Can a 4G plan replace an Internet box? We tested

Connection sharing is a very practical feature on our smartphones. Since it made its appearance on Android 2.2 FroYo (May 2010) and iOS 4.3 (March 2011) - among others - this option has taken more than one out of the galley. Recently, I was once again able to mentally thank the people who had this fabulous idea to share their Internet connection with another device. 

And this is the subject of the little experience that I would like to tell you in the following lines.



Scientific miser

I recently moved. Yes, we agree, you don't have much to do with it, but, I promise, it's an important detail to the story. When I arrived in my new home, I made a first observation: after having taken advantage of the Wi-Fi of the people who hosted me under their roofs during my first months in Paris (the housing crisis in the capital is still beating its full), it's finally time to have my own Internet box.

But it was exactly at that moment that my telephone operator, in his great leniency, decided to grant me an additional 20 GB per month on my 4G plan. Already benefiting from a monthly envelope of 20 GB, I thus reach 40 GB per month. The opportunity to do a little calculation.



鈥淭he opportunity to do a little calculation. "

Normally, I consume an average of 6 to 8 GB of data with my smartphone each month. This leaves me at least 32 GB unused. An idea crosses my mind: I can use this surplus to surf the web at home on my computer, through connection sharing. The tight-fisted that I am is then delighted to find an excuse to reject the subscription to an Internet offer for the home.

And then, besides my avarice, the idea is to know if it is possible to last a whole month only with this total of 40 GB. Pingre, certainly, but I help science.

Relentless videovore

In order for you to get a better idea of 鈥嬧媘y usual Internet consumption, I would point out that I am a big fan of anime on SVoD services and I regularly watch movies on these same platforms. Other than that, my internet usage mostly consists of surfing the web on news sites, forums, and social media - especially I love getting lost in YouTube limbo. Nevertheless, my humble abode is equipped only with a laptop. I have not yet invested in a connected TV or a game console and my tablet has been useless for ages. So I only connect via my PC in the evening and my smartphone during the day.



At the computer.

Without changing my spending habits, I was able to enjoy an almost normal Internet connection from my home computer. It did take a bit longer to load the pages or videos, but I was still able to access all the content I wanted without a problem. For information, at home, I have a 4G connection with an average speed of around 156/44 Mbps between 20 pm and 1 hour. Yes, I really have no complaints.

One of the speedtests I did during the month.

After two weeks, I see that I have consumed nearly 25 GB. It is more than half, but I reassure myself by telling myself that my program for the next few days is more loaded on a personal level and that I I will therefore have less time to spend on the web, since I will be out more regularly with relatives.

The following days confirm my forecasts. My consumption is slowing down and I attacked the last week with a little over 9 GB.

My consumption spendings.

Complicated end of the month

But I crack. One Sunday, when the lack of motivation to leave my house stuck in front of my PC, I burn 3 GB in one day. So here I am with only 6 GB available five days from the renewal of my plan. Well, I'm not losing hope: by slightly reducing my time spent on the web, I can hold on. But I can't quite straighten the bar and three days before resetting my envelope, I only have 3 GB left. So I resolve to make bigger concessions. I am reducing my video consumption even more considerably, but I am not completely depriving myself of watching one or two episodes of my favorite series.



We come to the end: by the evening of the last day of the month, there are only 200 miserable megabytes left and it is 20 pm. I admit defeat. I'm just allowing myself to read two articles and take a quick twist on Twitter, without posting anything on them. Forced to wake up early the next day to catch a plane, I can't afford to go out with friends. Result: I go back to a good book that I already know by heart - I recommend in passing the excellent trilogy The Well of Memories by Gabriel Katz - very happy despite everything to have been able to save a month of Internet subscription.

It's always nice to dive back into a good book.

The next day, my package is renewed. I push this mini experiment for another two weeks before a technician comes to my house to install the delicious optical fiber.

Time to take stock

Using only your 4G connection for a month will obviously not be suitable for everyone. All the people who spend several hours on network games will never be able to last a whole month under these conditions. However, for all users whose consumption is less than or equal to mine, 40 GB of 4G data to share between your smartphone and your computer can be very practical. Below this threshold, it seems much more complicated to me.

Anyway, remember to choose your mobile plan and take advantage of one of the regular promotions generated by the war between the operators. As for me, I admit that I am all the same very happy to be able today to benefit from a very high speed unlimited in all peace. But I do not regret at all however having been able to carry out this small experiment which I will repeat without hesitation if I eventually find myself in the galley.

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