Dongle Internet Plans

You could access the internet you need on the go with a simple mobile broadband dongle plan.

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, updated on October 4th, 2023       

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Internet Banner - Woman typing on a laptop with a dongle plugged in

We’ve partnered with Econnex to bring you a range of internet plans to help you compare them.

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, staying connected on the go has never been more essential. Dongle internet plans offer a flexible and convenient solution for those who need internet access wherever they are.

At Savvy, our online comparison service allows you to effortlessly explore and compare internet plans from leading providers in one place. Get the wheels in motion on comparing the best available plans for your needs with a free, no-obligation quote through us today!

What are dongle internet plans and how do they work?

Dongle internet plans, also known as USB modem plans, are a type of mobile broadband service which allows you to access the internet on the go using a portable USB device. These plans are designed for individuals or businesses which need internet connectivity outside of their home or office. Here's how they work:

  • USB modem or dongle: dongle internet plans come with a USB modem or dongle device. This device contains a SIM card and connects to the mobile network to provide internet access.
  • Mobile network: these plans use the mobile network infrastructure in your area to access the internet, which will either be 4G or 5G in Australia. When you plug in the USB modem or dongle, it connects to the nearest mobile tower to establish a connection. This means you can get online wherever there's mobile coverage.
  • Data allowance: dongle plans come with a specific data allowance which determines how much internet you can use each month, as unlimited broadband options are hard to come by. Once you reach your data limit, you may need to purchase additional data or wait until your plan renews.
  • Portability: one of the key advantages of dongle internet plans is their portability. You can use them wherever there's mobile network coverage, making them ideal for travel, remote work or backup internet access.

How do I compare dongle internet plans?

Comparing dongle internet plans involves evaluating several key factors to ensure you choose the right plan for your needs. Here's how to compare them effectively:

  • Data allowance: evaluate the data allowance provided by each plan. Choose one which aligns with your internet usage, whether it's light browsing, streaming or heavy data use. These plans can range from as little as 5GB to 10GB all the way up to 400GB.
  • Network coverage: check the network coverage and quality offered by the provider. Ensure the network you’re planning to use (either 4G or 5G) covers the areas where you’re likely to need internet access.
  • Device compatibility: ensure your device (such as your laptop or computer) is compatible with the dongle or USB modem provided by the plan.
  • Cost: compare the total cost, including the initial purchase of the dongle or USB modem (if any) and data recharge charges. It’s important to look for value for money when comparing deals.
  • Prepaid or postpaid: if you have the choice, it’s worth considering whether prepaid or postpaid is better for you. Prepaid plans come without a contract and require you to pay for your data ahead of the period of use, while postpaid plans charge you at the end of the month and come with ongoing billing periods.
  • Recharge options: assess the ease of recharging your plan when you run out of data. Consider whether it offers convenient online recharge options.
  • Expiry period: plans have specific validity periods for data usage. These are typically month-to-month, but in some cases may be several months at a time or up to a year.

What are my other mobile broadband plan options in Australia?

In addition to dongle internet plans, there are several other mobile broadband plan options available in Australia. These include:

Pocket Wi-Fi plans

These plans come with a portable Wi-Fi modem which allows multiple devices to connect to the internet simultaneously. They’re ideal for sharing internet access with others while on the go. In general terms, these are the most expensive type of mobile broadband, with the modems themselves also being the most valuable.

Data-only SIM plans

If you already have a compatible device, such as a dongle or tablet, you can opt for a data-only SIM plan. These provide data for your tablet, smartphone, or mobile hotspot device and, like dongles, are very simple to use.

When it comes to deciding which is the best for your needs, it’s important to assess factors such as the device (or devices) you’ll be using and what’s compatible, as well as your budget.

Common questions about dongle internet plans answered

Do I need a battery for my dongle?

No – while dongles require power to operate, this comes from being connected to a power source, such as a laptop or USB charger, to function, rather than a battery.

Can I use a dongle internet plan for gaming or streaming?

Dongle plans may not be always ideal for gaming or streaming due to potential data limitations and latency. If you engage in these activities frequently, it's worth considering plans with higher data allowances or restricting these activities to another home or Wi-Fi connection wherever possible.

Do dongle plans come with international roaming?

Dongle plans may offer international roaming options, but whether these are included varies by provider. Check with your specific dongle plan provider for details on international roaming services and associated costs.

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Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.