There’s nothing new about portable WiFi hotspots, however they are getting faster, and with new features being added it’s well worth a look. We’ve been playing around with one of Telstra’s best offerings – the Netgear 785 – or “My Pocket WiFi Ultimate” as Telstra call it.
Standalone with no power attached you’ll get 10 hours of active use from this little baby – if it’s not being used by your WiFi devices the battery will run on standby for 300 hours!
You can connect up to 10 WiFi enabled devices, and there’s some real power to that when you’re on a trip with the family. We had multiple tablets, smartphones and laptops connected which means we’re all using just one internet connection and saving the mobile data on your mobile phone.
The setup was a breeze, activation of your prepaid account via the Telstra website, then setup of your own WiFi network via your web-browser.
Importantly, this is a 4G enabled device – including Telstra’s soon to launch 700MHz network, so you’re getting the best speeds Telstra has to offer, and you’re getting it in more places than any other network.
I had no issues with coverage in regional NSW where Optus and Vodafone were at times offering only 3G.
Out of the box on activation you’ll get 5GB of data included for the first 30 days, and there’s a handy display on the screen to show you an estimate of your data usage also.
There’s no contract, no complexity – just high-speed internet, on the go, for up to 10 devices.
If you’re taking a road trip – those teenagers (along with mum and dad) can all get WiFi on the go – pretty simple stuff.
Should your home be in one of those patchy areas for ADSL and with the NBN on a go-slow, 4G at Home could be the solution – so there’s a handy desktop mount with an Ethernet output to ensure you can extend the network on a home router too.
All in all, a top class product – and for $149 it’s really a no-brainer if you’re looking for solid WiFi for a range of devices.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.