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Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

silverfinch
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎23-02-2013

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Hi RPM,
OK, thanks for that, will look out for that as soon as we open it. Hope we can talk her into using it as she is thoroughly bored in there but the eyesight isn't helping.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,883
Thanks: 2,075
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

So....... How`s it going then ?
silverfinch
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎23-02-2013

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Well...... when we got to care home and had a look at it the 'dongle' was shaped like a very small mini computer mouse but a bit flatter. When we had unpacked it husband said he couldn't see a male/female connection. It DID have a SIM card and the company it was linked to was 3G? I think that is what it said, definitely had a large figure 3 on it (sorry I didn't have my specs on at that stage.)  Friend didn't show the slightest interest so I said let's put it away again, no point in connecting it and running down the credit it she can't be bothered. Social worker will be visiting tomorrow and we are having a very quick meeting so I will mention it to her again as friend needs to regain some of her independence as there is nothing wrong with her brain (unlike mine) Roll eyes
Will let you know anymore  later when I email  her social worker.
Thanks once again for all the help forum folk!
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,883
Thanks: 2,075
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Can you go to "Google - Images "  put in  3G wireless dongle in the search box... and see if you can see a similar unit ( or even the same one )... and then post a link on here so we can see what it looks like
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: ‎08-09-2008

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Cool From your description, I think what you have is a MiFi Dongle [ pronounced My Fy ] that functions with the Three Network.
Looks a lot like this?
Courtesy of http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Devices/Huawei/E5220_MiFi
It may also be black or, have a microscopic display.
In simplest terms, a MiFi Dongle is a mobile phone made for computers to access the internet :

  • A regular mobile phone allows people to talk and text across mobile phone networks.

  • A MiFi dongle allows computers to access the internet across mobile phone networks.


This little box connects to the mobile operator using the supplied SIM card - just like the SIM in your mobile phone. Yours does this over the THREE network. Confussingly, the mobile network technology used is called '3G'. Three is the name of a mobile company.
Just like a mobile phone, the MiFi dongle contains a battery that charges using a mobile charger. And when you switch it on, the dongle connects automatically to the internet - provided there's a 3G signal. I should state it's a stand alone device. You don't plug it into anything - except the charger.
Your computer, laptop, tablet, iPad or eReader, talks to the little box using a short range WiFi connection - which is the "my" in MiFi. Why? Because it's MY wifi, not anyone elses. All connections to the dongle are wireless, so all devices need WiFi built-in. Not a problem for laptops, pads and most eReaders.
As you can see, it's minimalistic - just icons L to R for 3G signal, WiFi, Battery and Text Message - with the On//Off button on the right. You can operate a MiFi dongle from anywhere - in your pocket, in a bag or take to a nearby window for a better 3G signal.
To configure the MiFi dongle using anything other than default settings requires using a computer/laptop/pad and then logging on to a 'settings web page'  built into the box. Read the manual. You may also find some mention of fitting a micro-SD card; ignore that.
Smiley I hope she is able to regain some independence, even if that means her social care team contracting tech-rage in the process.
silverfinch
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎23-02-2013

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Oh my god, what the devil have I let myself in for. I hope she hasn't been trying to connect it since we last saw her. Yes it does look like that thing except it's black. No wonder my husband couldn't see those connections. Of course, now it won't be charged up so the social worker can show her. Think I will have my little meeting in the car park and then do a runner to the pub Undecided
I have sent her a text asking if a member of staff could plug it in for her now but, as she only turns mobile on when she wants to make a phone call, I doubt it will get through. No, she doesn't make life easy for anyone. She can only read her texts now as we took in a magnifying glass that also lights up!
I clicked on that link you kindly provided and that looks like the device, plus, I think I found her plan. social worker said it cost around £20.00 and there was one for 20.49 which gives 3GB and last for 3 months so that's not quite so bad is it?
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,134
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Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

A snippet of information: the computer can connect using the USB cable instead of by wireless which will charge the battery whilst the computer is in use, though wireless is more flexible in positioning the unit.  For MS Windows computers I believe there is some monitoring software that can be installed.
Phil
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link Archer VR600 modem-router.
silverfinch
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎23-02-2013

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Thanks for that, I am having trouble remembering what exactly was in the package now. I expect we will have a look and she hasn't got the starter pack at all Cry
Yes she does have Windows (XP I think hers is.)
Oh! I think it will be me getting 'lack of tech rage' May read about it in the national papers 'Older lady arrested for destroying OAP's laptop with sledge hammer which she happened to be carrying around in her handbag'
silverfinch
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎23-02-2013

Re: Can anyone explain a 'dongle' to an idiot?

Right, final update, promise Cheesy. We took the dongle out again and showed friend, as well as could, what she would need to do. There was a USB in the box so that was a relief. We also put laptop on charge. We asked the young social worker if she could talk my friend though it after their meeting but, when I said you have actually ordered her a Mi-Fi she was totally bewildered and asked ME what that meant! Thank heavens for this forum. So, we advised friend to charge up dongle via her computer, place it where signal is best (I phrased it telling her 'pretend it is a router' and I think she then grasped it. We can always go back when we have more time and read all through the manual for her and it did have a guide to a quick set up according to husband. The social worker and the finance lady showed a bit more interest when we explained if she does not get on-line they will not get paid Grin They then said they would get someone from the home to check all was ok.I also advised her to avoid downloading anything as it would eat into the allowance. Phew, think that's it folks.