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Where to find the cheapest broadband dongle?

If you bought your desktop PC within the last year or so, there's a good chance it already came with a wireless broadband receiver built in, meaning that you're ready to get connected straight out of the box. However, if you bought your machine before then, or you were unlucky enough not to buy one with wireless capabilities built in, then you'll need to buy yourself a wireless dongle.

Don't let the name confuse you, "dongle" is just a technological term for hardware that generally comes in the form of a USB stick styled device which allows you to access wireless networks in the case of a broadband dongle, or to enable you to use copy protected software.

Since we're focussing on the former here, we can completely disregard the latter and instead focus on the one thing that really matters; where can you find the cheapest broadband dongle?

Given the popularity of the internet these days, it won't surprise you to learn that these are far from rare devices. You should be able to pick one up in almost any good high street electrical or computer store, however it's important to know exactly what you're looking for in advance.

Wireless internet is always evolving. As new technologies are introduced to improve the quality of wireless technology, it's important to stay on top of your home network requirements. In almost all cases, your home network will be broadcasting using the 802.11 standard, the question that you need to answer is whether your router supports type a, b, g, n or all four.

Once you know that, you'll be able to buy the most suitable broadband dongle for your needs. Here are a few we've found at great prices:

Belkin F5D7050 Wireless G USB 2.0 Network Adaptor 802.11g at just £5.99 from www.amazon.co.uk

Novatech 54Mb Wireless USB Adapter 802.11b/g at just £5.99 from www.novatech.co.uk

BELKIN F6D4050ed 150N Wireless USB Network Adapter 802.11b/g/n at £14.99 from www.pcworld.co.uk

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