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43 Reviews
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, average-good speeds and a nice price
I have been waiting for Amazon to restock this product for ages! All the other sellers have them for ~£28 but Amazon sells them for the bargain price of £17.82. It's a really great price - especially when Three sell them for £30!

It arrives in a tiny little box containing the USB modem itself, a 3 SIM card with 1GB data preloaded on it, a couple of little paper...
Published on 5 May 2012 by Steve

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 3connect software crashes on startup (Win7 64 + the latest Flash player)
Received my dongle this morning and it simply does not work when attempting to use it on a Windows 7 machine. After initial plug-in, all the device drivers automatically install and a manual run of autoplay is then needed to install the 3connect dashboard software (which is used to control the connection). So far so good.

When attempting to actually run the...
Published on 12 May 2012 by Stuart Binge


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, average-good speeds and a nice price, 5 May 2012
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
I have been waiting for Amazon to restock this product for ages! All the other sellers have them for ~£28 but Amazon sells them for the bargain price of £17.82. It's a really great price - especially when Three sell them for £30!

It arrives in a tiny little box containing the USB modem itself, a 3 SIM card with 1GB data preloaded on it, a couple of little paper booklets about safety and how to use it and not much else.

To use it you simply slide the cover off, slip the SIM in the slot, put the cover back on and plug it into a USB port on your computer. It mounts itself as a CD so if you have autorun turned off you'll need to go open up My Computer (just Computer on Vista/Windows 7 I believe) and launch the "CD" from there.

It will install the drivers and software it requires and then you're ready to go. The application it installs is called '3 Connect' and this shows the current signal strength, lets you connect/disconnect from the internet, monitor your current and total bandwidth usage and even send/receive SMS messages.

As long as you have a good signal it takes a couple of seconds after hitting the 'Connect' button to be on the internet. If you don't have a good signal try using a USB extension cable between the modem and the computer to act as an antenna. There is a small socket on the side of the modem, hidden under a flap, that I suspect is for an external antenna but I couldn't find any explanation in the documentation so it's just a guess.

The speeds I've been experiencing are about what I expected. My signal level isn't great where I live and my 3 mobile spends alot of time at 3G speeds not HSPA+ which requires a better signal. I've been downloading at ~0.8MB/s which is ~6.4Mbit/s. I will update this review once I've taken my laptop out and about and tested the speeds with full signal.

The price of bandwidth is higher than I'd like. 3 charge £2.99 if you want 500MB which lasts just one day! They also offer three monthly top-up amounts:

£10 top-up for 1GB download
£15 top-up for 3GB download
£25 top-up for 7GB download

As you can see this isn't exactly a bargain. Especially not when you consider that they charge £15 for unlimited data on their PAYG phone plans. You are better off tethering a smart phone to your computer if you have that option. If you don't then this is what you're faced with.

I recommend preparing your browser (firefox) for minimim-bandwidth usage when you're going to use the 3 USB modem:
- Turn off images by default
- Install NoScript to prevent media loading automatically
- Install AdBlock+ to prevent bandwidth being wasted on loading ads

This will let you control what loads on a website other than the text so hopefully you'll be able to make the 1-3GB last much longer. I have setup a portable firefox package (portableapps dot com) which I only use when I'm going to be using the USB modem.

This is the best 3G USB modem deal available so I highly recommend it if that's what you're after. However, I can't rate it 5 stars simply because the ongoing costs are so high in comparison to their true cost. Bandwidth does not cost £10 per 1GB.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 3connect software crashes on startup (Win7 64 + the latest Flash player), 12 May 2012
By 
Stuart Binge "tech fan" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
Received my dongle this morning and it simply does not work when attempting to use it on a Windows 7 machine. After initial plug-in, all the device drivers automatically install and a manual run of autoplay is then needed to install the 3connect dashboard software (which is used to control the connection). So far so good.

When attempting to actually run the 3connect software however, it crashes at startup with the usual "3connect has failed to start" Windows 7 application crash dialog.

After much googling, this appears to be down to incompatibilities with some combination of Windows 7 64bit, the latest available Flash player software, and 3connect itself (as 3connect uses flash to display quite frankly useless graphics that the tool could very well do without). There does not seem to be any obvious way to fix this though; there is vague mention of updating the 3connect software, however such updated software is both incredibly difficult to find on the 3 site (their in-site search does not return the page) and furthermore does not have a supported version for this particular dongle (the Huawei E353).

The dongle and software do appear to function without issue on a Mac, however.

If you are intending on using this on a Windows 7 machine I would advise you look for an alternate product.

For reference, the 3 page with the 3connect update is: [...]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dongle, 14 Oct 2011
By 
As Brown "dingbat587" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
I bought this not expecting much - I had previously used an O2 dongle and it was the most frustrating thing in the world - took forever for even the simplest web page to load. However, I did need to have internet while my home broadband is being set up, so I thought I'd try three. Best wifi I've got that's not on a home broadband system, and better than some of those!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Variable reception and data transfer speeds - North London, 28 Jun 2012
By 
HH (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
I paid just under £18 for the device with 1GB included data in June 2012. It was used with a Mac book Pro for 1 month in North London, mainly for emailing and social media.

Installation and connection: On first insertion of the dongle it installed and established a connection within a couple of minutes. No configuration or activation of included data needed. An indicator light flashes green/blue/cyan in various patterns depending on signal strength or connection. On screen bars also indicate reception strength.The dongle also accepts a micro SD card.

Performance: It only worked next to the window of the highest room of the 5 storey house (North London) where it was mainly used. It worked faster in other geographical areas. Day to day performance was comparable to that of an old dial up connection i.e. slow. Connection failed or dropped intermittently on some days. Downloading photo attachments from emails was occasionally hopeless either due to slow transfer speed or connection drop out. Video streaming was pointless, except in some areas where pausing allowed streaming.

Despite the negatives mentioned above, the performance was infinitely better than a T mobile PAYG dongle I previously used at the same location.

For the price of the device and included data I would use 3 mobile again if I needed a temporary internet connection for simple usage e.g. emailing, internet surfing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
My home internet is about 250KB/s on average, and with this dongle, I can reach speeds of 1.1MB/s. The ping is even low enough to game with (although, obviously that would vary from place to place)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mobile Dongle, 25 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
Does what it says on the tin, reasonable fast connection. Handy as a backup and much cheaper from Amazon than the 3 shop. It's a bargain with included 1gig data.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3G MOBILE BROADBAND, 15 Sep 2011
This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
Great product, super fast downloads, just check the area that you intend to use in the main via 3 web site if ok YOU WONT BE DISOPOINTED !!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stopped working after six months., 11 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
I bought this dongle in September and it worked very well for the first 6 months, I don't know if the technology is outdated but it stopped working after 6 months; the pop up offers to close the program and seach for a solution online but it hasn't done so and the problem hasn't resolved. I'd be very wary of buying this product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
Fast mobile dongle well worth the money paid , its faster than my brothers home internet speed by a well known supplier .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dongle & 1GB Simcard, 12 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Three Mobile Huawei E353U Prepay 1GB - Black (Accessory)
difficult to review this product objectively because the 3 Network has once again failed to deliver. Bought this for my student daughter and after checking their website for suitable coverage tried to set up. No signal from the network so whilst the dongle may well be excellent it did not work. I should know better about 3 because my wife has this on her phone and frequently lets her down. Ended up paying £30 for an Orange dongle that worked straight away. I know some people are pleased with reception but there seems to be no way of reliably checking coverage without committing to a card it seems - catch 22 once more.
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