Three “3” Mobile Broadband Review By now you most likely have seen adverts on TV, the internet and all over buses and trains by now about “Three Mobile Broadband for £10” and wondered what it’s all about, well this review should hopefully explain what it is, and if it is for you. Standard Broadband vs Three Mobile Broadband Three Mobile Broadband is good for those who cannot access standard broadband services. So ask yourself this, can you get your own broadband line? For example those living in student halls have to use the internet provided and can’t get their own broadband services. The fact is Mobile Broadband cannot beat a proper broadband internet connection from Virgin Media or BT nor was it designed to. If you can get these services, mobile broadband should be of no interest to you. (Unless factors such as living miles from the exchange or having no landline mean you cannot get a good service from them) Standard Broadband has benefits such as more lenient usage policies. Broadband over mobile phone networks is very costly, so where’s standard broadband might have a fair usage policy of 10gb a month, they won’t charge you if you go over it the odd time, where’s Mobile Broadband you will be charged as soon as you go over the usage you paid for. Also Standard Broadband has faster “ping” times to the internet, this is the time it takes to send data to someone and get a reply, while this doesn’t matter for most internet usage, if you intend to play games over it, Mobile Broadband will add around 100ms to the ping (Though I do play Xbox Live over mine, and still get a good connection) Then again Mobile Broadband has many benefits over Standard Broadband. For a start, its not a fixed line, it can be used anywhere. So say you needed internet at more than one location or even on the go, you can effectively take your broadband connection with you. You can use it anywhere you want (providing there is phone signal) and you also if you are in Halls, a Hotel or anywhere you can use your own internet instead of paying another company for a poor service. So you will never need to pay for Wifi Hotspots again! In my case, I was a student at student halls called “Storthes Hall” which is for the University of Huddersfield. The internet was provided for a high cost of £200 a year by a company called MCW Group (Which is more than any standard internet package from an internet provider) and it was so slow that in the evenings it was unusable. I couldn’t browse any website let alone play my Xbox online. With Three Mobile Broadband I could do all that again, and have my own internet connection not hogged by bandwidth hogs. Costs of Three Mobile Broadband Three mobile broadband is available either on a Contract or via Pay as you Go. The difference being the contract length, on PAYG you only pay per month if you choose to, so its effectively a one month contract, where’s Contract is either a 12, 18 or 24 month period where you HAVE to pay for the internet but in return you get the modem at a reduced cost and also cheaper internet above your allowance (10p per mb instead of £1 per mb) The USB modems cost £99 if paid for full though you can reduce this by signing up for a contract. The best way to work out if a contract is for you is to go to the following site: Three Store for USB Modem Contracts. Then seeing if the length of time and broadband plan makes your modem cheap enough for you to warrant keeping to a contract. The Broadband is split into three options, based on the amount of data you expect to be using. Broadband Lite - £10 a month – 1GB a month allowance Recommended for users who just use the internet for email and web browsing a bit every day £120 over the course of a year Broadband Plus - £15 a month – 3GB a month allowance Recommended for users who play games online, and do a little bit of downloading £180 over the course of a year Broadband Max - £20 a month – 7GB a month allowance Recommended for users who plan to share the internet with more than one PC / User who will be doing a lot of internet usage between them. £240 over the course of a year Remember: If you enter a contract you can not downgrade your package you started your contract with if you find you don’t use it, but you can always upgrade at a later date. If you are a heavy internet user, consider the 3gb package and monitoring how much data you use, if you reach near 3gb then upgrade to 7gb. You can always downgrade back down to 3gb. Summary So now you know the cost and benefits and cons. Is it for you? Well only you can make that choice. If you use or would like to use the internet on the go it may be perfect for you. Combine it with one of those new Netbooks like the Dell Mini 9 and you can experience the wonders of the internet anywhere. If your going to end up using it just around the house, it would be better to get a fixed broadband connection. Advanced Users For those techies out there, here's a few points: Although you need to install the Software in the first place, once its installed you can dial it independently of the dialing software and even share the internet. I was in student halls and my PC dialed the 3G modem then shared it over Cat5 to my Xbox 360 so that I could play online with a "OPEN" connections on Xbox Live. I could host games and play in 16 player Halo 3 battles perfectly fine.