Guide to mobile broadband dongles

Having access to mobile broadband means that you can quickly and easily access the web and your email pretty much wherever you go in the UK these days. Although coverage isn’t completely universal, it is certainly extensive if you’ve got the right kit to do it with.

There are numerous options for accessing mobile broadband these days with the humble laptop still a popular choice for many of us. The netbook is another option and is often the better route to take if you’re looking for a more lightweight and less unwieldy gadget to have with you on your travels.

Mobile broadband deals

It’s possible to pick up a laptop or netbook for peanuts nowadays too, and some mobile broadband providers also throw them in as part of a package. Granted, you’ll probably have to sign up for a longer contract in that respect, usually a couple of years, but once the term has run its course the machine will be yours to keep.

Even if you buy a laptop or netbook outright and don’t want a contract you’ll still need to kit yourself out with a mobile broadband dongle before you can start enjoying all the benefits of having access to the internet while you’re on the go. The humble mobile broadband dongle allows you plug-and-go accessibility to your online activities and without it you’re pretty much stuck.

Pick the right package

You can get a mobile broadband dongle deal in all sorts of incarnations. For anyone who doesn’t want a contract then the pay-as-you-go option is a good idea as you only pay for the time that you’re connected to mobile network. Heavier online users will probably be better off with a contract package, and these come in all varieties, starting from as little as a one month rolling option through to 12 and 24 moths.

With a contract mobile broadband package you’ll be allowed more freedom when it comes to downloading larger amounts of data via downoads. All dongle deals have stipulations about how much data you can upload and download, so if you plan on being online a lot then lookout for the more generous deals, although these will generally cost you more.

Dongle specials

Mobile providers are always coming up with new products and incentives to get you to sign up with them, so look out for special dongle deals, dongle giveaways and also free gifts that come with dongle broadband packages. Some dongles can be bought as standalone products, while others will come supplied with a package. Use a mobile broadband comparison site such as Broadband Genie to pick through the best deals as it’s free to use and has a wealth of impartial information.

Once you have a dongle then it’s pretty much a case of just plugging it in and doing a little bit of configuring. With that in place you can then tap into the mobile broadband network, no matter where you are, although it might be an idea to use the aforementioned comparison site to check coverage in the areas that you plan to visit. Some geographical locations are less well covered than others, although this is improving all the time.

About the author: Rob Clymo writes on behalf of, the independent comparison website for broadband, mobile broadband and smartphones.

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