from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A hardware device that serves as copy protection for certain software by rendering the software inoperable when the device is not plugged into a printer port.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any small device which plugs into an electronic device, typically a computer, and alters its functionality. Common examples include wireless modems, software copy protect devices, and adapters. Some USB keyboards and mice include USB to PS/2 adapter dongles, enabling their use on machines with PS/2 ports.
- n. A hardware device utilized by a specific application for purposes of copy protection.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (computer science) an electronic device that must be attached to a computer in order for it to use protected software
As these statements suggest, a dongle is just an adapter you plug into the USB port on a TV, Blu-ray player, or home-theater system that allows it to connect wirelessly to your home network.
The iPod dongle is attached to a special serial board that can translate the signal from the dongle.
Curious about this rather odd term, I checked out Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, which tracks the first use of the word dongle to 1981, defining it as "a small device that plugs into a computer and serves as an adapter or as a security measure to enable the use of certain software."
| Reply you got it wrong … the USB dongle is for people that dont have wireless routers already, and can just plug that dongle into their PC, which will shoot the wireless to the console wirelessly.
A dongle is a piece of hardware that plugs into a computer and verifies that you did in fact purchase this five thousand dollar software package.
(As an alternative, you can connect a non-carrier netbook to 3G by using a so-called dongle that plugs into, and dangles from, a USB port.)
As an alternative, you can connect a non-carrier netbook to 3G by using a so-called dongle that plugs into, and dangles from, a USB port.
The dongle is a HUAWEI Technology usb modem, Vendor number 12d1, product id 1520.
The dongle, which is being manufactured in Malaysia, costs $119.
The inclusion of a physical dongle, which is coupled to the software via a software licensing system, greatly reduces the means to pirate software while still easily allowing the software to move from machine-to-machine.