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Vodafone E172 USB dongle: Ickle Internet maker

Got a need for Internet speed? The Vodafone's tiny USB data dongle should keep you browsing the Interweb almost everywhere you go

Need Internet on the go? You're either going to have to buy a laptop with a built-in 3G data card, hook your laptop up to your mobile phone or buy yourself one of these little wonders.

Now the first option is probably our favourite one, since it means not having to attach anything to your laptop, but it's expensive and if you've already got a laptop you like, pointless.

Attaching your mobile phone to your laptop is cool as long as you've got a 3G phone and you're on a flat-rate data plan that allows you to attach your phone to your laptop -- some don't, so make sure to check.

So, if you've got a laptop already and you don't want to hook your phone up, a USB data dongle is your next best bet -- practically all the networks have a dongle on offer.

The advantage of the Vodafone E172 is that apart from being the size of a slightly larger-than-normal USB stick, it can reach theoretical speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. We recently Craved Vodafone's USB modem 7.2, which offers the same performance, but is slightly bigger and requires a cable. This is much more convenient.

Now we haven't managed to reach 7.2Mbps all of the time and it depends on where you are, but the dongle is fast. It's currently available from Vodafone from £25 a month with a 3GB per month fair-usage allowance. Visit the Vodafone Web site for more information. -Andrew Lim