Three broadband deals have been making a bit of a splash recently. Despite working entirely through the use of routers and SIM cards, Three has brought the competition to the more traditional broadband plans that make use of fibre cables.
Whether its due to the flexibility of the contracts, the affordable pricing or the ability to move them around your house with ease, Three broadband deals have a certain allure.
Of them, possibly the most interesting are Three 5G broadband plans or the Three mobile options. The 5G ones, while not widely available, give you access to a whole new realm of speeds and latency and don't cost you anymore than regular 4G.
And for those interested in Three Mobile broadband deals, there are pay as you go options, cheap plans and more. Really, Three is just very customise-able in its different plans.
Of course, Three broadband lacks the reliability that you get with regular broadband deals considering you're working off 4G/5G airwaves but if you want something flexible or easy to set-up, they're pretty helpful.
Three 4G home broadband:
For those considering investing in Three broadband deals, 4G home broadband will be the obvious choice. It's powerful, affordable, portable and with Three, comes an unlimited data cap.
4G home broadband plans work by inserting a SIM card into a router, working a lot like your phone does when you put it into tethering mode. This means you're connecting through airwaves instead of cables like you do with traditional broadband.
Three currently has two different 4G home broadband plans, a more powerful and impressive router and a smaller, cheaper option:
Huawei AI Cube:
The more expensive of the two is Huawei's impressive sounding 'AI Cube'. If you like having a smart home with clever gadgets this will be the option to go for. It can connect up to 64 devices and can link and control all of your smart devices in the house.
Past that, the AI Cube's unique selling point is...it's a speaker? Yep, in case you want to blare out some tunes through your router, this device is an Alexa voice assistant enabled speaker...cool? Yes. Not really a useful additional feature...? Probably.
Huawei HomeFI Plus
The cheaper option is Three's HomeFi Plus router. This is cheaper and allows for the same 12 and 24 month options that the AI Cube does. However, you also get the option of a 1-month rolling plan as well.
This cheaper router is not a speaker, Alexa enabled or able to bring all of your home devices together. However, it can still connect up to 64 devices and includes 4 ethernet ports...it's also much cheaper.
Three Mobile broadband:
We know what you're thinking...catchy name right?! Well the Huawei E5573bs-322 is Three's cheapest router, with prices starting from as low as £9 a month or £39.99 if you go PAYG. Where this option really strives is its customisation options. You can choose data, pricing, contract length and whether its a contract or PAYG. It won't be as powerful as the above but it is cheaper and far more portable.
Three 5G broadband:
If you're lucky enough to be living in an area where Three gets 5G speeds, you can use Three's home broadband routers to access these upgraded speeds. However, this is slightly limited with a small number of locations having access for now.
Those locations include: Aberdeen Abingdon-on-Thames, Aldershot, Aldridge, Balloch, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bradford, Brighton, Brookmans Park, Cannock,Cardiff, Caerdydd, Chatham, Clayton-le-Woods, Coventry, Crawley, Cullingworth, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grays, Grimsby, Guildford, Heanor, Huddersfield, Inchinnan, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading and Sheffield.
But the good news here, is that all of Three's home broadband plans are both 4G and 5G compatible. This means you're paying one price no matter which speeds you can access. So even if you don't like in a 5G area, getting a home broadband plan could result in you having 5G broadband speeds down the line.
In terms of how much faster 5G will be, it has the ability to exceed some of the faster regular broadband plans currently around, giving downloads in seconds, allowing for HD streaming from multiple people and never having issues on video calls or other connected activities.
Three SIM only deals + router combo:
The most complicated but probably cheapest option to get a Three home broadband set-up is to invest in a cheap Three SIM only deal. Once you've done this, simply buy a router to put into it and voila, you have your own personalised version of the options above.
While this is slightly more complicated, it does allow you to choose your exact price, contract length and data cap as well as decide which kind of router fits your needs best.
How fast is Three broadband?
Due to Three operating on the signal of a network through a SIM card, it is hard to pinpoint an exact speed cap. Unless you live in an area with poor signal, it is likely to be in an area where it can match fibre. With a few devices connected, expect to be able to perform SD streaming activities and work from home with ease.
What other networks offer broadband?
All four of the main networks offer broadband. While both O2 and Three are relegated to the world of mobile broadband, EE and Vodafone offer a bit of everything:
If you're able to get traditional broadband installed then Vodafone's Superfast plans will actually be one of your best options. It offers some of the cheapest pricing around for fibre internet.
If you would prefer something more portable, Vodafone also offers mobile broadband plans like dongles and portable routers.
Like Vodafone, EE has a wide range of choices when it comes to internet. You can get EE's regular fibre plans including speeds all the way up into the 200Mb+ range.
Realistically, O2 is the weakest of the four networks when it comes to internet plans. It is the most customise-able but one of the more expensive options and rarely offering unlimited data.