We were sent this new broadband USB stick by Smart Communications few weeks ago. It is a prepaid broadband stick on Huawei E355. On a first look you will see a regular stick that you can put on one of your USB ports and connect to the Internet. So here we go, the review of Smart Wi-Fi Plug It.
Huawei E355 branded by Smart as Smart Wi-Fi Plug It is a modification of all previous USB broadband stick.
What is inside the package.
When you buy Smart Wi-Fi Plug It, you get the Huawei E355 USB stick
with its standard cap, a prepaid broadband Smart SIM card
, and you choose from either AC adapter or cigarette car adapter
. We will tell you why there is an adapter included later. Hang on.
Huawei E355 Spec Sheet
- 3G – HSPA+/UMTS; 2G – EDGE/GPRS/GSM
- Speed: Up to 7.2 Mbps
- Storage: microSD card supported up to 32GB
- Dimension: 90.6 × 28.6 × 12.6mm
- Weight: 40 grams
Using it is easier than all USB stick previously released. The Smart Wi-fi Plug It comes with an AC adapter which spares your laptop’s battery life since what you need this time is an AC outlet where you plug this stick and it automatically becomes a Wi-fi hot spot. Yes, that is correct; this USB dongle becomes a Wi-Fi access point where you can use to hook up five more mobile devices.
Since you just need to plug it to an AC outlet or to a car charger, no installation is needed. What you need to do next is to configure it. Of course you don’t like your neighbors to share you Internet for free. So putting up a password to your Wi-fi is a must.
How to configure Smart Wi-fi Plug It/Huwaei E355.
Once plugged, check for a Wi-fi access point, look for the SmartBro AP and connect to it. Initially it is configured without a password. To configure it you need to launch your browser and type in http://192.168.1.1, you will be brought to the Smart Plug-It menu.
Default user name and password is smartbro. Once logged in you will see tabbed screens, the first screen displays the stats of the Wi-fi Plug It, you see your traffic stats. In this menu you get to monitor the total number of hours you are connected, the total volume of data you uploaded and downloaded. You also see the number of devices and how long it is connected in this screen.
You can also do SMS with this device. Yes, send and receive regular SMS – send a hello to your friend, check your broadband’s balance, and more importanty manage your load and go UnliSurf.
The Settings tab lets you configure the Smart Wi-Fi Plug It. If you are newbie and does not want to go through the technical side of it, the Quick Setup menu will get you through like magic. Just follow the setup wizard and you will be alright.
You don’t need to change the Profile name, dial-up number and the APN, it is pre-configured by Smart. The connection settings you leave it Auto.
The next screen is important; here you configure your Wi-Fi AP. You can replace the SSID Name; this will be the AP name that will broadcast later. You leave the SSID broadcast enabled. The next screen is where you setup the password of your Wi-fi. You can either choose Share, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK. The simplest authentication is Share and chooses WEP as your encryption mode, and then you choose your password. An alpha-nuermic password is recommended. Click finish and the device will re-start and your Smart Wi-fi Plug it is now configured and ready.
Alternatively, you can still plug your Smart Wi-fi plug it in your USB port. But it was not designed for that since you want to preserve your laptop’s battery life.
The 7.2Mbps promised speed.
Since our regular route daily is from Makati to our headquarters in Shaw Boulevard, we plugged this dongle in our car charger and did some tests along the way. In the car, we made a speed test in Buendia, and in Pasig, we also tested in in our office in Shaw.
Speed is not constant, in our house in Makati we hardly get more than 1Mbps but once we are mobile, an average of 1.8 to 2Mbps is always available. Although we failed to catch the 7.2Mbps by Smart, we were able to reach at least 2.21Mbps and to me it was already fast.
Over all the Smart Wi-Fi Plug It does the job well. Its major advantage is that you will no longer use your laptop’s USB port hence you preserve your battery for longer use. You can still access your e-mail, make some tweets, check Facebook stats, post and share photos while on your car. You can carry this device anywhere without having to worry about battery life.
If there is a little disadvantage about this dongle is the price I guess, most broadband USB dongles now sells for P1,000++ but this one sells for P3,450 at Smart. The bundle includes a prepaid SIM loaded with FREE 240 hours of internet valid for 10 days, you also get 400 SMS to Smart and Sun. You also choose either a car cigarette adapter or an AC adapter which comes free in the bundle.
Smart Wi-Fi Plug It details:
- One-time fee: P3,495
- Usage fee: Pay per use. P10 for every 30 mins. Or avail of any usage package (Unlisurf, Per Minute, Prepaid Lifestyle).
- Freebies: Preloaded with 240 internet hours and 400 SMS to Smart and Sun Subscribers (valid for 10 days)
- Connection: via USB, via WiFi
- Speed: Up to 7.2 Mbps
- Lock-in Period: None
- Application requirements: None
- System requirements: Any WiFi enabled device with WLAN 802.11 b/g/n standard and internet browser