Moving Old Sim Card To New Phone And Transferring Contacts Review of HuaWei E170 USB Stick Modem

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Review of HuaWei E170 USB Stick Modem

presentation

In recent years, with 3G and 3.5G being accepted as a mainstream and popular mobile network, HSPA (High speed packet access) becomes very important for road warriors as they are much faster than GPRS network and easy to use.

A person will need a 3G or 3.5G enabled device to use this high-speed network (of course, this service depends on the country’s Telecommunication Company). It may be already built into the device or it may be in an external unit.

This review is based on HuaWei’s E170 USB Modem. HuaWei Technologies Co., Ltd has been aggressively promoting their USB modems.

Main content

HuaWei’s latest USB modem is much smaller than its predecessor (E220). Technically, this USB stick modem is actually a modem, a USB flash drive, a virtual CD-ROM drive.

In this review, I will be using the modem from the Singapore telecom operator, Starhub.

package

The package from Starhub only comes in white color with a Starhub logo. It is packaged in a DVD-sized case with the modem itself and an extended cable. The main difference between the E220 (predecessor) and this E170 is that the E170 itself already has a USB connection point. In normal operation, you will not need to use the extension cable. In the operation manual, it says that this cable can be used to improve the signal. You will need to purchase the SIM card separately for this modem. Or you can use your existing SIM card in it. Starhub bundled this package with an unlimited data SIM card that is easily installed on the device.

modem

The modem is very light and the finish is of high quality. The size is slightly larger than an ordinary thumb drive. Dimensions are 80.5mm long by 24.1mm wide and 11.8mm thick. It is glossy white in color and extremely well made. The USB connection is hidden with a fairly strong cover. The cover comes with a silver hinge to hang this device around. Next to the USB connection port is the SIM card holder. It is carefully hidden and flush with the overall design. I wouldn’t be too sure about that since the device might fall off if pulled (and you’re only left with a cover).

connection

As mentioned before, this modem is a virtual CD-ROM drive. The reason is that the software is flashed on it and it is detected as a CD-ROM drive when connected. A Dell laptop was used for this connection check. It took about 5 minutes to configure the modem automatically. For the first time you will be asked to install the software on the computer. It is a mandatory step. After installation, the Starhub connection panel will appear and you just need to click on the connection icon. Starhub connection is based on HSDPA/HSUPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM.

It takes a minute to connect (the modem I have is passwordless. So it connects automatically when I press the connect icon).

The main panel will appear connected after it is finished and in the lower right corner of your computer, you can see the Starhub modem logo.

In the main panel itself, you can switch to the statistics page to see the upload and download speed with a nice graph. There is also a text and phonebook page that I haven’t explored. Basically, according to Starhub, a SIM card is a data card that cannot be used for calls. However, basic text messages are possible. As for the phone book, it is the storage of SIM card contacts. For this package, there are 500 contact locations.

performances

Ideally, the download speed for this modem using the Starhub service should be 7.2 Mbps. However, the actual performance showed otherwise. This may be due to signal strength and download separation factors.

Some tests were done on a website by clicking a link on it on a page with multiple photos and also refreshing the same page. Both results were satisfactory as it can be loaded within a minute.

The connection is stable. In fact, this unit was tested with Skype and webcam. There is a slight delay, but this may be due to the other party’s wireless connection. Therefore, this is not conclusive.

FITNESS

This little device is best for Road Warriors to download email and surf the web. Since the form factor is small, it can be easily transported. With an unlimited data plan, this unit can connect to the Internet all day without worrying about bills.

HSDPA Downlink is 7.2Mbps and HSUPA Uplink 2Mbps, still not the fastest compared to a LAN network. It’s not meant for gaming, and if you have a lot of heavy files to load, you might feel the lag.

If you intend to use it overseas, please check with your telecom operator for overseas data charges. It can put a big dent in your wallet.

Conclusion

Overall, this device serves the basic purpose of connectivity on the go. With a small form factor, it can be carried anywhere. The connection speed is highly dependent on the telecommunications operator. With testing on the previous model (E220) at 1.8 Mbps to 3.6 Mbps, some heavy connection tasks can be quite difficult. You should seriously consider the minimum standard of 7.2 Mbps downlink if you want to use it often. It’s a must-have item for street warriors right now.

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