Whether you need mobile broadband on your laptop or tablet for work or for pleasure, chances are that if your device is more than a year or two old, you’re only option is the traditional mobile broadband dongle.
This is a device that you connect physically to your device which allows you to access the internet via a data plan with the network operator who provided your dongle.
Is this the right choice for you?
The traditional dongle is ideal if you are:
- Just looking to connect a single device and a single person to the internet.
- An occasional user of data on the move, e.g. checking the odd email from work while out of the office or checking in on social media the odd time.
- Looking for the cheapest entry point – the traditional dongle is usually the cheapest option.
The higher-tech option
As we began to spend more of our lives online, it was inevitable that mobile broadband connection devices kept pace with our growing level of usage.
Today, you can avail of a new generation of Wi-Fi modem that allows you to develop your own ‘Wi-Fi Hotspot’ wherever and whenever you need it. This means that you can connect multiple devices to the modem (anything from five to 10 devices is commonplace).
Perhaps you have a laptop and a tablet with you, and would also like to link your smartphone to the same signal. You can even connect your games console, letting you play against other gamers anywhere in the world.
It’s a fantastic choice for the busy ‘road warrior’ who needs to be connected for work purposes 24/7, while it’s also a very affordable choice even for personal users who simply don't like to be cut off from the internet.
Most modern devices boast a host of great features including:
- Clear displays of battery consumption, network signal and text alerts, so you know exactly where you stand in terms of mobile connectivity.
- Great download and upload speeds – especially if you’re in a 4G area.
- Great portability, as they typically only weigh around 150g, so you’ll barely know they're in your carrycase.
- You can connect up to 10 devices or 10 different users. This is very useful if you’re collaborating with a colleague who doesn’t have mobile broadband. He can simply piggyback on yours.
- Many such devices carry a microSD slot.
Is a hotspot the right choice for you?
This is by far the better choice if:
- You carry and use multiple devices on a regular basis.
- You sometimes need to allow others to piggyback on your Wi-Fi signal.
- You're a heavy data user and need great quality mobile broadband for either work or leisure.
- You need to be prepared for every eventuality that might befall you and simply can’t afford to be without a broadband connection.
Check out our range of affordable mobile broadband devices