Do you know how much you are going to need your mobile broadband? Have you decided that you need regular access on the move? If the answer is yes to these two questions then pay monthly dongle deals may be the right option for you. There are a number of very good dongle deals which you will have to pay monthly for. Looking at the different aspects of these deals will help you determine whether they are right for you.
Contract length of dongle deals
When looking at pay monthly dongle deals you will notice that the lengths of the contracts vary quite a bit. It is possible to get a contract that lasts only a month on a rolling basis to the normal 12, 18 and 24 month contracts. Many people find that if they have a contract which is longer then they will save more money in the long term. Of course, while this may be the case long term contracts are not the ideal solution for everyone.
As the mobile broadband industry is constantly growing many people feel it would not be beneficial to them to sign a long contract. This is particularly true with the advent of the 4G mobile broadband network in the UK. Signing a 24 month contract ties you down for 2 years and in that time a lot can change in the market. The broadband you will be using may be very outdated by the time you are halfway through your contract.
Many people view a 12 month contract as the perfect middle ground. The reason for this is that a lot can change in a year. This means that once you contract ends you will be able to move onto a better dongle deal.
Getting the dongle
When you look at pay as you go contract you will see that you have to pay for the dongle. The reason for this is that the mobile broadband service provider has no way of reclaiming the cost of the device. This is not the case with pay monthly customers. Providers are able to get the cost of the dongle back through your monthly payments. With this being the case you generally get the dongle for free with these contracts.
With certain deals it is also possible to get dongles which can be used as a USB memory stick. There are other dongle devices known as Mi-Fi which work as a modem and allow you to connect across a number of devices.
The download limits
Download limits are very important with all kinds of broadband. Extra care should be taken when dealing with mobile broadband. If you are looking at monthly contracts then you need regular access to the internet. This may also mean that you require high data allowances to compensate for the extra time you will be on.
Depending on the deal and the provider the data allowance will vary. It is possible to get a deal with only 500mb of data to a deal with 15GB of data. Some providers have even started offering unlimited mobile broadband deals.
You need to consider how much data you actually need each month. Once this has been done you will have to look at the excess charges of the deal and see what they are offering. Almost all of the pay monthly contracts on the market will have a data limit which you need to stick to. If you exceed this limit you may face some rather pricey additional costs for the data you have used.
There are a number of ways that you can go about tracking your usage. Most dongle deals include software that tracks what you have used in real time. There are also a number of programmes which can be downloaded from the internet for free that track the data usage of software on your computer.
Some providers have the service of buying additional data at the normal rate. If you have reached you limit this is the most cost effective solution. These charges are generally cheaper than the out of bundle ones that you will face otherwise.
The speed of your connection
Connection speed is classed as the most important factor in choosing broadband packages. The reason for this is that the speed of your connection will affect how you use the internet. Slow broadband speeds lead to lag when surfing the web.
The speed you should be able to get with a 3G dongle is 14mb per second. Of course this is the maximum speed for this connection type and most people will not get this. The reality of mobile broadband is that the speeds you generally do get are closer to 1mb per second. The speed of your connection will also fluctuate depending on the strength of the 3G signal.
If you need very fast speeds than a mobile connection may not be the best option for you. For the time being you have to compromise the speed of the connection for the ability to connect anywhere with mobile broadband.
Of course for certain people in certain areas it is possible to use the 4G network. This connection offers maximum speeds which are 5 times greater than 3G. However, 4G availability is quite limited so it may be a while before everyone can get these speeds.
When you look at dongle deals you have to consider the network provider you are going with. You should ensure that the provider works in your area and that they have a decent coverage zone in your area. The coverage zone will vary from provider to provider with some having a much larger network than others.
If the provider you want to go with does not have coverage in your area you will not be able to connect to the internet. Check the providers website for a coverage map to see if you can get their connection. Of course you should be aware of the fact that these maps generally do not tell you the strength of the connection in your area.
Sam Jones considered dongle deals when he was thinking about changing his internet service. uSwitch and other online price comparison sites helped him save a little money each month on his connection fees.
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