For some people, a mobile broadband connection is an absolute must. Giving you the freedom to go wherever you want and still be able to connect to the internet is the ultimate convenience. Mobile broadband is simple. You go to a mobile service operator and sign up for a data plan, or decide to go with pay as you go. In return, you'll receive a SIM card, and maybe a free dongle as well. If you don't get a dongle with your plan, you're going to need to buy one. The SIM card goes into one end of the dongle, the other end of the dongle plugs into your computer's USB port. Then you simply look up the available wireless networks on your computer, and choose the name that the mobile service operator provided you with, and you're set to go. You'll get an internet connection anywhere where that mobile operator has 3G coverage. Of course, the dongle is an important part of this process, which is why, today, we're looking at the Huawei E3131 dongle which is one of the most commonly used dongles to connect to mobile broadband.

The Features of the Huawei E3131...

The Huawei E3131 comes in the form of a USB stick, meaning that it's small, portable and easy to use. It's also USB 2.0 enabled, so you'll get faster communication between the dongle and your computer. It weighs less than thirty grams, so you'll never even notice it in your pocket, plus, it's only around eighty five millimetres long. It can communicate on all the major 3G frequencies, meaning that it doesn't matter which operator you choose to go with. But it's also equipped to handle the common 2G frequencies as well. This means that even if you lose 3G connectivity, you won't necessarily lose your internet connection, although it will slow down. With an HSPA+ connection the Huawei E3131 is capable of downloading speeds of up to 21.6 Mbps, and uploading speeds of up to 5.8 Mbps, which is faster than the service you'll see from most mobile networks, so speed shouldn't be a problem. And it's equipped to take an SD card as well, with up to 32 GB of extra memory.

Where Can I Get One?

You can buy a Huawei E3131 at most major electronics retailers. However, if you decide to go with Orange as your mobile broadband provider, then the Huawei E3131 is the Orange dongle of choice. Signing up for a plan with Orange means that you'll get a Huawei E3131 for free. Alternatively, pay as you go customers can get one running from just £9.99.

The Conclusion...

The Huawei E3131 is one of the best basic mobile broadband dongles on the market. It gets great speeds, and the additional memory option is just an added bonus. As far as free dongles go, this is a great deal from Orange, and is probably one of the best mobile operator provided dongles that there is. You'll definitely get great speeds and a whole lot of reliability too