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

In the UK, Three is offering a 4G home broadband service with the Huawei B535 router (also known as the Huawei HomeFi Plus). The service starts from £20/month for unlimited data 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 major 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 free next working day delivery of your router, with a simple plug-and-play setup and 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 latest 4G home broadband router. Replacing the old HomeFi B311 router, the newer Huawei B535 router is currently 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 special 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 would like the extra 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 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 referred to as a 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 home 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, depending on the level of coverage 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 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 move the router to other places with ease (e.g. bringing it with you on weekends away from home or taking it 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, however, some sacrifices to be made elsewhere in terms of network connectivity features. For instance, the AI Cube router only has one 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 facing towards your nearest mobile mast. This doesn’t always align well with where you’d like to use a 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 compared to the AI Cube. You can use this in conjunction with a standalone Amazon Echo speaker which is available for about £90. A standalone Amazon Echo device can connect to your Huawei B535 router using wi-fi.

Three’s older 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.

On Three, you’ll receive the B535-232 version of the Huawei B535 router. This is sometimes also referred to as the Huawei 4G Router 3 Pro.

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, however, the largest data allowance currently available is 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 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 London. You’ll pay £30/month for unlimited data on a 12-month contract:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three 5G Home
Unlimited Data12 month contract£0£30/month

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 is able to access both 3G and 4G coverage from Three.

Before purchasing the Huawei B535 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 in 71 destinations at no extra charge through Three’s Go Roam offer.

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

5G Coverage

Three started rolling out 5G coverage in August 2019, with London being the first city to get 5G coverage.

By the end of Q1 2020, a total of 25 towns and cities should have 5G coverage from Three:

Now Live1 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (January 2020)
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 (Q1 2020)

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 to faster 5G speeds, consider signing up for Three’s 5G home broadband service instead (available from £30/month).

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What price plans can I use with the Huawei B535?
The Huawei B535 is available on a choice of three price plans, all with unlimited data included. The most popular plan costs £20/month on a 24-month contract. However, shorter deals are also available if want flexibility. For instance, there is a 12-month plan costing £27/month plus £29 upfront. Alternatively, a 1-month plan is available, costing £31/month plus £79 upfront. You can see the price plans here.
How can I get the Huawei B535 for a discounted price of £20/month?
You’ll normally pay £22/month for unlimited data on the Huawei B535 (24 month contract). However, a special £2/month discount is available when you order through this link, bringing the price down to just £20/month. There’s no need to enter any special voucher codes but you’ll need to complete the entire order process online.
What speeds can I get on the Huawei B535?
The Huawei B535 router supports 4G download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s (Category 7 LTE speeds). However, the actual download speeds you get will be lower in practice and will depend on the level of coverage available where you live.
Does the Huawei B535 support 5G?
Unfortunately, the Huawei B535 does not support 5G mobile networks. If you’d like 5G home broadband, consider Three’s 5G Home or an alternative 5G home broadband service.
What coverage can I get on the Huawei B535?
You can access 99.8% population coverage when using the Huawei B535 on Three’s network. Enter your postcode on Three’s website to check the availability in your area.
Can I use the Huawei B535 when travelling abroad?
Yes. It’s possible to use the Huawei B535 in 71 destinations at no extra cost through Three’s Go Roam offer. This includes most European countries, the USA, Australia and more.

More Information

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

Your Comments 94 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 94 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Please DO NOT go with Three! Their network has been in a state of collapse since at least April 2019. I joined them in May, having dumped ADSL and gone 4G for home internet. It started out OK, with decent speeds. However, over the course of last year my speed deteriorated to the point where it was unusable even for browsing (I got 0.01mb on one speed test!).

    Luckily, I managed to break my contract at the half-way point over live chat when Three finally agreed that my experience of their network wasn’t as good as it should be and let me go without further penalty.

    I’ve now switched to VOXI and the difference is night and day with speed. At least 30mbps throughout the day, even though the masts are not far from each other. O2 and EE were even faster when I tested their SIMS in my Huawei router, VOXI are the only ones that offer a 30 day contract for unlimited data.

    It’s not just me either – see Three_Is_Broken on Twitter. In short – DO NOT sign up to Three! It’s cheap for a reason.

  • A little bit of feedback for anyone considering this offer from Three. Online ordering process was simple, although it was a bit strange that Three requested direct debit AND credit card details. I haven’t seen any charge to the credit card, so I assume this was either some form of credit check or a pre-authorisation charge. I signed up using the referral link above for the £20/month deal, however, my first bill said £29/month. After a phone call, email and chat with Three I think this has finally been resolved, so pay attention to your first bill and double check your monthly charge.

