Telstra Mobile WifiTelstra has recently launched their own portable wifi device and it is aptly named the Telstra mobile wifi. At this point in time, they’re only offering the product on a pre-paid plan but hopefully they will soon launch a post paid product as well. At over twice the price when compared alongside other portable wifi products on the Australian market, does the new Telstra mobile wifi measure up? Let’s take a look at it!

Telstra has opted to rebadge the ZTE MF30 as their router of choice which makes for a nice offering. While the original is black, the Telstra version is a thin, white plastic which contains very few buttons. Other than the LED display, it has an on/off switch making it very simple to use.

It also comes with a microSD card which you’ll find is standard amongst most mini wifi routers being offered by Australian ISP’s. They’re handy but not something you will probably ever take advantage of. Charging is done via mini USB but if you purchase a USB wall charger, you can recharge the battery from a wall socket if that is your preferred manner.

The purchase price of the Telstra mobile wifi is $149 and included with that you receive 5Gb of data which needs to be used within 90 days; unused quota does not roll over which is disappointing. Recharges get expensive quick and you’ll be looking to spend around $100 to top up the device once the quota has been used. If you decide you want to unlock the device and use it with another provider, there is a fee involved which only adds to the cost.

Unfortunately, there are very few stand out points and it fails to set their product apart from any of the numerous other pocket wifi devices on the market. This is compounded by the fact that Telstra are one of the last providers to launch such a device and have only made a pre-paid product available at this point in time. With no post paid product, consumers will be stuck with a product that is not great value for money and have the constant nuisance of having to recharge the account.

The Telstra mobile wifi device does have one advantage though. It utilises the Next G network which provides the best mobile coverage in Australia. This makes it perfect for people who are living in more regional areas of the country. But, if you live in Sydney, Melbourne or any of the other capital city, this is basically a non-issue as the coverage provided by other ISP’s is excellent in these areas.

For consumers for which regional coverage is an issue, you’ll want to check out the Telstra mobile wifi device.If not, better value for money can be had elsewhere from companies such as Vodafone who provide a modem at $0 upfront and $29 a month for 3Gb of data.

Portable Wifi RouterThinking about purchasing a portable wifi router? You might be wondering which one is best and is suitable for your needs. Everyone’s requirements are a little different but there are some obvious benefits it provides regardless of your reasons for wanting to buy one.

If you’re simply looking for the best one currently on offer, check out my Vodafone pocket wifi review (in video) or continue reading if you’re a little unsure about this type of device and how it functions and operates.

Let’s first get the obvious question out of the way. What is a portable wifi router? It’s a gadget that offers you your own private and secure hot spot which is portable. While these have been around for a few years now, they’ve been quite expensive to purchase and Australian companies were not offering anything other that USB devices up until late 2009 – early 2010. Think of a portable wifi device like a mobile phone combined with a router; in fact, that’s exactly what it is!

It works in a similar fashion to how you surf the Internet on your iPhone or Android mobile. That means it utilises the HSDPA protocol which is otherwise known as an enhanced 3G connection. This ensures the speed is not only fast but that the coverage is widespread across Australia.

You might be wondering why people would want to own such a device when there are so many free wireless hot spots available across Australia. There is a very good reason for this and it’s because public wifi is not secure. On one hand, it’s impossible to know who the owner of the network is and if the connection has been set up as a honey pot. A honey pot is a free wifi service set up for the public to use in order to capture their private information such as banking transactions, email passwords and just about any other information you would not want to make available to other people.

With more and more people using devices like the iPad and taking their laptops to the cafe to do their work, it’s no wonder they want to have their own private, secure network, which is exactly what a portable wifi router provides them with. If you check your email, use Facebook or even pay bills on a public wifi network, your information is at risk every time you use such services. You’re virtually setting up a broadcast of all your personal information. It might seem like they’re doing a public service by offering it for free but you can’t ascertain their real intentions, so why would you risk it?Honeypot Wifi Trap

Surely there are other reasons to purchase a portable wifi router than just increased security? Yep, you’re right! In fact, security is probably the last thing people are concerned about yet it should be the first; that’s why it’s mentioned in this article!

