Mobile Broadband Dongle Package Myths

There are many myths that surround mobile broadband dongle packages. Some of these myths do have a bit of truth in them, while some of them are pure fabrication. There are other myths that relate to outdated information. Mobile broadband dongles are not very well understood, even though 99% of the country is able to get mobile broadband. It is best to look at these myths and see if they are true or not.

Mobile Broadband Data Allowances are not Sufficient
This myth is both true and untrue, depending on how you define ‘sufficient. The amount of data a user requires depends greatly on what they are looking to do online. If they are only going to be checking their email then mobile broadband usually offers more than enough data. However, if they are looking to watch hours and hours of YouTube, then they will definitely not have enough data. “Sufficient” data allowance is all relative to the person using the broadband.

It is possible to get up to 50GB of data per month with many fixed-term broadband deals. Of course, there are other deals that only offer 500mb of data. You can also get PAYG broadband, where you are able to get as much data as you need by topping up your broadband.

Mobile Broadband Dongles have Slower Speeds
This myth is also true and untrue, depending on the technology. 3G mobile broadband does offer slower speeds than home broadband packages. However, 4G mobile broadband is able to offer speeds that compare to home broadband. Of course, the speed of your mobile broadband will be affected by the provider coverage and your location with respect to the mobile tower.

3G connections are able to get up to 21mb per second if the signal is excellent and the browser is fast. Generally, people are able to get around 7mb per second on a 3G connection, and this is well below the 14mb per second that ADSL users can get. 4G connections, however, offer speeds of up to 40mb per second. This surpasses ADSL connections but not fibre optic connections, which can reach speeds of up to 100mb.

Contract Lengths are Very Long
This myth is not actually true. While there are a number of providers that offer 24 month contracts, it is possible to get shorter contracts. In fact, you can even get PAYG broadband if you are seriously opposed to contracts of any length. The most common contracts for mobile broadband are 12 to 18 months.

The longer contracts are generally part of mobile broadband packages where you get something for free. If you are looking at an iPad deal, for example, then you will find a lot of 24 month contracts. The reason for this is that the provider needs to make back the cost of the free item over the contract length. The longer the contract length the lower the rates they can offer you, but you have to be careful with this: there are a lot of deals that have you paying more for the free item over the length of the contract than you would if you bought it outright.

Data Charges are Very High
This myth is true and untrue as well, depending on the charges you are looking at. There are a number of different data charges that you may have to pay. The first is the initial outlay for your base data allowance. This cost is generally less then you may think. The stiff competition in the market has forced providers to lower their rates to prevent losing business.

The second charge you may face is for exceeding your data allowance. These charges will vary depending on your provider. Most providers charge a set rate for every GB over your data allowance you have used. You may suffer further penalties if you constantly go over your allowance so you should check the small print of your contract for these penalties.

The last charge you may find yourself facing is when you use the broadband abroad. You may have to pay to get international roaming activated. The cost of using data in another country is also very high. If you go over your limit you may find yourself paying double, if not three times, the normal excess charges. It is for this reason that most people recommend not taking your broadband with you when you leave the country.

You Need a Dongle
This myth is also true and untrue, but this is dependent on technology. There are a number of devices that connect to mobile broadband without the use of a dongle. You can get computers that have built-in 3G modems, and tablets simply need the sim card for your mobile broadband.

If you are looking to not have a USB dongle but do not have one of these devices then you can look at MiFi. This is a type of dongle that does not actually connect to your computer. The MiFi dongle connects to the 3G network and then transmits a wireless signal that allows your devices to connect to the network.

Mobile Broadband is a Luxury
This myth is completely untrue. Mobile broadband can be cheaper than getting fixed line broadband. With fixed line broadband you have to consider line rental if you are getting an ADSL connection. If you are getting a fibre optic connection then the package will cost even more. With mobile broadband you do not have to worry about line rental and you could get rid of the phone service completely.

The contract that a mobile broadband offers can be very cheap if you take the time to shop around. You can also get PAYG mobile broadband, which allows you to only spend what you want to. All of these options make mobile broadband cheaper than traditional home broadband, and not a luxury.

Mobile Broadband is for Outdoor Use
This myth is untrue. It is actually amazing the number of people who think that mobile broadband is only for when you are out and about. The truth is that around 75% of all mobile broadband users connect to the internet within their homes on their mobile broadband connections. It is also possible to get a router that allows you to use mobile broadband in the same way as home broadband.

Hopefully, these myth-busters will help clarify many of the misconceptions around mobile broadband, dongles and connecting to the internet from anywhere.

A neighbour of Sam Jones asked him about getting a mobile broadband dongle.  He showed him how to use comparison services such as uSwitch and he had all the information he needed at his fingertips.


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