are you paying in Europe?

We have a 3 smartphone (Samsung Galaxy) that we could probably use as a modem but why is this 'better' than a dedicated dongle?
 

NickRobinson

Well-known member
Joined
23 Dec 2007
Messages
2,122
Location
Near Burton-on-Trent
Visit site
Smart phone vs. dongle

I agree Huawei stuff not very good but it depends what's to hand.

In windows mobile there is a programme called internet sharing.

you get asked if you want to conect via btooth or usb.

Not sure about Android or I phone- Google 'tethering' - go on, it's legal!

Nick
 

Chi34

Member
Joined
21 Oct 2010
Messages
104
Visit site
Whether you use a dongle or use a phone, connected by bluetooth or USB, surely the main issue is the data cost.
I'm off to France for four or five weeks this summer and I'd be interested to hear if anyone has used local PAYG USB sticks (Clés). I have been looking at the supermarket telecom co's and SFR. SFR has 1GB for €35. What would that cost on your UK mobile?
 

iainbluk

Member
Joined
9 Oct 2005
Messages
133
Location
East Coast
Visit site
Kindle

What about a 3g Kindle? That works well in my experience and there are a few other posts recently with marine weather links. Once you get used to the browser its also perfectly useable for email.
 

Playtime

Active member
Joined
29 Jan 2007
Messages
1,194
Location
Chichester
Visit site
Not sure about Android or I phone- Google 'tethering' - go on, it's legal!

Nick

Just looked up tethering here.

It should be good for UK use (if I can persuade herself to let me mess with her phone). ;)

I'm still concerned about roaming data charges in France, though - hence the thought about getting a 3G dongle (USB modem!).

Thanks for the tip.
 

fireball

New member
Joined
15 Nov 2004
Messages
19,453
Visit site
You can always get a 3g dongle here - unlock it and then put a french simcard in ... providing you can get a suitable french simcard for data ....
 

maxi77

Active member
Joined
11 Nov 2007
Messages
6,084
Location
Kingdom of Fife
Visit site
So thats the next question, best french simcard for data, Anyone?

I am not sure if the froggy companies sell the data sim cards on their own, and when I looked at this a while back each provider had their own way to log on so you need some software for the dongle to replace the branding stuff that came with it.

I once tried to buy a data sim card in the UK from 3 and they would only sell it in a dongle, not quite what I was looking for at the time.

Netaboard wifi is not that bad if you have a decent antenna as the signal can be poor in most of the marinas.

Good luck
 

jfm

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
23,710
Location
Jersey/Antibes
Visit site
I bought a new French Sim card (for my dongle) this last weeknd as it happens, in antibes. I'll happily be corrected but AFAIK you have to have an address in France and be able to prove it with docs. I do, so had no problem, but the shop (orange.fr shop and the SFR/Vodafone next door was the same) insisted upon an address before selling me the SIM

Once that was done it was fine, but it is not as cheap as UK. 3Gb/month is €35 ish/month, cf £15 in UK on an instantly cancellable contract. 1Gb/month would have been €20iirc. They said if i roamed it would be €1.18/minute (billed by time not volume)

I plan on getting a www.abroadband.com SIM for trips to Spain/Italy later this year. €0.59 per Mb which aint cheap, but for a quick bit of forum and email the cost is bearable and better than orange.fr's €1.18/minute. And much better than Arto's pricing above
 
Last edited:

jfm

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
23,710
Location
Jersey/Antibes
Visit site
Vodafone do a tariff with 25mb a day European Roaming...................anyone use this or can comment on its merits

I've been using their 200mb/month roaming at £60/month and it has been fine, but I've just decided to end it and get a french SIM card
 

westhinder

Well-known member
Joined
15 Feb 2003
Messages
2,493
Location
Belgium
Visit site
French Sim cards

I bought a SFR Sim card last year and used it in my unlocked Belgian dongle without problems.
The difficult bit was getting it recharged, as their online system refused payment via a non-French debit or credit card. So I had to find a SFR outlet where they could recharge it manually and accept payment in cash. Newspaper stalls or tobacconists that sell SFR were not able to recharge the sim.
Mind you, coverage is not always perfect along the Brittany coast, but then that is to be expected.
 
Top