The Internet has become an important part of our lives. Among moderate and heavy users it is often deemed essential. The need to have an Internet connection at your fingertips almost all hours of the day is now a common desire, and to meet this many Internet service providers offer mobile broadband Internet connections. In order to utilise, and be aware of whether or not you require, this functionality, you must understand what mobile broadband is and how to use it.
The what and how of mobile broadband
1. The what of a mobile broadband Internet connection
Mobile broadband Internet connectivity is rather simple to explain, because the clue is in the name. As the name suggest, this feature is a broadband Internet connection that can be used when you are away from your home. It is accessed via a mobile device that offers a broadband Internet connection facility allowing you to complete online tasks while on the go.
Once again, similar to your home broadband connection, the mobile broadband bandwidth will be determined by the amount of tasks you complete on your mobile device. Mobile broadband allows one to play online games, stream music and videos, check email and download files. You must also consider the storage size of your phone when downloading files, as the mobile phone’s memory may be somewhat restrictive.
2. The how of a mobile broadband Internet connection
There are various ways a mobile broadband Internet connection can be accessed. The first is via a ‘dongle’. A dongle is a small USB modem that is inserted into the USB port of your mobile device.
The second is via a built-in device or data card. This option is usually seen in smart phones, laptops and tablets. It is possible to get SIM only broadband if you already have the connecting device.
Finally, the third option is via mobile hotspots or Wi-Fi connections. This is available as part of different Internet connection packages, which can be obtained from different Internet service providers (as seen on comparison sites like uSwitch.com).
Mobile broadband and mobile internet browsing devices
The mobile broadband option is a highly enticing, efficient and convenient option. However, some people will ask the question as to whether this option can be accessed with their current devices.
As mentioned above, this type of Internet connection can be accessed by all devices that have a minimum of one of the following features:
A fully functioning USB port
A data card
A built-in mobile broadband facility
An ability to access a Wi-Fi Internet connection
It is recommended that when purchasing a mobile device that is to be used for Internet browsing, you should determine whether or not it has the above features. Furthermore, you should determine what operating system it runs off as certain systems are more compatible with mobile broadband Internet connections than others.
How do I get mobile broadband?
Now that you have an idea of what mobile broadband is, and how the connection can be obtained, you must gain some knowledge of what types of mobile broadband connections are available. This is important as the type of mobile broadband you purchase should be determined by the type of Internet user you are, and what requirements you have.
To ensure you are getting the best mobile broadband, you must not only determine your requirements but also do research on the providers. The mobile devices offered are as important as the packages, and it is essential that both are obtained from reliable and trustworthy service providers to eliminate bad connections. Comparison sites can be used, as well as checking forums and discussing the matter with friends.
Make sure that you choose a provider that has good coverage where you want to use it. Some providers will offer you a money back guarantee to give you peace of mind that if the connection quality is poor you can take it back. You could also just buy a SIM card to try out mobile broadband connections. You will have to credit the SIM but you should be able to work out pretty quickly how good the mobile broadband coverage is.
What are the disadvantages of mobile broadband connections?
At the moment providers have identified two disadvantages to the mobile broadband Internet connection. These pitfalls are listed and explained below.
1. The connection speed and usage
Although the advertised speed is not always the speed you will receive, this is still an important factor for many people. This is due to high download and uploads speed being required for such online tasks as ‘surfing the web’, streaming music and films, social networking, video sharing and gaming. If a low 3G data speed is experienced, there will be a delay in all of these online activities.
However, the introduction of the 4G network has brought in speeds averaging approximately 15-20Mb on mobile devices in the UK. The problem is that the 4G network is only available in certain areas and on certain packages. Yet, mobile broadband service providers are working on delivering 4G coverage across the UK, and hope to reach this goal by the end of the year 2015.
2. Coverage and stability
As noted above, only certain areas in the UK receive 4G network coverage – this is true with the 3G mobile broadband connection as well. Furthermore, certain packages are not able to offer Wi-Fi mobile hotspots via 3G, due to their inability to cover certain areas and lack of 3G technology. If you require a stable connection, it is best to utilise a fixed-line broadband option, with mobile broadband as a back-up alternative.
Final words on the topic of mobile broadband connections
In conclusion, mobile broadband is an exciting and convenient form of technology that can add something to the lives of all Internet users. However, it is important to do your research and learn what mobile broadband is before purchasing a mobile broadband package. This will ensure you have the most efficient connection for your needs.
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