USB Wireless Adapter & coverage.

I've just discovered my USB Wireless Adapter plugged in my desktop is for connecting to my router - not something I can take on holidays and plug into my laptop and get casual coverage from an ISP. Bummer! Dodo want $129 for the USB Wireless Adapter and $27 delivery. (Am I even calling it the correct name now if it's not a router one?)

So my questions are these - can I get one of these things in a shop so I at least save on delivery? Will it work with ANY ISP? I would hate to buy one to work with Dodo for 3 weeks then discover in 6 months time if I use a different ISP that I need a different USB Wireless Adapter thingy!

Ta muchly
It sounds like you bought a usb wireless adapter - which is what you need to connect to a wi-fi network, such as those found in homes, or at maccas or other cafes, hotels, & various hotspots - some are free, some you have to pay to recieve a username & password, etc. You could use this wireless adaptor while on holidays, but you can't use it if there are no hotspots available - i'm guessing you don't want to try your luck and try to just leech off any available networks that happen to be around :rolleyes:

Now if you get a usb 3g modem, that's basically like a little mobile phone in a usb stick, so you can connect to the internet, almost anywhere - basically anywhere that your mobile phone would work, it's just that if you don't have 3g/high speed coverage, then you can be connected at dial-up speeds or even worse.

These things are also like mobiles in that you can get them for free, when you sign up to a contract - i think you can get them i prepaid now aswell :confused: shop around!


If you want the best coverage, you need Telstra BigPond Broadband Wireless ... uses Telstra's NextG network and is generally the best 3G network out there.

The problem is that Telstra know this and so charge an arm and a leg to use it ... their cheapest plans are only good for extremely light usage, otherwise you will pay $$$ to get any decent usage allowance. ie. $29.95pm for 200MB ... $59.95 for 1GB and don't dare go over your monthly allowance - the excess will kill you.

I used to use Telstra's BigPond - but it was just too expensive.

I now use Internode's NodeMobile 3G product ... it uses the Optus 3G wireless network, but Internode's internet network. Coverage is good (they recently extended the reach significantly), but still not quite as good as Telstra's.

I pay only $15pm for 500MB ... although I've increased that to the $39.95 for 5GB plan while I'm away on holidays. Either way, you don't ever pay excess fees with Internode ... if you use up your allowance, your internet access stops - you can only access the Internode website to buy top-up allowances ($20 for 500MB, $40 for 1GB) to keep you going until the end of the month.

Don't forget, the 3G wireless adaptor itself will cost extra ... typically somewhere between $0 and $200 depending on what you buy and how your contract works.

There are possibly some pre-paid internet access options out there, but they were very expensive last time I looked (which was a while back).
This is the blurb on the Dodo website - "Dodo's Mobile Wireless Broadband allows you to experience broadband speeds on the go, via the Optus 3G/HSDPA network" - so is this the 'good' coverage?

I have checked with Dodo and where I'm going on hols is apparently covered.

Can I just go into a shop and buy a 3G capable USB modems ('cos there's no time left to have one delivered) then ring Dodo and get connected?
I've got a mate that's got a 3g modem with dodo, which i think he said was optus, and it works well, better than the one's on the "3" network anyway.

I dunno about how it will perform when you're on holidays? I imagine that it may roam to telstra when there's no optus coverage?
And yes, you should be able to walk into a shop, buy one, and be online as soon as it's installed - maybe worst case you have to wait an hour or so for the sim to be activated?

I assume that you've checked out for hotspots at your holiday destination? Because if they exist, you don't have to buy anything else, just use your usb wifi adaptor, and maybe they have high speed access aswell?

I didn't mention earlier, that the highest speeds i've ever gotten on a 3g network, were about 120-130KBs download rate, which is ~1mbit connection speed. But the average speeds are usually around 30-50KBs = ~256-512mbit connection speed.

The other thing i've noticed with 3G devices, is that when downloading/surfing, the connection starts off slow, almost ~dial-up speeds, and gradually increases with speed over the next few seconds. So when surfing a site like somersoft, and either the reception the performance can seem similar to dial-up!

The other thing i didn't mention, is that you can probably just use your existing phone? The speed would probably be like dial-up however, unless your phone is 3G capable, and the data plans with phones are usually very small and can get expensive very easily.

I hope you enjoyed all this babbling about the net, phones & dodo's, and have a happy new year :D
Can I just go into a shop and buy a 3G capable USB modems ('cos there's no time left to have one delivered) then ring Dodo and get connected?
Not really.... you'll need a SIM card from Dodo (or other provider) to go with the USB modem. However,you can get packages (USB card & SIM) from phones shops or KMart. I got a Crazy Johns prepaid recently as a backup when my ADSL line fails. IIRC it was $80 from KMart - just plug in & go.
Telstra while expensive is the one the others roam to when out of service
I brought a telstra 3g USB stick and just recharge it when I am travelling and need it. Currently have used it in Hong Kong and Tokyo with no problems

I have enough internet access when with friends so it is only used when on business or really travelling away from friends.
If your using the HSDPA signal then you should be able to pick up an unlocked USB modem like the one I have a E169G on Ebay for a lot less. I would check up with your ISP first to see if they allow that. I had an account with Three mobile but when I moved I could not get their signal so they unlocked it for me and I now use it with an Optus reseller and it only cost me $25 to sign up for 8gigs per month for $55.