Those picking a dongle for themselves or a loved one over the festive period have been warned to choose carefully.
Seek Broadband has cited speed as a major factor in the pros and cons of each device.
The comparison service has urged those on the look out for a new USB modem stick to pay close attention to the capacity offered.
According to the advice: "The main thing to look out for is the speed capability of the modem if you're interested in something that can take advantage of higher speeds once the networks offer it.
"Some modems may still only be capable of up to 3.6Mb download speeds. Also take note of the possible upload speeds, as this is useful for customers who want to upload large files."
Ericsson has recently demonstrated speeds of over 160Mb in its lab using long-term evolution, tipped to be the future of mobile broadband connectivity.