There are four main factors to consider when looking to select which mobile broadband provider and package is best for you; namely – speed, performance, bandwidth requirements and thus overall cost must all be factored into the decision making process. These all need to be taken into account when deciding whether to use mobile broadband or fixed broadband for high speed internet access.
Types of Mobile Broadband
Mobile broadband is available either via USB dongles that are about the size of a cell phone and connect to a computer’s USB connection, USB modems that are even smaller than the dongle and can also connect via the USB connection, mobile data cards which require a laptop with installed plug and go software, or broadband routers, similar to traditional cable routers, that can dock both wired and wireless USB dongles.
Mobile Broadband Advantages
The advantages of using mobile broadband versus fixed broadband include the fact that it is simple to install, can be installed on multiple computers and requires no phone lines. It allows for access to the internet on the go without having to be tied to a particular place like the home or office. However, cost and performance may not be optimal, depending on user needs. Because mobile broadband is generally provided via 3G cell phone networks it will only work where there is a cell phone signal.
Mobile Broadband Coverage
Also users must take into account that speed in areas that offer 3G coverage will tend to be much faster than in standard cell network areas. While internet speed is on the increase, as evidenced by the introduction of 4G networks over in the US by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, 4G networks which are purported to be much faster than current 3G networks are not yet widely available. In the UK, O2 broadband are experimenting with 4G but it will take some time for the infrastructure to be ready. Households with only one computer that limit usage to light surfing or downloading email will probably find mobile broadband feasible and effective from a cost standpoint.
However, homes that use three or more computers on a daily basis to upload photos, download TV programs or play online games will most likely find the high cost of transferring data across available 3G networks to be unreasonable considering that very few of the current mobile broadband providers offer packages with unlimited broadband access. In such cases a home network with a cable and/or wireless router with unlimited access is probably the most cost effective and preferable option.
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