Three is offering the Huawei B535 router with unlimited 4G home broadband from £20/month.

In the UK, Three is offering a 4G home broadband service with unlimited data on the Huawei B535 router (also known as the Huawei HomeFi Plus). The service starts from £20/month and allows you to connect up to 64 devices to the internet. Download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s are available through the router.

A key benefit of the new 4G home broadband service is it doesn’t require you to have a landline or cable connection. You’ll also get next-day delivery of your router for free, with a simple plug-and-play setup when the router arrives (no need for an engineer visit).

In this article, we’ll review the Huawei B535 4G router and the HomeFi Plus broadband service on which it is offered. We’ll look at the price plans and router specifications before comparing it to rival 4G home broadband services. Finally, we’ll look at the coverage that’s available on Three when you’re using the Huawei B535 for your home broadband service.

Huawei B535 Price Plans

The Huawei B535 (HomeFi Plus) is Three’s new 4G-based home broadband service. Replacing the old HomeFi B311 router, the new Huawei B535 router is available from £20/month with unlimited data at 4G speeds.

The lowest-price deal currently available is when you take unlimited data on a 24-month contract. Normally, this will cost you £22/month, but you can get a discounted price of £20/month when you buy through this link. Shorter 12-month and 1-month deals are also available if you’re happy to pay a little bit more and want the added flexibility:

Data AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£20/month
with special offer
Unlimited Data12 month contract£29£27/month
Unlimited Data1 month contract£79£31/month

See all Three HomeFi Plus Deals →

Unfortunately, it isn’t currently possible to get the Huawei B535 router on a Pay As You Go basis.

If you decide to replace your fixed-line home broadband connection, it might be possible to cancel your landline if you don’t need it for other reasons (e.g. for making phone calls). This could save you in the region of £20/month on line rental, potentially making the Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus close to a cost-neutral solution.

Exclusive Offers

As a special time-limited offer, Three is offering a £2/month discount on the Huawei B535 with unlimited data. This means you can currently get it for just £20 rather than £22 per month on a 24-month contract.

To benefit from the £2/month discount, you’ll need to purchase the Huawei B535 through this special link. It isn’t necessary to use any voucher codes during checkout but you’ll need to make sure you complete the entire purchase online.

Get £2/month discount on Huawei B535 →

Huawei B535 Router

You’ll be supplied with a Huawei B535 router when you sign up for Three’s HomeFi Plus service (sometimes also known as WebBox). The Huawei B535 router will connect to Three’s 3G and 4G network, producing a wi-fi network that up to 64 devices are able to connect to at the same time. This includes all of the devices you have at home (including your laptop, tablet, smartphone, smart TV and other smart devices).

The Huawei B535 router supports up to Category 7 LTE download speeds (up to 300Mbit/s download and up to 100Mbit/s upload). However, Three says average download speeds could be closer to 14Mbit/s on the service (depending on the coverage that’s available where you live).

The Huawei B535 has dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, including 802.11ac wi-fi at 5GHz. This allows you to have up to 64 devices connected wirelessly to your router at any one time. In addition, there are also four Gigabit Ethernet sockets allowing you to connect wired devices to your home network.

When it arrives, setting up the Huawei B535 is a simple plug-and-play affair. You’ll need to insert the provided SIM card into your router and you can then plug in the router at the mains. Your 4G home broadband service should then be ready-to-use in less than one minute. As there are no engineer visits or line installations, this makes it incredibly easy and convenient to set up. You can also easily move the router to other places (e.g. on weekends away from home or when moving to a different address).

If you’d like to attach an external antenna to your router, the Huawei B535 has two sockets for a SMA antenna. This can be used to improve the coverage and speeds you get on your router, especially if you’re living in a rural area where the coverage is a bit weaker.

You can see the full specifications for the Huawei B535 on Three’s website.

