Advice on 'Dongles'

I always think that Dongle sounds rude. And do people compare their dongles?
Anyway. I am soon to look after/move into, a place with no landline and wifi.
In England I remember a Dongle being a tiny sim-powered USB device that plugged into the laptop and provided dodgy wifi.
In France, I think it’s called a ‘Key’? And you pay monthly or yearly? Please could those in the know give me advice and information/recommendations, otherwise I will be lost in a maze of websites, never to be seen again…some hope.
You’re all brilliant at info and advice, so I will ask you first before I try to purchase anything. I need enough fuel to power my interactive French courses and online article writing etc.

They’re clés 4g
Main operators Orange Bouygues SFR

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If you’re not travelling around, I think it would be better to get TV free via satellite and go for a cheaper offer to match your usage from Bouygues. Or am I missing something?

Yes maybe ?
Read the first post!

There is TV but no hope of landline or broadband for the forseeable future.
I am not keen on Orange as I have seen so many clients have problems with them, so are they the only suppliers of dongles?

No, scroll back to Wozza’s somewhat telegraphic post.
Perhaps Bouygues would suit. Article writing is primarily an offline activity unless you are doing a lot of research, so maybe you don’t need a permanent connection?

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Some of the posts have to be written and submitted online, and there is a lot of research.

I have been looking Bouygues but I don’t quite know how it works. Do you have to buy the little hotspot machine and then pay monthly as well? Would 20 GB be quite limited?

Alternatively, get a 4G box (router) with a SIM card - this will provide a wifi signal to your computer, which it will use to connect to the internet via the SIM. Usually you can get pretty good deals on data, I have one with SFR that is 100 Gb/month for 20 EUR, but there may be better alternatives out there. The thing to do is to check which operators have a decent signal in the area where you are going to be living, otherwise potentially you will be paying for no tangible result other than frustration :wink:


Thanks, that sounds reasonable. The place is in town and I think everything has a pretty good signal there.

I know you are reluctant to go with Orange, but they do have many more masts than any other operator.
But that doesn’t mean that, in your location, one of the others may not have a mast nearby.

I think they were called dongles because the early ones were often attached by a short wire and were seen to dangle. What do you call something that dangles? A dongle, obviously!

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Thanks for the info. We are quite well masted, it’s a small town, so we have a good SFR signal.

There’s a lot of choice out there … in various forms.

Modern phones - can usually be set as hot spots so you can just use a phone and the existing SIM - obviously sorting the right plan for data plus calls/SMS.

You can buy dongles of varying quality on the internet - Amazon is obviously the easiest. Buy the dongle and then get the best Data Only Sim for you - be it PAYG/Monthly depending on how much data you’ll get through - I haven’t checked in france but you can get a variation of PAYG by buying data packs in most countries (basically top up data - though they have a nasty habit of expiring after 3 months). Dongles can be the old plug in type or mainly little boxes you stick on a windowsill.

Or go the full hog and get one of the bigger boxes - the Buoygues box sold by Huwaii - tend to be better on strength given the inbuilt antenna

If the signal is strong the little “dongles” will work perfectly well - I use them a lot with work

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Thanks. That’s good advice. I have only used an Orange dongle briefly in France in the past, it belonged to someone else, and the wifi wasn’t bad, but I am not keen on Orange. I am just shopping around in advance and still unsure what I want, none of the packages for dongle are as cheap or simple as the UK, but I will reach a decision eventually. My phone does work for tethering or hotspot, but it is old and clunky to set up. My business was wiped out by the crisis so a new phone or a dongle are things I have to budget for.

I have a mifi at present and a contract with 3 that allows me to use 20gb per month in france but more in uk. Alex …Your sfr 4g router sounds a much better deal as I have to pay £25 for 7gb once we have used the 20gb. Is your router like my mifi? I put that in an upstairs room to get a signal and we all use it as a hotspot. Please tell more.

You lost me at “dongle”

Gay. You accidentally replied to me instead of Alex.

Routers - mifi - dongles- phone hotspots - they’re the same in that its the SIM thats important. You can simply swap out the 3 SIM for a local one assuming the mifi isn’t locked. SFR/FRee/Buoygues tend to be the cheapest

Hi Chris, yes I’m new to the board and making mistakes! Thanks for your reply. My mifi is unlocked and I am trying to find a french sim to put in as you advise.

Thank you Annajayne, yes sorry, I’m new to board.