The router is pocket size, but not battery powered (it comes with a tiny mains adaptor). The USB modem plugs into a socket on the top of the router which then rotates to hold the modem in a slot on the top of the modem. The modem works fine in this horizontal position.
The router is pre-set to work with the "3" wireless network Two setting need to be changed to work with Virgin. You need to plug in an Ethernet cable and use:
- Address: http://192.168.1.1
- Default password: admin
- APN: VirginBroadband
- Authentication protocol: PAP
You don't have to enter any security ids or passwords (these are on the SIM in the wireless modem). Once set up you can use the Wi-Fi to access the Internet. By default WAP-PSK security is enabled, with the key written on the bottom of the modem.
The only problem I have found with the router is has a "soft" power switch. To turn the router on you have to first provide power and then press a button. If the power goes off the router will not power itself up when the power comes back: you have to manually press the button again. This may be a feature for those users worried about downloading large amounts of data at expensive rates. There are some photos of the circuit board and techncial details available. Perhaps someone can suggest how to set the modem to automatically power up.
ps: I would recommend checking the fees before using a 3G wireless broadband service. Virgin limit the speed of the link when a monthly data limit is reached. However, other suppliers typically charge 10 cents per Mbyte when the limit is reached. "3" change $1.65 per Mbyte for "roaming".