Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband (MF626)
Telstra's Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband package promises superior coverage with no contracts
- Prepaid billing, stable and fast service, can recharge via the included Turbo Connection Manager software, USB modem doubles as a flash drive, software is plug and play
- USB modem is chunky, all recharges have a 30-day expiry, more expensive than alternatives, maximum download speed of 3.6Mbps
Telstra's Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband package promises superior coverage with no bills or contracts and it delivers excellent service. You pay extra and the USB modem is a little chunky, but this is a reliable mobile broadband solution. It's just a shame recharges have a 30-day expiry.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
With a competitive initial outlay cost, no bills or contracts and the ability to recharge the service at your computer, Telstra's Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband service sounds promising. It’s more expensive than offerings from competitors and Telstra's Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband modem (MF626) only has a theoretical maximum download speed of 3.6 megabits per second (Mbps) over the telco's Next G network, but the service we experienced during testing was fast and stable.
It is unfortunate that Telstra's Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband modem (MF626) isn't a 7.2Mbps-capable device, as faster speeds are certainly achievable on the Next G network. For example, Telstra's Turbo 21 Modem supports download speeds of up to 21Mbps. Telstra claims the Pre-Paid Broadband service will provide typical speeds of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 3.0Mbps. As with all mobile Internet devices, the actual speed achieved will depend on a number of factors such as your location and equipment, and network usage and coverage.
Compared to other USB Internet keys on the market, such as Optus' E1762 USB Modem and 3's E160 Internet Key, the Telstra MF626 USB modem is rather chunky. When we plugged it into our test notebook it prevented access to the USB port located alongside it.
The software required to use the Telstra service is installed on the USB device itself. This means much more flexibility in terms of using the unit on multiple computers. The modem also doubles as a USB flash drive: a microSD card slot is located on the left side, concealed by a plastic flap.
The Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband service is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, and it is simple to set up. Simply plug the modem into a spare USB port on your notebook or PC and install the software. The Telstra Turbo Connection Manager software has a straightforward interface and allows users to recharge the prepaid service from their PC.
During our tests, the Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband Modem was a stable performer. Using the Broadband Speed Test we managed to achieve download speeds of up to 2Mbps, but it regularly hovered around 1.5Mbps. Upload speeds were stable also at around 340Kbps. In our North Sydney offices, we were able to maintain a full HSDPA signal, and as such had no problems with Web browsing, watching YouTube videos and downloading files. The Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband modem downloaded a 74 megabyte iTunes installation package in 5min 45sec — an average speed of 219Kbps.
The Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband pack retails for $149 and includes a USB Modem and $10 credit (equivalent to 75MB). Telstra uses a per kilobyte charging system, and the data rates and allowance are determined by the recharge amount. For example, recharging with $30 gives you a per kilobyte charge of 13.3c (225MB of effective data), while recharging with $100 gives you a per kilobyte charge of 1.65c (6GB of effective data). Unfortunately, all recharges have a 30-day expiry, so any unused credit after this time is lost.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 2 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 3 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 4 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
- 5 LG V30+ Review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
Latest News Articles
- Leaked document details Rudd govt strategy for Telstra NBN negotiations
- A Third of NBN Users Would Change Back if They Could
- TPG to stop selling 25Mbps NBN plans
- NBN Co overhauls top-tier pricing in reseller capacity drive
- Most Aussie NBN resellers are yet to make speed claim change - ACCC
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
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.
- Sony a7R Mk III review: The strongest case yet for ditching your DSLR
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Oppo R11s: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCSoftware Configuration ManagerACT
- FTXamarin DeveloperOther
- FTPrinciple Health Sales Executive - Enterprise IT Healthcare Perm - Syd / MelbNSW
- FTSenior Project Coordinator, Operational ProjectsOther
- CCSharePoint DeveloperNSW
- FTSAP Functional Analyst- Time Management, VIM, BPC, HCM FioriOther
- FTUser Access AdministratorSA
- FTSenior Full stack Developer (Java)ACT
- CCMaximo Developer - Telco ClientVIC
- FTReceptionist/ Front Desk CoordinatorOther
- FTManager - Technical OperationsQLD
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- FTWFM Support Analyst (Kronos)Other
- CCWeb Designer /DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Sitecore DeveloperOther
- FTControl Systems SpecialistSA
- FTBusiness Analyst - RetailOther
- CCLead Developer - BrisbaneQLD
- FTSenior AWS Cloud SpecialistsOther
- FTNetezza DeveloperQLD
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTMarketing Analyst - $60 phOther
- FTJava DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior level .NET DeveloperVIC