Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced II wireless modem review
Share a mobile Internet connection between a multitude of devices with Telstra’s wireless modem.
- Telstra's vast network
- Touchscreen display
- Doubles as portable battery charger
- Easy interface
- Plans are more expensive than rivals
Telstra has partnered with Netgear to release the Wi-Fi 4G Advanced II wireless hotspot modem. The little black modem supports Telstra’s 4GX network and will share Internet with up to ten devices.
Wireless modems are an easy way to share an Internet connection when you’re on the go, whether it is for use during a meeting or to keep the kids informed during a road trip. The 4G Advanced II operates on a SIM card just as a smartphone, except it works as a hotspot by sharing the Internet connection with trusted devices.
The second-generation product represents a much needed improvement over the original, which was lambasted by customers for being unreliable in its review. Good Gear Guide has since increased our testing time to six weeks in an effort to find out if the Wi-Fi 4G Advanced II is plagued by the same problems.
Changes to the 4G Advanced II appear to be small upgrades and not great redesigns. The original was based on a great idea: a 4G hotspot that displays how much Internet you have left. This model is picking up where its forefather left off, only it benefits from a few key differences.
Most design cues have been borrowed from the original. A 2.4-inch. 320x240 resolution screen is the Telstra modem’s most unique design trait. This time it’s joined by two capacitive buttons — a home and back key — to help navigate the modem’s simplistic menu.
The screen comes in handy by displaying how much data you have left, and because it can be used to access most Wi-Fi settings, it negates the need to log into a separate Web interface. It’s possible to enable a one-time ‘guest mode’ for visitors to use, switch on-and-off the 5GHz band, or change the modem’s password.
Aside from being coloured in black, it looks near identical to the original. There’s still two antenna sockets on the bottom, which come in handy if there’s a need to boost coverage in areas with flaky reception, and a power button up top.
The 4G Advanced II doubles as a portable battery. Netgear ships it with a cable that acts as an adaptor between itself and your USB charging cable. Connect the two and the modem will feed its charge to your smartphone or tablet. This feature is called ‘Jump Boost’ and it can be set to turn off after 30, 60 or 90 minutes.
The main improvement is the modem’s compatibility with Telstra’s 4GX network, which uses a method called carrier aggregation to combine its 700MHz- and 1800MHz-spectrum. Supporting the 700MHz spectrum, which better permeates apartment buildings and below-ground structures, means you will benefit from a more consistent signal when indoors.
The mobile hotspot supports category 6 (Cat6) LTE, and on Telstra’s network that means it is theoretically capable of speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps). This theoretical maximum is reserved for urban areas as people travelling to the Australian country side will have to make do with a top speed of 50Mbps.Read more: Ambiguous iPhone 6 pricing lands Telstra $100k fine
Supporting dual-band Wi-Fi allows the 4G Advanced II to broadcast its Internet hotspot over the commonly used 2.4GHz spectrum, or the less cluttered 5GHz frequency.
The competence of the Netgear modem does depend on the performance of Telstra’s mobile network. A variety of environmental and geographical factors can influence the strength and speeds of a wireless Internet connection. It is for this reason theoretical speeds only are cited.
Our tests were performed in different suburbs across New South Wales. We hope people from other states and territories who own a Telstra 4G Advanced II will test and share their Internet speeds using the Good Gear Guide Broadband Speed Test.Read more: Telstra hedges overseas roaming costs with travel passes
Two speed tests performed in our North Sydney office resulted in average download speeds of 3.09Mbps and upload speeds of 9.04Mbps. A test performed at our home in Bankstown returned download speeds of 35.96Mbps and upload speeds of 13Mbps.
Tests were also conducted along a peak hour train ride as we travelled from North Sydney towards Sydney’s western suburbs, commuting through Central station and Sydney’s inner west on the way. Testing the connection on a peak hour train is gruesome, but it does offer an insight into peak-hour speeds.
The findings summarised in the table above reveal the speed dropped drastically at 5pm from Central Station onwards. Despite the peak-hour congestion, the speeds were still fast enough to stream a Presto movie with only two momentary pauses, and videos from YouTube without any trouble.Read more: Foxtel makes triple threat play with broadband, home phone and pay TV
Telstra proudly promotes that ten devices can connect to the 4G Advanced II at any one time. A shortcoming of any wireless modem is that the speed is shared across the number of devices using it.
The battery in the Netgear-manufactured modem has a capacity of 2930 milliamps-hour. Telstra quotes it can be used for 11 hours straight before needing a charge. We set the modem up conscientiously by having the screen turn off after 5 seconds and found the modem has exceptional standby time. We downloaded a large file over 90 minutes and then kept the modem active for 14 hours. During that time the battery dropped 18 per cent only. The battery would die quicker with continuous streaming, though the odds are this modem will be used intermittently between the general speed of Telstra’s network and the limit of data allowances.
Telstra’s Wi-Fi 4G Advanced II is a capable modem benefitting from a colour touchscreen, an easy-to-navigate interface and the ability to double as a portable charger. Speeds are quick during off peak times and remain fast enough even when the network is congested and you’re stuck commuting on a long train ride. Plans are more expensive than that of rivalling telcos, but then again, Telstra does offer the most extensive coverage.
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Netgear target small businesses with Orbi Pro
- D-Link Launches Their Fastest-Ever NBN AC5300 MU-MIMO Modem Router
- Netgear delivers industry first networking devices with remote management from anywhere in the world
- Synology announces slew of new hardware + software at Sydney event
- Linksys signs on as PAX AUS partner
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCCommunication and Change ManagerNSW
- FTSAS Solution DesignerOther
- FTNetwork Security EngineerOther
- FTData Analysts/ EngineersWA
- FTLead Change ManagerOther
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTPython DevelopersOther
- CCData ScientistVIC
- TPSystems EngineerNSW
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FTClinical Application Support Specialist - PermanentQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCWin10 Apps PackagerWA
- TPResource ManagerNSW
- FTSecurity Cleared Network EngineerACT
- CCGIS SpecialistNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- CCSenior AngularJS DeveloperNSW
- FTAgile Digital Business AnalystQLD
- FTSolutions ArchitectsOther
- CCTeam Assistant/Executive Assistant - TelcoVIC
- FT.Net Technical / Team LeadOther
- FTSenior SQL EngineerOther
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java Developer (Brisbane Location)ACT
- FTBusiness AnalystOther