Huawei B535 vs AI Cube B900 vs HomeFi B311: Side-By-Side Comparison

The Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus is Three’s latest 4G home broadband router. Alongside it, Three also offers the Huawei AI Cube B900 which is a two-in-one device, combining a 4G home broadband router with an Amazon Alexa smart speaker. The Huawei B535 replaces the older HomeFi B311 router.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the three different routers:

Three HomeFi Plus
(Huawei B535)
Three AI Cube
(Huawei B900)
Three HomeFi
(Huawei B311)
Home Broadband Plans
Price:From £20/monthFrom £25/month
Data:UnlimitedUnlimited
Unlimited Data:£20/month£25/month
Contract Length:1-24 months1-24 months
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 7 LTECategory 6 LTECategory 4 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 300 Mbit/s downloadUp to 300 Mbit/s downloadUp to 150 Mbit/s download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 100 Mbit/s uploadUp to 50 Mbit/s uploadUp to 50 Mbit/s upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 28, 32 & 38LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 32 & 38LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8 & 20
External Antenna:Yes, 2x SMA connectorsNoYes, 1x SMA connector
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:YesYesNo
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11b/g/n
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 64 devicesUp to 64 devicesUp to 32 devices
Ethernet:4 Gigabit Ethernet ports1 Gigabit Ethernet port1 Gigabit Ethernet port
Other
Model:Huawei B535Huawei B900Huawei B311
Colour:WhiteWhiteBlack
Other Features:-360° Alexa smart speaker-
Review:Three HomeFi Plus ReviewThree AI Cube ReviewThree HomeFi Review

In our opinion, the Huawei B535 should be your go-to choice when you’re looking for a 4G home broadband router on Three. You’ll get modern specifications like Category 7 LTE download speeds along with 802.11ac dual-band wi-fi. Both of these features will allow you to maximise your home broadband performance. The inclusion of 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices is also very welcome, along with the 2 SMA sockets for attaching an external antenna.

The Huawei B535 has 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets and 2 SMA connectors for attaching an external antenna.

With the AI Cube B900, you’ll additionally get a built-in Amazon Alexa smart speaker. There are some sacrifices to be made elsewhere, however, in terms of network connectivity features. For instance, the AI Cube router only has a single Gigabit Ethernet socket for connecting wired devices to your network. There’s also no way to attach an external antenna.

Typically, in order to maximise the signal strength of your 4G connection, it’s recommend you place your router close to a window, ideally in an upstairs room and facing towards your nearest mobile mast. This doesn’t always align with where you’d like to use your smart speaker (normally best placed fairly centrally in your living room). For this reason, it’s usually a more practical solution to get a Huawei B535 router, saving you £5/month. You can use this in conjunction with a standalone Amazon Echo speaker which is available for about £90 (the Amazon Echo can connect to your Huawei B535 router using wi-fi).

The old Huawei HomeFi B311 router was withdrawn from sale in September 2019. It has now been replaced by the Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus which offers faster download speeds and a more powerful wi-fi connection.

Alternatives

The AI Cube has a built-in Amazon Alexa smart speaker.

The closest alternative to the Huawei B535 is Three’s AI Cube router. Starting from £25/month with unlimited data, the AI Cube is a two-in-one device that gives you a built-in Amazon Alexa smart speaker.

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three AI Cube
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£25/month

Three AI Cube
Unlimited Data12 month contract£49£32/month

Three AI Cube
Unlimited Data1 month contract£149£32/month

For more information, see Three’s product page for the AI Cube.

Other Networks

Vodafone’s GigaCube service has unlimited data from £50/month.

Vodafone offers a GigaCube home broadband service from £30/month (or £50/month if you’d like unlimited data). You’ll get a Huawei B528 router if you choose the GigaCube 4G service, with no upfront cost on an 18-month contract:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Vodafone GigaCube 4G
100GB Data18 month contract£0£30/month

Vodafone GigaCube 4G
100GB Data1 month contract£100£30/month

Vodafone GigaCube 4G
200GB Data18 month contract£0£40/month

Vodafone GigaCube 4G
200GB Data1 month contract£100£40/month

Vodafone GigaCube 4G
Unlimited Data18 month contract£0£50/month

Vodafone GigaCube 4G
Unlimited Data1 month contract£100£50/month
To show you the most relevant plans, 3 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

EE also offers a 4G home broadband service in the form of 4GEE Home. Unfortunately, EE doesn’t currently offer any unlimited data plans. Instead, you’ll need to choose a data allowance between 10GB and 500GB per month:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

