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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

403: A technical blog - especially for Olive

If you're not geeky, or you're not my cousin-in-law Olive, then please read no further. I want to regale you with my Internet problems and how I overcame them. 
When I came Salou, almost a year ago, I compared the prices that various ISPs (Internet Service Providers) wanted and saw that they were much more expensive than in UK - especially when you factor in the cost of a landline. I didn't really want or need a landline so investigated alternative ways of getting internet access here in my flat. 
I hit on the idea of a mobile router, which works using a SIM card. I bought a Huawei LTE CPE model E5186s-22a. I put in a Spanish SIM and found it worked perfectly well, but. Isn't there always a but? The but, in this case, was that there was a maximum entitlement of 26 GB per month. If I went over, as I did most months,  then they billed me even more than what I had signed up for. I soon found that this wasn't enough for my needs - the odd Skype lesson and streaming the 'occasional' UK TV programme soon ate up the gigabytes.(N.B. In UK English programme is used for TV programmes and program for software.)
Image result for huawei lte cpe e5186s-22a 
So, bite the bullet and pay for internet through a landline. 48 Euros per month (roughly £42). There are comparison sites here and you can get cheaper rates ordering on-line rather than visiting a shop but whenever you click on an offer you are asked to telephone somebody. I don't like using the telephone at the best of times but to try and communicate in Spanish when I only have 400-500 words of general Spanish and almost no technical Spanish would have been an absolute nightmare. When I went to a local Orange shop they eventually told me that Movistar had the monopoly on certain numbers, including mine, in the block of flats where I live. That may, or may not, be true but Orange said they weren't in a position to help. So, trog off to the local Movistar shop where I signed a contract for them to provide landline and internet (+ 2 SIM cards).
The technician arrived within a few days and told me, I think, that I had to have their router near to the telephone point. This is nowhere near where the TV and desktop are currently located. Desktop, and notebook and mobile now all worked wirelessly and give me continuous access to the internet without worrying about running over a monthly entitlement, but (and there's that but again) streaming TV from UK paused to reload more often than I liked.
I knew that internet over ethernet would be faster than internet over wi-fi so I have just been out and bought a 7.5 metre telephone extension cable. The router is now on the shelf above the TV and is connected by internet cable to my desktop PC. Download speed is almost 4 times faster. The smart TV in the bedroom also lets me wirelessly listen to music and watch the best that You Tube has to offer. (I had been worried that if I moved the router the bedroom TV would then be out of range but everything is fine).
All's well that ends well. Now I just have to advertise the old mobile router on eBay and move on to the next (technical) problem. And secure the cable around the wall with those little things whose name I have temporarily forgotten.
And finally, for anybody who wants to become a geek......

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