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3 for four: Wi-Fi internet sharing

3 Mobile has launched a new Wi-Fi router to share your 3G broadband connection with several users at once.

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Joseph Hanlon
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Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
(Credit: 3 Mobile/CNET Australia)

To date 3G mobile broadband solutions have been the TV dinners of household internet: reserved for students and singles.

3 Mobile has launched a new Wi-Fi router to share your 3G broadband connection with several users at once, making the use of a USB internet dongle more valuable to families and some (very) small businesses — 3 recommends use by up to four people at a time only.

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The 3 Wi-Fi Router (D100) doesn't actually replace your existing USB internet stick, but instead attaches to it and propagates the incoming signal. The D100 supports the WPA security protocol, though not the more secure WPA2 protocol.

Mobile carriers Telstra, Optus and Virgin offer similar Wi-Fi modems for use with 3G broadband services; however, at the price of AU$129 the 3 Wi-Fi Router is cheapest to date. This cost is separate from the monthly connection fee which starts at AU$15 per month. Complete pricing is available on the 3 Mobile website.