Best Wifi Dongle And Pocket Wifi Plans In Australia
Posted by Tara Donnelly29/11/2020
If youre on the move a fair bit, or just want something easy and convenient to access the internet with, have you considered an internet dongle or pocket WiFi? Canstar Blue compares some of the top brands, including whats available with Telstra, Vodafone and Optus.
WiFi dongles or USB modems and pocket WiFi are becoming increasingly popular due to the drop in price of mobile broadband. Usually, you need a mobile broadband plan to make use of either a dongle or pocket WiFi hub and fortunately, telcos such as Telstra, Vodafone and Optus are all service providers that bundle in their mobile broadband plans with a device, making it an easy one-stop shop. WiFi dongles and pocket WiFi can spell a good replacement for an NBN plan as well, if you dont mind the slower speeds and limited data allowances.
Read on as we explain all you need to know about WiFi dongles, and take a look at the plans on offer.
Best Regional Cable Pricing In The First Year
All Optimum plans feature no data caps, no contracts and some of the best promo pricing you can find for cable internet. Your first-year pricing will feature an average cost per Mbps of 11 cents, which is one of the most affordable rates we’ve seen for that internet connection type. After 12 months, however, the average cost per Mbps jumps to 46 cents, which is middle of the road, at best.
Use A Virtual Private Network
Whether you connect to the internet with a phone, computer, or tablet, you really should always connect to a free network with a virtual private network service like NordVPN. Using a VPN network encrypts your internet activity and makes it extremely difficult for scammers to steal your personal information.
If you use free wifi hotspots on a regular basis, a VPN is an absolute must to safely use public wifi for less than $3 per month.
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What Is The Best Wifi Deal
WiFi broadband deals start from £15.99 per month but it depends on your needs and how you use your WiFi. You can compare all the best WiFi deals using our WiFi comparison tool.
There are different types of WiFi:
- WiFi via home broadband This is where broadband is connected via a fixed line. WiFi is then used to connect your devices in your home
- WiFi via 4G/5G home broadband This is where broadband is connected via a mobile network. No fixed line or landline is required. WiFi is then used to connect your devices in your home
- WiFi via mobile phones This is where you connect to the internet via a mobile network. Most common uses for this connection is on your mobile phone. You can also tether devices to a hotspot
Is At& t Internet A Good Deal
AT& T has some of the lowest pricing on fiber service. Along with the 300Mbps plan mentioned above, the higher-tiered fiber plans are also decent internet deals. AT& T Fiber 500 starts at $65 per month, while gigabit service starts at just $80 per month — and remember, equipment costs are included and there is no price hike after the first year. It’s perhaps not the best deal on 500Mbps or gig service you’ll find, but it’s pretty close.
AT& T also just launched two multigig plans, with speeds up to 2Gbps or 5Gbps, in select areas starting at $110 and $180 per month, respectively. Nearly 200 bucks is likely more than most of us want to pay for internet service, but it’s actually the best cost-per-Mbps deal of any major provider, with an estimated cost per Mbps of less than four cents.
Deals from AT& T Internet — which is separate from the company’s fiber service — can be hit or miss. Plan pricing starts at $40 per month, but available speeds can vary widely by location and do not qualify for the gift card signup bonus. You’ll also have a data cap — and overage fees if you exceed it.
- Starting price: $45 per month
- Speeds: 1,000Mbps down, 50Mbps up
- Data cap: None
- Contract: None
- Special offer: Free self-install kit, 30-day money-back guarantee
The low pricing is good for 12 months, until its $30 monthly discount expires. After that, the cost of gig service from Wide Open West raises to $75 per month, which is still not bad, but is certainly more in line with other gig providers.
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Add Smart Home Monitoring
Rogers also lets you add Smart Home Monitoring security. Unlike the internet plans, which are just monthly payments without a contract, Smart Home Monitoring requires a 3-year contract.
