In the old days, the only way to get online was from one spot in the home, from a large and cumbersome personal computer. But today, our personal computers can come with us, and they exist in many forms. Whether you own a laptop, tablet, smart phone or other kind of device, mobile broadband technology provides millions of people the ability to get online from where ever you may be.
But is mobile broadband technology really better than the wired kind? The truth is that mobile broadband does have its ups and downs. The decision to go with mobile broadband will depend on the kind of lifestyle you have. Bottom line, if you find yourself needing to have access to the internet while you are on the go, then mobile broadband may be the connection for you.
Advantages of Mobile Broadband
The cost-efficiency of mobile broadband certainly can’t be denied. Mobile broadband can actually end up costing much less than even the cheapest DSL connection. This is because many ISPs will offer flat-fee mobile broadband packages.
Another benefit is the fact that you don’t have to spend any time to set it up. This means that anyone, regardless of technical ability can access the internet quickly and easily with a mobile broadband connection. The only thing that needs to be done to set up access is to call your mobile phone company and request activation.
Some devices will require that a dongle be installed in order to provide a user with mobile broadband. These tiny USB devices plug into your phone, tablet or laptop and allow you to browse the internet, usually with a 3G connection. Dongles are very portable, which make them very convenient.
Dongles are also very secure, as they connect directly to your device unlike with other wireless networks, which hackers can monitor and breach.
Disadvantages of Mobile Broadband
The cost to use mobile broadband can definitely end up being cheaper than connecting via other methods. But the problem is the charge you may incur for exceeding your bandwidth limits. This is why it’s so important to take a good, close look at all of the packages that a company is offering you. Understanding how much you use mobile broadband and what you plan to use it for will also help you choose the right package.
Along the same lines, it’s important to know that ‘unlimited’ can mean different things with mobile broadband, depending on the company you are looking at. Unfortunately, unlimited often means there are bandwidth limitations. And going over those limitations can end up in nasty billing surprises.
While this isn’t considered as a disadvantage necessarily, it should be something consumers are aware of, particularly if you are expecting to use your mobile device for bandwidth-hungry activities like streaming. Many who are thinking about mobile broadband expect to get the same level of quality that they might with the connection they get at home on their laptop or tablet.
But the truth is that mobile broadband won’t offer the same speeds. As well, the speeds obtained with mobile broadband may not be as consistent as the speeds you may get at home.
As far as those dongles go, these too are limited in speed. Each dongle will have a specific speed assigned to it, which is why it’s so important to review your options. It may be better to overshoot your needed speed in case you end up using your mobile broadband dongle for more advanced types of surfing once in awhile.
Despite the incredible convenience of this connection option, there are a few disadvantages, unfortunately. But being aware of them can certainly help you to make an informed decision about whether or not this type of connection is right for you.
This is a guest post by Jesse Schwarz. Jesse writes on a variety of technology-related topics, including helping consumers unfamiliar with various broadband technologies available for internet access.
Filed in: Internet