4GEE Home
10GB Data18 month contract£129.99£25/month

4GEE Home
100GB Data18 month contract£0£35/month

4GEE Home
50GB Data18 month contract£0£35/month

4GEE Home
100GB Data1 month contract£100£35/month

4GEE Home
50GB Data1 month contract£100£35/month

4GEE Home
200GB Data18 month contract£0£40/month

4GEE Home
200GB Data1 month contract£100£40/month

4GEE Home
300GB Data18 month contract£0£45/month

4GEE Home
300GB Data1 month contract£100£45/month

4GEE Home
500GB Data18 month contract£0£50/month

4GEE Home
500GB Data1 month contract£100£50/month
To show you the most relevant plans, 5 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

For more information, please see the Vodafone and EE websites. You can also read our full guide to 4G home broadband services.

5G Home Broadband

If you’re looking for a 5G-powered home broadband solution, you can currently choose from Three’s 5G Home, Vodafone’s GigaCube 5G and EE’s 5GEE WiFi.

Three’s 5G Home service is currently available to customers in selected parts of London. You’ll pay £35/month for unlimited data on a 12-month contract.

For more information, see our full guide to 4G & 5G home broadband services in the UK.

Coverage

3G & 4G Coverage

In the UK, Three currently offers 99.8% population coverage. This includes 99.8% coverage on 4G, as well as 98.7% coverage on 3G. The Huawei B535 can access both 3G and 4G coverage from Three.

Before purchasing the Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus from Three, it’s strongly recommended that you check the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on Three’s online coverage map.

Check Three Coverage (three.co.uk) →

If you’re travelling abroad to other countries, it’s possible to use the Huawei B535 through the Go Roam offer.

For more information, please see our full review of the coverage on Three.

5G Coverage

Three has started rolling out 5G coverage, as of August 2019.

At present, 5G coverage is only available to customers in London. However, a total of 25 towns and cities should receive 5G coverage before the end of the year:

Now Live1 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (November 2019)
London
Planned &
Announced
24 towns and cities planned
Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Sunderland, Wolverhampton (End of 2019)

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to access 5G coverage on the Huawei B535. If you’re living in a 5G coverage area and would like access faster 5G speeds, consider signing up for Three’s 5G home broadband service instead (available from £35/month on 12-month contract).

There’s more information about the 5G roll-out on Three’s website.

More Information

For more information about the Huawei B535, please see Three’s official website.

Your Comments 73 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 73 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • I have a huawai b722 mifi on three with good signal but get a lot of buffering when live streaming will a b535 help with this issue.

    • Hi Robert,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s really difficult to say what difference you should expect using a Huawei B535 instead of a MiFi. The coverage will almost certainly be better due to the configuration of the device (it has a larger antenna, is a mains-powered device, etc) and I would hope this translates through to a better overall experience. You also have the ability to attach an external antenna to it if required. It’s possible, however, you might experience the same issue as on the MiFi if the buffering is caused by congestion on your local mast rather than coverage so you’ll really need to try it in order to find out.
      Ken

  • Hi Ken
    Thank you for your very informative article. I am considering signing up with Three for the B535 on their 24-mth contract.
    Since Three’s packages also include Go Roam, I would like to take it on holiday to Costa Rica when I head there next month, great perk!
    However I read Three’s support page “Using our services abroad” on http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBISAPI.DLL?Command=New,Kb=Mobile,Ts=Mobile,T=Article,varset_cat=roaming,varset_subcat=4147,Case=obj(42690) and they say “Not all dongles and Mobile Broadband devices may work in all countries we’re afraid (such as the USA), because the networks in those countries operate on a different frequency from the UK”.
    Do you know if the B535 will in fact work in Costa Rica? (not very techy, so not sure what frequency does mobile networks in costa rica operate on)
    Kind regards

    • Hi Cristin,
      Thanks for your comment, and a very good question! A quick search online suggests they use 2100MHz for 3G in Costa Rica along with LTE bands 3 and 7 for 4G. These are the same bands we use in the UK, so the Huawei B535 should work without any issues 🙂
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      • Hi Ken
        Thanks so much for the quick response, I really appreciate people like yourselves setting up blogs like these who are really useful for people like me 🙂
        I actually have one further thing I was wondering re using Three’s mobile broadband in a Go Roam destination (ie Costa Rica in this case). I know they apply a maximum data usage of 12GB even tho the contract is unlimited data (in the UK). However they offer the Data Passport and I can’t seem to find anywhere in their website nor the web if this can be purchased for a mobile broadband contract, or if it’s only for phone contracts. Would you have any idea?

