A dongle is a cheap way for you to connect to mobile broadband, but finding the right deal will depend on your needs.

There are two things you should think about before comparing dongle deals using our comparison:

  • Download limit: This affects how much you can use the internet in one month without being charged extra. Find out how to choose your data limit in our guide.

  • Speed: Your main options are 3G and faster 4G, although the latter is more expensive and not widely available. EE offer superfast 4G+ but this is only available in London.

Which device do you need?

There are three main types to choose from:

  1. 1.

    Dongle: A USB device that gives you mobile broadband on your laptop or computer. It is best suited if you use the internet on the move because it is small and portable.

  2. 2.

    WiFi device: This lets you connect multiple devices to a wireless hotspot at the same time. It is more expensive than a USB dongle because it works like home broadband.

  3. 3.

    Car WiFi: This plugs into your car lighter socket to provide a wireless hotspot on the move. This allows you to connect several devices but data limits are often lower.

How can you pay for your broadband dongle?

The two main costs are the price of your dongle and the cost of your internet data, and you can:

  • Pay up front: You will need to pay for your dongle but it is the cheapest way to get online if you rarely use the internet. You can then top up your data when you need it without the tie of a contract.

  • Pay monthly: You have the option of 12 and 24 month contracts, or a rolling monthly contract. Your dongle will probably be included for free and you could save if you make use of the higher data limits.

Broadband dongle FAQs

Q

How do I use a dongle?

A

Plug it into your USB port and follow the instructions on your screen. This is why dongles are called plug and play devices.

Q

How much does a broadband dongle cost?

A

They start from around 15 but are usually included for free if you take out a pay monthly mobile broadband contract.

Q

Can I replace my home broadband with a dongle?

A

Yes, you can turn your dongle into a WiFi hotspot for your home but speed and data allowances will be lower than standard home broadband.

Q

Can I get unlimited data with a dongle?

A

No, but most providers offer higher data allowances for an additional cost. You can check unlimited broadband deals on our comparison page.

Q

What happens if I exceed my data limit?

A

You may be charged extra and your broadband speed could also be restricted at peak times. Read our guide to data limits for more information.

Q

How else can I get mobile broadband?

A

The main options are SIM mobile broadband or wireless mobile broadband. Read our guide to mobile broadband for more information.