Customer Review

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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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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 May 2012 14:11:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 May 2012 14:22:20 BDT
Narendra says:
Hi There,

Good review. Regarding the topups you can buy the preloaded data sim cards for very cheap like this one 3 Original Broadband Ready to Go 1GB Preloaded Data Sim Card for Mobile Devices (or) 3 Original Broadband Ready to Go 3GB Preloaded Data Sim for Mobile Devices

You can throw the sim that you have got already and use the new one every time. I think the dongle will come unlocked. If not, you search in the Google, you will get unlock codes for this model every where.

Cheers,
Narendra
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