Dongles: Still Relevant In 2024?

Dongle 2024

Throughout the years, the significance of internet dongles, also referred to as mobile broadband dongles, USB modems, or USB broadband sticks, has experienced a fluctuation, influenced by advancements in telecommunications technologies and shifts in user requirements.

What is a Dongle and How Does it Work?

Dongle 2024

Imagine a tiny device that plugs into your computer or smart device, granting instant internet access through mobile networks. That’s the magic of a dongle! These featherweight wonders connect to 3G(defunct), 4G, and even 5G networks, offering speeds that rival fixed broadband.

Using a dongle is incredibly simple:

  1. Plug it in: Just like a USB drive, insert the dongle into your device’s USB port (some connect wirelessly).
  2. Enjoy the connection: The dongle automatically establishes a secure internet connection, with no complex setup required.

No more worrying about power cords or installation hassles. Simply pay for a data plan and experience the freedom of internet access anywhere, anytime.

Dongle Plans: Variety and Value

Choose from a range of prepaid and postpaid data plans offered by major carriers like Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone.

  • Telstra: Boasts high-speed 4GX connectivity with the Telstra 4GX MF833v USB for $49.00, plans are a separate cost to the Dongle.
  • Optus: Known for generous data allowances, offer a Dongle for $39.00. Optus USB Modem uses the 4G network.
  • Vodafone: Offers pocket Wi-Fis with contract-free plans and generous data allowances between 20GB and 60GB. They have moved away from selling the old USB Dongle.

Remember to consider your data usage needs and budget when choosing a plan.

Dongle vs. Modem: Decoding the Jargon

The terms “dongle” and “modem” are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings:

  • Dongle: Typically refers to a USB-sized device that connects to mobile networks for internet access on computers and smart devices.
  • Modem: Technically refers to a broader range of devices that modulate and demodulate signals, facilitating internet connections. Pocket Wi-Fis, for example, can be considered both dongles and modems.

Now that you have the knowledge, both terms can refer to devices that provide internet access, with dongles often being the more specific term for mobile-network-based solutions.

Dongles: The Power of Portability and Speed

Dongles offer several advantages over fixed broadband:

  • Portability: Take your internet connection anywhere, from cafes to campsites, without worrying about installation or cables.
  • Speed: Enjoy fast internet speeds, often comparable to NBN, and even exceeding them in areas with 5G coverage.
  • Convenience: No setup is required, just plug and play.
  • Flexibility: Choose from various data plans and switch providers easily.

Whether you’re a traveller, a remote worker, or simply someone who values flexibility, dongles offer a powerful and convenient way to stay connected.

Bluetooth Dongle Vs USB Dongle

Think of a USB dongle as a focused athlete. It plugs into your computer’s USB port and creates a super-fast, dedicated connection for your mouse, keyboard, or wireless headset.

This means lightning-fast response times and no annoying lag – perfect for gamers and anyone who craves precision.

Bluetooth is the jack-of-all-trades! It’s already built into most laptops, tablets, and phones. A Bluetooth dongle adds this superpower to older devices, letting you connect a huge range of gadgets.

Wirelessly stream music to speakers, pair funky headphones, or even control your smart home devices – it’s all possible with Bluetooth.

So what do i prefer?.. It depends! For raw speed and zero-delay performance, a USB dongle is the champ. Need to connect a bunch of different gadgets with less hassle? Bluetooth’s flexibility wins out.


While the dream of a completely wireless world lingers, dongles remain surprisingly relevant in 2024. They offer focused solutions for better connectivity, niche device support, and enhanced network security.

Whether you’re a legacy hardware lover or someone seeking specialized network solutions, that little dongle might still be your unsung hero.


  • Michel Elijah

    Tech expert and strong interest in telco. I've worked in the tech industry for 4 years and have always had interest with mobile and internet providers.

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