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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    North Eastern Victoria
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    Default USB wireless internet dongle

    Dear mac Users,
    I have been playing with the Telstra next G USB dongle (7.2) , I 'm really impressed with it,however it's not mine so I had to give it back . I would like one myself although I don't know enough about them other then (as a regionally based Victorian) I will need Telstra as they seem to offer the best coverage.
    Perhaps a dumb question but here I go!
    Must I purchase a Telstra branded unit on will any do and then can that be used with Telstra "pay as you go"option?
    I see one for sale on Mactalk ("3 " brand),could I just whack my next G sim card in or is it more complicated than that?
    Helpful advice is always welcome.
    m
    Successfully trading with:
    Buying...100% reliability,Selling....100% reliability

  2. #2
    decryption's Avatar decryption is offline Kenny Powders

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    Default

    You can use any HSDPA modem, as long as it supports the 850mhz frequency (as that's what Telstra use). For maximum speed, make sure it supports 7.2mbit or greater - most of the cheaper USB HSDPA modems only support 3.6mbit, which is nice, but NextG supports 7.2mbit and even 14.4mbit (but those modems are only sold by Telstra as no-one else in the world has a network that fast! I think).

    The other caveat is that many of the branded modems are SIM locked to that provider: e.g: a 3 dongle will probably be locked to 3. There are ways to unlock it using software, but I'm not sure how to do it. Hopefully another MacTalker will help you and me by divulging such money saving information, haha

    But yeah, if it's SIM unlocked and supports HSDPA 850mhz - all you need to do is put in your Telstra SIM and away you go.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Perth
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    805

    Default

    sorry not gonna work with the three modem as it's 900mhz/2100mhz. Same with optus and vodafone. So telstra is it I'm afraid as only theirs is 850mhz. You could buy one from overseas but I doubt that would be much cheaper.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    North Eastern Victoria
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    635

    Default USB internet access dongle

    Quote Originally Posted by choy View Post
    sorry not gonna work with the three modem as it's 900mhz/2100mhz. Same with optus and vodafone. So telstra is it I'm afraid as only theirs is 850mhz. You could buy one from overseas but I doubt that would be much cheaper.
    Dear choy,(and decryption)
    Thanks for that ,at least I now where I stand with these gadgets.
    Telstra it is then,anyone got one that needs a new owner and is operational?
    mulquemi
    Successfully trading with:
    Buying...100% reliability,Selling....100% reliability

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    North Eastern Victoria
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    Default USB internet access dongle

    Dear Mactalk people,
    Further to my previous post,I have been into the local Telstra life "fancy new store" with the idea of looking more closely at their range of USB "internet plug in's".
    Three options are available (21,7.2 and the standard one using "charge as you go").
    Both 21 and 7.2 are on plans for 36 months with penalties if you back out too early,however the Telstra prepaid broadband is available in a range of variations:
    a)Prepaid and wholly owned (by the purchaser) USB dongle that must be charged with credit.
    b)Casual plan that gives the owner a variable option of credit levels including a "0" amount -allows device to remain active at no charge/cost until credit is adjusted to a positive amount.
    Or use a telstra next G (approved ) mobile as the USB modem/broadband,connected via a USB cable (phone must be enabled to act as a modem by telstra).This can be either prepaid or casual plan,this one appeals to me because of the flexibility it offers the user and the cost saving of not paying for another gadget.
    I have yet to find out more about the speed /costs compared to regular broadband,however my use will be when we are away on long service leave with the caravan and big speeds and such are not so important.
    Once again I ask,is there anyone who have some experience with any of this and is able to give some helpful advice?
    I'm sure now that Telstra,despite their costs, are the only way to go.
    Thanks and Regards
    mulquemi
    Successfully trading with:
    Buying...100% reliability,Selling....100% reliability

  6. #6
    JimWOz's Avatar JimWOz is offline 54 no. ...and still seeing it big as a footy

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    Brisbane
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    Default

    Mulquemi,
    I recently bought a Telstra prepaid USB Wireless Broadband dongle.
    I wanted one for use on the road / out of the office and for holidays.

    I was interested by a 3 partnership with iiNet, where $99 got you a dongle and their charge was $15 for 500MB with 30 day expiry. However, when I checked the coverage, I discovered that their Broadband Zones did not cover several of the family holiday locations we frequent. And that they roam onto Telstra's NextG network in these areas, but there is a premium surcharge of $0.50 per megabyte for downloads in these areas.

    So if you are talking about rural and small town Australia, Telstra, despite their high charges (13.3c/MB $20-40, 8c/MB $50 etc) is the only way to go. I have found the connection / download speed to be OK, about 20-50 kilobytes per sec., which is fine for casual use, browsing and collecting / sending email. The Telstra prepaid modem is a white 3.6 MBit per second device, not the faster blue 7.2 model.

    I suggest anything that is set up to automatically download, like virus defs (if you use it) or a heap of widgets that talk to the web, might cut into the allowance a bit, so when using the wireless broadband dongle, I intend to close down a few of these things. Similarly, if people send you email with large attachments / photos, set the advanced preference in mail to prompt you before downloading. Also turn off file sharing access to your public folder, someone might find your machine on the Telstra network and stick a large file in there, eating up your credit !

    It also provides your machine with an IP address on Telstra's network, so it is probably worth firewalling your Mac when using the wireless broadband. At home, most people are behind a router nowadays, not directly connected to their modem, so are not as exposed to directly being part of a large public network.

    The terms of use suggest that if you don't recharge the prepaid within 6 months of the last credit expiry, you lose your account. So provided you at least stick a $20 recharge in every 6 months, no problem.

    I haven't eeded to recharge mine yet from the initial $10 included credit, and have not been able to verify if the recharge vouchers sold at newsagents for prepaid mobiles are in fact the same thing. - so would like to get this verified.

    I didn't want a monthly account option, as I'm likely to use only about $80-100 per year. This is just a holiday / out of office / away from home option for me, that beats dial up hands down for speed, and works virtually everywhere. - And I prefer to use a laptop rather than an iPhone type device for non voice stuff.

    It would be good to get a few more responses in the thread about experiences with these services.

    Edit: 4 July 09.
    I have successfully signed up to Telstra's My Prepaid, which appears to work exactly the same for prepaid wireless broadband as it does for mobile phones. This gives another recharge option,- online using a web browser.
    I am guessing that the prepaid vouchers are therefore identical for both mobiles and wireless broadband.
    Last edited by JimWOz; 4th July 2009 at 03:23 PM.
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