What’s a dongle?

What's a dongle?

I want to talk about my dongle

Ever wonder if your dongle stacks up? Does it have enough drive? My local Telstra rep has a huge dongle.

Asking what's a dongle

I went to Telstra to discuss my internet requirements because I’m out and about with work and need access to the internet, when the rep asked, ‘How’s your dongle?’

I said, ‘I haven’t had too many complaints.’

He said, ‘Do you have big plans for it, or do you just take it out for browsing?’

I said, ‘I beg your pardon?’

He said, ‘I get my dongle out on the train and whenever I go on holidays.’

What a bragger.

‘A lot of places don’t have Wi-Fi,’ he added, ‘so I like to get my dongle out.’

Fair enough, I thought, why wouldn’t you? I said, ‘But, I don’t just don’t want to get my dongle out anywhere.’

‘But that’s the point of the dongle,’ he said.

I was out of my depth now, I didn’t know what the heck we were talking about. I’d never discussed dongles so openly before. I just started nodding, making out like I knew what he was talking about.

What is a dongle?

‘Dongles come in various sizes,’ he said, ‘but, it’s the output that matters.’

‘Of course.’

‘You don’t want a dangly dongle do you?’

‘No way.’

‘I’ll show you mine,’ he said. And then he took his dongle out. Right there in the store.

‘Usually they are the size of a USB,’ he said. ‘They act like a little modem that you plug into your computer and you’ve got access to the internet wherever you are.’

‘I knew that.’

Does everyone need a dongle? 

Dongles are one of the most popular mobile broadband devices. They’re portable enough to take anywhere. Of course, you need a laptop or a device that has a USB port.

However, most smartphones can connect to mobile broadband and there are a lot of places, from libraries to sports grounds, which have free Wi-Fi access. And of course, if you have fixed broadband at home, you won’t need it there.

But certainly, when you’re away from home, it’s a very handy device to have.

 How much Dongle do you need?

This depends entirely on what you need internet access for. If you’re just an occasional browser, purchasing around 500 MB of data per month is probably all you will require. If you have a pile of research to do, or if you wanted to download movies, etc, you could get anywhere up to 32GB. Best to talk to your local rep to discuss your needs.

Cost is something that seems to vary from country to country, plan to plan, etc, so best to shop around and find the deal that best suits as well.

www.geek.com have some sample data pricing showing differences of costs depending on where you live that could be worth checking out.

Ken at coffee shop with his dongle

As for me, I’ve finally got a grip on my dongle. And I’m loving it. So, if you see me on a train or the local café, come up and say hello, but a word of caution, I’ll probably have my dongle out.

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