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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker 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: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistQLD
- CCSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- TPNetwork AdministratorWA
- FTInformation Security ConsultantACT
- FTSecurity Support AnalystNSW
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst (BI / Analytics)NSW
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorSA
- CCSAP FICO ConsultantWA
- FT.Net Developer - Mid-levelNSW
- FTTechnical Writer - Reports EditorQLD
- CCSecurity Incident Analyst - Splunk - TelcoVIC
- FTDesign Specialist - TelecomNSW
- FTSenior Performance AnalystQLD
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCCommunications Network EngineerWA
- CCData Migration ManagerQLD
- FTSOE Team LeaderNSW
- FTHead of Architecture, Global Financial InstitutionNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - SalesforceNSW
- FTUX DesignerNSW
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- CCICT Strategist and AdvisorNSW