        In fact is there any difference between the SIM that is inserted into the B535 vs a mobile phone?

        Many thanks again 🙂

        • Hi Cristin,
          No worries – I’m really pleased to see that it’s helpful!
          There’s more information here about the Data Passport offer. Like you say, it’s £5/day for unlimited data without any restrictions and is available to Pay Monthly customers. I believe it should be possible to get this on the SIM card included with the B535 (as it’s also Pay Monthly), though it might be worth double-checking directly with Three if this is an important aspect of whether you choose this device.
          There are a couple of differences between smartphone SIM cards and mobile broadband SIM cards (namely, inclusive minutes and texts only being available on smartphone SIMs).
          Ken

          • Hi Ken
            Actually I have a further question if you don’t mind 🙂
            If the mobile broadband router takes a SIM that’s like a phone SIM, then can I also buy an unlocked product (eg Huawei B525) and then put my existing phone SIM into it, and it should be able to work (ie get data and broadcast it using WiFi)? (Subject to my SIM’s data allowance of course)
            Thanks!

          • Hi Cristin,
            Not at all! You’re absolutely right – you can just use a normal smartphone SIM card in your router, subject to the normal data allowance on your SIM. The Huawei B525 is a great router for this. In fact, many people used to combine the Huawei B525 with a Three unlimited data SIM card, until they released the Huawei B535 which generally works out a little bit cheaper than a do-it-yourself solution (as the £20/month subscription includes a router when you get the Huawei B535).
            Ken

  • Joanne Button said:

    Hi, just got a b535 from eBay and an unlimited data sim from EE. Speed is good, it connects to our phones, iPads, etc, it won’t connect to our Sonos system, robotic vacuum, or our Samsung smart tv wired or wirelessly. And ideas?
    Thanks

    • Hi Joanne,
      Thanks for your comment. There shouldn’t be any technical reason why these devices can’t connect to the B535 router (it just produces a regular wi-fi network in the same way as any other router). Are you receiving a certain error message on these devices and does it still persist when you delete and set up the network again?
      Ken

      • Joanne Button replied:

        Managed to fix it ourselves. Was down to the network selection. It was on EE, we changed it to automatic and it worked!
        Thanks anyway.

  • Hi Ken

    I am looking to go with the Huawei B535. I live in an annex house so there is literally two rooms within the annex as i dont have a phoneline.

    I am a three member and currently use my personal hotspot within the annex to do things such as stream, game and use my laptop.

    If i bought this, would the speeds be better than the hotspot? I do like gaming so i want to know if it would be reliable and not disconnect etc when in the middle of a game.

    Thank you in advance

    Phil

    • Hi Phil,
      Thanks for your comment. What are the speeds like when you tether from a smartphone? With the Huawei B535 router, it’s sometimes difficult to know what speeds you’ll get without trying it out for yourself. Typically, I would expect it to better than tethering from your smartphone (the router has a larger antenna and doesn’t need to optimise for battery life, etc) but how much better it is does vary on a case-by-case basis. The placement of your router can also make a really big difference to speeds, as well as the addition of an external antenna.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Tom,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can connect this to any Wi-Fi extender or repeater in the normal way 🙂
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I’m close to giving this a go. I live in a rural area and have BT landline/Broadband and a download speed of 2.5Mbps that costs me about £40 a month – it’s rubbish. So time to make the giant leap, bin BT landline, BB and all and go 4G LTE. The unlimited data SIM packages are now within budget and the 3 signal locally is Good on the coverage checker. However, in my property I need whole home wifi or a heath robinson powerline setup (I’ve got some TP-Link kit) to reach all corners so a single wifi router is unlikely to cut it. So I’m wondering if I get the Huawei B535 can I just switch off the wifi and use it as a 4G LTE modem? Then buy a whole home wifi system, like Linksys Velop Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh, and plug that into one of the ethernet ports. Will this work?

