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One Dongle Five Devices Thirty Gigs

OUR HOME CONTINUES to pull its internet connectivity from a small O2 Hotshot dongle in a window (in the photo) facing masts two to six miles away. And the little dongle shares the data with a Kindle, a Chromebook, an iPhone, a Surface and a Lumia phone.

Lumia photo of O2 Hotshot at night.

Several other devices occasionally try to connect but the Huawei Hotshot limits itself to five devices. It works well, even after Three Ireland took over the provision of services.

But it won't guarantee a video episode from Netflix longer than an hour--something seems to throttle the Hotshot's streaming provision of HD video. I have several other devices in the house that will hook up more connections. One of my TP-Link routers uses detachable antennas that also transmit stronger signals throughout our home.

I started using the O2-Ireland data services three years ago and now spend 30 euro a month for something that used to cost me 80 euro every month from Eircom. But you get at least 10 times the speed with an Eircom connection and nearly 10 times the data allowance (although the Eircom allowance is more of a "fair use" standard and not an absolute limit).

I expect we will connect to some fibre powered service this summer because the locals are baying for movies on demand now that our local DVD rental service has collapsed. But I will keep the Hotshot in service since it provides me excellent service around Ireland as a portable Wifi hotspot.

[Bernie Goldbach is a data junkie who needs 30 GBs a month from his Hotshot and another two gigs a month from his Lumia 1020 phone.]