Internet Access

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 01:30
ThreadID: 91414 Views:1694 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hi Fellow ExplorOz Members
We are heading on an 18 month travelling holiday around Australia at the end of February 2012. I run my own business so I will be working remotely whilst on the road. We will be purchasing a satphone to ensure we have contact with the office as required. I will be taking my laptop and was wondering what internet access on 3G is really like out there? Can we getting better reception with a satellite dish? Do I need to do anything to my 3G dongle to ensure this access ( when available), other than a patch cord? or I am just going to struggle on a daily basis? We plan to spend 4 weeks in Tassie and then come back to the mainland and a do a figure of 8 around this great land of ours ( up through the middle down the west coast. to Esperance, then back up through the middle back to Melbourne 18-24 mths later ), following the sun as we go. Any advice, feedback or information would be most appreciated!
Kind regards
Melissa, Rohan and Lleyton
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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:01

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:01
Hi Roh Mel, I have a 3G wireless system and in remote area's you will get nothing. Travelling in the NT you might go for days without, and only get it when in a town (not all towns but most). You will need plenty of power to run a satellite dish, which is big and have trouble setting up. Also not reliable in cloud cover as the system where I am now is satellite and drops out when cloud comes over, and it is fixed to the house not mobile. The saying 98 percent of the people is 13 percent of the country. When travelling I leave my 3G phone on and it will tell you when you have 3G and Internet access. Your Satphone will be able to send fax and messages.
AnswerID: 475848

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:05

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:05
Telstra Next G works in a lot of places and has probably the best coverage by our experience.

I take my wireless internet (Telstra gateway) with me and have internet in a lot of areas you may not expect. When passing through a town, we sometimes stop for a break or lunch and get internet to keep up to date with friends or family as we often spend the night well away from towns.

AnswerID: 475849

Follow Up By: Mr Pointyhead - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:14

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:14
Make sure you get a 3G phone/Dongle that can work with a external aerial. Then get the best external aerial you can afford.
Others on this forum should be able to advise what to get.

FollowupID: 750868

Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:11

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 08:11
I use my next G phone tethered to the PC, I find with my external antenna I can get reception where the USB dongles get nothing, so if you have a decent remote area reception mobile, put a data pack on it and you can use it as a second string device where reception is borderline.
AnswerID: 475851

Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 12:15

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 12:15
This is the way I go as well. Works well for me. I have the 3gb/$29 pm data pack from telstra included in my mobile plan.
FollowupID: 750893

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 09:57

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 09:57
We carry a next G USB dongle and an antenna with patch leads to fit the dongle and our blue tick next G phone. 1 gig data on the phone and 1 gig on the dongle which was enough for us. The dongle automatically shapes after the 1 gig is reached but it can easily be upgraded on line. The phone gets better reception then the dongle, even with the antenna fitted. We did 2 months in Tasmania last year and had good coverage everywhere, even in the most remote places. We were very surprised at the good coverage. The only place we could not get reception where we were camped was at Myrtle Park, outside Launceston? Travel in NT and Kimberley was not so good, but we were able to get coverage with our set up where others could not.
AnswerID: 475862

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 11:44

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 11:44
Hi Melissa, Rohan and Lleyton

We have travelled with Next G internet on a plan with plenty of download for me (small USB modem with add on antenna) but can be out of range for up to three or more weeks at a time. With a satellite phone i could call daughter at home and she could phone family and any business contacts to explain the delay. We rarely use the phone as email and instant messaging works better for us. If you need almost daily internet, satellite is an option and we have friends who have gone that way for business needs - I talk about it here on Communications. Depending on your business needs, if you use a lot of upload / download it can get rather expensive.


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AnswerID: 475872

Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 14:31

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 14:31
If you re relying on income from your business then you don't want to leave anything to chance. I am a mostly retired accountant but I do accounts for one old client including payroll and financial reporting to their overseas parent and have never missed a deadline.
We use a Telstra 7.2 Gateway modem. That sets up a wireless network in the van that allows us to connect 2 lap tops, a wireless printer and shortly a tablet. We carry a RFI CD2197 broomstick antenna which we rarely use. We also have a USB Turbo modem as a back up. It's handy if the reception at the van is not good. A short drive to a high spot can often fix the problem. Also good at lunch time if you are in a town with coverage.
The Telstra coverage maps are helpful and a good indication of where you will get a good signal, particularly if you are in a bit from the edge of an area. I find planning is the key. If there is something important to do I make sure I am in a town with coverage. I wonder what some forum members are on about when they complain about coverage. Sure, if you take a month to drive the Canning Stock Route you will not get much coverage. But if you are travelling on highways, most population centres have coverage. About the best signal and speed I ever achieved was at Timber Creek just across the WA/NT border.
Do a few tests before you leave, but Telstra is nation wide so you can have problems addressed as you travel.
So off you go and have fun.
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

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AnswerID: 475887

Follow Up By: Kris and Kev - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 15:04

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 15:04
Kevin good point. Last year I was amazed at the very good coverage in all of the aboriginal communities on the Dampier Peninsular. Even a community of only 3 in the middle of nowhere would have fantastic coverage.
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