Struggling to Get a Stronger WiFi Signal? Try these 8 Tips
With hybrid working and the emerging ‘work from anywhere’ culture, we are dependent on a good internet connection wherever we are. And mobile broadband or dongle (as they are commonly known), are a great solution for using the internet while you’re on the go. But let us first understand what a dongle is and what are its pros and cons?
What is a Dongle?
A dongle visually looks like a small USB stick that provides access to the internet and enables us to use online services without needing to connect to Wi-Fi. It is a pocket-size device that connects to your smartphone, tablet or laptop and allows you to access the internet while you’re traveling.
It can also be referred to as a Wi-Fi dongle, USB modem, internet stick, USB network adapter or USB mobile broadband stick and most of the Wi-Fi dongles resemble USB drives. So, the next time you hear the words ‘WiFi Dongle,’ you know we are talking about internet access on the go.
Dongles are popular as portable internet providing devices, because they offer greater flexibility than fixed line connections and can be used on the go. USB internet is also another term used for accessing the internet through an internet dongle, as most dongles are connected to your laptop via a USB connection.
Using a Wi-Fi dongle is simple, you just need to plug the Wi-Fi stick into the computer or mobile phone and you’re instantly connected to the internet. After being plugged in, the USB dongle can also be used to share the internet connection with other devices, share and receive files, and for carrying out many other internet activities as required.
Get broadband Access while You’re on the Move
If you’re working outside your office or home, then the most commonly opted option for accessing the internet is to use public wi-fi hotspots, although being in range when you need to get online is never guaranteed! Moreover, internet connections in coffee shops/restaurants aren’t always reliable and they may also not be secure, which can put your private or business data at risk.
As hotspots usage is a struggle with increased internet demand, a convenient option is to use your own broadband wireless dongle to enjoy uninterrupted data. This handy piece of kit helps you to stay connected and work from anywhere!
Benefits of Broadband Dongles
The most common benefits of broadband dongles are that they enable you to get online quickly without the need of installation of any device or system. Let us walk you through some more benefits of using a broadband dongle:
- Simple to set up and will keep you connected wherever there is a 3G, 4G or 5G mobile connection (depending on the dongle you choose).
- You don’t need to rely on public hotspots or free-wifi connection when you’re outdoors.
- It enables flexibility to get online while out and about and without the patchy connections.
- Simple, compact and easy to carry along making them extremely portable.
- You don’t need to charge them because they’re powered by a laptop’s battery.
- They are also a very useful back-up or alternative to a fixed home broadband connection.
- They provide surprisingly fast speeds, so you can expect decent performance, and when 5G options become available, performance will be even better.
- Dongles can be connected with any laptop or tablet device, or even an e-book reader, as long as it has a USB port.
- You can also get pay-as-you-go options, which are useful if you only need the dongle for a short period.
Are there Any Downsides to Dongles?
Every device has both pros as well as cons and hence it is always better to know both sides of any device or system. Following are a few limitations of broadband dongles:
- Dongles are more expensive than a standard fixed-line broadband connection.
- They can only connect to one device at a time and the device needs to have a USB port.
- Performance of a dongle with a mobile phone, also depends on the mobile phone reception in a particular area.
- They usually have monthly data limits.
- Dongles can be expensive when traveling abroad.
Is Dongle a Good Choice for a Business?
Well, this completely depends on what you want to use it for. Do you want to use it as a back-up for when your broadband goes down, or to provide an alternative connection where fixed line broadband performance can be laggy? For these two usages, it’s a good choice, but a basic dongle will only be good for a single connection.
At times when wifi is not enough to suffice your internet usage at times, then dongles are a great option. Basically dongles are great for individual business or personal users, but for large scale extensive, everyday business use, a fixed line service will give you much higher levels of consistent performance and reliability.
Alternatives to a Dongle
Depending on what you use broadband for and when you use it, you can consider one of the following for connecting to the internet instead of using a broadband dongle:
Mi-fis (also known as personal wi-fi devices) are sometimes confused with dongles. In fact, they double up as routers and modems as they have the ability to connect several devices to a data network at once.
However, connecting multiple devices can quickly eat away your data if you are not on an unlimited plan. On the other hand, with a broadband/wi-fi dongle, you have the flexibility to use it for a short period of time or for a short-term contract.
There are SIM cards with a data plan that can be inserted only into compatible tablets, laptops and devices such as mi-fis.
Most of us are aware of this option available in our smartphone’s setting, which can be turned on to effectively convert your mobile into a temporary router that can allow other devices to access its data connection. It definitely drains out your data quicker than usual but is a good option to offer your phone’s internet for other devices when needed urgently.
Mobile Home Broadband
Home broadband that connects to a mobile data network doesn’t require a landline, you just need to plug the ‘hub’ device provided by the mobile network into a socket, and after setting it up, your devices will be connected either to a network, depending on your provider and the area in which you live.
When traveling, most of us opt for public W-Fi from restaurants, cafes, malls, airports, etc. However, it is important to understand that using these internet connections can be dangerous for our devices, personal and professional data and have unintended consequences if the internet is not properly secured. Hackers and cybercriminals can easily take control of the device and steal your information and therefore using the dongle’s internet keeps your connection private and unseen to hackers while you’re on the go.