On previous trips around Australia, I have relied for my internet connections on a month-long dial-up account from Supernerd. This has the advantage of being able to purchase service for only thirty days at a ridiculously cheap rate. It had the disadvantage of being excruciatingly slow.
But I wasn’t willing to pay the A$25/day fee that most hotels charged for in-room internet connections (often free but never more than $9.95/day here in the USA). Some of the places we stayed offered free wi-fi in the hotel lobby: also often excruciatingly slow, and uncomfortable in the bargain. (Try sitting is a tiny Melbourne hotel lobby in the middle of winter as a tour bus unloads 50 passengers and their luggage for a taste of the experience.)
But, enough whinging. This time around I’m determined to do better and have been investigating the much broader range of choice. I don’t think monthly broadband plans were even an option three years ago. So here’s what I’m looking for, and I hope that some of you can advise me on selection.
We’ll be in capital cities for the most part: Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and Darwin, with a mid-course detour to Alice Springs.
I’ve got two devices I’ll be carrying with me on this trip: a MacBook and an iPad2 with both Wi-Fi and AT&T 3G networking. (Both bought here in America.) AT&T offers an international 3G account but the price is scandalous: US$200 for 30 days and 200MB of data transfer.
I’ve done some research and so far I am thinking about going to a Telstra shop in Melbourne (first stop) and buying their Turbo Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband USB Pack to get service for the MacBook. It costs A$79 with 2GB of data.
The iPad2 has a removable SIM card, and I’m thinking of buying the Telstra Pre-Paid micro-SIM, which would cost A$30 for 3GB of data.
Both deals look pretty good from this side of the Big Pond, but the devil’s always in the details. So please, if you have experience, tips, warnings, or recommendations, pass them along. You can leave comments on this post, or find my contact details on the About the Blog page. Many thanks.