The options include:
For example, if you have three people living in your home who commonly play online games, browse the web, stream on social, and watch HD videos, youd need at least +++ which equals 54Mbps. Remember that youll usually only receive 60-90% of your ISPs listed speed due to factors like user traffic, interference, and wireless connections being less efficient than a wired connection. Therefore, youll want your plan to provide you with fast enough speeds to account for these things.
How Does A Wifi Dongle Work
A WiFi dongle is a USB-sized gadget that plugs into the USB port on your laptop or computer for when you need easy mobile broadband access. Basically, a dongle is a tiny, unpowered modem that uses your computers power to access the internet. Dongles generally come prepackaged with mobile broadband plans from Telstra, Vodafone and Optus.
Just like with mobile phone plans, mobile broadband with these three providers is available as SIM-only, or as a bundled product. If youre after a dongle from one of these three telcos, and want maximum convenience, you may prefer to opt for the bundled product.
WiFi dongles and internet dongles are the same thing, so dont be confused if you hear someone say one of these names if youre used to another!
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Best Mobile Hotspot Plans
Most hotspot plans charge a flat monthly fee and dont require a contract. In most cases, the only upfront cost is buying a hotspot modem. A hotspot typically costs less than $100.
Some hotspot plans require you to use your cell phone. In some cases, you can bring your own device to save money.
Each mobile WiFi hotspot plan will either use Sprint, T-Mobile, AT& T or Verizon. Besides the monthly price, check the coverage map to find your best option.
Does Internet Service Have Any Hidden Fees
These are some common fees your ISP might tack on to your bill:
- Installation fee
- Equipment rental fee
- Data cap fees
Installation fees are a one-time thing and they usually cost around $100. Some ISPs will give you free installation. Even if they dont, you can ask them to waive the fee. No harm in trying, right?
An equipment rental fee is the price you pay to lease equipment from your ISP. You can get around this fee if you buy your own equipment. But only do that if you plan to keep your service for at least a couple years.
Data cap fees are what you might pay if you use more than your allotted data each month. These are kind of rare these days. Most ISPs either dont give you a limit at all or give you a limit so high that youll probably never reach it.
Sometimes you can have lower data caps but not have to pay fees for going over them. For example, satellite internet providers often have soft data caps where theyll slow down your speeds if you use too much data but you dont have to pay any fees.
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Best For Keeping Things Simple
Spectrum is about as straightforward as you can get when looking at cable internet providers. There are three plans — 200Mbps, 400Mbps and 1 Gig — and all are free of contracts and data caps. Across all three, the average cost per Mbps in the first year is 18 cents, which isn’t bad for cable internet. Perhaps more impressive, the second-year jump isn’t too steep , up to an average of 25 cents per Mbps.
Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans
The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blues database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
|**^^View important information|
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Exetel Mobile Internet Dongles & Pocket Wifi
Exetel is known as a low-cost internet and mobile phone plan provider, and also produces a range of mobile broadband plans. With no lock-in monthly plans available, Exetel hops on the Optus 4G network to deliver its services, and plans are available with a 4G USB modem for an extra $69 upfront.
Exetel offers plans from 1.5GB data for $9.99 per month up to a massive 90GB for $79.99 monthly, and all excess data is priced at $10 per gigabyte.
Vodafone Mobile Internet Dongles & Pocket Wifi
Vodafone seems to have a fewer options than others and in the Pocket WiFi range, there are prepaid options available. Plans start at $23.75 per month for 30GB of data, and are available both as SIM only and on a plan with an included modem. Vodafone offers the Pocket WiFi 3 4G on a plan in conjunction with your data plan, and if you leave this payment plan, youll need to pay out the remaining modem cost in full.
If youre an ongoing user, you may find better value in going for the contracted, bundled options. However, if youre just looking for something short term, or want flexibility, a SIM-only option may be the way to go.
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Cheap Mobile Wifi Hotspot Plans
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Do you want Internet access anywhere you go without draining your cell phone data plan?
