Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem
Optus E153 USB modem review: A simple USB modem with plug-and-play support, but low speeds
- Relatively slim design, ease of use, microSD card slot
- Only capable of 3.6Mbps speeds
The Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem is simple and hassle-free to set up, but isn't capable of very fast downloads.
Price$ 49.00 (AUD)
Optus' latest USB mobile broadband modem, the E153, offers plug-and-play support for both Windows and Mac computers and has a microSD card slot, but it only supports download speeds of up to 3.2 megabits per second (Mbps).
Read our guide to the best prepaid mobile broadband modems.
The Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem is about as exciting as most other USB modems. It's lightweight and finished in reasonably attractive white plastic. It has a slide off rear that reveals its microSD and SIM card slots. The microSD card slot allows it to double as a portable flash drive.
The Optus E153 USB modem is relatively slim, but it still prevented access to the second USB port on our 13in MacBook Pro. On larger notebooks this shouldn't be a problem though, and it is more of a fault on Apple's part. The Optus E153 USB modem doesn't have a rotating USB connector to reduce the risk of bumping it when connected to your notebook, and also lacks the external antenna port often seen on Telstra mobile broadband modems.
The software required to use the Optus mobile broadband service is stored on the modem itself and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X computers. The software is easy to install and allows you to quickly access your prepaid account details and see sent and received data.
The Optus E153 USB modem has a theoretical maximum download speed of 3.6Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 1.3Mbps, which is slower than most new devices. Optus claims the E153 will provide typical real-world speeds of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 2Mbps, but as with all mobile broadband devices the actual speed achieved will depend on a number of factors such as your location and equipment, network usage and coverage, and network congestion at the time.
Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem managed to achieve download speeds of around 2Mbps, but regularly downloaded at around 1.4Mbps. Upload speeds were stable at around 700Kbps, but did hit 1Mbps on occasions.
Optus sells the E153 USB modem for $49 and includes 1GB of data in the starter pack that is valid for 30 days.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
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.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTJunior Applications SupportACT
- CCFull-stack Software EngineerNSW
- FTBusiness Improvement ManagerNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior Applications SupportQLD
- FTMicrosoft Designer / ArchitectVIC
- CCPerformance TesterQLD
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!ACT
- TPGIS Resource Data & TestingQLD
- CCVirtualisation Engineer - IP NetworksVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTProject AnalystACT
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- TPJava DeveloperWA
- FTFinancials ConsultantQLD
- FTTest Advert Software EngineerSA
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- FTNetwork Security AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPMid-Level Java DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCPega DeveloperNSW