3’s latest mobile broadband offering, the prosaically named Broadband Internet Key, is pretty much a standard 3G modem but adds one really useful feature: no cable. Plugging directly into a USB port means you can effectively use the Internet on the go (think trains) without stuff dangling in the wrong place. The pricing is nice ($15 for 1GB a month on a 24-month plan) and the device works on both Windows and Macs (and Linux, though it isn’t officially supported). There’s only one major catch . . .
Despite the design convenience, don’t buy this if you’re outside a
capital city, or if you can’t get 3’s network where you live. The
service fails over to Telstra where 3 doesn’t have its own network, but
at massively inflated rates of $1.65 a megabyte (for distinctly
non-broadband GRPS speeds). Don’t even think of going there. Urbanites
can go crazy, though.