How to connect to the internet on the go
Want to connect your laptop, tablet or smartphone to the internet when you’re away from home? Try a mobile broadband dongle that plugs directly into one of your laptop's USB ports.
14 Jan 2016
We spend a lot of time online – from browsing the web and streaming movies on our tablets and laptops, to sharing links and chatting with friends on our smartphones.
So staying connected when you’re away from your trusty home Wi-Fi connection is a must.
That's where mobile broadband comes in – it lets you stay connected on all of your devices, without having to rely on flaky Wi-Fi hotspots.
There are a few different ways to stay connected when you’re out and about:
1. Mobile Broadband or Mi-Fi (Mobile Wi-Fi)
Mobile Wi-Fi or Mi-Fi is a small device that lets you create your own secure Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you may need it.
Can’t leave home without your tablet, laptop and smartphone in your bag? This is a great option for connecting multiple devices when you’re on the go.
There are several options to choose from:
- Pay as you go: Just like your old phone, you can pay for data as and when you need it, and top up online or in store
- Pay monthly: Choose your tariff based on price and how much data you are going to use (more if you’re connecting a few devices) and surf the web to your heart's content
- Some rolling plans come with the option to use your data abroad for free, which eliminates nasty surprise roaming bills
Simple to set up and use, with no wires or software to install – try getting online with Mi-Fi.
2. 3G and 4G Tablets
If you rely on your laptop for school or work and want a computer to check your emails, browse the web and make notes – a 3G or 4G enabled tablet could be right for you.
By adding a SIM card to your tablet, you’ll get a reliable internet connection. Use it to upload your notes to a cloud account to access them from wherever you are – and to avoid any panic if you accidentally delete them.
There are pay as you go and monthly contract options available.
3. USB dongle
Planning to travel with your laptop – or just want to connect it to the internet when you’re away from home? Then you might want to consider a mobile broadband dongle.
These are really easy to set up – plug it directly into one of your laptop’s USB ports to access the internet wherever you are. Like the Mi-Fi devices, these come in pay as you go and pay monthly options.
And once you’re back, avoid battling your gaming-obsessed roommate for bandwidth or the kids slowing the connection down by streaming movies – it also lets you connect at home.
4. Creating a mobile hotspot with your phone
Did you know that most smartphones allow you to tether other Wi-Fi devices, allowing you to use your mobile phone data to connect laptops and tablets to the internet?
This option means you don’t have to buy any additional kit, and can use your current contract to pay for it. However, you can’t guarantee signal strength and running speeds – so it’s more of a quick fix for getting online than a permanent way to connect.
Tip: Unless you have unlimited data, be careful not to run through your allowance, as this can get expensive.
Want to browse the internet on the go? Check out our range of laptops.