Being able to access the internet used to mean having to get a landline installed or signing up to lengthy contracts. However, technology has developed so rapidly that's no longer the case.
If you have a laptopall you need is a tiny plug-in device known as a dongle which simple slots into your USB, and you can access the internet with a broadband connection just as quickly as someone with a more conventional contract.
If you have never considered getting a pay as you go home broadband dongle before, this guide will run through everything you need to know.
How do pay as you go broadband dongles work?
Dongles are based on wireless technology and work via the USB port on your computer. The frequency of the dongle is then used as the wireless access point for the internet.
You receive internet dongle coverage anywhere you have a mobile signal, and just like a mobile, it allows you to connect whilst on the go (should you want to). A wireless dongle for computers can therefore be used either as the main form of internet access or a supplementary account for use when you're away from home.
A pay as you go dongle provides you with a means of only paying for internet access as and when you need it rather than shelling out a set amount each month. You top up your dongle WiFi account either by being given a specified data limit or running it over a certain period of time (usually with a data allowance cap) after which your credit will expire.
What is the best mobile broadband dongle pay as you go deal?
The best way to find the most competitive payg mobile broadband package is to compare pay as you go broadband dongle deals - not just the one that your mobile phone contract is with. This is because what's on offer from every provider is likely to be different and what suits some people won't work for others.
It's important you don't just plump for the cheapest pay as you go broadband dongle package because you might find your connection isn't what you hoped. The best broadband dongle pay as you go deals as those that not only fit your needs but are also compatible with your lifestyle.
For example, if you travel frequently and want to be able to access the internet whilst you are away, a roaming broadband pay as you go dongle is an essential. On the other hand, if you want to set up an internet dongle pay as you go account for home use, you will need to ensure you can get a decent signal where you live. Mobile providers typically provide coverage maps to help you work out whether the service will be adequate.
What are the benefits of PAYG dongle deals?
Whilst the quality of the connection you receive can be more variable with a pay as you go mobile broadband dongle than with a landline or fibre optic cable set-up, it does have a number of advantages.
The best dongle deals allow you to save money compared to other types of connection and also provide you with the ability to choose how much you spend on your internet service on a month by month basis.
A mobile broadband dongle pay as you go service means that you don't have to tie yourself into long contracts and you can still access the internet properly whilst away from home. Whilst you might technically be able to get online with your smartphone, you may not have Flash player and there's lots of applications which are either not permitted or near impossible on the small screen of a mobile.
And just like a regular internet access package, it's possible to tailor mobile broadband dongles pay as you go accounts to make sure you have the data limits that you need.
However, before signing up for any internet dongle deals, make sure you understand exactly what's included in your package and how much it costs otherwise you could end up wiping out your data allowance with just one large download.