Is Three mobile broadband any good?
It’s fab for phone plans with lots of data and inclusive roaming - but did you know Three is also a major player on the mobile broadband scene?
With oodles of plans and gadgets, and tons of ways to connect, Three is well worth looking at if you want to get online on the go. Here’s everything you need to know.
Looking for Three’s mobile deals instead? Check them out here.
What can I get from Three mobile broadband?
Three calls its mobile Wi-Fi devices MiFi, just to show how cool they are. They’re li’l pocket-sized gadgets that broadcast a Wi-Fi signal for your devices to connect to. Think of MiFi as a very small, mobile-connected router that you can carry around with you.
Three offers these in either 3G or 4G form - 3G being significantly cheaper but 4G significantly faster - and even has a special ‘RoadFi’ device for your car.
You can buy a MiFi device outright, preloaded with a month’s worth of data to use; or on a long-term contract that spreads out the cost. Monthly data allowances range from 1GB-20GB, at surprisingly reasonable prices.
If you choose to buy outright, you can either use your MiFi on a pay-as-you-go basis - that is, by purchasing a 30-day bundle of data whenever you need it - or take out a pay-monthly data-only SIM plan at any point.
Can’t be bothered faffing around with Wi-Fi? Only need broadband for a single computer? Get your hands on a dongle. They’re way cheaper to buy upfront than a MiFi device, though 12-month and 24-month deals are available too.
Allowances range from 2GB-20GB per month, but it’s an ‘advanced 3G’ rather than 4G connection. On the plus side, that at least keeps costs down.
Three tablet and iPad SIMs
Got an iPad, tablet, dongle, or mobile Wi-Fi device that just needs a SIM card to get service? Three does those too.
A ton of data-only SIM plans are available, whether you want a rolling one-month gig, a cheaper 12-month contract, or just pay-as-you-go.
Once again, allowances span from 1GB to 20GB. Although you can get plans with unlimited data from Three on your mobile phone, we’re afraid you can’t get them for a tablet.
How fast is Three mobile broadband?
Ofcom recorded average download speeds of 18Mb on Three’s 4G, while OpenSignal recorded 23Mb. Either way, that ain’t bad - it’s comparable to a lot of home broadband. It’s not the fastest on the market - that crown goes to EE - but Three is by no means the slowest.
Bear in mind 3G connections are a tad slower - an average of 6.5Mb, according to OpenSignal.
Three mobile broadband coverage
3G on Three covers around 97% of us, so you should be able to get online just about all the time - though you might lose signal on train journeys.
4G coverage is a bit sparser than that, but you’ll almost certainly be able to connect in towns and cities. Check Three coverage here.