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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Why TPG left Optus for Vodafone
- Sky Muster takes the nbn into space (+27 photos)
- Foxtel more than doubles broadband data allowances
- Optus discounts unlimited Internet bundles, available from $95 a month
- Families can pool data with Optus' aggressively priced smartphone plans
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXACT
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT role - Recent IT TAFE GraduateNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- FTFront End Web DeveloperQLD
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- CCDemand/ Resource AnalystVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)QLD
- FTEnterprise Architect l Practice Manager - Archimate 3.0, eTOMNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- FTData AnalystQLD
- CCService Desk Quality Assurance AnalystNSW
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedVIC
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCSystems Engineer (Infra)NSW