Whenever I pack the family up for a trip, you can be sure the thing at the top of my list to be checked and double checked is the Wi-Fi. When travelling with four other adults and a tech-savvy five year old we’re bound to put heavy demands on the standard free Wi-Fi in a hotel room.
Think about it: each of us have a smart phone and there are at least two tablets or laptops thrown in – I count a minimum eight devices that want to check emails, stream music, watch catch up TV, chat and more – all at the same time.
One popular solution is to use your smart phone as a hotspot for another device – but with a number of devices wanting to be online simultaneously, it’s probably not the most effective way of using your data allowance.
That’s where the new Telstra Pre-Paid 4G My Pocket Wi-Fi Ultimate becomes a contender. With this personal Wi-Fi hotspot, you can connect up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices and 5 guests simultaneously!
It has an LCD colour display with a built-in data usage metre so you can check your estimated data usage. Being Pre-Paid mobile broadband means you can control your spending. There’s even a free app (for Apple, Android and Amazon) available from their respective stores for you to manage your hotspot from your smart phone or tablet – from connection status, to battery life, to details of devices connected.
You can also use the Netgear Ethernet and Antenna Charging Cradle accessory to boost the 3G/4G antenna performance and provide you with a Gigabit Ethernet port at the rear of the cradle. A full range of accessories, including a Wi-Fi Range Extender, and 5 –Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch are available.
As with all products I review, I like to use them to the extreme (to see how they really cope under pressure) as this gives me a good indication of what a “standard” user will experience. So I put the 4G My Pocket Wi-Fi Ultimate to the test with two smart phones, a laptop and a tablet.
One smart phone streaming music while the other doing Google searches and chats. The Laptop was performing speed tests and internet searches and the tablet was hosting a video conference call. I then played some YouTube videos on one of the smart phones. After an hour of heavy use I hadn’t even come close to using up the 3GB data on my Pre-Paid SIM.
I set the device to operate in Dual-Band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) to ensure I had the best throughput available.
Just a tip, if you want to optimize the performance of your hotspot, it’s best to keep it 1 – 2m away from electronics that generate RF interference (e.g. TV, microwave oven, portable phones). Position the hotspot so its signal can pass through a window, doorway or drywall. Try and avoid concrete, brick and metal walls. Standing the hotspot upright will also improve antenna performance.
The Telstra 4G My Pocket Wi-Fi Ultimate came through the “stress test” I gave it with flying colours. I see it as the perfect data companion if you are travelling, renting, or a student living in shared accommodation (eg a dormitory) and want to control your data spending. The data usage metre is extremely useful and practical as it shows both your estimated data balance and how many days remaining on your monthly data allowance. In closing, it’s worth noting the Telstra 4G My Pocket Wi-Fi Ultimate includes support for the APT700MHz spectrum that will be rolled out for high-speed mobile telecommunications from January 2015.
As always, I welcome your feedback and comments.
- 110 x 69 x14.6mm
- Up to 10 hours Active Battery life
- Up to 300 hours Standby time
- 4G: 700/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz
- 3G: 850/2100 MHz
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n enabled device
- Windows 8 and 7 (32/64 bit), Windows RT, Windows Vista (SP2, 32/64 bit), XP, (SP3 Media Centre Editions, 32/64 bit) or Apple Mac compatible OS X10.6 and above