4G key: what is it for?
In general, mobile users are used to looking for hotspots to connect to the web outside their homes. However, public Wifis involve significant security issues. Moreover, you will not necessarily have access to a wireless network during your travels.
The 4G key allows you to take advantage of the mobile and secure connection of smartphones on other devices.
What is a 4G stick ?
A 4G key is a device to be plugged into the USB port of a computer to access the web via the mobile network. Originally, these devices had a design similar to a USB stick, hence the name. They have clearly evolved over time and now resemble portable boxes or small internet boxes. Thus, 4G keys are also called mobile hotspots or routers.
In all cases, these devices allow compatible terminals to use a mobile network to connect to the Internet. They can be connected to a laptop, a desktop, a game console, a tablet or a smartphone. For the classic keys, the compatibility will be dictated by the presence of a USB port on the device envisaged to navigate on the Web.
The hotspots allow, on the other hand, to transfer the connection in Wifi with terminals that do not have USB ports. In addition, these new types of keys are able to support several devices at the same time. All you have to do is connect these devices to the wireless network created by the mobile device.
However, connection sharing is not one of the basic features of the old keys.
How it works ?
A 4G key works exactly like a cell phone with internet access. Like a smartphone, it needs a SIM card to connect to the mobile operator's network. The latter will determine the speed and stability of your connection. You will have in principle access to the 4G network.
It is nevertheless possible to benefit from a 4G+ connection depending on your key and your provider.
Between 4G and 4G+, the main difference is in the comfort of navigation. The 4G network has a maximum speed of 150 MB/s, while the theoretical speed reaches 220 MB/s in 4G+. That said, the quality of the connection depends entirely on the performance of the network of the chosen operator. The same applies to the level of coverage.
As a result, internet keys do not work in white areas.
For a first use, you just have to insert your SIM card in the dedicated slot on the key or router. Then connect the device to a USB port on your terminal and enter the default PIN code for activation. Finally, validate to launch the connection. Of course, you need to subscribe to a mobile data offer to access the operator's network.
You can eventually use the SIM card of your phone, if it is compatible with the device.
How much does it cost? ?
The 4G key is currently disappearing because of the democratization of hotspots and smartphones. Indeed, Internet users tend to prefer public Wifis and cell phone connection sharing. Nevertheless, incumbent operators continue to offer some internet keys to facilitate the mobility of subscribers.
They also try to provide adapted packages.
Overall, prices vary significantly depending on the key and the operator. Count between 60 and 75 euros to acquire a classic USB model allowing to directly connect a device to the internet. If you agree to subscribe to an offer with a commitment, the prices go up to about ten euros.
The no-commitment packages can also reach 350 euros for portable routers.
Regarding the packages, expect about 15 euros per month for 20 GB of mobile data and about 40 euros for 60 GB. You can also subscribe to an unlimited daily plan starting at 3 euros. However, you will need to buy a dongle or a pocket box beforehand to access these offers.
Nevertheless, this type of package is particularly advantageous for occasional needs. You can then navigate freely during your vacations or business trips.