Choosing mobile broadband: Built-in broadband laptops or dongles?

 
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With many home broadband customers taking the leap and adding mobile broadband to their list of everyday technological luxuries, it won’t be long before the rest of the UK follow suit and join the mobile broadband revolution.

Mobile broadband not only offers fast and easy internet access on the go, but also is an affordable alternative to home broadband connection when on the move or in an area where there is no Wi-Fi connection available. Ideal for businessmen and women, students, people who like to travel, in fact anyone who surfs the web a lot. To cater for all customers’ needs, there are now many options available for obtaining a mobile broadband connection; these include mobile broadband ‘dongles’ and Laptops with built-in broadband.

‘Dongles’ are the most commonly used of the two options, although laptops with built-in broadband are becoming more popular all the time – the offer of a free laptop to potential mobile broadband customers has a lot of appeal, often saving them hundreds of pounds. The benefits of using a mobile broadband ‘dongle’ are that they are discreet and portable, very easy to set up (simply plug in and go), and are available with a wide range of affordable packages. In terms of design most dongles have a similar appearance, comparable in size to a small mobile phone; they attach to your computer or laptop via a short USB cable and are usually white, black or silver. Also available are USB sticks, which are smaller in size (the same size as a flash drive/ memory stick) and plug directly into your laptop or computer without a cable.

Built-in broadband laptops, on the other hand, allow you to access broadband speed internet, without the use of a modem. This means that you can access wireless internet connection wherever there is a mobile phone signal. Many of the mobile broadband providers now offer laptops with built-in broadband, including notebooks, which are more compact and easier to carry around on the move. Built-in broadband laptops have an internet button which allows you to connect and disconnect from the internet as you please, making connecting to the internet simpler than ever.

So, which is a better option? On the whole, mobile broadband using a ‘dongle’ tends to be cheaper per month and has more flexible contracts in terms of length (some contracts last only one month), therefore if you want the cheapest option and don’t want to be tied into a long contract then a ‘dongle’ is perhaps the better option. Built-in broadband laptops and netbooks are great for those looking for a new laptop in addition to a mobile broadband connection. As a result they tend to cost more per month, with longer minimum contracts; between 18 and 24 months. If you are looking to save money in the long term and want a shiny new laptop or notebook, and aren’t deterred by a long-term contract, then this option may be more beneficial.

About the author:

Kimberley Howson is a writer for Top 10 Broadband, the UK’s no. 1 comparison site for broadband and mobile broadband.

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3 Responses to Choosing mobile broadband: Built-in broadband laptops or dongles?

  1. joshua June 6, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    The above article regarding comparison of mobile broadband dongles and laptop with built in broadband is really informative.

  2. Charlotte June 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    … never have been a fan of dongles after getting an expensive one stolen.

  3. coraljet January 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    if you wanna optimize your internet performance, i suggest downloading dsl speed, it can boosts internet connection, thereby speeding up your computer

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