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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 3 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- 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
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- Huawei P30 Pro: Australian review
- Computex 2019
- 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