    • Hi Francis,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s absolutely possible to use the Huawei B535 in this way, connecting it to a mesh wi-fi system to improve wi-fi coverage across your home.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Murray Elliot said:

    Update on our B535 experiment. Been 6 weeks now – still getting a decent reception on one side of the cottage and up to 25MB/s D/L speeds . Moved it to the other side of the cottage where most reception is actually incredibly poor (almost no mobile signal), just to see if it would give us enough bandwidth for my son to game. I thought it was a very optimistic test…

    Turns out to be a huge success, we’re getting 3-4 bars in what is normally a dead spot and he’s delighted as his framerate has increased and his updates are flying down (comparatively). Had to figure out how to open gaming ports for Halo 5, but that’s all sorted and working.

    Looks like we’ll have to buy another one as I doubt I’ll be able to get it out of his room any time soon!

    On the upside, I’ll be able to cancel our £40 Sky broadband package which gives us 3MB/S on a good day with a following wind), so all in all we’ll break even.

    Happy days!

  • Hello,
    I’m really keen to replace my BT with the B535, but my concerns are:
    My coverage in good, (light red) but not the best (darker red) on three’s coverage map.
    I want to try it and if it doesn’t live up to my needs (seamlessly replace BT) I want to be able to return it – I see nothing about this on their page. I have an agent on live chat telling me ‘no problem, if it’s not fast/reliable you can return it inside 14 days’, but this isn’t backed up in print. And what if it’s great initially and then becomes inadequate? Stuck in a 2 year contract…
    Too many what ifs for me to be confident to take the risk..

  • I have had problems with the B311 huawei router on 4g ,been told to put it into 3G mode to get better reception.I have had it for 18 months at 30 pound ,now I am tied into a 24 month contract I can,t get out of at 23 pounds ,would I qualify to change my router to a B535.Check your contract as 3 say the B311 is not a 4 g router.

    • Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s best to get in touch with Three Customer Services to see whether it’s possible for you to do this. It might be possible as you’re approaching the end of your contract. The alternative would be buying your own unlocked router like the Huawei B525 and moving the SIM card from the B311 on to that router.
      Ken

      • Thank,s ken for your reply.I have 18 months on my contract but will approach 3 to see if they have any B525 as that might give me a phone link as well!a

        • Gary Westwell replied:

          Alan,
          I also had a Hauwei B311 router on three homefi which I started having problems with over summer (very slow/devices not connecting properly) I rang their customer service and was told they have had problems with them and they replaced mine free of charge with the new B535, ive only had it a few days but it seems more stable although the connection speeds are similar.

          • Really? I phoned them and they said they couldn’t do anything and I’ve been having issues with mine since April. Brutal. How is the B535?

          • Gary Westwell replied:

            Alan,
            I think its a better router but the 4G signal on three seems to be have issues in my area, im still debating whether to get an external antenna to boost the signal, my son plays xbox one online and it does lag especially in the evenings (probably when other people use it most)

  • Hello,

    I just got my B535 router and to my surprise, it isn’t compatible with Three’s 4G network. It only connects to the 3G network, so I checked on Three’s website and when checking the coverage with this specific device, it says it’s not compatible…

    How’s this possible?

    • Hi Alex,
      The Huawei B535 is definitely compatible with Three’s 4G network. Can you tell me what issues you’re encountering, and where you found this information on Three’s website?
      Thanks,
      Ken

      • Hi Ken,

        If you go on Three’s website, on the 4G coverage checker, put a postcode and in device put the Huawei B535, it’ll say it’s not compatible with their 4G network.

        My issue was that I’m getting a max speed of 4MB.. I called the technical support and I was actually getting faster speed with the 3G setting. I also showed them the whole not compatible thing on the website and were surprised, they reported it to their management.

        I ended up returning the box and I was advised to get an Huawei AI cube instead.

        Thanks,
        Alex

        • Hi Alex,
          That’s really odd – I think it’s a bug with the Three website. The Huawei B535 definitely supports 4G coverage. In some places, however, where you have a very weak/marginal 4G signal, it’s possible switching to 3G will give you better download speeds and reliability.
          Ken

          • Hi Alex,
            Just a quick note: I got in touch with the team at Three to let them know about the results for the Huawei B535 on their coverage checker. They’ve confirmed this was a bug with their website, which has now been resolved. They’ve also confirmed that the Huawei B535 is a 4G device.
            Ken

  • I’ve just purchased a Three mobile sim for broadband. Does anyone know if this device can be used in bridge mode? Currently using a Teltonika RUT240.

