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USB Mobile Broadband Modems

This page contains information on how to use a USB modem for Internet access on a laptop.


Mobile Internet USB Modems?

o2 USB modemIf you want to get high-speed mobile Internet access from your laptop while on the move, you'll want to consider getting yourself a Mobile Broadband modem. These are small, pocket-sized dongles that plug into a spare USB slot on your laptop.

USB broadband dongles use the mobile phone data network to get fast Internet access without needing to be plugged into a landline or to have wi-fi.

Most of the UK network operators now offer USB modems and high-speed data access. Typically you'll be looking to pay upwards of £10 a month for the service, although a pay-as-you-go option is also available with most UK network operators.


UK USB Modem providers:

Here's a summary of the Mobile Broadband offers from some of the UK Network Operators:

O2 Mobile Broadband - They're offering a PC and Mac compatible USB dongle on a £10 a month tariff, with a 1 gig a month data transfer cap. Alternatively, for occasional mobile surfers, get a USB modem dongle for £20 and pay daily or weekly as required. A flexible offering.

Details on our o2 Broadband page, or at

o2 USB modem

T-Mobile Mobile Broadband - Their Mobile Broadband Plus tariff provides high speed mobile Internet access (up to 1.8Mbps) using a USB broadband modem. The USB modem is sent for next-day delivery.

T-Mobile's Mobile Broadband service costs £15 a month (there's a monthly "fair usage" limit of 3Gigs a month). There's also a Pay-As-You-Go option.

More at

T-Mobile Web'n'walk USB modem

BT Mobile Broadband

If you're considering signing or switching to BT's home broadband service, you can pick up a BT Mobile Broadband USB modem for as little as a one-off £9.99, with a free allowance of a Gig a month.

More details on BT's Mobile Broadband offering on the BT Mobile Broadband site.

Mobile Internet from Vodafone

Vodafone Mobile Broadband - Speeds of up to 7.2Meg, Vodafone's Mobile Broadband is now Half Price for Life - at £15 a month for 3 gig per month. Available with a USB modem.

More details at

Mobile Internet from Vodafone


Listen to the FrequencyCast UK online radio show
FrequencyCast Podcast IconPODCAST FEATURE: USB Modems: We looked into USB modems, in show 27.
Listen to the show online, or download it to your MP3 player.

Listen to Show 27 | What is FrequencyCast? | Add us to iTunes


USB Modem Reviews

We've reviewed a couple of UK mobile broadband services on this site:


Your questions

Q. If your computer isn't wifi enabled, can you still use a broadband dongle ? Do you need a separate wifi dongle, or is that included in the broadband dongle? (Maki).

Yes, you can use a USB broadband dongle if your computer doesn't have wi-fi. USB broadband dongles use the 3G mobile phone network, not wi-fi.  

Got a question about USB Modems or Mobile Broadband? Ask us!


Useful Mobile Broadband Links:


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