Having a tough time choosing between a dedicated USB mobile broadband dongle and the more versatile 3G-to-WiFi personal hotspot?
Now you don't need to choose, with Telstra's debut of the 'Pre-Paid 3G USB+Wi-Fi' device. And yes, that's quite a mouthful.
This 3G superstick acts as a USB modem when plugged into in your Windows or Mac laptop, as well as becoming a mobile wireless hotspot which can connect up to five Wi-Fi devices at a time when plugged into a USB drive or the bundled AC adaptor.
That's a pretty nifty package, and ditto for the price: a mere $59, including 2GB of data to get you started.
Recharge rates start at $20 for a quick 250MB hit lasting for 21 days, but best value on the dollars-to-data scale comes as you move up the ladder to the $50/3GB/30 day top-up, $180 for 4GB over 60 days, or the mammoth serve of 12GB with a full 365 day use-by date for $180.
And although we've said it before, we'll keep saying it until it sinks in: if you're getting reamed by rip-off hotel Internet rates, you really should be looking into mobile broadband.
Do the maths yourself. Stay a few nights each month at a hotel which hits you up for $20-$30 per day for Internet access, and you're up for between $60 and $90 per month.
Put that money towards a pre-paid or contract mobile broadband service and you'll have the Internet on tap almost anywhere, not just in that hotel – at any time, not just when you happen to be in the room – and quite possibly with faster speeds, to boot. And you'll probably end up saving money into the bargain.
Telstra says its uber-USB dongle is available today from Telstra stores.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.