  • Has any ordered from the link in the article?

    “Exclusive Offers

    As a special time-limited offer, Three is offering a £3/month discount on the Huawei B535 with unlimited data. This means you can currently get it for just £20 rather than £23 per month on a 24-month contract.

    To get the £3/month discount, you’ll need to purchase the Huawei B535 through this special link. It isn’t necessary to use any voucher codes during checkout but you’ll need to make sure you complete the entire purchase online.”

    I went into a Three store and they said that this offer is just for existing Three customers. I still order it online and it all went through and I have an order number but no confirmation email. It’s due to arrive on Thursday so will see. Has anyone else ordered through the link?

    • Hi Giles,
      It isn’t just for existing customers – it’s also for customers who are new to Three. You won’t find this £20 tariff if you go into a Three store – it’s an online-only exclusive that we’re featuring on this page.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hello,

    I just bought the 535 and am thinking of throwing it back at them within the 14 day cool off period! I have ordered two antennas which are arriving shortly to see if that helps. I have 4/5 bars signal, there’s a mast opposite my house on top of a church. My DL is 1.5 Mbits and my UL is 10 Mbits which strikes me as odd. The UL is reasonable but DL is awful. Sounds like there’s a setting I need to check somewhere but I can’t find any decent literature online. Anyone have any idea what this could be?

  • Hi, I have B535 which does not work well or at all with laptops. The first day the wi-fi worked well, and now I cannot even connect the laptop to the network. Any advice?

    • Hi Benedetta,
      Thanks for the comment. What isn’t working with regards to connecting your laptop to the B535 router? There shouldn’t normally be any issues with this – perhaps double check the WiFi password or the settings on your laptop for connecting to the network? Alternatively, it’s possible you might be too far from the router so it isn’t able to pick up a strong enough WiFi signal?
      Ken

      • Hi Ken, thank you for your reply. Both password and wifi settings are fine (DNS and IP checked) and the signal is strong ( the 2 laptops – Windows – are just a couple of metres away from the router). The first time I used the router, I had to type the password several tomes to connect, but then the internet worked well. The second day, the wifi was connected, strong signal, but no network. However, the router indicated both working network and strong signal (no red lights on it). I switched off and on and tried to disconnect and connect again, then input the password several times, but couldn’t connect with the network. Today is the third day, and the wifi is working fine. I need to understand if I can rely on the service/router or not. Do you have any suggestion for me to test? Thank you in advance!

        • Hi Benedetta,
          That’s very strange. I don’t have any great ideas to be honest, except from that it might be worth getting in touch with Three if you think this might be a hardware issue with the router. It sounds like you’re pretty technical so I imagine you’ve tried all of the normal things – the only other thing I’d possibly consider would be testing your connection via a wired Ethernet cable as well (at least to diagnose the issue if you have Wi-Fi issues again).
          Ken

  • Hi Ken,

    I’m thinking of getting the B535 on a 24 month Three contract, as a replacement for my current Virgin Broadband 50Mb contract, which is starting to become expensive.

    We live in an area covered by 4G Super Voice. But I’m concerned that the B535 won’t cope with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV.

    What do you think, are my concerns warranted?

    Regards,
    Mike.

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your comment. The Huawei B535 definitely has the potential to support streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, etc. You’ll need around 5Mbit/s to stream these services in high definition, whereas typical download speeds on the B535 should normally be comfortably at least in the double digits. Your mileage, however, may vary depending on where you live and depending on the strength of the 4G signal you get (making it hard to give a definitive answer to your question).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Patrick Shambrook said:

    After reading you blog I went and got the B535 from 3 as we live in a rural area and never had good speeds (5meg) now we have between 40-90 depending on time of day.
    So many thanks for the advice on here!