You might have seen those other USB wireless devices on the market which offer you portable Internet access but these gadgets have 2 flaws. The first is that the USB dongle must always be plugged into a computer, making it useless for mobile phones, iPads or any other device without a USB port.

The second reason is that the connection cannot be shared with anyone else, which makes getting together with friends for a coffee and brainstorm session difficult. It also cannot be used in a small office amongst other workers in case the fixed connection goes down and a backup is needed. It’s also worth mentioning the fact that USB devices are powered by your laptop battery which only drains the battery life of your computer, reducing the amount of time you can spend online.

If you’re looking to purchase a portable wifi router, I recommend the one offered by Vodafone. This offer has recently been upgraded to include the first month free AND they’ve doubled the data allowance. What’s even better is that all their plans are perfect for those on a budget. Check their online deals out by clicking here or watch my Vodafone pocket wifi review done in video format for further information.

Remember, if you have any questions not answered here, just send me an email and I’ll get back to you!

ViViFi Portable WiFiIt’s not surprising to see more and more companies launching their own portable wifi device for the Australian market given that demand is rising. Vivid Wireless has recently brought to market their own portable wifi device known as the ViViFi Wi-Fi Hotspot. Let’s take a look at what Vivid Wireless have on offer.

Like most other offerings, the ViViFi allows you to create your own personal wifi spot for either the home or while out and about in places such as the local coffee shop. The great thing about this device is that it’s a simple plug and play solution; it’s ease of use is something you will really appreciate time and time again. You’ll need to do an easy bit of configuration the first time you use it but after that, you simply turn it on and you’re good to go.

There’s no software or drivers to install on your desktop, laptop or other devices like iPhones or iPads. Turn it on and devices such as these will connect to it’s secure wifi network. Connecting via a secure Internet connection is important in order to protect your personal information and so that you may browse the Internet securely. Using free wireless can be a risk unless you know the person or company who is providing the connection.

ViViFi comes with a large selection of data plans and the have something to suit just about every type of Internet user. The cost of the portable wifi modem is $199 + $10 for delivery, bringing the cost to $209 inc delivery.

The post paid plans are as follows below.

ViViFi Portable WiFi Post Paid

ViViFi is also available to consumers on a pre-paid wireless Internet plan and the pricing is as follows.

ViViFi Portable WiFi Prepaid

Coverage is currently limited to 3 capital cities; Sydney, Melbourne & Perth. Thankfully, ViViFi have an online coverage checker located here so you can check whether or not you are able to connect to their 4G Internet offering.

While the ViViFi offering is an OK deal, I believe better value can be had with the Vodafone Pocket WiFi device due to better pricing and a larger coverage area across Australia.

Portable Wifi QuestionsWhen it comes to portable wifi, many people are confused about what they can and can’t do with them. Here’s a few questions I’ve received from various visitors to the website. Their questions are not surprising given that many people are looking for portable wifi that will allow them to use all of their devices as normal.

Question From Tom – Does this device support the PlayStation 3 for online shooters or the Xbox? Also, which devices would you recommend for prepaid?

Yes, portable wifi will work for gaming consoles like the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 etc regardless of the gaming genre. Your console must have a wireless network card or adaptor though. The Nintendo Wii has this built in and adapters can be purchased for either the PS3 or Xbox 360. In the future, it’s highly likely we will see consoles with wifi adaptors built right into them like the Wii and DS currently do.

When it comes to portable wifi plans, I would recommended the Internode MiFi as best for gamers. You’ll pay a little extra but the connection speed and quality is excellent; something Internode have a sound reputation for.

Question From Zari – Im in Puerto Rico (Caribbean Island) Can this work with my wifi Ipad? Please let me know as this is for my boss.

Portable wifi is perfect for devices like the iPad WiFi only versions. It will allow you to connect to the Internet via your iPad anywhere you have mobile coverage. It’s one of the reasons many people have decided against purchasing an iPad with the 3G mobile sim card slot because they can get a portable wifi device instead which will allow all of their gadgets to connect to the Internet via it’s wifi signal.

