We were once limited to wired internet connections such as dial-up, cable, and Ethernet. This prevented us from accessing internet outside of our homes, offices, and establishments. Today, we can go online almost anywhere with a smartphone, tablet, mobile internet dongle, or Wi-Fi modem.
These portable gadgets offer mobile internet for on-the-go access. You can use them to directly go online or provide internet to your other devices.
Smartphones and Tablets
These devices are built for wireless internet connectivity. You can use them to connect via WiFi or mobile data. Most of them are 3G-enabled and some have additional 4G LTE or WiMax compatibility. Access to 3G or 4G and internet speed depends on your device, network provider, and coverage.
Besides their ability to directly access the internet, many of today’s smartphones and tablets may act as Wi-Fi hotspots. The feature allows a user to tether mobile data from a compatible device and transform it into a Wi-Fi connection. When a device becomes a hotspot, you can connect multiple devices to it including phones, tablets, computers, and laptops. The hotspot can then be used for multiple internet access.
Having multiple users on the same hotspot will slow down the internet so try to limit the number of connected devices. To prevent strangers from connecting to your Wi-Fi hotspot, set up a password for your device.
To supply mobile devices like tablets and laptops with internet whenever you are away from your home, you may need to get a mobile internet dongle or USB modem. It works on computers, tablets, laptops, or tablet-PC hybrids. During first use, a mobile internet dongle downloads and installs needed software to the device. After which, you can use it on the same device for internet access.
A mobile internet dongle contains a SIM card for sending and receiving data. You can use it on different computers, laptops, and tablets. However, only one device may connect to the internet at once; the device which the mobile internet dongle is attached to. Internet speeds delivered by USB modems range from 1.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps depending on your network provider and coverage.
A Wi-Fi modem is designed to be a mobile internet hotspot. Smartphones, tablets, computers, laptops, and other Wi-Fi-ready devices may connect to it at the same time to access the internet. A Wi-Fi modem usually allows up to 5 devices but this varies across models.
Like a mobile internet dongle, a Wi-Fi modem needs a SIM card for internet access. It can turn either or both 3G and 4G data to a hotspot but this depends on the modem’s hardware. Once again, internet speed will vary based on your network provider and coverage but it averages between 7 to 13 Mbps.
To avoid poor internet while using a Wi-Fi modem, limit the number of devices connected to it. Most of them allow you to create security passwords. Securing the connection will also prevent session hijackers from accessing your private accounts while surfing the web.
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