Wi-Fi Router vs. Computer Dongle: Which One to Choose

So you are looking to connect wirelessly to the Internet and are trying to decide which is better: a computer dongle or Wi-Fi routers. They both provide wireless internet connectivity, but in different ways and with different speeds.

A Wi-Fi router connects wirelessly to the Internet using radio waves that allow data to flow from the network to your devices. Meanwhile, a dongle is a portable USB device that connects wirelessly to a computer or tablet. Both devices have benefits and drawbacks. This article compares and discusses the features and benefits to help you decide what is best for you.

About Connectivity and Broadband Speeds


Nothing is worse than browsing your favorite social network and having the connection drop. Unfortunately, this happens to all of us occasionally. A router connects your laptop, smartphone, or tablet to the cabinet. It maintains the connection unless there is an issue with the router or the exchange. Many routers offer large data allowances, like 2 GB or more, so you can use the Internet to your heart’s content.

You plug a dongle into a computer’s USB port, providing a mobile broadband connection. Instead of using a modem to receive wireless signals, dongles utilize cellular data to offer users incredible connection speeds. With the dongle, you get internet access like 3G, 4G, and 5G to access the Internet from anywhere. However, they can fail, especially if not within the 3G or 4G range. No package offers unlimited browsing, and data is limited. If you are on a contract, you can add more data once your allowance is up or wait until the next month’s data is renewed.

Broadband Speeds

Depending on location and various internal and external factors, broadband speeds vary. However, both routers and dongles advertise fast download speeds.

Broadband providers have varying speeds, so check out the packages in your area to see what is available — the distance from your local exchange, router quality, and traffic impact router speed. If you are unsure about the speed of your connection, you can test it online.

With dongles, the faster the speed, the stronger the connection to 3G or 4G. However, since mobile broadband connects numerous users simultaneously, download speeds will almost always be slower during busy periods.


If you have your home broadband, you can automatically access unlimited data. Most routers also have Wi-Fi codes, so multiple devices can be connected, making them highly convenient. In addition, routers provide a secure connection, ensuring no one else can gain access to your service.

A Wi-Fi router provides firewall and VPN protection and hardware-level network security features along with solid wireless connectivity. Also, most Wi-Fi routers offer an ethernet port to help you reach your maximum bandwidth.

In contrast, dongles are preloaded with data, allowing users to browse the web on the go. A quick USB connection gives you access to the web instantly. You can browse websites wirelessly, post on social media, and send instant messages to friends when you’re online.


If you are far from your wireless router, you might have trouble connecting to the Internet. In addition, as more and more people log onto your wireless network, you might notice a slowdown in your Internet connection.

Most Wi-Fi dongles require a contract for cellular data. As a result, cellular data connectivity may be much more expensive if you are streaming video or playing online games with high bandwidth. You will also notice slower speeds during peak hours, just like on a cellphone.

Wi-Fi Routers vs. Dongles: The Verdict

Routers and dongles are both convenient options for connecting to the Internet. The router is fast, secure, and has unlimited usage. The router can also connect to multiple devices. When your device is connected to the network, it automatically connects when it is within range, so you can browse whenever you want. Likewise, dongles are portable, discreet, and smart, allowing you to connect to the Internet while out and about easily. Dongles do not offer huge amounts of data to download or stream. But they can be used to access broadband when you are not at home, allowing you to save money by eliminating your landline.

Bottom Line: Is a Dongle or Wi-Fi Router Better?

Your choices between a dongle or Wi-Fi router depend on your habits. For example, a wireless router may benefit you if you mostly browse the Internet on your desktop computer. However, a Wi-Fi dongle may be the best option if you’re always on the go, whether traveling or working.

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