The desperate Microsoft Surface 3G Dongle situation


For a sophisticated user tethering a Microsoft Surface tablet to a WIFI hotspot or phone is pretty simple.

For everyone else however there are multiple obstacles, including needing to keep two devices charged, not having tethering on your data plan and of course draining your phone battery when using your Surface.

In theory the perfect solution is a USB 3G dongle or stick.

Unfortunately WindowsRT devices like the Surface can not install desktop software, and it seems all of the USB dongles need their own drivers and apps installed to make them go.

As Vodafone writes:

Windows 8 contains a driver for devices that use the NDIS 6.3 interface. The first Vodafone USB Sticks with NDIS 6.3 will be the K4305 and K4305-Z. For all other devices, it is necessary to install Vodafone Mobile Broadband 10 to get the driver.

This would be all fine and good, but it seems Dongles using the NDIS 6.3interface are near non-existent, and even the ones Vodafone refer to are not available on their website.

In  fact, there is a very long list of 47 dongles which Microsoft says are NOT compatible with Surface, and none that are.

Until Microsoft offers a tablet with built-in 3G, or more compatible dongles appear, the Surface it just not really ready for use outside of the home by unsophisticated users.

Do our readers know of any dongles that work? Let us know below.

Update: The Huawei e355 mobile wi-fi smart-3g dongle may be the solution. Read more here.

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