Monday, 27 September 2010

Mobile Wi-Fi from Three

Last December I was invited to trial MiFi from Three. Subsequently attending a consumer panel feedback session consisting of fellow bloggers, developers and members from Three's community, marketing and product development teams, in January of this year.

The fruits of that feedback session has resulted in an updated mobile broadband device (Huawei E585), which I collected during a recent event in London; an excellent opportunity to pose questions directly to Three and meet up with Twitter peeps @mahadewa, @jonchoo and @Hands0n.

It's worth noting that Three is proactive within the social media space, unlike many of its competitors.

Mobile Wi-Fi from Three

The updated device retains the diminutive form factor of its predecessor. The pack-in includes help cards, a recharger and USB connector. But, as before, I'd welcome a carry case! Perhaps there's an untapped accessories market?

Plug and play for the win. Gone are the confusing buttons that proved a puzzling challenge worthy of Sherlock, himself. Setup was a breeze (I'm not a fan of reading instructions). It's simply a matter of switching on and connecting multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices with the included password. The password can be changed to something more memorable using dashboard (Dashboard is browser-based and can be accessed using Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).

In no time at all I was wirelessly streaming music from Spotify to an iMac, watching BBC iPlayer on Wii, Tweeting from an iPod touch (4G), and connected to the PlayStation Network with PSP at the same time.

The device can be used whilst recharging - a critical oversight in the previous model - and Three's broadband coverage has improved since late last year! For example I couldn't use mobile broadband at home as it was a network blackspot at the time. Now it's a viable alternative for home and away. However, it could be prohibitively expensive if used excessively.

Mobile broadband on the move

Three's taken another step towards replacing a fixed broadband connection with an average of 2Mbps throughout the day. I tested bandwidth speed here. Your mileage may vary.

Although the device is on loan for the purposes of testing, and this review, I've unreservedly recommended Mobile Wi-Fi from Three to family and friends. Well worth £49.99 of anyone's money.