Huawei E3231

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Huawei E3231

The E3231 offers fast, safe and affordable data connectivity, connecting easily and quickly to any PC, netbook or laptop. It is easy to set up out of ...

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Review of "Huawei E3231"

published 28/02/2015 | danielclark691
Member since : 27/02/2011
Reviews : 2287
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About me :
The game is over. Time to move onwards and upwards. Feel free to have a cursory glance at my reviews. The rates, comments and competition wins are appreciated, as are the friendships formed because of the site.
Pro Affordable and reliable connection, easy to install, compact, can use almost anywhere.
Cons Signal has dropped out a couple of times but this is no real issue.
Range of extra features / functions
Ease of Installation
Ease of use

"Huawei E3231"

Huawei E3231

Huawei E3231

First impressions

If you have a laptop or Home PC and don't want the hassle of having to set up a monthly plan with an Internet Service Provider then the Three Mobile Huawei E3231 could be just the gadget for you. I am sure many people would be surprised at just how simple it is to set up, though the size and flexibility of the device will also give comfort to those not yet ready to commit to a long term deal with a pay monthly service.

This dongle is a lightweight and portable device and can be transferred for use with any laptop or Home PC that you wish to use it with. The other beauty is that you can buy the dongle preloaded with data, so you don't need to pay anything else once you have bought the dongle, so you won't get any nasty surprises from any bills arriving.

The dongle is quite compact at around five inches in length. The jet black colour hides an otherwise boring design, though the fact that you can remove the lid and find a USB connector shows that some thought were put into the design. There is also an LED which lights up when the dongle is connected, so that gives additional peace of mind. Overall I would say that you cannot complain too much about the looks because this is not the latest model.

My experience

I used this dongle a while ago but I still own it, and it is a handy back-up to have if anything was to go wrong with its replacement. The simple design is followed up by a simple installation process. You just need to plug the dongle in and pretty much everything else will deal with itself. I bought the dongle pre-loaded with 12GB of data, though you can buy it loaded with 1GB or 3GB depending on your needs. Obviously this affects the cost quite a bit, so try to get a good idea of your usage before committing to any purchase.

Connecting the dongle is rather simple. You just need to remove the lid and then put the USB connector into a USB slot in your Home PC or Laptop. If you are out and about this dongle is fantastic, so you are not confined to just using it at home. It is actually better outside because signal is likely to be stronger. The 3G data connection is rather reliable, and with a Sim Card inside which can be removed you are given plenty of options in the future for changing things around, such as replacing the Sim Card or adding a data package if you so wish.

The Huawei brand is not one that everyone is familiar with. I would say that they are slowly being recognised, and in a few more years they will probably be a household name. I trust them because I use one of their 4G products, so they are not simply a one product company - they have a huge range of products. Here they have teamed up with the Three network and the package looks very competitive. I have compared it to EE and once your data package has run out on the Sim Card you buy with the dongle you can get a very good deal on future data purchases.

So, now we are set up and using the dongle, what kind of service can we expect to achieve? Well, there are a few little niggles from my experiences with this dongle. At the end of a session it would be nice to be told how much data I have used, though this information can easily be obtained. The 3G connection is strong and although it is reasonably fast it has dropped out on me a couple of times. This is over a period of time though, so I can definitely say it is very reliable. It is not as quick as my Home Broadband package, though I would rather save the transfer of large amounts of data for my landline broadband package. That said, this dongle would be absolutely fine for providing broadband if you do not already have access to it at home. 12GB is rather a lot of data, with my home broadband package giving me 1GB per month. So it would be fair to say that this is a generous amount. You have 12 months of access if you buy the 12GB dongle, and when you consider the cost it is very good value compared to a monthly fee service.

Price and availability

The 12GB Huawei E3231 Three dongle will set you back around £90. This may seem a lot of money, though considering you are allowed 12 months to use this data allowance then it works out at a very reasonable cost in my opinion. The 1GB option lasts for 3 months and will set you back £30, with a 3GB dongle costing £37.50.

Final thoughts

I have only had a couple of issues when the signal has dropped out, so it is a very reliable dongle. If you do not have access to home broadband then I certainly wouldn't put you off buying this dongle. It is an extremely viable alternative, and as you are not tied in or paying monthly for your usage, you will not be receiving any nasty surprises you may get with a monthly contract and billing.

Overall I would recommend this dongle and it would be a great starting point for someone not yet connected at home to the internet and that is looking for a simple solution to their problem at a very reasonable cost.

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Comments on this review

  • Secre published 02/03/2015
    Sounds like a useful back up to wi-fi signal!
  • RICHADA published 01/03/2015
    An exceptionally traightforward and informative review. R.
  • Andy.mack published 01/03/2015
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Product Information : Huawei E3231

Manufacturer's product description

The E3231 offers fast, safe and affordable data connectivity, connecting easily and quickly to any PC, netbook or laptop. It is easy to set up out of the box, and connects to the Internet in less than 15 seconds.

Product Details

Product Description: Huawei E3231 - wireless cellular modem

Device Type: Wireless cellular modem - USB 2.0

Form Factor: External

Max Transfer Rate: 21.1 Mbps

Cellular Protocol: HSPA+

Weight: 30 g


MPN: 17608, 17606, 17607

Device Type: Wireless cellular modem

Form Factor: External

Enclosure Colour: Black


Bus: USB 2.0

Connectivity Technology: Wireless

Max Transfer Rate: 21.1 Mbps

Cellular Protocol: HSPA+

Antenna: Internal integrated

Expansion / Connectivity

Supported Flash Memory Cards: Micro SD Card

Interfaces: 1 x USB 2.0 - Type A


SIM Card Supported: Regular (mini-SIM) x 1

Cables Included: USB cable

Service Provider: 3

Dimensions & Weight

Weight: 30 g


Listed on Ciao since: 26/11/2012