Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
The world of Mobile Broadband seems to have quietened down recently, with the networks choosing to focus on smart phones and apps instead, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not as important.
Mobile Broadband dongles and portable WiFi dongles are still the easiest way to connect your laptop, iPod touch or iPad to the internet while you’re out and about, but some still suffer with signal reception because of their small size.
We’ve covered our range of mobile broadband antenna’s quite extensively in the past, but as the range of dongles are constantly changing, I thought I’d take a look at the current range of Mobile Broadband dongles and let you know what the options were regarding antenna’s and signal boosters.
The dongles listed below are the current range of dongles offered by each of the big 5 UK networks. Other dongles may still be available and the posts listed above should show antenna compatibility for any older dongles.
Thankfully the range of devices available is shrinking. All dongles have the same functionality so having a huge range seems a bit of a waste, so I’m glad to see most networks have slimmed down to just one or two dongles – currently the range is the Huawei E1752, Option 515m, USB Stick 610, ZTE MF112 and the Huawei E160.
None of these dongles feature a dedicated antenna connection and they all use the same Universal 3G antenna. These wrap around the housing of the dongle and are held in place by a velcro strap. The Universal Mobile Broadband antenna is available as a Clip Antenna, High Gain Antenna and an Outdoor Panel antenna. You can find out more about the different types on our post “Which mobile broadband antenna do you need“.
Mobile WiFi Devices
All networks, with the exception of O2, now offer a WiFi hotspot or MiFi device. These are a great alternative to a USB dongle as they can be used with so many more devices than just laptops. They’re also easier to set up and use and allow you to connect and use up to 5 devices at the same time. As they’re designed to be portable, they don’t have antenna connections, so like the USB dongles listed above, you’ll need to use the Universal 3G antenna to boost your signal.
The Universal Antenna works brilliantly for most people, but you do need to position both the antenna and the connector correctly. This might mean that you have to experiment with where to place the connector, as it works best when it’s really close to the internal antenna.
As for positioning the antenna itself, we’ve written a few guides that explain exactly how to work out where to position it and which way you need to point it to get the most improvement. For full and detailed information on how to get the best possible mobile broadband signal, make sure you check out all our guides that are listed at the top of the page.
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