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Wireless cellular modem - External - 3.6 Mbps - USB 2.0 - Wireless

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80% positive

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Review of "ZTE MF100"

published 04/08/2015 | danielclark691
Member since : 27/02/2011
Reviews : 2250
Members who trust : 200
About me :
Due to time constraints, I am unlikely to be able to find the time to rate members that have received 3 times as many rates as they have given, apologies.
Pro Affordable, reliable, good quality.
Cons Old model, limited storage.
very helpful
Range of extra features / functions
Ease of Installation
Ease of use

"ZTE MF100"



First impressions

You could be forgiven for thinking that you should try to avoid cheaply manufactured Chinese rubbish. You would be correct, though not everything that comes from China is complete rubbish, just the copied branded items. Here we have a ZTE branded wireless cellular modem named the 'MF100'. This is 'just another dongle', but to be honest each one has its own merits and although most of this type of modem are very similar they often have their own quirks in terms of reliability and design.

In terms of looks this modem is not the prettiest thing to look at. My dongle is an O2 branded one. The advantage of this is that it is plain with the O2 logo on it. However, the ZTE branded design has a hint of orange in the design and it looks slightly better in my opinion. I don't mind the O2 branding, though to me the looks are not everything and I am more interested in a reliable and fast internet connection than a good looking piece of kit.

Overall I would say that the first impressions are fair, though I am not going to get carried away because this is a fairly bog standard item and not one that will attract too much attention.

My experience

The design of this dongle is fairly basic and instead of having a retractable or folding USB connector we just have a hard plastic cap to attach to the end for protection when not in use. Not my idea of luxury, though as it can be stored on the other end of the dongle when in use it isn't completely useless and you won't lose it all that easily.

This dongle connects to your computer via a 2.0 USB connection. This allows you to have access to a higher rate of transfer, though it is fairly limited on this dongle with a claimed transfer rate of 'up to' 3.6MBps. This average for this type of dongle at the time, though it isn't all that great these days. Still, for general surfing we shouldn't complain too much. Internally we have a 32MB storage capacity. Again, nothing to write home about but it is better than nothing or next to nothing. 32MB is enough to store a few pictures or Word files, that sort of thing.

This dongle has a built-in antenna, though as I have experienced with some areas it could be worth spending a couple of quid on an extension cable to allow you to position your dongle close to a window or higher up in a room.

Setting this dongle up was fairly easy. The hardest part and where you might find issues is when you are struggling to connect to the network. I have had to set up various new sim cards with dongles of this kind and it can be tricky. The problem is usually that you cannot actually receive a text message on a device as your sim card is inside a dongle and not a mobile phone! This problem is overcome by the on-screen instructions and you can access the network using a passcode which is related to the network as opposed to anything to do with the dongle in question.

In terms of reliability I have had one or two issues in poor signal areas. Again, this is nothing to do with the dongle and is more of a network issues than anything else. I would definitely say that compared to other similar dongles this is a fairly good one, though I do think that there are quicker ones available if you buy a newer model and spend a bit more money. As a general rule of thumb, the more you spend the faster and more reliable your connection, though this is limited by the constraints of your location and the network.

Price and availability

You can pick this dongle up for around a tenner online, though as this is a model that is around three years old you might be better looking for a used one as opposed to brand new as you might have more success in your search.

Final thoughts

I would say that this is a very reliable and good quality dongle. You may lose the cap for the USB connection in a short space of time, though this is a design flaw that we can do nothing about. Manufacturers have not all rectified this design flaw and it saves a few pennies in the manufacturing process by not using folding USB connectors or something similar.

Overall I would recommend this dongle but I would say that in the future I will be spending a little more and going for a different model. You might think that this is a contradiction but in all honesty I would not put anyone off buying this dongle if it is within your budget. It is a good piece of kit and will not be in a hurry to let you down. If it is storage you are looking for then 32B is really not a lot at all.

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Product Information : ZTE MF100

Manufacturer's product description

Wireless cellular modem - External - 3.6 Mbps - USB 2.0 - Wireless

Product Details

Product Description: ZTE MF100 - wireless cellular modem

Device Type: Wireless cellular modem - USB 2.0

Form Factor: External

Max Transfer Rate: 3.6 Mbps

Cellular Protocol: GSM, GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, HSDPA, WCDMA

Mobile Band: GSM 850/900/1800/1900

System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later, Apple MacOS X 10.4 or later, Microsoft Windows Vista (32/64 bits)

Dimensions (WxDxH): 8.5 cm x 2.6 cm x 1.2 cm

Weight: 23 g


MPN: MF 100

Device Type: Wireless cellular modem

Form Factor: External


Bus: USB 2.0

Connectivity Technology: Wireless

Processor: ARM ARM9

Memory: 32 MB

Max Transfer Rate: 3.6 Mbps

Mobile Band: GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Cellular Protocol: GSM, GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, HSDPA, WCDMA

Antenna: Internal integrated

Antenna Qty: 1

Expansion / Connectivity

Supported Flash Memory Cards: Micro SD Card

Interfaces: 1 x USB 2.0 - Type A


Compliant Standards: WHQL, FCC, RoHS

Software / System Requirements

OS Required: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later, Apple MacOS X 10.4 or later, Microsoft Windows Vista (32/64 bits)

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 8.5 cm

Depth: 2.6 cm

Height: 1.2 cm

Weight: 23 g

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: -10 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 60 °C

Humidity Range Operating: 5 - 95%


Listed on Ciao since: 13/08/2012