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My phone supports tethering, so what's the point of getting mobile broadband (i.e. usb dongle e.t.c.)

I don't see one. Surely I should just turn bluetooth on and surf the web using my phone's connection.

I don't believe a dongle will get a better signal.

Am I wrong?

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It's so they get to charge you twice... Or thrice if you have a home connection – Ivo Flipse Jul 24 '09 at 10:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The only advantage I can see is the possible increased latency and decreased by using your mobile phone with tethering, especially if you are tethering over Bluetooth.

On the other hand, a USB dongle is designed to be used with a computer (so it should have a lower latency) and speeds would be faster because of the USB connection.

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I don't see a point in getting a second device just to connect to a laptop. My G1 (with Cyanogen's rom) tethers quite nicely with USB, bluetooth and wifi. The extra latency and power consumption are outweighed by the ridiculous prices of data only plans here in the United States. I can obtain fairly good download speeds on T-mobile's HSPA network.

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In Australia buying a dongle gets you the same internet access HEAPS cheaper with a lot more data than you can get with voice + internet on phone and tethering.

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If you are using your phone as a modem, you may not be able to receive calls.

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From my experience speed is way faster using a USB dongle than accessing by tethering a phone. Better dongle also works faster. After trying a few dongles I am now settling on sierra 312U. I manage to get 18Mbps on a plan that specified 21Mbps max.

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