3 Mobile Internet Key E160 USB modem
3 Mobile allows users to roam on Telstra's Next G network with its new Internet Key E160
- Telstra Next G roaming, fast, microSD card expansion, external antenna port
- Slightly chunky design
Its technical specifications suggest the Internet Key E160 is an inferior modem to 3 Mobile's E180 modem. But in practice its throughput speeds and Next G compatibility make for a great wireless broadband modem.
Price$ 129.00 (AUD)
The 3 Mobile Internet Key E160 is a wireless broadband USB modem that's easy to set up. It provides full access to Telstra's Next G HSDPA network when roaming outside 3 Mobile's coverage area. Though it has slower maximum speeds than the 3 Mobile Internet Key E180 in theory, the E160 matched the more expensive modem in our tests.
The sleek silver design of the Internet Key E160 USB modem blends well with the aluminium style of Apple's MacBook. A status LED indicates whether the modem has a 2G, 3G or HSDPA connection. The modem is quite thick, which can make it hard to use a neighbouring USB port. However, it does have a microSD card slot and an external antenna connection. The cap for the Internet Key can easily be lost because it's not attached.
The Internet Key E160 USB modem has a theoretical download speed of 3.6 megabits per second. As one of 3 Mobile's "Mega 3G Modems", it is also compatible with the 850MHz HSDPA radio spectrum and can roam over Telstra's Next G network when not within the coverage of 3 Mobile's own network. The 7.2Mbps E180 modem only roams on Telstra's 2G network. 3 Mobile has reduced roaming charges for mobile broadband use, charging 50c per MB when using Telstra's 2G or Next G networks. For those who need wireless broadband in regional areas, compatibility with the Next G network is certainly beneficial.
3 Mobile has included the accompanying software on the USB modem itself, making set up quick and easy. The software works on both Windows and Mac computers, and provides basic usage statistics for the current session. 3 Mobile recommends users rely on their My3 account for more accurate data. You can also write and receive text messages, and view or edit contacts stored on the SIM card.
The 3 Mobile Internet Key E160 performed capably in our tests. Displaying full signal in our North Sydney offices, the Internet Key E160 recorded an average download speed of 1Mbps in GoodGearGuide's own Broadband Speed Test and an average upload speed of 322Kbps.
In real-world tests, the Internet Key E160 USB modem handled standard Web browsing well and downloaded files quite quickly. A 77MB file from NVIDIA's servers took 8min 5sec to download at a rate of 158.7 kilobytes per second, while a 63.6MB file from ATI's servers was even faster, downloading in 5min 45sec at a rate of 184KBps. The modem's speed is generally on par, and in some cases faster, than those of the E180 modem.
The 3 Mobile Internet Key E160 exceeded our expectations and the ability to roam over Telstra's far reaching (if expensive) Next G HSDPA network is a welcome feature.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
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 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSenior IT Project ManagerSA
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- FTTechnical Solution ArchitectSA
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- CCSAP HCM Support & Configuration ConsultantQLD
- FTLead Drupal DeveloperQLD
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTPMO Quality OfficerNSW
- FTLooking for Software TestersACT
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - RELOCATE TO CANBERRANSW
- FTTechnical Lead Front-endNSW
- CCMDM DesignerVIC
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTL&D Manager, Transformation Program in Finance ServicesNSW
- TPSOE EngineerACT
- FTEnterprise Security ArchitectQLD
- TPInstructional DesignerVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- TPSoftware Engineer / DeveloperQLD
- FTDIRECTOR PROJECT DELIVERY, WELLINGTONNZ
- FTIT Support Level 1 and 2NSW