internet help on the road

Submitted: Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 19:57
ThreadID: 96024 Views:1876 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi everyone, Could anyone please tell me what I need to be able to access the internet while we are out and about on the road. Please keep in mind that I am very budget conscious. Thanks for your help. Greg & Di
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 20:08

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 20:08
The only way without spending heaps for a satellite service is Telstra Next G, while it won't work everywhere you will be surprised where it does as lots of mines and remote communities now have phone coverage.
We've found that unless you are doing really remote treks like the Simpson desert, CSR etc you will rarely go more than a few days without some coverage at some time during your travels. Yes there are places and areas where there is no coverage but unless you are staying somewhere remote for weeks on end you will have some sort of access every few days when travelling.
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Reply By: Member - Allan H (NSW) - Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 20:17

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 20:17
If you want the best coverage satellite is best. We travelled to Birdsville resently for 3 weeks used telstra mobile broadband with an external aerial worked a treat with the external aerial, keep in mind this will give best reception on fringe areas. The aerial with magnetic mount cost $85.00 the broadband from telstra cost $129.00 with $50.00 credit this was ample for our trip.
Hope this helps.

Allan

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Reply By: Aussie Camper - Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 20:51

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 20:51
Telstra/bigpond is the way to go for best coverage.
You just need to decide weather you want

prepaid Internet where you pay as you go using a modem or USB stick.

add extra data to your mobile phone and depending on your phone connect your phone to your laptop to access the Internet. Via cable or blue tooth. This is good if you want to do minimal stuff on the net as its not the best value for your dollar.

With the hype with tablets like the iPad , you can get 3G version of a tablet and use a pre paid sim card

Always better to have a modem that can use a external antenna for better coverage.

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Reply By: Member - Roh Mel & Lleyton - Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 21:08

Monday, Jun 04, 2012 at 21:08
Hey guys we are currently travelling around the country and running a business along the way where we need to be in touch with our office and clients a great deal of the time.
We have two options
1/ is a Telstra 3g dongal that goes into the usb plug on the side of the laptop
2/ is the nes addition to the family this is a wireless internet from Telstra it cost me $99 to buy outright and this gave me 5gig to be used within two months of purchase I have since upgraded my pre paid to $150 this will last for twelve months I cant remember the usage on this but it certainly worked out to be the most economical choice, this system also gives me the option to connect upto 5 seperate appliances via Wi Fi so we can run our laptop, Ipod, I pad etc all at the same time it sits in the glove box in the car I can even get signal whilst sitting in the Caravan leaving the WiFi in the Car
We have a hi Gain antenna on the car and this makes a huge difference, the phones without the ariel sometimes will give us no signal at all whilst plugged into the ariel there may be upto 4 bars difference
If you go down this road make sure you have a high gain antenna and can plug your internet device into
We have just travelled from Adelaide to Cooberpedy and had internet connection for all but two hours of the trip
While I drive my wife works on the computer and very rarely will our internet drop out
I hope this helps
Rohan
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:02

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:02
Hi Rohan

Can't quite understand what you mean by " is the nes addition to the family this is a wireless internet from Telstra "

Can you explain a little more. I presume you are reffering to a wireless modem you have in the can which connects by wireless to your laptop and a phone type wireless connection to the internet via a plug in high gain antenna on the other side.

Did Telstra provide it all ?
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:16

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 09:16
Perhaps you mean the Elite wi-fi modem currently available at $99 with 5gb.

http://telstra.com.au/bigpond-internet/mobile-broadband/pre-paid-mobile-broadband/get-started/index.htm#tab-elite-wifi
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:57

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:57
all you need to is add data to your phone- it would be the cheapest way

my phone will run up to 8 devices of of Wi Fi
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Reply By: lesterb - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 20:35

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012 at 20:35
I too am a budget conscious internet user but without knowing your requirements it's hard to say what you need.
Following are a few budget communication tips.
We are about to hit the road in early July. Brisbane > Darwin > Perth > Adelaide > Brisbane. Most of the time we will be staying in caravan parks. We will be using a service that we've had for a couple of years from Exetel who are an Optus reseller. TPG and Dodo are other Optus resellers who also have good "budget" rates. From the coverage map on the Optus website I figure we should have coverage in most major towns and that will do us as we don't have a 4WD and won't be going off the bitumen into remote areas. You have to consider how much data you will use, what you get in bundles and most importantly what excess data costs.
Also check whether there is any free WiFi in any of the towns you are travelling through. McDonalds and many coffee shops usually have free WiFi. Can't get more budget than free.

Check out VoIP (Voice over IP) for budget phone calls via the internet. I have a VoIP account with Pennytel which costs me $5/month and includes 150 free untimed calls to landlines Australia wide and 80 other countries plus 50 free SMS. Calls after that are 8 cents per call and mobile calls are 10.5c/min. I have a VoIP application (3cx) installed on my netbook and Android phone so that I can make free calls from either when connected to a WiFi hotspot. I can also make "free" VoIP calls from my phone by 3G but there is the data cost which still works out cheaper than normal mobile calls.

I'll report back here on coverage in the areas we visit as I get internet access.
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Follow Up By: lesterb - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:50

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:50
I now have a Telstra LG Optimus Spirit Android Smart phone, currently on special at Coles for $49.50 for flybuy members (membership is free just signup first). With this phone you can have a mobile phone calls plus data plan then connect the phone to your computer with a USB cable and turn on tethering. Alternatively turn on the Portable WiFi Hotspot within the phone and connect via WiFi. This allows you to put the phone nearby in a spot with best reception and use your computer wherever you want within WiFi range.
If you're not with Telstra you can buy an unlock code off ebay for $2.20, then you can do the same with sim cards from any carrier.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 12:19

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 12:19
Hi Greg and Dianne,
We have a $49.00 capped plan with Telstra that includes 1.5GB a month of data. The phone is a very basic Samsung C5220 flip phone that has Telstra's blue tick which means it has better sensitivity than those that do not - ie can drag in more signal. We also have a small external antenna which we pass through a roof hatch onto the roof of the van. (Not all phone have the required antenna socket, so if you're going this way, choose a phone that does.)

A bit of software that comes with the phone allows us to connect the phone to the laptop via USB or Bluetooth.

We only do email and a bit of electronic banking, no browsing, so the 1.5GB a month is more than enough.

Cheers
FrankP

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Reply By: Life Member - Doug T (NT) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 13:27

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 at 13:27
If your using wireless Bigpond at home via a USB connection all you need to do is take that Modem with you.

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Reply By: Greg & Dianne - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 20:38

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 20:38
Thanks everyone all your comments have helped as always. Safe travels all
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