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Orange E160 USB modem

Unlike, say, O2’s Henry Holland dongle collaboration, the E160e mobile broadband USB stick from Orange won’t win any plaudits for style. It’s covered in the company’s black and orange branding, for one thing. But if you can look beyond that you’ll find this a great device for getting online when you're on the go.

Certainly, if you’re after a mobile broadband service that’s supremely easy to set up, this could just the right option for you. Thanks to the simplest of installation procedures – literally just plugging in the dongle to our laptop, with no software to worry about - we were surfing within minutes.

The quality and reliability of the broadband connection we experienced was similarly seamless, with download speeds clocking in at an average of around 1.14 Mb. We tried watching a range of shows on the BBC iPlayer between the peak demand time of between seven and ten and enjoyed smooth and uninterrupted viewing. We were also very taken with the option to send texts via the dongle – handy for when you’re out of credit/phone battery and a brilliant extra-value element.

Our experience wasn't perfect, however. If you're planning to download files heavily, you'll run through the 3GB download limit that applies on cheaper Orange dongle deals very quickly. Still, in truth, it’s unlikely many people really expect to use their dongle for this purpose. Rather, mobile broadband is being seen as a product you have alongside your home broadband connection and you use sparingly. For this purpose, Orange’s dongle is pretty much perfect.

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