What is a USB modem? (EN)
A USB wireless modem is a physical unit that enables mobile Internet access – by connecting to the mobile operators’ towers. The devices, often described as ‘dongles,’ are generally compact and lightweight and are designed to give you the flexibility and mobility to be online at home, at work or on the move. If you buy one of these devices you won’t have to identify a Wi-Fi hotpot, but unfortunately there are mobile broadband ‘notspots’ as well – areas the signal cannot reach, or which have not been extended coverage yet. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean instant access everywhere.
There are two main varieties of modem: USB sticks and MiFi-style hotspots. Cards that slotted into the laptop were once highly popular, but it seems they’re going out of style now. By contrast, MiFi can allow you to connect multiple PCs, iPads, iPhones, and a myriad other mobile devices to broadband via Wi-Fi. They’re very simple to work, and you don’t have to load any special software onto your PC. However, it’s yet another gadget you will need to charge, and translating a connection from 4G to Wi-Fi can drain up to 20% of the connection’s optimal speed.