Broadband hardware jargon: What's a dongle?

If you are after a broadband connection and you need hardware, you need to know your wireless router from your dongle. Compare Broadband explains the jargon surrounding broadband hardware.

ADSL Modem: An ADSL or ADSL2+ modem is a small machine necessary for having an ADSL connection. You cannot simply plug your computer into a telephone jack. A modem needs to be enabled for ADSL2+ if you want to get the full speed of an ADSL2+ connection. You can get 1-port, 2-port, or 4-port modems, with some having Wi-Fi and even VoIP within the machine.

In-line filter: To plug in both your telephone handset and your ADSL modem into a single phone jack you’ll need an in-line filter. These usually come free with your ADSL modem.

A filter has two holes, one for the phone cord, and one for the modem cord. Occasionally, you will need to put filters on all of the phones in your home in order to get good quality broadband and phone calls.

: Television over the internet. Generally speaking there are less commercials, and you can watch the show any time of the day you like. Some IPTV channels are free, whereas others require paid subscriptions. Some ISPs will require additional hardware, such as a set-top box, or an IPTV compatible modem.

Mobile Wireless Gateway
: A device that creates a Wi-Fi network through Mobile Wireless. However, having multiple computers online simultaneously with current mobile wireless technologies will result in a much slower and unstable Wi-Fi connection when compared with ADSL 2+ Wi-Fi. These devices are also known as Pocket Wi-Fi.

Phone jack: The hole in the wall where you plug a phone into via a cord is the phone jack or socket. You’ll need phone jacks to get ADSL broadband.

USB dongle: A small USB stick with a SIM card inside that accesses mobile wireless broadband via the mobile towers.

If you come across any other broadband internet acronyms or jargon-based words you are unaware of, please call us at Compare Broadband on 1300 106 571 and we will do our utmost to explain them to you in simple terms.