Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

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seahermit
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Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby seahermit » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:31 pm

I just wondered if anyone had some thoughts about this. I have quite a decent Acer Aspire PC with a 24-inch monitor - broadband and phone supplied by Sky.

But I am fed up with losses of connection - I was unable to connect to the internet for the whole of yesterday evening and this has been happening on and off for two years, not VERY frequently but often at critical times. Fortunately I can resort to a good Samsung phone when desperate.

Sky deny all and do nothing of course (despite suddenly increasing my subscription by fifty per cent to £30 p.c.m. and without any notification). It probably isn't a problem at my end, most likely to be the ancient copper wiring owned by BT - there is a green cabinet on the other side of my street and BT are fiddling around there seven days a week. I gather that connection problems are one of people's biggest gripes ..

I am thinking of retaining the PC for my writing and for work on photos but switching internet access to a tablet or possibly a phablet - or maybe a laptop on mobile broadband! I can't decide whether any of those would be a backward step and also an expensive one. I would miss being able to view films and videos on a big screen, but the sudden loss of internet without warning is driving me up the wall, often at times when I really need to browse for information, research, or just deal with a string of emails.

I would be lost without my Samsung - great phone and I am tempted to splash out on something with the biggest screen you can possibly ..

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Derek Jempson
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby Derek Jempson » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:02 pm

You would still have the same Internet connection problems with a tablet (assuming that you used the same service). Incidentally, I have a son-in-law on Sky broadband, and like you, he has frequent connection problems. Sky have checked everything and declared that it's BT's fault. BT claims that the fault lies with Sky.

I have a PC and a tablet. The tablet is an insurance policy. I do all of my work on the PC, which I prefer, but it is situated at the top of a four storey house. Should I fall ill, or have an injury that leaves me unable to climb the stairs, I could still do all the essential stuff on my tablet downstairs. Similarly, I can use the tablet if the PC suddenly dies.

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Richard
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby Richard » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:37 pm

BT has their own fibre network and broadband, called BT Superfast. Most broadband providers — including TalkTalk, Sky and Plusnet, use Openreach's fibre infrastructure.
(Virgin Media is not part of Openreach and instead use their own cable network.)

I can only assume that the demand from SKY users is so high that it cannot currently be met.

The green cabinet should be BT's fibre network and if they are 'fiddling with it' that suggests local issues.

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seahermit
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby seahermit » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:53 am

Thanks, that's really helpful, gives me things to think about. Your son-in-law's problems exactly mirror my own.

Yes, I need an insurance policy - at present I use a good Samsung phone but I am thinking of switching to a larger device, probably a "phablet" because of the versatility and on 4G. It would be on a separate network, probably Three or O2 (the latter have been particularly efficient and reliable for my spare mobile).

The BT guys have been fiddling at the green cabinet for atleast a year almost every day - it can hardly be just making new connections, it does look as if the network produces endless maintenance/issues.

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seahermit
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby seahermit » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:58 am

I prefer working on a PC too - with a large monitor. So, maybe I will keep the PC around but certainly not go along with Sky's excessive charge for a poor service. That's my first battle in the new year!

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Richard
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby Richard » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:53 pm

seahermit - perhaps simply 'Google' to check your broadband connection, by postcode, for BT openreach fibre broadband, which Sky must use.

Or perform a more general check:

https://www.broadband.co.uk/broadband-speed-test/

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seahermit
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby seahermit » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:35 am

Thanks Richard, but I'm slightly confused. Do you mean check to see if Fibre is available around here or to see if it might perform better? I have ordinary broadband + phone at present.

I will check the speed later (I know that what I am getting is way below the advertised one), but speed does not seem to be a problem otherwise - just the whole damned connection going for several hours!

I have been researching phablets, some very desirable phones out there .. My mid-range Samsung smartphone has been a very convenient back-up and consistently reliable. And if I do desert Sky for some better way of doing things, I might end up getting some of the outlay back.

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Richard
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby Richard » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:09 pm

hi seahermit, the broadband providers, who use BT would normally, offer an upgrade or new package altogether, at little extra cost, for the faster fibre broadband provided via the green cabinet in the road.
You may need to check if they have an upgrade package.

The link I gave should let you know what speeds are available at your postcode and comparisons for different providers and their costs / packages.
Always worth while inquiring to see their latest offerings.

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seahermit
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby seahermit » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:05 am

I appreciate the advice. I will follow up the links shortly, too rushed at present - been a really difficult autumn.

But as I understand it, the fibre-optic cables should give a better speed but will not necessarily provide a more reliable service free from outages? Is that the right word? The connection dropping.

I tolerated the service interruptions at £20 pcm , but not at £30 - sudden increase without any notification at all and I don't even know if Sky have put me onto some new contract.

For some reason I am far from clearheaded about how to react - argue and haggle with them (in two years time it's likely the process will be repeated!). Or switch to a laptop/tablet on mobile broadband (used to be much more expensive but the mobile shops today were displaying very reasonable offers). Or upgrade my Samsung to a large screen on PAYG.

It isn't the complicated options these days which bug me so much but the hidden traps and rip-offs for the unwary. I have only ever had two lengthy mobile contracts - Vodafone and Orange. Both were disastrous with appalling service, so I will not go down that road again unless losing my mental capacity to make good judgements.

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Richard
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Re: Are tablets/phablets worth the expense?

Postby Richard » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:23 pm

All That I can say, seahermit, is that since upgrading to 'fibre broadband' I have had no recurrence of 'outages' which were a frequent and annoying problem previously.
The old, traditional, copper cables lose a lot of their signal over long distances, whereas 'fibre' loses very little.
Meaning that the further away you are from the source, the slower the (copper wire) network will be. Even though boosters and repeaters can be used for copper, fibre retains a higher bandwidth over greater distances.

Simples :)


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