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  1. #1
    STK's Avatar
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    Default Best Prepaid wireless internet

    Hey All,
    I'm looking into getting prepaid wireless internet and I'm not sure who to go with.

    Any suggestions? So far I'm looking into to Telstra and Three since vodaphone doesnt have prepaid.

    Three has much better prices for data but whats their coverage like? USB Modem $129



    Telstra is pretty much the opposite. USB modem $149



    All credit expires in 30 days

    Any other people I should consider? Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Just remember that 3 is only in the metro areas, not in rural areas (outside of melbourne / sydney I believe).

    Another course of action would be to go with a $0 contract with somewhere like exetel mobilewhich means you only pay for what you use. They use the vidafone / optus network so their coverage is quite good (if that is an option for you). This is my ISP, I do recommend them.


    There is also Optus (see the optus website here ) and their prices are acceptable (maybe patchy, but I have never seen this first hand), and the speed is good according to reviewers, here is their basic price structure:


    Otherwise places like dodo have prepaid wireless, but I'm not sure about their pricing.

  3. #3
    decryption's Avatar decryption is offline Kenny Powders

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    Best? Telstra.
    Cheapest? 3
    Worst? Optus.

  4. #4

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    i've used the telstra, if you recharge more than $50, you get charged at a cheaper rate, which is good!

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    Telstra by far has the cheapest coverage. HOWEVER, as you are aware, they are extremely more expensive.

    Three's coverage aint too bad and its cheap!! As long as you are in the coverage area, it is exceptional value for money.

    Optus/Virgin/dodo? I've never actually used (but sold :P). I'd assume they'd be quite similar as they use the same towers? Correct me if i'm wrong though.

  6. #6
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    Coverage isn't an issue. It's all going to be in melbourne. I check 3's site and the areas I want are covered.

  7. #7
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    Also whats the mac software like

    For Three/Telstra ?

  8. #8

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    Software is not too bad....lastime (MONTHS ago) we had issues setting up the next g with a macbook pro. That issue could be solved.

    [random fact] If you look at the posters and stuff advertising the 3 wireless dongle, its on a macbook!

  9. #9

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    I just did the 3 summer special with the modem and 12G prepaid for $249. Much cheaper then Telstra and valid for 12 months unlike most of the others which expire in 30 days.

    An alternative which I did before my iPhone was to use my Motorola V6 mobile as a bluetooth modem and went on a data plan with Telstra.

    Why can't we use our iPhones as bluetooth modems?

  10. #10

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    I don't believe you can use PDAnet over Bluetooth.

    And even if it were possible, Bluetooth throughput speeds would be slower than those offered by a WiFi connection running at 802.11g.

  11. #11
    Angsty's Avatar Angsty is offline Flowcharting the World.

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    Doesn't Optus charge each access as 10MB of data?? I thought I had read the gripes that if you just logged on and checked your email, then logged off, BAM! 10MB comes off your quota!

    Make sure you read all the fine print from all of them ......

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tt4960 View Post
    I just did the 3 summer special with the modem and 12G prepaid for $249. Much cheaper then Telstra and valid for 12 months unlike most of the others which expire in 30 days.

    An alternative which I did before my iPhone was to use my Motorola V6 mobile as a bluetooth modem and went on a data plan with Telstra.

    Why can't we use our iPhones as bluetooth modems?
    Is that deal still on?

  13. #13
    tcn33's Avatar tcn33 is offline I was saying Boo-urns

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    Quote Originally Posted by decryption View Post
    Best? Telstra.
    Cheapest? 3
    Worst? Optus.
    What's your basis for this statement? I've been using Optus for a couple of months, and while it's far from perfect I would hardly consider it the worst. I think it's far worse to price your downloads according to your most recent recharge, as Telstra do.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcn33 View Post
    What's your basis for this statement? I've been using Optus for a couple of months, and while it's far from perfect I would hardly consider it the worst. I think it's far worse to price your downloads according to your most recent recharge, as Telstra do.
    Optus 3G reception is pretty poor at least from what I have seen when someone brought their Optus account/USB Modem to my house (no 3G reception, same as iPhone in an area that Optus advertises and ironically only a km or so from their main campus thing).

    Also, if their iPhone 3G speeds are an indicator of their overall 3G performance there is another issue :-/.
    | iMac Alu.| 11-inch MacBook Air | iPhone 4S 64GB

  15. #15
    tcn33's Avatar tcn33 is offline I was saying Boo-urns

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    I get HSDPA speeds in excess of 4Mbps during parts of my commute, so that's fast enough for me.

    edit: actually I should say that over 4Mbps was the record, I haven't tested it recently.

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    Dont use Telstra. We had a few for work and had major issues with the software running on macs. We gave up eventually and switched to a monthly vodaphone plan.

    Every time they upgraded the fireware it would stuff up. The IT dude would spend days trying to get answers from Telstra, usually to no avail. Eventually we got them to admit that the software was still a beta for mac and they had NO intention of fixing that.

    Very bad customer service (nothing new there) and no mac support (it was outsourced to some dodgy company) meant that the time and effort was not worth it.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angsty View Post
    Doesn't Optus charge each access as 10MB of data?? I thought I had read the gripes that if you just logged on and checked your email, then logged off, BAM! 10MB comes off your quota!

    Make sure you read all the fine print from all of them ......
    Yep, thats damn straight. Its almost murder, even one little ping goes out to see if there is anything on the email server. Bang, thats 10MB gone, most have a minimum size limit (usually around 20K) but this is the case of an exceptionally high one.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by crbarlow View Post
    Dont use Telstra. We had a few for work and had major issues with the software running on macs. We gave up eventually and switched to a monthly vodaphone plan.

    Every time they upgraded the fireware it would stuff up. The IT dude would spend days trying to get answers from Telstra, usually to no avail. Eventually we got them to admit that the software was still a beta for mac and they had NO intention of fixing that.

    Very bad customer service (nothing new there) and no mac support (it was outsourced to some dodgy company) meant that the time and effort was not worth it.
    Thats good to know. I was considering getting the T prepaid dongle when I get a Macbook... or a netbook running OSX.

    I have a friend who was using his Optus dongle on the train between Sydney and Wyong with no issues. I believe he continued to use it as far as Newcastle. Havent talked to him since then about dropouts and such. Had a student who was able to use it inside a big office block in newcastle which often causes dropouts on my telstra mobile..

    I wish Three would expand to Newcastle... I like thir plans and BB plans and its all a bit of a no-go when one would be roaming most of the time up here.
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  19. #19
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    Can anybody comment on the speeds with Three?

  20. #20
    Exocet's Avatar Exocet is offline We're gonna need to move you down into storage B.

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    Really depends on location and congestion at the time. Generally they seem to have consistent, mid-range speeds of about 1mbps

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