What Is A Mobile Broadband Dongle?

When you sign up for a mobile broadband contract or pay as you go deal your provider will send you a USB modem also known as a USB stick, WiFi stick or more commonly as a mobile broadband dongle.

The USB dongle is plugged into one of the USB ports on your PC or laptop and the dongle will find a wireless signal and connect to your providers 3G network to give you mobile broadband. Dongles are plug and play devices which mean that they are extremely easy to use and to setup. Once you initially receive your mobile broadband dongle you simply need to plug it into your pc or laptop and the software already installed on the dongle will automatically install on your computer. Occasionally the SIM card that contains your mobile broadband package details will come separately, but again it is very simply to insert the SIM card into the dongle prior to use. Adding the SIM card into the dongle and installing the software is a one time operation so once you have done this you don’t need to worry about doing it again.

The majority of the mobile broadband dongles on the market today also double as data storage devices because you are able to insert a memory card into the dongle for you to read or write data via your computer.

Dongles are roughly the size of a packet of chewing gum and all of the major mobile broadband networks in the UK, 3, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Orange offer a range of contracts and payg deals which come complete with USB dongles.

The majority of mobile broadband connections are made via dongles, but if you need to connect more than one device to the Internet at once you could use a WiFi or MiFi device. These act in much the same way as a dongle but are typically slightly larger in size and allow for up to 5 devices to be connected to the Internet at once.