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USB Mobile broadband explained

What is USB Mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is no longer just for phones, technology including 4G have made it a legitimate alternative to terrestrial broadband for many users. In most cases uses will employ a dongle, a kind of USB stick which acts as a transmitter, to access a connection. Mobile broadband can be bought from any of the major mobile networks.

There are several things to consider in terms of benefits and drawbacks of dongles. While they are not as fast as ADSL (terrestrial) broadband, with 4G some providers offer speeds that are in the same ball-park and will suit the needs of users who don’t need to stream or download large amounts of content or much HD content. Data limits play a role here as well, as if you are using your connection for heavy use content such as this there would be a big risk that you would go over your data limits.

From an ease of use perspective dongles are very suitable, since there are not much setup costs or hassle. They can be plugged in to any laptop or computer which makes them very versatile. And of course there are no physical limitations on where you bring the modem, although some areas will have poor reception.

This is not such an issue with ADSL since line checks are done before the service commences. Most places will have sufficient coverage for good mobile broadband, but it is worth checking. The final consideration is that you should try not to use your dongle too much abroad as there are high surcharges.

EE are the network who first made extensive 4G roll-outs, and one of their dongles and mobile broadband packages could get you speeds of up to 60Mbps. 42Mbps is possible with a dongle from Three, and 21Mbps from Vodafone (who are noted for having large amounts of data available).<