Many of our high-tech devices are now connected, but there is no unified standard, because the uses and needs are different. So you use the WiFi of your box or an open WiFi with your laptop, and the mobile Internet network (4G), with your smartphone or your 4G router, if you have made this choice. All this is working perfectly well, but there is a problem. What if I need a connection on my laptop, but I'm not within range of a WiFi network?

What's a 4G dongle?

A dongle, whether it is Wifi, 4G, or Bluetooth, is a kind of USB key that will provide a connection service. The 4G dongle is therefore a USB key, which will accept the insertion of a SIM card, in order to provide internet connectivity to a computer, via the mobile internet network. It's very simple, all you have to do is buy a 4G dongle and subscribe to a package adapted to your data needs, to be able to use an Internet connection wherever there is 4G (or 3G). Visit for more about WiFi dongle. Some operators even offer the loan of the device on the condition that you subscribe the package at their premises. Generally, these loaned dongles are less effective than those you can buy online. It is therefore up to you to see what your use will require. If since the beginning of this text I have been talking about laptops, it is simply because the 4G dongle is most often used on this type of equipment, but it is not restrictive. We can imagine, for example, that while waiting for a line to be opened, or if the connection needs are really not very important and you do not want to subscribe to a package at an ISP, you use a key of this type on a fixed computer! Technically, there is nothing to stop it, even if the need is then quite different from that of mobility.

Why a 4G Dongle?

Some laptops, intended for professional use, have a SIM card port, allowing you to use the mobile network when nothing else is available. But these products are mostly expensive, and not very suitable for any other use than that intended for work (no large graphics card for example). Fortunately, there are solutions, and if you want to surf in the forest, or check your Facebook on your computer in the middle of a field, it's possible. The easiest solution that comes immediately to most of us, especially the most technophiles, or the most experienced in the different modes of connectivity, is to share a connection from your phone. But not everyone knows that it is possible to do this kind of thing with your smartphone, not all smartphones are compatible with this feature, and not all users necessarily have a package that allows them to share data without counting. That's why there are other solutions, and the 4G dongle is one of them.

How do you set it up and how do you use it?

Some models will not even require drivers, especially if you are running Windows 10. For others, it will be necessary to provide your operating system with the driver files necessary for the proper operation of the device. In most cases, it will be necessary to install software provided by the operator or by the dongle manufacturer. And you will see that the reason is quite simple. Indeed, for obvious security reasons, SIM cards are protected by what is called a PIN code. Normally you all need to know what it is, it's the 4-digit code you have to enter when you turn on your phone. But a 4G dongle does not have a keyboard to enter this code... The software will therefore simply provide a way to enter the pin code attached to the SIM card you are using in your dongle to unlock it. Once installed, drivers and software loaded on the PC, the use is particularly simple and accessible to everyone. We insert the dongle, the software opens, we enter the pin code of the SIM card and that's it, the internet access is functional. This type of device is particularly useful in certain professional fields where mobility is the norm, but is also interesting during certain private trips. For example, I have some acquaintances who like to go on camping holidays and who, sometime before leaving, subscribe to this kind of package, in order to be autonomous on their holiday place. This is one of the advantages of this type of product, so you are not dependent on the connection modes provided in the place where you are. Nowadays, open WiFi networks can be found almost everywhere, but they have a bad reputation for being poorly protected and often targeted by hackers in search of personal data. But there are also some disadvantages with this type of system. And the first thing that comes first is the very design of these dungeons. They provide a connection to one and only one device. It is therefore not at all a product that is suitable for family use. You could argue with me that all you have to do is create a WiFi hotspot from the computer that takes advantage of the dongle, but honestly, how many users know how to do that? So the dongle is perfect if only one device has to access the Internet at the same time, but if several computers have to use the connection at the same time, and then you will have to choose another technique, such as a portable 4G router. It should also be noted that more and more of these devices can be connected to a tablet, via an OTG adapter (On the Go), it is a female USB cable (where the key is inserted) to a micro USB (connected to the tablet).