A dongle is a small hardware device that connects to another, such as a computer or a smartphone, to provide it with additional functionality or to enable a specific software application to run. The term “dongle” applies to a wide variety of devices that can enhance security, provide connection, or enable content streaming.
- Wireless adapters. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth adapters can plug into a computer’s USB port to provide wireless connectivity.
- Security dongles. They can be plugged into a computer to authenticate software and prevent unauthorized use.
- Mobile broadband dongles. These dongles, known as USB modems, provide internet access on the go by connecting to a cellular network.
- TV streaming sticks. As streaming becomes more popular, some HDMI dongles, such as Amazon Fire Stick, can enable streaming over the internet on your TV.
The benefits of dongles
- Portability. Dongles are small and lightweight, so users can carry them in a pocket and install dongles on various mobile devices.
- Ease of use. Most dongles offer plug-and-play functionality. Users can install and use them without opening up the device and updating the hardware.
- Cost-effectiveness. Dongles are cheaper than upgrading a device.
- Miniman power requirements. Dongles don’t need an external power source.