Skip to main content

Plug and play Broadband, no fix landline required : Check this "Broadband in a Box"

Like thousands of people up and down the UK, my recent house move has proven to be immensely stressful and frustrating, the markets have definitely changed - but don't get me started on that!

One of the many frustrations experienced during my house move was the need to move into temporary accommodation, while we waited to complete on our new home in ‘Royal' Tunbridge Wells.

The only flexible accommodation we could find was a weekly holiday let, just outside of a main town, which was lovely, but it had no broadband connection (yikes!) and my O2 iPhone struggled to even get a single signal bar (just forget about 3G Internet access!).

So, after speaking about my lack of broadband in the office, our mobile phone editor offered the Three's Web Cube, which is currently being trialled in various UK locations. I couldn't wait to try it out for myself and to write up my experience:

The Web Cube is a really simple plug & play box (or cube, as Three has named it), and it is just a few inches square. There is nothing really much to it from the outside, with just a power cable and a slot for a SIM card.

It actually looks really cool, so the wife shouldn't be too unhappy having it on the shelf (not that it mattered, in our rented accommodation). It features a mandatory glowing blue light, which is there just to reassure you that 'Yes, I'm online!'

Set up was super-fast and easy. Just insert a pay-as-you-go pre-loaded Three mobile broadband SIM card and off you go! It's as simple as that, with no faffing around with an online registration process - just get surfing, within seconds.

Three had fantastic coverage in the small village of Frant, Kent, just outside Tunbridge Wells (here's a link to the holiday home - I can recommend it as a great place to stay). O2 and T-Mobile struggled to get even a single bar of phone signal. I guess we lucked out, but I do have to say, I've been more and more impressed with Three Mobile's coverage of late.

The connection speed was great too, easily connecting to HSPA+ and dishing out Wi-Fi to up to five devices, which worked out fine between my laptop, two kids on iPads and two iPhones. A very happy internet family (Now you can understand why they call me @DigitalAndy).

The box did everything it promised and more. It was the perfect solution for temporary internet and it saved my life for the month I spent in the cottage.

The Web Cube is still in a pilot phase, in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds. It costs just £59.99 and you can pick it up with 10GB of data, on a one month rolling SIM payg deal, at just £15. So, whilst it's more expensive that a month's landline connection, it's highly convenient and to me, worth every penny.

More than five connections and an Ethernet port would have been nice; enter Three's newest solution from Huawei, the B260a, which connects up to 32 users, has a LAN port for connection to printer or VOIP phone and sports HSDPA 7.2Mbps download & HSUPA 5.76Mbps upload speeds. At present, it is only available with Three in Ireland. Then again, the Web Cube, was also only available over there until recently, so there is still hope.

I cannot recommend the Web Cube enough. It saved our lives and it could save yours too!