Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Three UK Mi-Fi

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Sitting on a near 6 hour train ride from Liverpool to Norwich is hardly my first choice Sunday entertainment. Added to the fact I’m working and writing this piece hardly fills me with joy. I do however; have a Premiership game streaming via Sky Go in the background all thanks to the beauty that is Three UK Mi-Fi.

Sitting on a near 6 hour train ride from Liverpool to Norwich is hardly my first choice Sunday entertainment. Added to the fact I’m working and writing this piece hardly fills me with joy. I do however; have a Premiership game streaming via Sky Go in the background all thanks to the beauty that is Three UK Mi-Fi.

It’s by no means HD but it’s surprising just how few drop outs there are whilst I’m travelling at 60 mph through British countryside. The first half has just finished, and during those 45 minutes I’m pretty confident I watched 35 of them, perhaps even heading towards 40. Which I am sure you will agree isn’t too shabby…

The device it’s self is a Huawei E585 (whatever that is) and you can simultaneously connect up to 5 wireless devices to it. The screen is minimal but features all the info you need. Including; signal strength, network, connection, battery life, how many devices are connected and your total download figures for the current session. The last figure is interesting and you will want to keep at eye on depending on your data plan.

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Just the day before writing this, we made the long drive up North for an away game. It was good to be back and the drive up there was probably the most technology rich roadtrips of all time. We had 2 iPhones and Blackberry connected to the Mi-Fi, as well as a laptop streaming Soccer AM and a guy jailbreaking his iPad as we had been chatting about it. Not bad for a device half the size of most smartphones.

When it comes to the data plans, you get a variety of options, from 1GB all the way through to 15GB per month with a 5GB in the middle, well not really the middle… The 1GB a month at over £9 per month on an 18 month contract seems rather steep, and if you are a frequent user this will be gobbled up in no time. Infact I have already used over a gig in about an hours streaming so bear that mind. If you jump up to a 15 gig contract you will be looking at £23 per month over an 18 month contract, or £18 on a 24 month contact.

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I was actually going to buy one of these as soon as I had to return this one. I love the simplicity and flexibility of the Mi-Fi hardware and I was surprised at just how good the coverage was. It’s not just a device for the city centre, it can be used pretty much anywhere! And whilst I had various drop-outs, you are never going to get full coverage everywhere. But for me, the data plans just aren’t flexible (or large) enough for a power user like myself. I don’t want to be tied into any contract, let alone an 18 or 24 month one. In today’s ever changing world, I could be paying over the odds in the just a few weeks and that is just not a risk I am willing to take.

Give me an unlimited contract for 12 months at about £20 a month and I would sign up tomorrow. I would be more than happy to have this as my home and travel net connection, removing my need for telephone line and broadband at home. But for the moment I will stick with my home broadband and iPhone hotspot for tethering.

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Three have definitely upped their game in the last 5 years, I remember the bad press when they first entered the market, always a cheap product but the 3G infrastructure was never there. This has definitely changed, and not only are they one of the best value for money UK operators around, they are also one of the most stable and well covered (in the areas I was in). And it’s not all loss for Three, I will be switching from my Vodafone sim only to the Three UK variant, it’s cheaper and more robust.

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