When the Macro Network is Faster than the Hotspot

I am just sitting in a café enjoying a late breakfast working on some stuff on my netbook. Instead of being connected over 3G I use the local Wi-Fi hotspot and a VPN for security. Not that I don't like using the 3G macro network but this way I don't have to plug in a 3G USB stick. But then, this comes at the expense of slower speeds as the Wi-Fi hotspot seems to be connected to a slow ADSL line with 'only' 2 MBit/s in the downlink direction and a couple of hundred kilobits in the uplink.

I just noticed this when sending an e-mail with a large file attachment as it took a couple of minutes for it to trickle through the line. I was tempted to stop the data transfer and use the 3G stick instead. With HSUPA and uplink speeds of 1.5 MBit/s it would have been much faster. But then, too much work to reorganize (…), so I just put the transmission into the background and continued working on other stuff in the meantime.

There we go, now hotspots aren't necessarily always faster anymore compared to the macro network.