Buyers' guide: Best dongle deals
Mobile broadband has really taken off in the last couple of years. And, understandably, consumers are making the most of our free website comparison tables to seek out the best dongle deals and offers.
Thanks to the growing popularity of mobile internet in the UK, it means that prices are becoming ever more competitive, and where once cheap deals were harder to come, by these days it's easy to spot cheapest laptop dongle deals that'll get your computer connected to wireless broadband in no time at all.
Add to that our growing list of review pages and extensive guides on how to compare one laptop dongle against another and you'll find that Broadband Genie has everything needed to get the best and cheapest laptop internet deals that money can buy.
The increased demand for laptop dongles has meant that all of the mobile providers have got in on the act, so your choice now includes major 3G internet and wireless broadband suppliers like 3 Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Orange.
Where do I start with laptop dongle deals?
Of course, in order to get connected to a mobile broadband supply, which you might see referred to as 3G broadband, 3G internet and wireless broadband too, you'll need to check a few things off a small shopping list. Firstly, you'll need a computer, although the humble laptop has now become so competitively priced that many people are choosing one of these over the traditional home PC.
The portability afforded by a laptop can transform the way you use the internet, and if you need access to online services while you’re on the go then it can be well worth picking up a machine like this.
Alternatively, take a look at the many netbooks that are currently on the market. These are the smaller counterparts of the laptop style computer, with a more compact design meaning that they are even more easy to take with you wherever you go. The principle for getting connected to the web and your email is basically the same but you've got the added benefit of less weight.
Where do I look for laptop dongle deals?
The other main component part of your mobile internet package will then be the dongle for laptop deals that you'll see peppered throughout our pages. A dongle is basically a small plastic USB stick. It’s a handy little device that needs to be inserted into an available port on your laptop or netbook, usually in a 'plug-and-play' fashion and connects your machine to the mobile internet.
You don’t need to look far within the Broadband Genie website to find plenty of laptop and dongle deals because there are a whole host of these dongles for laptops options available. Deals come and go all the time, however, which is why it's a good idea to bookmark our comparison table pages because they're constantly updated with the latest and best deals and offers.
Some computer, laptops and netbooks do now also come with wireless broadband built-in to the machine itself, while some use a data card setup, but there’s no doubt that currently the most popular and convenient way of keeping your laptop internet needs and options open is to stick with a laptop dongle scenario.
Who needs laptop dongle deals?
The great thing about mobile internet technology is that is allows you to take your online activities with you pretty much whoever you go. The best dongle deals enhance that even further because you can pick one that will suit the sort of use that you expect to get out of it. After all, there's no point in signing up for a deal that has all of the bells and whistles from a dongle for laptop setup if you’re not going to get maximum value out of it.
Laptop and dongle deals therefore come in an array of different packages and options from all of the mobile providers. With the right package in place you'll find that mobile broadband and dongles for laptops can mean that you'll be able to stay connected whether you're out and about, travelling, commuting or simply away on holiday, just about anywhere you go in the UK.
Laptop dongles and associated hardware such as netbooks are also ideal for consumers who are away from home for specific periods of time or for people who don’t have a permanent address, and that often includes the likes of students. Mobile broadband and dongle deals allow you to pick a package that will fit in with your lifestyle and also the finances you have available to dedicate to dongles for laptops.
Compare the best dongle deals
Spend some time working out your requirements for a laptop dongle and then use our comparison tables to see what options are available to you. There are essentially two major options that can be good for different reasons.
You'll find plenty of pay-as-you-go laptop dongles on the mobile broadband listing tables, and these can be beneficial for people who do not want a contract and only need to pay for online access every so often. You may have to pay for the dongle itself, although there are often deals where they are given away free too.
Then all you need to do is put some credit on to the card and you're in business. Some PAY dongle deals will lose the credit on them after a certain period of time if you don't make a point of using it up though.
The other alternative is the contract option, and again there are lots of laptop and dongle deals available under this category. A laptop dongle package can be a great idea for people who need to use the mobile internet extensively, either for work or leisure or even both.
You'll quite often find that laptop dongles designed for use in a contract setup package can be a bit more generous when it comes to flexibility of using the service and also data usage allowances. However, you'll need to sign a contract for a fixed period of time, which can be anything from a month-to-month rolling basis through to 12 months and two-year periods.
What to look for with laptop dongle deals
Getting yourself dongles for laptops is easy enough, all you need to do is pick through our comparison tables, making a note of anything that matches your requirements. We do a lot of the hard work for you by highlighting key things to look out for, including price to buy the dongle deals in the first place, any monthly cost if it's a contract laptop dongle as well as other crucial factors that can play a big part in how well you think your dongle deals will work for you.
The speed of a mobile broadband service is mentioned a lot, particularly in advertising, but remember that these speeds are often 'up to' and the reality is likely to be less. Mobile internet can be subject to coverage issues too, in exactly the same way as a mobile phone signal. Our laptop dongle comparison pages allow you to check coverage by clicking through to mobile provider websites, and this is an essential part of the process for finding out what to expect.
Some areas, particularly less well-served rural locations, can have poorer mobile broadband signal availability than larger conurbations. Even then, town and cities can also have their mobile broadband services and signal affected, often by large volumes of network traffic, which all goes to slow down the supply to your own laptop dongle.
Other points to watch with laptop dongle deals
You'll also need to make sure that whatever laptop dongle you decide to go for has a level of data usage that suits your requirements. Mobile internet providers always stipulate how much data can be downloaded and uploaded during a specific period of time, say by day, by week or a month. Remember that terms and conditions of any dongle for laptop package can help you understand what restrictions will be in place on dongle deals that you like the look of.
Be very careful if you plan on going overseas and want to access the mobile internet while you're away. Many UK laptop dongle deals are specific to this country anyway and might not work. If they do, however, you may be subject to very high roaming fees, so again, it’s a case of reading the terms and conditions first. It’s also a good idea to read our guides on this thorny subject.
Another valuable source for checking out which laptop and dongle deals to go for is the forum section of the Broadband Genie website. This is an area where real mobile broadband customers come to air their thoughts, both positive and negative and it can deliver invaluable advice.
Other highlights of laptop dongle deals
Generally though these are boom times for anyone interested in laptop dongles because there are oodles of deals and packages around. What’s more, there are also plenty of incentives to get you to sign up. Occasionally it might be the offer of a free dongle, while an increasingly popular package offered by mobile broadband providers is the free laptop deal.
When you sign up to one of these you'll get a free laptop or netbook, although bear in mind that this is usually under contract and financially you may pay more over a two year period. Nevertheless, this is a great way of getting a laptop, the best dongle deal and mobile broadband package in one fell swoop.