The better mobile broadband becomes, the more likely we are to replace our home networks with it. After all, if you can use the same device to access the internet at home or on the move why would you need anything else? Unless, of course, you wanted other people to be able to access the internet at the same time. Until recent years it hasn’t been possible to connect multiple devices through , because the connections haven’t been reliable enough to support the added drain on the bandwidth. Now that connection speeds are improving though, there’s really no reason not to set up a home network with mobile broadband.
The Mobile Broadband Hub
You will certainly have seen wireless routers in your life. They grant the ability for you, or anyone else in your household, to jump onto the wireless connection for access to the internet anywhere within the router’s range. Now you can buy a broadband hub that does the same job, but using your mobile broadband dongle as its source.
There are a range of these products on the market today, each one offering different functionality. Some boast greater ranges than others, while some will allow more devices to connect via Ethernet cable as well as through wireless means. Shop around and find the device that would most suitably work for your particular household. You might be surprised at how affordable a broadband hub could be as an alternative to a typical wireless router.
The Computer Acting as a Broadband Hub
If you don’t want to purchase a broadband hub, you could still use your mobile broadband to get the family online by using a laptop or PC in the equivalent role. Computers equipped with Microsoft Windows as their operating system come with Internet Connection Sharing as standard. This means that you can plug your mobile broadband into the computer and use the computer as a means to send that signal throughout your household.
Windows will guide you through the process of establishing your computer as the internet centre of your household, but keep in mind that it won’t be as easy as simply plugging your 3G dongle into a specially designed tool. Also, your network will only be online as long as the computer in question is switched on.
The Pros and Cons of a Mobile Broadband Hub
No matter whether you actually buy a hub, or use a computer as one, there are many benefits to using mobile broadband as your means of connecting to the web. Mobile broadband contracts are often cheaper than DSL connections, and you have the added advantage of being able to pick up the dongle and take it on the road with you. You can also prepay for your internet connection, saving you from the necessity of signing up to a long contract. On the other hand, you might find that if a lot of people are using your connection then it will crawl to a very slow speed, due to the limitations of its speed and coverage. Think carefully what your home network will be used for before making the decision and you’ll soon find yourself enjoying the internet wirelessly.