What Is A Dongle In Computing?

What is a Dongle in Computing?

What is a Dongle in Computing? – Definitions

What is a Dongle in Computing?

When it comes to technology, new and unfamiliar terms seem to pop up all the time. One such term that you may have come across is “dongle.” But what exactly is a dongle in computing? Allow us to demystify this intriguing term for you!

Key Takeaways:

  • A dongle is a small hardware device that connects to a computer or other electronic device to provide additional functionality or security.
  • Dongles often serve as adapters, allowing devices to connect to each other or expanding the connectivity options of a device.

What Does a Dongle Do?

A dongle, in the context of computing, is a small hardware device that provides additional functionality or security when plugged into a computer or other electronic device. This device connects to a USB port or other suitable interface to expand the capabilities of the host device.

Here are a few common purposes and functions of dongles:

  1. Network Connectivity: Some dongles act as adapters, allowing devices without built-in Wi-Fi or Ethernet capabilities to connect to a network. This can be particularly useful for older computers, gaming consoles, or smart TVs.
  2. Bluetooth Connectivity: Bluetooth dongles enable devices that lack built-in Bluetooth functionality to connect wirelessly to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. They are commonly used to add Bluetooth capability to desktop computers or to troubleshoot Bluetooth connection issues.
  3. Wireless Modem: Dongles can function as portable wireless modems, providing internet connectivity through cellular networks. These types of dongles are often used with laptops or tablets when Wi-Fi connections are not available.
  4. Data Security: Dongles are sometimes employed as security devices to protect sensitive information or prevent unauthorized access. They may require physical presence or contain decryption keys to unlock software, making them an essential component in some software licensing systems.

Apart from these key functions, dongles can also be used for various other purposes depending on their design and intended use. Their versatility and compact size make them a practical solution in many computing scenarios.


So, the next time you encounter the term “dongle” while exploring the world of technology, you will have a clear understanding of what it refers to. Dongles serve as handy add-ons that expand connectivity options or provide enhanced security for your electronic devices.

We hope this article has shed light on the definition and functions of a dongle in computing. With this newfound knowledge, you can confidently explore the vast landscape of computing devices and their accessories!