Product Type: Three in Modems & Communication
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3 Prepay Mobile Broadband Modem
Member Name: treemite
3 Prepay Mobile Broadband Modem
Advantages: Cheap, easy and versatile way of connecting to the internet anywhere, anytime.
Disadvantages: Monthly usage limits, some reliability issues where mobile signals are weak
I don't know a great deal about download speeds, upload speeds or bandwidths.
I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this respect, and so I'm simply going to tell you about my own personal experience of Three's mobile broadband modem, without swamping you with all the mind-boggling technical jargon.
When Three first brought out their mobile broadband modem just over a year ago, I was quick to snap one up on a 2 year contract. I'd been waiting for something like it to come on the market for at least a year prior to its emergence.
The reason I was waiting (rather than signing up to a standard broadband package) was that I knew I was likely to be moving house within a year and I didn't want to be tied to a phone line.
This is where mobile broadband became so appealing for me - there's obviously no need for a phone line and therefore no line rental. In fact, I didn't even have a land-line at my old address, so getting normal broadband would have involved some installation costs as well as the line rental.
The two year contract came at a cost of £15 per month with a 3Gb monthly download limit, and the modem came free on this deal.
The modem was surprisingly easy to install. No installation discs necessary - just plug it in via the USB port and it pretty much installs itself. Within 5 minutes of getting the modem out of the packet, I was online!
Naturally I immediately wanted to test out the capabilities of the modem, so I tried some general surfing and downloading. I found that the speed was maybe a little slower than my previous experience with landline broadband. This didn't upset me too much though because I wasn't planning on doing a lot of downloading, I just wanted to surf the internet. And this is the question you should be asking yourself if you are contemplating getting mobile broadband - "What do I intend to do with it?"
If the answer is general internet browsing - then that's great - this could well be the product for you. If in addition to this, you like taking your laptop around with you and want to be able to surf wherever you go - this modem is certainly for you!
However, if it's multiple downloads (especially games, movies etc) you're interested in then you'll almost certainly be better off with landline broadband.
The slowish download speeds (the best I've observed is around 100K/sec) and more importantly the monthly download limit (typically 1Gb, 3Gb or 5Gb) make this modem a no-no for serial downloaders.
As I mentioned previously, I use my mobile broadband for general internet surfing for maybe 1-2 hours per day and I have never approached the monthly 3Gb limit (typically 1 to 2Gb usage). This is just as well really because I believe expensive rates can be charged for anything over the monthly limit. Thankfully though, you can see your current monthly usage at any time by logging onto your account on the Three website.
Over the course of a year, I have noticed that the modem can be a bit intermittent in terms of speeds - especially in the evenings. This can be very frustrating at times especially when waiting for an internet page to load for example. However, this flaw is most likely due to the fact that I live in a block of flats (even my mobile phone signal isn't that great). I've used the modem in other areas of the country and found it to be 100% reliable.
Despite this issue, I would still go out and buy the product again mainly because it is a simple, cheap and versatile way of connecting to the internet without the need for a land-line.
In summary then, I would recommend this product for people without (or not wanting) a landline and who want to surf the net at home and/or in various geographical locations.
The modem is now available on various pay-as-you-go or contract packages from Three from as little as £10/month and with possible bonuses from cashback sites.
Summary: Excellent way of surfing the net without the need for a landline
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