But what should you do when you don't want to commit to a landline and don't have cable in your area? The answer could be to sign up to a mobile broadband dongle account.
With the help of the humble dongle home broadband has undergone a reincarnation, and it's now possible to access the internet without being tied in to a long and expensive deal.
We compare mobile dongles broadband with more conventional connections and step through exactly how a dongle internet account works.

How does a dongle work for broadband?

Also known as mobile broadband, a broadband dongle for laptop users works by providing what is effectively a mini modem combined with a sim card which you then plug into your USB port.
Recent developments in technology have seen an increasing number of users veer away from using laptops and instead use tablet devices. The good news is that you can get a dongle for most Android tablets although unfortunately you can't get a dongle for iPad users.
With a broadband dongle you can access the internet from wherever you are, even if you are out and about, providing you have a mobile signal. It's even possible to get an international mobile broadband dongle if you are a frequent traveller and want to stay connected whilst away.
Most companies that offer a dongle broadband package provide the dongle at no cost, and once you've downloaded any software and set up your account, all you need do to go online is switch on your machine and off you go!

Broadband dongles comparison: the pros and cons

The cheapest mobile broadband dongle can cost very little and if you don't need a large data allowance, you will be able to get online for just a few pounds every month.
However, if you are a heavy user, you might want to find an unlimited dongle broadband deal in order to save yourself shelling out a small fortune in extra allowance charges.
An unlimited broadband dongle is ideal if you enjoy gaming online or if you stream media or download films. Without an unlimited mobile broadband dongle account, just a couple of films or TV programmes from an app such as the iPlayer could wipe out your monthly data allowance.
If you are a particularly heavy user or rely on your internet connection, you may be better off considering a landline or cable account as they are usually considered more stable.
If on the other hand, you simply use the internet to check your emails, do a spot of shopping and chat over Facebook you will find the data allowances supplied with most laptop broadband dongle packages are more than sufficient.
It is worth considering a pay as you go dongle deal, as this 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.
The final thing to bear in mind is your location. If you have an excellent mobile phone signal, you have a good chance at getting a reasonably quick speed with a dongle. But if your phone signal is weak or patchy, your internet service will be exactly the same; a recipe certain to end in frustration and disaster!
Once you know which provider offers the best coverage in your area and you have a good idea of the type of package you want, it's time to compare dongle broadband deals. This gives you the chance to get the best price on the service you want without having to compromise on quality or cost.