Three Home Broadband

  • Share internet with up to 64 devices at the same time.
  • No landline or engineer visit required.
  • Portable. Take anywhere with a mains supply.
  • Unlimited data plans available.

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What is 4G home broadband?

4G home broadband is an internet service for your home that uses a 4G connection (like your smartphone does) rather than a more typical ‘fixed line’ (generally delivered through your landline and/or a fibre optic cable).

Why is 4G home broadband good?

  • No landline needed, saving you money
  • Quick and easy to set up so no engineer is needed
  • Short-term contracts let you get online on your terms
  • Easy to take with you
  • Can be faster than some fixed line services

There are a number of benefits to 4G home broadband. For one thing, as the data isn’t sent through your landline, you don’t need a landline. This is a potentially big deal as many people rarely use their landline for calls these days, keeping it simply because it’s a requirement for their internet. So by taking it out of the equation you can also remove line rental costs.

The setup process is also simple. We’ll get into a bit more detail on this below, but it’s basically just plug and play. So you can set it up yourself without needing to wait for (or pay for) an engineer visit.

Contracts are also often shorter. In fact, you can often get as little as a 1-month contract with 4G home broadband. So if you only need it briefly – say if you’re only going to be in your accommodation for a couple of months, or you need something to tide you over until your fibre broadband gets installed, it’s a flexible option. But if you’re happy to commit long-term there are longer contracts too, which can save you some money each month.

Depending on where you are, 4G home broadband may also be faster than your fixed line options. This isn’t always true – far from it – but in places with good 4G signal but poor fibre infrastructure it can be.

And finally, due to its plug and play nature, 4G home broadband is easy to take with you. So if you move house (or are even just travelling somewhere with plug sockets but no Wi-Fi), then you can bring your router with you and simply plug it in again in the new location.

How does it work?

With 4G home broadband the signal is sent wirelessly from a nearby mast to your router, whereas with fixed line broadband the signal is sent through wires all the way to your router. In either case, once your router receives a signal it then sends it out (usually wirelessly) to the rest of your devices so they can get online.

So in short, with 4G home broadband there are far fewer cables involved.

This lack of cables also makes setup simple. While the process can vary slightly depending on which 4G home broadband device you have, it’s basically a case of inserting the supplied SIM card, plugging the router in, and turning it on.

From there it should start broadcasting a network, one you can access using the name and password supplied with the router. That’s enough to get online, but there should also be details on accessing the admin panel, which will allow you to change the password and any other router settings you might want to.

Other than having to put a SIM card in this is all similar to the setup of most routers – except without the engineer visit that usually comes first to get the internet itself up and running.

What speeds can you get with 4G home broadband?

The 4G home broadband speeds you’ll get will depend in large part on the router you use, but on Three the maximum you’ll likely get is 100Mbps for downloads and 40Mbps for upload. Those speeds are comparable to fibre broadband, which offers average download speeds of anywhere from around 35Mbps to over 300Mbps, depending on provider, package and location.

Note however that average speeds on Three 4G home broadband are typically a lot lower than 100Mbps, coming in at between 14-20Mbps.

What is the difference between home broadband and mobile broadband?

The difference between home broadband and mobile broadband is that the former requires you to plug in a router – so it requires access to a plug socket – and is designed to be left on permanently in your home, while the latter is typically battery-powered and designed to be used when out and about.

Battery aside, 4G mobile broadband generally works a lot like 4G home broadband in that you have a router with a 4G SIM card in it that beams a signal to other electronic devices, getting them online.

As such, you could use 4G mobile broadband in place of home broadband, but speeds are often lower and data limits more restrictive, so it’s not ideal.

You can also get ‘dongles’ for 4G mobile broadband, which are designed to be plugged into the device you want to get online. This is done via USB and means they can only generally get one device online at once – and only one with a USB port.

What are the differences between the AI Cube, HomeFi and Huawei B535?

 

Huawei B535

Cutting-edge 4G Home Broadband router

Huawei B535

Huawei AI Cube

4G Home Broadband router with Amazon Alexa speaker

Huawei AI Cube

Huawei HomeFi B311

Discontinued 4G Home Broadband router

HomeFi

Download Speeds Up to 300Mbps (LTE CAT 7) Up to 300Mbps (LTE CAT 6) Up to 150Mbps (LTE CAT 4)
Upload Speeds Up to 100Mbps Up to 50Mbps Up to 50Mbps
Maximum Connected devices 64 64 32
WiFi 

Dual Band 802.11ac

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Dual Band 802.11ac

(2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Single Band 802.11b/g/n 

(2.4 GHz)

Ethernet Ports 4 1 1
External Antenna  Yes (sold seperately) No Yes (sold seperately)
Power Mains Power Mains Power Mains Power
Other Features   Alexa Smart Speaker  
  Huawei B535 review Huawei AI Cube review Huawei HomeFi review

The Huawei AI Cube, Huawei HomeFi and Huawei B535 all provide 4G home broadband, but there are a number of differences between them, as you can see in the table above.

The Huawei B535 is the clear highlight as it has more ethernet ports (for wired connections) than the others, and higher upload speeds.

The Huawei AI Cube is a close second for performance, with higher download speeds and more simultaneous connections supported than the HomeFi (but the same in both cases as the B535). It also has an Amazon Alexa-powered smart speaker built-in, making it a great option if you want your router to also be the hub of your smart home.

The HomeFi, which is now discontinued and replaced by the Huawei B535, is a relatively basic option with slower speeds, fewer connections, and it only support 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, where the other two also support 5Ghz.

Can I get unlimited home broadband?

Yes, all three of the devices listed above are available with unlimited data on Three.

Does Three offer 5G home broadband?

Yes, but only currently in parts of London. Availability will grow, but for now 4G home broadband is the best most people will be able to get.

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