    Service wise I’m typically seeing about 30Mbps down, 5 Mbps up. Fastest was 41/13. However, this is *highly* dependent on the mast you connect to. These speeds were achieved with 2/3 bars on 1800MHz (band 3). I have to position the B535 router in an upstairs bedroom window to keep this connection. Moving it anywhere else in the house and it will fall back to 5 bars on 800MHz (band 20). On band 20 the best speeds are about 15/10, but usually more like 13/7. It’s interesting that the B535 will connect to band 3, even when there is a significantly stronger band 20 signal, so it’s clearly testing for speed, not just signal strength. For me at least, band 3 gives the best download speeds, whereas band 20 consistently performs better in uploads.

    Unfortunately external antennas aren’t helping too much. I bought the Poynting XPOL-1, and no matter where it is positioned or facing the B535 will only ever connect to band 20. This leads me to one of the downsides of the B535 – there is no way to specify which band to connect to. I will either need to locate the antenna much higher in the house than I’m willing to go on a ladder, or investigate different 4g modems (B525 seems to allow band locking?). If Three/Huawei could release a firmware update to give more control on the modem that’d be even better.

    With all that said, the speed is a huge improvement on the 14/1 BT “fibre” service I’ve tolerated, and since I was mostly interested in improved upload speeds, even if the B535 only connects to band 20 it’s not a complete disaster. Definitely worth a try, but don’t expect an external antenna to fix a poor connection, you might just end up connecting to a different mast.

  • Hey Ken – great site and a mine of information. I’m currently a VM customer but looking to migrate to Three 5G although still not certain when it will be available to me (in Cardiff). Do you know if it’s possible to upgrade from a 4G home broadband account to 5G when it became available or would I be tied into 4G until that contract expired? I’ve called 3 and spoken to two different people but they can’t seem to grasp my question and/or give me a straight answer!!

    • Hi Danno,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe the current plan is for Three to launch 5G in Cardiff during Q1 2020 so hopefully you’ll have access to it in the next few months. Whether you’ll be able to upgrade from 4G to 5G on your HomeFi contract, I’m not totally sure! Three have already said that they’ll offer 5G coverage at no extra cost on all of their plans. Therefore, in theory, you’ll just need to upgrade to a new 5G-ready router and you should then be able to use 5G home broadband on Three. Whether they’ll allow you to do this within the realms of your current contract I’m unsure (though you can always buy an unlocked 5G router from retailers like Amazon).
      Ken

      • Hi Ken – many thanks for your reply and it feeds into what (I think!) I’ve managed to ascertain from talking to someone in a 3 store. That is, that from a plan/contract point of view, 3 don’t differentiate between 4G and 5G per se, since the SIMs are compatible with all, it’s just a question of what’s available to you. I imagine that the difference in price between the 4G/5G contracts is more reflective of the cost of the hardware they’re supplying. Someone at 3 CS just told me that SIM only unlimited broadband is £18 pm (12 month contract) sans equipment. So what you’ve suggested above is certainly an option….

  • Hi Ken – Great article on the Huawei B535. I currently rely on a Huawei E5573B hotspot via O2 for my mobile broadband. I get around 6 Mbps download speed – would it be worth upgrading to the B535? Thanks.

    • Hi Clive,
      Thanks for your comment and a very good question! If you’re making heavy use of your mobile broadband service, I’d definitely try a mains-powered router like the Huawei B525 or the Huawei B535. You’ll hopefully get better coverage with it as it has a better built-in antenna and doesn’t need to optimise for low power consumption like a battery-powered hotspot. In addition, there’s also the option of using an external antenna, Wi-Fi speeds should be a bit better, etc.
      Ken

  • Excellent review and great that even now , that link takes you to a discount.

    I’m looking at this product as I occasionally travel to Italy, and could take it with me .I can’t track down any t&C’s to find out any further info.

    Would you know it’s fine to use in Italy ( I think it would be as it’s part of three’s roaming area in Europe).? Also would there be any fair use restrictions, or would it be unlimited ( I’ve seen some pages that may indicate, there’s a 12gb limit)?
    Finally would the device have to be set up for roaming or do you think plug and play in Italy would work? ( My Vodafone mifi dongle, worked plug and play)
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Lloyd

  • Hi Ken, just got a Huawei B353 4G Hub as I can’t get broadband at my home. Managed to connect it up ok and to the smart tv. I got iplayer to work but itv hun & demand 5 error every time I try to play something on you-view. Can you advise if I can do anything to use all you-view services with the 4G hun?
    Thanks,
    Claire

    • Hi Claire,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m not aware of anything specific you need to do with the YouView, except from connecting it to the Huawei B535’s wi-fi network. Are you receiving a certain message with it?
      Ken

  • Vince Menzies said:

    Ken. Thinking of changing to Huawei B535 router, I currently have a Nova Mesh connected to my old router, do you know if it is possible to connect the mesh system to the B535 for the same whole house coverage?

