You travel a lot.
A USB dongle is a small device that you can carry around in your pocket. If you commute to work, then dongles can be handy to access the internet on buses and trains. If you’re in an airport with busy WiFi hotspots, just plug it in and you’re good to go. With a dongle you always have the option to connect without having to locate a WiFi hotspot or ask for a password.
You work in unreliable locations.
If some days you find yourself in shared workspaces, cafés or coffee shops, and have to battle to access their WiFi, a dongle for internet access can be a real saving grace.
How fast is the internet on a dongle?
The internet speed you can achieve while using a WiFi dongle depends on the mobile device you are using, the network it’s connected to and the strength of the coverage where you are.
If you are using a modern device, are connected to a 4G network and have excellent coverage, you should find doing most things online to be plain sailing. However, if you are looking to download and upload big files or watch 4K movies with poor network coverage on an old device, you may find the whole process a little cumbersome.
What are the drawbacks of Wi-Fi dongles?
Until 5G is fully rolled out, 4G is the most widely available signal and it’s not ideal for streaming or uploading big files. When you’re using your dongle, it’s best to keep your online tasks pretty basic.
The stability of your internet connection will also depend on your mobile provider’s reception in the area: if it’s not very good, your internet connection won’t be very good either.
Another thing to consider is download limits. Your home broadband package probably doesn’t come with any, but mobile broadband usually does. You’ll need to get the right package for your needs from your service provider, something we’d be more than happy to help with at Virgin Media.
Speaking of fast connections, you should also note that until 5G arrives with solid nationwide coverage, a Wi-Fi dongle is simply no substitute for a good home broadband connection. The speeds you can achieve are minimal in comparison to the superfast speeds delivered by Virgin Media.
What are the alternatives to dongles?
If you want to get online on your laptop fast, then there is no better way than a mobile broadband dongle. You don’t need to locate a WiFi hotpost and enter a password, you simply plug it in and you’re away.
However, should you wish to get multiple electronic devices online at the same time, then you will require an alternative with a bit more oomph: you’ll be in the market for a MiFi dongle.