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I can't connect to Three's Mobile Broadband network
I can't connect to Three's Mobile Broadband network.

If you are having connection problems with your Mobile Broadband dongle please check that:

3Connect is running before you plug in your dongle.

If the Connect button is greyed out or unavailable, unplug your dongle for about ten seconds, then plug the modem back in while 3Connect is running. This will reinitialise the dongle, and can fix the issue allowing you to connect.

In general it is always best to run 3Connect before plugging in your dongle.

Your computer has finished starting up.

Before plugging your dongle into your computer, make sure it has finished starting up Windows or Mac OS X. Then when you plug your modem in it should be detected.

The dongle is plugged in correctly.

Some computers have extensive casing around USB ports, which can stop the dongle from fitting in correctly. You could try using the USB extension cable, which came in the box with your modem, to make sure it is properly plugged in.

You could also try plugging the dongle into a different port, as sometimes USB ports temporarily don't recognise a dongle. Make sure that 3Connect is running, and plug the modem into a different USB port.

Your Three SIM card has been inserted correctly into the dongle.

Your dongle requires a SIM card to connect to the internet, a bit like a mobile phone. Please make sure that the SIM card is inserted correctly. Try re-inserting your SIM card, making sure that you push the card deep into the modem until it locks itself inside. Refer to your user manual for more details. Your SIM will come with your modem when you buy Mobile Broadband.

A firewall is not interfering.

It's possible that your firewall or anti-virus software is blocking access to the internet or interfering with your browser software or 3Connect. You may need to switch it off when installing your dongle software or you have to 'Allow' the software to connect to the internet when prompted.

You're not using any software known to conflict with our modems.

Certain software that you may have installed on your computer might be incompatible with your modem. Check the list of incompatible software here.

You have network coverage.

Make sure you have sufficient coverage. We've already built the UK's biggest 3G network and by the end of 2010 we will have an even bigger, better, faster network for you. While we're improving our network, if you're in the affected area your service may be interrupted for a short period, usually no more than 6-8 hours and you will not be able to connect to the internet during that time. We'll tell you in advance of any work in your area so you can understand when, where and for how long you will be affected. You can also check this online here.

If you find that only one or two bars are displayed on the signal bar, you may have problems connecting to the Three mobile broadband network. There are different types of coverage areas and depending on how far you are from our mobile network masts, we call these ‘excellent coverage', ‘good coverage' and ‘variable coverage'. Marginal coverage is where you are on the boundary of the 3G coverage area. This means you may experience more varied and slower speeds. We only provide mobile broadband in our 3G and HSPDA coverage areas to ensure we can provide the customer experience and service you would expect.

Correct network mode. 

Check you are trying to connect to the right network. To do this, go to the Networks menu and make sure 3G Only is selected.

Your computer's operating system is Windows XP/Vista/7, or OS X for an Apple Mac

You may also want to try a ping test, to check your connection.


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