Vodafone Pocket WiFi modem

Vodafone's Pocket WiFi modem offers mobile broadband access for up to five devices

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  • User Reviews (9)
  • Buy Now 1
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Vodafone Pocket WiFi
  • Vodafone Pocket WiFi
  • Vodafone Pocket WiFi
  • Vodafone Pocket WiFi
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5
  • User Rating

    2.00 / 5 (of 2 Reviews)

Pros

  • Up to five simultaneous connections, large OLED display, good battery life, easy to set up and use, can be used while charging

Cons

  • No external antenna jack, locked to Vodafone (it can be unlocked, however)

Bottom Line

The Vodafone Pocket WiFi is a 3G mobile broadband modem that's easy to use. It also acts as a wireless hotspot for up to five devices.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 1 store)

  • WiFi Extreme Pre Paid 59.00

Vodafone's battery-powered Pocket WiFi modem allows up to five devices to connect to it wirelessly for shared mobile broadband access over a telco's 3G network. It's a similar device to the Virgin Mobile Wi-Fi Modem, but the Vodafone Pocket WiFi has a monochrome OLED status display.

The Vodafone Pocket WiFi's display shows signal strength, battery life, the amount of data used (both downlink and uplink), network status (GSM, 2G, 3G) and how many devices are currently connected to the unit. The screen makes it much easier to see this kind of information at a glance — most other Wi-Fi modems, including the excellent NetComm MyZone 3G, use basic LEDs instead of a display.

Vodafone clearly considers simplicity a virtue, as the Pocket WiFi takes less than a minute to set up — you simply insert your SIM card and the battery, turn the unit on and it is ready for use. The Pocket WiFi has just one button on the left side (a power key), while a microSD slot on the left supports memory cards of up to 32GB in capacity. When connected over Wi-Fi multiple computers can access the content of the microSD card. A reset button can be accessed by removing the rear cover.

The Pocket WiFi charges via a standard microUSB port through an included AC adapter or USB cable, and the device can still be used while it is charging. One missing feature is the external antenna jack to boost reception, often found on regular USB modems.

The Vodafone Pocket WiFi modem has a wireless range of up to 15 metres, but we found the signal strength started to rapidly deteriorate after about 10 metres. It worked fine up to this distance through the internal walls of an office. Up to five separate devices can connect simultaneously to the Internet on the Vodafone network — we didn't notice much slowdown with two smartphones and a notebook connected simultaneously.

As is always the case when it comes to mobile broadband, the speed of the Vodafone Pocket WiFi modem will depend on a number of factors, including the mobile network, the area you're in, the time of day and network congestion. We found speeds relatively stable while in a 3G zone, but coverage can be quite patchy outside major suburbs.

Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Vodafone Pocket WiFi modem managed to achieve download speeds of up to 3.7 megabits per second (Mbps), but it regularly hovered around 2.5-3Mbps in North Sydney. Upload speeds were also stable at around 1.4Mbps. With multiple devices connected and running the speed test simultaneously, these figures dropped to around 2Mbps, which is still a respectable result.

The Vodafone Pocket WiFi modem comes with a default SSID and WEP key, but you can change these settings by typing http://pocket.wifi into your browser. The simple interface allows you to change the name of your network (SSID), change your password, and configure advanced wireless and 3G settings, and it can be accessed through an iPod Touch or iPad.

Vodafone claims the modem has a battery life of up to five hours, but we managed almost a full day's use (primarily using it for basic Web browsing) before the battery needed recharging. The Pocket WiFi modem has a sleep function to preserve battery life when not in use, but will awake as soon as it detects a connection.

The Pocket WiFi modem is available through Vodafone for $99 and includes 1GB of data with a 30-day expiry. Alternatively, you can sign up for a number of 12- or 24-month plans — the Pocket WiFi is available for $0 upfront on a $29 plan over 24 months, with 4GB of data to use per month.

The Vodafone Pocket WiFi modem is locked to Vodafone's broadband service, but can be unlocked for $50 (or $25 if you unlock online).

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Read more on these topics: mobile broadband, Vodafone, modem, mobile broadband modems

Curt Morgan

1

I have had Vodafone wireless for 2 years (thankfully, our contract is now expiring). It has been my WORST business experience ever. I am disconnected 20 times/day, for starters, and we are 8 miles from Brisbane CBD (Mt Gravatt). It is next to IMPOSSIBLE to get Vodafone on the telephone, and, when you do, the rep (in Africa or India or wherever) is "not the one you want to talk to" (and puts you on hold). One month, I went over my 5Gb limit, bingo, a $200 charge on my bill. Yesterday we signed up for Telstra (my Aussie partner felt we had to honour our 2 yr Vodafone contract). Vodafone, we will be telling anyone who listens for the rest of our lives, about the truly wretched service you offer.

m0nkeycheese

2

If you would like to unlock it free ive written a guide how to do it :)

http://m0nkeycheese.blogspot.com/2011/04/australian-huawei-e585-free-unlock.html

Have fun ;)

Sam Hilliard

3

Dec 2011 i conected to WiFi,For 10 months it was brilliant.I was then offered an upgrade to a faster model,no charge if i signed up for another 12 months.Still happy with all aspects until i got monthly acc.From around 7-10GB I had used 20 Bill$192.80 One day used 3.48 Gb.On contacts to Vodafone,they keep contradicting there promises.I had now spent 2hours on phone,3 visits to Vodafone shops.Have been told that is how it is.Have now got latest bill$125.36 for 17.74GBs
So much for half price first 3 months of new contract I have been advised by Vodafone employee to go to Ombudsman as these acc are not right.I am a 75 year old pensioner and have been using internet for over 15 years

Michael

4

I have had a few problems with my pocket wifi over 12 months with Vodafone... have had Excellent service...some problems with the signal over a week in my contract, the staff were very helpful resolving the problem and even gave me a free upgrade to a Pocket WiFi Pro device.
I live on the Gold Coast and used the device in north Brisbane also with very good service.

I have only to say... all good about Vodafone...any one who wants better service with signal strength in most areas pay the high price to go with Telstra or buy your own mobile network.

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David

0.0

1

Pros
It looks good
Cons
It doesn't work
• • •

Having recently arrived in Australia we attempted to get Internet access. Unfortunately it was like being back in the 90's with regards price speed and credit history requirements! Vodafone offered a guaranteed service with mobile broadband, so we got this wifi unit. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER!!! It started with a quite promising full signal and HSPA. But that didn't seem to matter as apart from the slowest Internet I have ever experienced, it was completely unusable for Skype/FaceTime, the primary reason for getting it! After three weeks of 'diagnostics' It wasn't any better and I returned the futuristic paperweight! We then got the Telstra elite, it's amazing! And if you buy it out right the use per paid its much cheaper than any Vodafone contract and there's no risk of going over the limit!

Mick L

0.0

2

Pros
dog shit
Cons
vodaphone wifi
• • •

WORST INTERNET PROVIDER EVER. TERRIBLRE MOBILE COVERAGE AND YES ALSO TERRIBLE INTERNET. NOW IM LOCKED IN TO YOUR COMPANY FOR 12 MONTHS. UNLUCKY ME

julie

0.0

3

Pros
my temper
Cons
wifi
• • •

I was assured this would work well but it is rubbish. It does not work at all. I am tired of dealing with vodafone and paying for products that do not work. I live in suburban sydney and not the outback. I have taken the computer and device to a computer tech head friend and he said it just will not provide any useful connectivity. This product cost $80 and does not work. I can not understand how telcos can sell products that are so misleading that it borders on fraudulent. Do not buy this. Do not believe it will work. It won't .

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