Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem
Optus E153 USB modem review: A simple USB modem with plug-and-play support, but low speeds
- Relatively slim design, ease of use, microSD card slot
- Only capable of 3.6Mbps speeds
The Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem is simple and hassle-free to set up, but isn't capable of very fast downloads.
Price$ 49.00 (AUD)
Optus' latest USB mobile broadband modem, the E153, offers plug-and-play support for both Windows and Mac computers and has a microSD card slot, but it only supports download speeds of up to 3.2 megabits per second (Mbps).
Read our guide to the best prepaid mobile broadband modems.
The Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem is about as exciting as most other USB modems. It's lightweight and finished in reasonably attractive white plastic. It has a slide off rear that reveals its microSD and SIM card slots. The microSD card slot allows it to double as a portable flash drive.
The Optus E153 USB modem is relatively slim, but it still prevented access to the second USB port on our 13in MacBook Pro. On larger notebooks this shouldn't be a problem though, and it is more of a fault on Apple's part. The Optus E153 USB modem doesn't have a rotating USB connector to reduce the risk of bumping it when connected to your notebook, and also lacks the external antenna port often seen on Telstra mobile broadband modems.
The software required to use the Optus mobile broadband service is stored on the modem itself and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X computers. The software is easy to install and allows you to quickly access your prepaid account details and see sent and received data.
The Optus E153 USB modem has a theoretical maximum download speed of 3.6Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 1.3Mbps, which is slower than most new devices. Optus claims the E153 will provide typical real-world speeds of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 2Mbps, but as with all mobile broadband devices the actual speed achieved will depend on a number of factors such as your location and equipment, network usage and coverage, and network congestion at the time.
Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem managed to achieve download speeds of around 2Mbps, but regularly downloaded at around 1.4Mbps. Upload speeds were stable at around 700Kbps, but did hit 1Mbps on occasions.
Optus sells the E153 USB modem for $49 and includes 1GB of data in the starter pack that is valid for 30 days.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Australian broadband speed ranking drops again despite NBN rollout
- Rowland says govt supressing unflattering NBN information
- nbn grows customer base, but suffers EBITDA loss
- [Updated] Labor has ruled out a Royal Commission into the NBN
- NBN: Labor to offer ‘greater proportion of fibre’, still not sold on FTTN
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- FTProject Coordinator/AdministratorNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTBillings Integration ArchitectVIC
- FTJava API DeveloperNSW
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!ACT
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectSA
- CCBusiness Solutions AnalystNSW
- FT.Net Solutions DeveloperSA
- TPProcess Business Analyst - Digital InnovationNSW
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTGraduate Application Support Analyst -SMSF SoftwareNSW
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- FTInternal Recruitment | $36phVIC
- TPAgile Project Manager. Lean ProductivityNSW
- TP.Net Software DeveloperQLD
- FTRecruitment ConsultantSA
- CCInside Sales ConsultantNSW
- FTDevOps - Web AdministratorQLD