3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553
An entry-level USB mobile broadband modem
- Plug and play, easy to set up and use, microSD card slot, decent speeds, can roam onto Telstra's Next G network
- Wide design can block other ports, only rated at 3.6Mbps maximum download speed
Though it's only rated at a maximum 3.6 megabits per second download speed, 3's E1553 Internet key proved to be slightly more reliable in our tests than the E1756, which has more impressive specs.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
The 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 is an entry-level broadband USB modem. Though its specifications are less impressive than the similar E1756 Internet key, the E1553 proved to be more stable and often faster during our tests.
The 3 Mobile E1553 Internet key isn't as thin as we'd have liked and it's also rather wide. This means it may block access to close by USB ports — we couldn't access the second USB port on our MacBook Pro with the E1553 plugged in, and it also hindered access to the eSATA/USB port on a Toshiba Satellite M500. A microSD slot is nicely hidden underneath the SIM card slot and is accessible via a slide-off plastic panel. A stylish status LED indicates whether the modem has a 2G, 3G or HSDPA connection.
The 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 a straightforward device. Like most new USB modems, it's easy to set up as installation is plug and play. The 3 Mobile Broadband software is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X. The My3 menu is a convenient way to manage your monthly usage, view invoices or change account details. You can quickly view information on the current session in the Statistics menu, including duration of connection, the volume of data sent and received, and the current signal strength.
The 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 delivers theoretical maximum download speeds of 3.2 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 1Mbps. The actual speed achieved will vary depending on a number of factors such as device capabilities, your location and equipment, as well as network usage at the time. Typical speeds should range from 600 kilobits per second (Kbps) to 1.5Mbps. The E1553 is one of 3's "Mega 3G" modems, meaning it will roam onto Telstra's Next G network when out of a 3 coverage zone. This is charged at a rate of $0.50 per MB.
During testing, the 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 performed reasonably well in our North Sydney offices, receiving a standard HSDPA signal. While downloading files in a standard HSDPA coverage area we were able to achieve speeds of up to 190 kilobytes per second (KBps), although speed frequently fluctuated between 100KBps and 160KBps. As an example, we managed to download a 93MB iTunes file in 11min 9sec, at an average transfer rate of around 128KBps. Though slightly less than the E1756 modem (which delivers theoretical maximum speeds of 7.2Mbps), we didn't experience as many strange speed fluctuations with the E1553.
3's mobile broadband plans for the Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 start at $15 per month for 1GB of data and range up to $29 (3GB), $39 (6GB) and $49 (7GB) plans over 24 months. All plans charge an additional $0.10 per megabyte for any additional usage. The E1553 is also available on prepaid — $149 with an included 12GB of data, or $79 without any data included.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Telstra says some of its NBN customers paid for unachievable speeds
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
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.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSenior Business Intelligence AnalystQLD
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- FTManager - Program Management Office (PMO)Other
- CCSAP Trainer l Start before the 1st JulyNSW
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- FTL1 Service Desk SupportWA
- FTPeopleSoft Campus Solution ConsultantOther
- FTChange AnalystOther
- FTOrganizational Change ManagerACT
- CCC# Web API EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTService Centre ManagerQLD
- FTPHP DeveloperQLD
- FTIT GraduateACT
- FTNetwork EngineerQLD
- FTProject Manager - ERPQLD
- TPHelpDesk Analyst (Access Control Team Leader)ACT
- FTPrincipal ArchitectACT
- FTVoice Solution Engineer - Telecommunications (cisco)Other
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTTechnical Business Analysts, Banking, LendingOther
- FTTransition Consultant - SMSF SoftwareOther
- FTSenior Front End DevelopersOther
- FTApplication Support AnalystOther