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Three In-Car Wi-Fi

Road testing the superhighway

Three In Car Wi-Fi

Review As we all get increasingly used to the benefits of broadband it gets harder than ever to tear ourselves away from our streamed music and video, online gaming, immediate e-mail access and the rest. Smartphones take us part of the way to remaining fully connected when on the move, but now Three - the company formerly known as, er, 3 - has gone one better with its In Car Wi-Fi dongle, which promises access to the Internet for up to five devices over the network's 3G service, while you're in the car.

Three In Car Wi-Fi

Motoring modem: Three's In Car Wi-Fi

The In Car Wi-Fi will immediately look familiar to anyone who's seen Three's MiFi wireless modem from last year. It's essentially the same device, though it now comes with a car charger as well as a mains charger, plus a sticky windscreen holder to help you arrange it for the best reception.

Like other Three dongles, it's made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei, and it's shaped like a very small mobile phone, measuring 95 x 48 x 12mm and weighing 90g, so it's easy to carry or just keep in the glove compartment. It also comes with a 1GB Micro SD card for data storage.

The dongle doesn't have a screen as such, but instead features five LEDs to tell you what's going on. There are three buttons on the side for power - press it and icons light up for power and signal; Wi-Fi - - 802.11b/g, a blue W comes on when it's activated; and network.

Three In Car Wi-Fi

For the traveller with Internet separation trauma issues

With the latter, it shows a flashing green M while it's searching, changing to bold blue once it's connected to Three's data network – dark blue for the standard 3G connection, pale blue means you're on high-speed HSDPA. There's also a roaming icon which only comes into effect when you're abroad.

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