We’re off on our annual road-trip soon which this year takes us through France, Italy and onto Greece and the Islands and this year we’ve decided to take with us a 3 MiFi Huawei E5830 mobile WiFi modem so that we can connect via WiFi in the remotest of places.
I wanted to share with you exactly how we go about getting our hands on the MiFi dongle and our experiences of both unlocking it and roaming with it, the reason we want to unlock our MiFi is because of the pretty hefty data roaming rates set out by the UK networks, we’ll be buying a local SIM card to use in our unlocked MiFi once we arrive in Greece to save on charges.
Part 1 – MiFi Purchase and Unlock
It was all made to sound pretty easy, simply buy the 3 Mobile MiFi online for £39.99 with no contract, call the network and request an unlocked version which is then posted out with a jiffy bag for us to return the locked unit back to them.
Nothing’s ever easy though! Firstly we were told 3 -5 working days for delivery of the unlocked MiFi, after 5 days we called up the (India based) customer services and was told that our request hadn’t made it through the system. We were getting a little desperate as we’d left it a bit late in the day before we left the country so things got a little heated with the (very friendly) customer service representative and we were promised the unlocked MiFi would be re-ordered and be with us in just 3 days.
Amazing! It arrived in two working days, BUT not as an unlocked unit. The enclosed letter explained that this was a replacement for our ‘faulty’ MiFi!
Plan B: Unlock the MiFi ourselves, personally I’m very wary of websites that claim to unlock mobile phones and broadband dongles as it involves downloading software etc but as we only have a couple of days before we leave I decided to take the leap and have to admit I was really impressed.
I used unlocked-dongle.co.uk which cost £13.50, they ask you to register and then make your payment after which they send out an email containing the unlock software for unlocking the MiFi. The email arrived around 1 hour after I placed the order and I had the MiFi unlocked within minutes! (This is after not reading the instructions properly first and negating to remove the SIM card!)
So, we’re all set for our travels with an unlocked MiFi ready to go! I’ll post Part 2 of our Travelling Abroad with 3 MiFi once we hit Greek shores and hopefully not have too many negative comments to tell you about!
Since making this trip we now use Wi-Fi Direct and a separate Samsung Galaxy S2 which we buy a local SIM card for with unlimited 3G data, works brilliant and can connect multiple devices!