Q:

How does an Internet dongle work?

A:

A dongle allows users to access the Internet from virtually anywhere by connecting to a telephone network. Internet dongles are powered by the user’s computer and use mobile network signals to connect to a broadband network. The device provides access to the Internet using the same 3G or 4G technology as mobile network providers.

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Full Answer

A dongle is a computer peripheral that plugs into a computer with a USB connection and bridges two devices with different connector types. A dongle allows users to connect to the Internet without being constrained by fixed-line connections.

Dongles are available from all mobile providers. They allow users to access the web from anywhere that mobile broadband is available. The primary advantages of a dongle are simplicity and the ability to connect to the Internet while traveling. An Internet dongle only requires a SIM card, a laptop or PC, and access to a mobile broadband network to provide Internet access.

One of the primary drawbacks of Internet dongles is their connectivity speeds. As of 2014, the industry-recognized average speed for Internet dongles is 1.5 MBps. This speed is suitable for basic tasks, such as calendar management, email and social network browsing, but it is not sustainable for advanced applications, such as media streaming. Other disadvantages of dongles include restrictions on download limits and reliance on mobile coverage. An Internet dongle does not work if the user is out of the provider’s coverage range.

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