- A dongle is a portable USB device that connects your device instantly to the internet.
- Dongles don’t come with a power adapter and don’t need to be recharged. You can only use it for one device at a time.
- Ever since pocket WiFi was introduced in the market, dongles are now considered old technology and many providers have ditched them altogether.
Confused as to how does a dongle work? Or, are you thinking about whether it can serve as a reliable backup for your existing broadband plan? The dongle is like a modem in a miniature form that is completely wireless. You can plug it straight into your computer via a USB port and give you access to the internet wherever there is reception.
To understand more about dongles and how they can support your internet needs, read our guide below.
What is a dongle and how does it work?
A dongle is a portable USB device that connects your device instantly to the internet - just like how modems work. It’s sometimes called a WiFI dongle, an internet stick, USB modem, network adaptor, or USB mobile broadband stick.
Dongles don’t come with a power adapter and don’t need to be recharged. You can only use it for one device at a time. However, ever since pocket WiFi was introduced in the market, dongles are now considered old technology and many providers have ditched them altogether. But there are still some plans available on the market that offer dongle plans like Telstra and SpinTel.
Dongles work the same as your smartphone - it connects through 3G, 4G, or for newer ones, 5G networks. As soon as you plug the dongle into your computer, you will already be able to get online.
Who needs a dongle?
People who travel a lot will benefit from using a dongle to get online. In this case, they would no longer have to rely on public WiFi which is oftentimes unsecured. Those who are located in remote areas where reliable internet access is nonexistent are also advised to try using a dongle.
Pros of Using a Dongle
One of the primary advantages of using a dongle is that it’s hassle-free to set up. You don’t need to hire a technician to have it installed. Some plans from reputable internet service providers include a free dongle when you take out a contract.
Cons of Using a Dongle
Compared to a fixed wired connection, a dongle will still have a comparatively slower speed, which is one of its primary drawbacks. Streaming high-definition videos can be a struggle.
A dongle’s internet coverage also depends on the mobile reception in your vicinity. In areas with mobile black spots, your internet access may also be limited.
There are several alternatives to using a dongle to get connected. For instance, you can get a mobile broadband router or even use your smartphone as a hotspot. You can also consider using other mobile broadband devices such as pocket WiFi.
If you’re looking for a backup for your existing broadband plan, then a dongle is a great option. This ensures that you will always stay connected for as long as there is mobile reception in the area. In the same manner, the use of a dongle will prove to be beneficial if you are a frequent traveller. Just keep in mind that along with the many benefits that you can reap from the use of a dongle, there are certain drawbacks that you need to consider as well. Rest assured that with this portable device, you will always have the means to go online whenever you need to.