A large percentage of mobile phones owned by Australians fall into the category of mobiles known as smart phones. Whether you own an iPhone or an Android based phone, smart phones are capable of many great things; one important feature being the ability to tether the phone to a laptop or desktop computer.

Tethering a smart phone allows you to use the device as a modem by using your phones 3G Internet connection in place of a traditional Internet connection. This is perfect for people who require a backup connection in case their ADSL or cable connection goes down. Unfortunately, it’s far from the ideal solution. If you’ve been considering the purchase of a portable wifi device instead of tethering your mobile phone to your computer, here are some great reasons to go ahead with your purchase.

Portable wifi can be shared amongst other people in your household. The majority of all portable wifi devices allow up to 5 concurrent connections (and in some cases more) per device. If your household is just like any other in Australia, it’s highly likely you have more than one computer in the home. Once you take into consideration all the laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles and new tablet PCs such as the iPad that are used in your home, having to rely upon 1 connection isn’t practical. In fact, it can be utterly frustrating for those unable to get online.

A portable wifi device can alleviate all those problems and it will allow everyone to get online regardless of which device they’re using. Furthermore, you can take your portable wifi device with you on holidays, to work or anywhere else you can get a mobile phone signal.

It’s also very affordable and with wireless Internet becoming more and more competitive, prices are falling by the month and speeds and data allowances are increasing dramatically. There are now many portable wifi plans that come with more than enough data to allow you and your family to enjoy portable wifi all month long without fear of excess usage fees or being capped (being capped refers to having your Internet speed reduced).

Having a portable wifi device is much more convenient than tethering your mobile phone to your laptop. You simply turn it on and once it connects, you’re ready to do whatever you need to do online. Tethering your mobile on the other hand can require you to pay an unlock fee in addition to configure hard to understand software on your computer.

If you value your time and money, opting for portable wifi makes common sense.

Optus has released it’s own portable wifi device on the Australian market and it is called the Mini WiFi Modem. It costs $0 upfront (on some specific plans only) on a 24 month contract; we’re unsure if it’s available for prepaid and non-contract markets as of yet but surely this is in the pipelines.

On the low end, their entry level plan costs $20 per month for which you receive 1Gb during peak hours and up to 2Gb during off peak times. You’ll also pay $129 for the portable wifi modem upfront.

Mid level plans start at $40 per month and include up to 7Gb of peak data and up to 14Gb of off peak data; $0 up front cost for the portable wifi modem on a 24 month contract. This is great value for those people who require a little extra data.

On the high end, you’ll pay $90 a month and receive a hefty 10Gb of data during peak usage hours and up to 20Gb for off peak hours. Perfect for those households who have more than 1 person using the internet connection and multiple devices connected to the portable wifi device.

If you are looking for portable wifi device that provides more value for your money, you might be interested in the Vodafone Pocket Wifi device instead. You can watch my video review here.

Vodafone has become one of the first companies in Australia to launch their very own portable wifi device for Aussies. It is named the Pocket WiFi and was launched in August, 2010; it is now available for purchase.

Their pocket wifi device supports a large range of electronic devices such as laptops (PC & Mac), iPhones and gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. With their portable wifi product, you will be able to create your own wifi hotspot to share with up to 5 other devices in your home or where ever else you decide to take it (such are the benefits of portable wifi devices).

The great thing about this product is that it is completely wireless and does not require a power outlet to plug into in order to function and operate. It has a battery time of up to 5 hours and can be easily recharged when need be, making it ideal for someone who needs a wifi hotspot in their very own pocket.

It’s very simple to set up, all you require is a Vodafone sim card and the portable wifi device and you’re ready to surf the Internet on your very own wireless hotspot! This portable wifi device is available on pre-paid for consumers who are budget conscious or post-paid for people who require access on demand and at all times.

The device comes with built in WPA security, so you’ll never have to worry if someone else is using your hotspot. Simply turn it on and you’re online! Perfect for people on the go or who just require an Internet connection in their home minus a telephone line.

You can sign up to Vodafone pocket WiFi to grab their online deal