Optus Mini WiFi mobile broadband modem

Optus Mini WiFi modem review: The pocket-sized Optus Mini WiFi modem allows up to five devices to connect to it

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Optus Mini WiFi
  • Optus Mini WiFi
  • Optus Mini WiFi
  • Optus Mini WiFi
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Up to five devices can connect simultaneously, easy to set up and use, reasonable battery life

Cons

  • Reflective screen, slightly larger than competitors, Optus per MB data pricing

Bottom Line

The Optus Mini WiFi modem is easy to use and setup, and has the flexibility of a wireless connection, but its reflective screen and per MB data pricing detract from its appeal when compared to its competitors.

Would you buy this?

Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile already have portable Wi-Fi modems on the market, and now Optus has decided to join them by releasing the Optus Mini WiFi modem. This pocket-sized mobile broadband modem allows up to five devices to connect to it wirelessly for shared Internet access.

Check out our reviews of the best mobile broadband modems with Wi-Fi.

The Optus Mini WiFi modem is a straightforward device; the Huawei-manufactured modem is square and made of silver plastic, with just two buttons (power and WPS). The Mini WiFi modem is relatively light but doesn't feel cheap or flimsy. However, its glossy display attracts excessive fingerprints and is also almost impossible to see in sunlight. The OLED display itself takes up only a small portion of the large mirrored front. It shows signal strength, the amount of devices connected and battery life.

The Optus Mini WiFi modem has a microSD card slot behind the back cover, and when connected over Wi-Fi multiple computers can access the card's content. A reset button can also be accessed by removing the rear cover, while an external antenna jack to boost reception is hidden behind a plastic flap on the left side. The Mini WiFi modem charges via a standard microUSB port through the included AC adapter or USB cable; the device can still be used while it is charging.

Up to five separate devices can connect simultaneously to the Optus Mini WiFi modem. As is always the case when it comes to mobile broadband, the speed you achieve will depend on a number of factors, including the mobile network, the area you're in, the time of day and network congestion.

Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Optus Mini WiFi modem managed an average download speed of 2192 kilobits per second (Kbps) and an uplink speed of 1291Kbps. These speeds are what we would expect from a 7.2Mbps wireless broadband modem. We found the Optus connection was often erratic during regular use.

The Optus Mini WiFi modem comes with a default SSID and WEP key printed on a sticker behind the battery cover, but you can change these settings through the Web interface (you can access this by typing http://192.168.1.1 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.

The Optus Mini WiFi modem managed to last four hours (we used it primarily for basic Web browsing) before its battery needed recharging. The Mini WiFi modem is available through Optus prepaid for $129 and includes 8GB of data. Alternatively, you can sign up for a number of 12- or 24-month post-paid plans — the Mini WiFi modem is available for $0 upfront on a $39.95 plan over 12 months, with 8GB of data to use per month. Keep in mind that Optus charges data at a per 10MB rate, meaning if you only use 1MB you will still be charged for using 10MB. However, the first 30MB of each day is only billed as 10MB.

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