    The last piece of the puzzle is as you have answered above .. We now want to get rid of the land line as there is no point in playing line rental anymore now we have the the B535. Am I right in reading that if we buy a B525 we can plug in a land line, however for it to work we need to buy another SIM card? We only need it for incoming calls as in fact the current landline is linked and rings to our intercom on the front door. Can you please advise, maybe a simple pay as you go sim card would do the job?
    This is interesting as I now have the B535

    • Hi Patrick,
      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
      The unlocked Huawei B525 router has a RJ11 phone port. This means you can plug a phone directly into your router to make and receive phone calls using the SIM card inside. If you were to pair the Huawei B525 with a SIM-only deal that has inclusive minutes, that would essentially give you a replacement house phone as well.
      With the Huawei B535, you won’t get a RJ11 phone port. Additionally, the SIM card doesn’t come with inclusive minutes. This means you’ll need to use something else for your phone calls (e.g. your mobile phone, landline or something else).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi Ken

    Great article – thanks very much for the review, it’s really helping with my decision to go for 4G home broadband in my new place. I’m coming up with almost price parity on going with a 12 month contract with a B535 with three and buying a B525 from Amazon and just getting a sim-only contract. Is the 535 much better for day-to-day use to warrant getting it over an unlocked 525? Thanks again!

    • Hi Lewis,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think there are really that many differences of note between the Huawei B525 and the Huawei B535. The latter supports Category 7 LTE as opposed to Category 6 LTE, so in theory you could get faster uploads on the B535. The B535 is also sold as a home broadband package (whereas with the B525 you’ll be building your own solution so you won’t necessarily have the same level of support from Three).
      On the other hand, buying an unlocked B525 and getting a unlimited data SIM card will give you an allowance of minutes which you can use through a RJ11 phone. For some people, that makes it a more suitable solution if you’re looking to replace your landline connection.
      Ken

      • Thanks, Ken – much appreciated! I’ve gone for the B525 as it was £100 and I hadn’t considered using it as a landline. Thanks again 🙂

  • Hi, stumbled across your site while researching my Huawei B525..

    I am with Three on their unlimited 4g plan, I bought my own modem,as above, they sent me a sim.. I was getting 52mb down and 47mb up until today, it seemed like it was capped so after spending over an hour on the phone to them, most of it waiting, it turns out they sent me the WRONG sim, apparently Three have different sims for DATA ONLY.

    They have agreed to cancel my 24 month contract without charge as it was their fault, I have now just signed up to Threes 24 month contract with their Huawei B535 modem for £18 a month.

    Looks like Ill have a spare kodem for sale soon 🙂

    Loved reading through here and about to read your Antenna Guide.

  • Murray Elliot said:

    I got the 535 today (after returning the 311 THREE sent me by default as couldn’t find the WebBox on their website). Attached a Poynting antenna sitting on the windowsill. With the 535, and the antenna, I’m measuring 20-27Mb/s download pretty consistently (3Mb/s upload)

    For context, we live in the country in a stone cottage with thick walls and small windows. At best I was getting 7Mb/s on my phone and 3Mb/s on our Sky copper wired “broadband”!

    Happy bunny

    • Hi Murray,
      Which Poynting antenna did you purchase? I’ve just ordered the 535 from Three and I also live in a remote area. I currently get just over 1mbps download in the evening. If I lean out of an east facing bedroom window and look north with binoculars I can see a mast of top of the church. I’m
      Expecting much better speeds with the 535 😉

      • Murray Elliot replied:

        Hi Jon.
        I bought a simple, cheap Poynting Omni indoor/outdoor SiSo 3G/4G antenna from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DVNJ941/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
        My thinking was that if I was able to get 2-3 bars with my phone outdoors, I probably wouldn’t need too much gain.

        Most of the time the router shows 5 bars, dropping to 4 bars occasionally. It sits on my windowsill. If your conditions are less favourable, then perhaps the 4G-XPOL-A0001 Cross Polarised 4G Omni LT Antenna would be more appropriate, or if directional gain is required, then the 4G-XPOL-A0002 would give you more gain.

        • Hi Murray,
          Thank you for the information.
          I am very happy and actually quite staggered by the speeds I’m getting. I’ve tried the router in various different places around the house and settled on a middle window sill upstairs. The front of the router is pointing in the direction of the mast.
          This morning I got 52.7 download and 21.2 upload! That’s with no external aerial!
          I just have one bad spot in the house and unfortunately that’s in my office so I’ll have to get a booster… or just move the router when I’m working in there 😉
          So far I am very, very impressed 🙂

  • Hi Ken, just checking how they can claim 300mbps but average 14 mbps? I understand 300 is theoretical laboratory conditions but that’s a huge difference. 3 claim excellent coverage in my area. Thanks.