A cheap mobile WiFi hotspot plan can connect your tech devices to the Internet. So its possible to get fast 4G LTE mobile WiFi connection speeds almost anywhere in the United States.
Thats fast enough for online streaming plans and general Internet services.
Your monthly MIFI hotspot plan may cost less than your cell phone bill. You can also use your hotspot whenever you leave home without using your phone data.
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What Type Of Wifi Deals Are Available
Three types of WiFi broadband are currently available in most areas of the UK, which vary in speed and reliability. The WiFi broadband deal thats right for you will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your household, how many users want access at the same time, and the types of things you enjoy doing online – such as streaming TV, movies and music, downloading or uploading files and playing games.
ADSL / standard broadband ADSL broadband uses pre-existing copper phone lines to deliver an internet connection, and is available in most areas of the UK. This type of broadband delivers average speeds of 10Mbps, and is ideal for those who live alone or smaller households made up of light internet users.
Fibre broadband Fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables to deliver an internet connection. With average speeds of between 30Mbps and 60Mbps, its faster and more reliable than ADSL broadband, though prices are now comparable for the two types. For a household of 3 or more people, a fibre broadband deal is usually the sensible choice, especially if anyone regularly streams video or plays games online.
Cable broadband Available from Virgin Media, cable is the fastest broadband service on offer in the UK. For large families or big groups of students sharing accommodation where everyone wants to be online at the same time, cable broadband can make for the best internet experience. Speeds are now as high as 516Mbps for this type of broadband.
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How Much Does Internet Cost In Germany
An internet connection is an important part of your cost of living in Germany. An internet contract in Germany can be as cheap as 13.99 euros a month for a cable connection that has up to 20 Mbit/s download and up to 2.5 Mbit/s upload through a contract with eazy. Vodafone offers tariffs for 70 euros a month for a fiberglass connection with up to 1.000 Mbit/s download and up to 50 Mbit/s upload. Fiberglass connections are not that common in Germany, though, as the infrastructure is slowly starting to expand.
Best Internet Plans For Lightning
Most high-speed plans come with unlimited data and run on a fibre-optic network. Most of these plans come with unlimited data and cost a significant amount more each month than basic plans.
- Bell Gigabit Fibe 1.5Gbps plan $134.95 per month. This plan operates on a fibre-optic network, so you’ll get some of the fastest speeds available . It also comes with a free security subscription and 24/7 tech support.
- Rogers Ignite Internet Gigabit $119.99 per month. You’ll get extremely fast upload and download speeds with this plan. You can also choose to pay a bit more to get wall-to-wall Wi-Fi coverage if you want reliable Internet speeds throughout your home.
- Acanac 1Gbps+ plan $99 per month. You’ll get unlimited data on this plan and you can get one month for free if you sign up to a one-year contract. Acanac doesn’t offer many extras on top of its service but provides some of the lowest prices in the industry.
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Everything You Need Is Likely Available From Your Provider
Like the cable boxes from your TV provider, modems and routers are commonly available from the provider and are specific to their service. Many providers offer a gateway device, which serves as the modem and router in a single unit. Wi-Fi equipment fees, functionality and add-ons such as Wi-Fi extenders will vary by provider.
Using Your Cell Phone For Cheap Internet
Another option for the budget-conscious is to invest in a cell phone plan that includes a generous mobile hotspot data allowance and nix the home internet plan altogether. With a mobile hotspot, you can with your laptop and smart TV, so you may not even need a separate internet plan for your home.
You’ll just want to make sure your cell phone plan includes enough hotspot data so you don’t run out of data each monthand make sure your phone can handle the battery burden, too. Plus, not all plans treat hotspot speeds the same. For example, Sprints Unlimited Premium plan offers a whopping 100GB of full-speed mobile hotspot, where T-Mobiles Essentials plan provides unlimited hotspotbut at 3G speeds.
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