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TP-LINK MA180 3.75G HSUPA USB Adapter
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What This Product Does
TP-LINK’s 3.75G HSUPA USB Adapter, MA180 allows users to acquire 3G mobile broadband access simply by inserting a standard SIM card into the adapter and plugging it into their laptop or desktop computers. It supports the latest 3.75G HSUPA technology, which provides improved data transfer rates. Equipped with its internal antenna, micro SD card slot and SIM card slot, the MA180 is a great choice for users to connect to the Internet in locations that are unable to receive conventional broadband. You can enjoy quick and easy access to email, the Internet or business applications on your laptop while on the go.
∙ Up to 7.2Mbps download and 5.76Mbps upload (Network Type: WCDMA)
∙ Micro SD card slot for up to 32GB of optional storage
∙ Bundled utility provides quick & hassle-free installation
∙ Internal antenna, no batteries or cables required
∙ Fast USB 2.0 connection to notebook/desktop computers
High Speed Data Transfer - Up to 7.2Mbps download and 5.76Mbps upload
With Up to 7.2Mbps download and 5.76Mbps upload speeds, the MA180 gives users a fluid Internet surfing experience. The device’s high upload speed allows users to quickly send large files, such as e-mail with attachments, photos or business documents.
Micro SD Card Slot - Up to 32GB of Optional Storage
MA180 is equipped with a micro SD card slot that’s compatible with SD Cards with capacity up to 32GB allowing users to use MA180 as a 3G USB modem and a USB memory stick at the same time.
Bundled Utility - Quick & Hassle-Free Installation
Using the MA180’s bundled utility, users can get connected and enjoy the Internet in as little as two steps.
1. Insert the MA180 3G USB Adapter
2. Run Utility – And you‘re connected!
∙ Take your Broadband connection with you wherever you go
∙ Supports Windows XP 32/64bit, Vista 32/64bit, Windows 7 32/64bit
∙ Provides HSUPA/HSDPA/UMTS/GPRS/GSM/EDGE network support
Top customer reviews
Only problem I experienced was when the 3g signal dropped below full signal, the internet connection would intermittantly cut out, requiring me to reconnect. This was a minor irritation. Whilst receiving a strong signal, it worked flawlessly.
Overall, a good solution for a temporary internet connection
I am on the road with my work and business a lot and often get problems with Wi-Fi being slow or not avaiable - this device offers an alternative to Wi-fi by using Mobile masts and data points.
The TP-LINK HSUPA USB Adapter allows you to connect a notebook, Laptop or tablet to a mobile broadband service wherever you are in the world providing there is suitable coverage. You will need a mobile data SIM from one of the mobile providers to use this device.
It also has a slot for an SD card to allow data to be stored directly onto the MA180. I cannot see a use for this for me at the moment unless you have a tablet with limited storage and no expansion capabilities.
When connected, you can transfer data, stream media, login to social media and send SMS messages. The TP-Link MA180 is unlocked and works with data SIM cards from any operator. I tried Orange and O2 and it worked with both.
The device is 3.9 cm long and 1.10 cm wide.
To get at the slots for the SDcard and SIM you slide the top cover off. It looks like the bottom cover in the diagram in the instructions (to me anyway !!!).
Some of the info about it and what signal it supports (at the time of writing 3.75 HSUPA is the fastest - 4G will change this !)
The TP-Link MA180 supports the latest 3.75G High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) technology, which offers data rates up to 7.2 Mbps (5.76 Mbps upload) and helps to reduce latency. 3.75G is also backwards compatible with 3.5G, 3G and 2.5G technologies according to the spec sheet. It supports USB 2.0
This is a full plug and play device and has no Cd with drivers etc. The instructions are a simple single sheet - basically add the chips to the device and plug it in and it will do everything for you. On my Asus Windows 7 laptop it did just this and found a much stronger signal that the Wi-Fi ever does. I then set it up on a Windows 8 machine with O2 and again it sorted everything for me and I could use it. Again with O2 the signal was much superior than a Wi-Fi spot.
I don't suspect it will be as easy as this to set up on Android or older operating systems - I have no older machines around to try but if I can will report back. I will also try my iPod and report back later.
I had very good connections with ample speed and no slow down when doing read and writes simultaneously. I managed to transfer data to the 32Gb SD card I had installed without any problems. The computer just sees this part as a removable drive. It justed worked withy no problkems (I wish everything I plugged into my computers worked like this !)
If you are on the road a lot or go to far out places where Wi-Fi is thin on the ground but mobile communications services exists then you need this. For most uses Wi-Fi will suffice but the signal quality and stability I got from this was better than my built in Wi-Fi so it will now find a place in my laptop bag as a backup way of connecting to the net. A neat gadget and very useful for the travelling person who wants another way of connecting to the net if Wi-Fi is not available or poor. The price is very resonable for the spec too !
1.. It's not the most intuitive admin interface on the planet. The unit was taking quite a long time to initialize the SIM which was making me think that it wasn't working correctly. I phoned the TP-Link support number for some assistance and got through to a support person in Japan (I think) who was worse than useless. I was repeatedly told to connect the dongle to my computer, despite me telling her repeatedly that I didn't have a computer and I was connecting it to a TP-Link router and wanted to use it with an iPad. I just wanted to know if there was any diagnostics I could do, but I may as well have asked the nearest sheep.
2.. When I eventually got it going, I discovered that it gets a weaker signal than my iPhone when situated in the same location using the same service provider. I've always thought that the 3G signal on an iPhone was worse than just about every other 3G device on the planet, but I'm clearly wrong. The TP-Link MA180 beats it hands down.
To its credit, once I found a place with a stronger signal the MA180 has performed happily and reliably but I would say it is best avoided in weaker signal areas.
- Three (3UK)
Great SIM-free solution. If you buy one from somewhere like CarPhone Warehouse, the danger is that it might be locked to one network. This isn't.
I have added a photo - find it on the top left of this page. Dongles seem to have gotten smaller in the last 5-10 years.
Note: I got it to work with Windows but NOT Mac.
Suddenly I spotted that it's the v2.0 that is Windows 8 compatible, whereas I was shipped the v1.1. Returning.
This works plug and play. Vodaphone gives pretty good coverage so I had no discernible difference. TP link gives a very wide range of compatible networks globally on its site.
I am a fan of the 3g wifi routers and it worked equally well with both TPLink and Zoom's offerings.
The deduction of 1 star is the fact that you have to slide the cover off to insert SIM and microSD. The Huawei allows quick access with slots at the side.
I would also recommend
1)getting a USB male female cable (not supplied) which would allow better signal finding (hang dongle out the window) AND protect the dongle from getting bent.
2) if you're after connectivity only, it is best to not used the microSD slot as there is a perceptible delay in initially establishing broadband connection.
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