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. The Huawei B535 hardware supports Category 7 LTE technology which caps out at a maximum of 300Mbit/s. In reality, however, actual speeds vary wildly depending on lots of network-related factors like location, congestion, interference, number of other users, etc.
      The average download speed figure is defined by the Advertising Standards Authority as something that at least 50% of customers are able to get during the evening peak hour (8pm-10pm). Obviously, this is tricky for a 4G broadband provider as someone could decide to use the service wherever they like, including in an area with poor coverage or with a badly placed router. Therefore, make of it what you will (some people will get much better speeds in an area with good coverage (especially with an antenna), others will get worse speeds in an area with poor coverage or with a badly placed router).
      EE is slightly more aggressive in their marketing for 4GEE Home – they claim to offer average download speeds of 31Mbit/s on a router that similarly caps out at 300Mbit/s.
      Ken

  • Hi I’m receiving my B535 today but I was wondering how would I set up a password to block others from connecting onto my wi-fi
    Many thanks

    • Hi Housni,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe the Huawei B535 should be pre-configured with a password to protect your Wi-Fi network. If, for some reason, you’d like to change the password, this should be possible following the information in the manual.
      Ken

  • Anyone know the username for logging into the B535 192.169.1.8 homepage ?
    Running software that needs this

    Or also where a manual is available ?

  • Thank you for this; it is very informative. Does the b535 have the option for internal antenna?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Rhodri,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, the Huawei B535 has a built-in antenna so it’s possible to use without buying an external antenna. Alternatively, if you’re asking whether it’s possible to buy an indoor antenna (as opposed to an antenna that you put outdoors), then yes, this should also be possible. The Huawei B535 accepts 2x SMA antennas – see my guide to 4G antennas for more information.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • David Astley said:

    Ken, I have two grandsons who have a PS4 & Xbox One for gaming. I am in a good Three 4G area, would the WebBox be OK for online gaming?

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. It should be fine to connect a PS4 & Xbox One to the Huawei B535 WebBox for online gaming 🙂 One thing to be aware of, however, is that 4G broadband has higher latency or ‘ping’ compared to traditional fixed-line broadband. We’re talking a delay of around 0.05 seconds (50ms) rather than 0.01-0.02 seconds (10-20ms). This is fine for most online games, except from those that might require super-fast responsive times (e.g. shooters).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Excellent website Ken..Been a long time subscriber, & I’m a Three 3 Customer..Very interesdted in swapping awful old deal with TalkTalk for this..But can I connect my landline phone ? Or can I connect Mobiles ?

    • Hi Verdi,
      Thanks for your kind feedback on the website, so lovely to hear from you! You can connect your smartphone to the internet via the Huawei B535 WebBox (as can you connect other devices like a tablet, laptop, TV, etc). You can also make voice-over-IP calls on any of these devices (e.g. using Skype, WhatsApp, etc). What you can’t do is to plug a phone in directly to the B535 router to make and receive phone calls over the SIM card. If you’d like to do this, you can buy something like an unlocked Huawei B525 (approx £120 from Amazon). This has a RJ11 socket so you can connect a phone to the router, in order to make and receive phone calls using the SIM card in your router. You can use it with an unlimited data SIM card.
      Ken

    • Clive Sutherland replied:

      Hi I have just signed up with sipgate gor voip phoneline to replace landline saving 240 p/yr they allow u to choose a mew number based on your current area code..so i chose Medway 01634 and a new number. You can even port your landline number to it for a one off £30. Then if u dont take a plan ie use for incoming calls only its totally free! I use grandstream wave app on my mobile phone which links to sipgate account. So my land line is on my mobile. You can link up as many mobiles as u want. I utilised an old mobile on wifi only for the upstairs phone. Great! Sipgate…even link to your home address for 999 calls. This took a day or teo, but it all happens in the background. I just xant believe i get free landline number over VOIP. So my credit rating shdnt change as i have same landline number…SORTED! 240 POUNDS NOT GOING TO VIRGIN. I also have the 4g webbox router b535 getting 20 to 60 mb download speeds 60mb n the mornings around 25mb in evenings with no ext antenna. Connected my tv to it and a extender thru 3pin plug socket to get good signal upstairs

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