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

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 11
3 Mobile Internet Key E160
  • 3 Mobile Internet Key E160
  • 3 Mobile Internet Key E160
  • 3 Mobile Internet Key E160

Pros

  • Telstra Next G roaming, fast, microSD card expansion, external antenna port

Cons

  • Slightly chunky design

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 11 stores)

See all prices

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.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the Good Gear Guide comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?