    • Hi Vince,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I believe it should be possible to use pretty much any mesh wi-fi system with the Huawei B535. It should simply be a matter of connecting it to one of the B535’s Ethernet ports.
      Ken

  • Hi Ken – I have a Huawei B311 but my signal strength is weak (download speed 14.79) and unreliable (rural Inverness-shire) . I checked with a local IT specialist who recommended adding an external antenna. However the B311 does not have a port to offer this facility.
    It looks like the 3 HomeFi Plus with a Huawei B535 router would be a better option, and it appears to have two ports for adding an antenna.
    I’d welcome your comments on this proposal; and will 3 allow me to swap routers. I’m 7 months into a 24 month contract.

    • Hi Graham,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’d definitely try out an external antenna to see whether this helps to improve your signal strength and download speeds. On the B311, there should be an external SMA antenna connector, but it only has the single connector rather than two on the newer B535. See my guide to external antennas for more information and background on this.
      With regards to the B535, this will certainly give you better performance as it has the two SMA antenna connectors. Whether you can upgrade, however, is really a matter for Three due to the existing 24-month contract you have on the B311. I’d certainly call them to ask as I know a few other readers have been able to upgrade, but as I understand this is subject to negotiation with them. Failing an upgrade to the B535, you can also buy an unlocked 4G broadband router like the Huawei B525. This would allow you to upgrade to a new router without cancelling the contract with Three.
      Ken

      • Graham Keith replied:

        Ken – many thanks for this really constructive feedback. So here’s my feedback experience:
        First call – I viisted my local 3 retail shop and without any quibble, they swapped my B311 for a B535. They stated that the B311 ‘had some issues and was unreliable (dropping signal) and we’ll provide you with a B535 under your existing contract’.
        I set it up and it’s a;ready proving to be much more reliable than the ‘faulty’ B311.
        Second call – I went back to my local IT shop and he bench-tested it with a Poynting Omni-280 antenna which seemed to improve the signal strength. However when I tried it back home there was no discernable improvement signal improvement.
        Should I stick where I am or try a different antenna like the Poynting 4G-XPOL-01 to add sugnal strength? I’m kinda reluctant to spend a further +£60 for no more signal benefit.
        Graham

        • Hi Graham,
          Thanks for your comment. Firstly, it’s great to hear that they replaced your B311 with a new Huawei B535 within your existing contract. Also, it’s fantastic to hear that you’ve seen performance improvements with this.
          With regards to the external antenna, the test in your local IT shop probably isn’t that valid! The performance of the external antenna is heavily dependent on location & where you decide to position your antenna. Normally, you’ll get the best results having your antenna mounted outdoors, on an upper-floor and facing towards your nearest mobile mast. However, you’ll often need to play around a little to find the best position through trial and error. I very much doubt switching to the XPOL-1 will make a big difference here if the Omni-280 isn’t helping to improve coverage on the service.
          Ken

          • Graham Keith replied:

            Thanks Ken – your comments and advice are greatly appreciated. I’ll try the aerial in different locations.
            Graham

  • Steven Hossack said:

    I’m looking to get this to give myself my own internet connection for gaming as my WISP provider has great speeds but even with a QOS enabled it makes gaming a chore.

    This seems like a great offer as I get about at least 30-50Mbps 4G speeds in my area. My only concern is will my PS4/PC be stuck with a Strict NAT and is there any way to open ports and such or enable a traffic queue?

    • Hi Steven,
      Thanks a very good question! Sadly, I’m not an expert regarding the QOS & NAT issues you mentioned, but perhaps someone else reading this might be able to help? I do believe the higher pings on 4G broadband do often make online gaming less than ideal.
      Ken

      • Steven Hossack replied:

        Hi there,

        So I know sometime in the future someone will want to know the answer to this so I took it upon myself to get a Huawei B535 with Three UK and here’s my results.

        In my area it’s quite a bit away from any major cities or villages/towns but I get great 4G coverage. With my hub to my window I get full bars, 4G+ and about 40Mbps max down and 20Mbps up (that I’ve seen so far, I reckon it does go a bit higher).

        I have used this on my PC, PS4, Phone etc and it all works perfectly. I get about 40-60ms ping on PS4 and I can make my NAT OPEN so there’s no Strict NAT type struggles with this router.

        However, I did find that any congestion on the line and it will lag a bit, nothing too drastic but it’s there. This will only be used for my PS4 anyway as I have a WISP provider for my family and I for everything else.

        TL;DR
        Great router, great price, OPEN NAT options, low ping, high speeds, just wish it had a traffic priority or QOS system to make it more stable when others use the network.

  • 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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