Optus Wireless Connect Card

Optus Wireless Connect Card
  • Optus Wireless Connect Card
  • Optus Wireless Connect Card
  • Optus Wireless Connect Card
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Solid 3G speeds, good coverage, good software, incorporates WiFi

Cons

  • Not as faster as the alternatives on the market, not ideal for multitasking

Bottom Line

Although Optus' Wireless Connect card falls short of the speeds capable by its HSDPA counterparts, solid coverage and decent speeds make this a good alternative.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 359.00 (AUD)

Although Optus hasn't upgraded to the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network, their Wireless Connect card remains a solid option in the mobile broadband space, thanks to decent speeds and excellent mobile coverage. Using a PCMCIA data card, the Wireless Connect package is easy to set up and includes effective software.

Optus Wireless Connect allows users to access three different networks, WiFi 802.11 b/g, 3G and standard GSM. Within Optus 3G coverage areas, users can experience maximum speeds of 384kbps (both upstream and downstream), while WiFi offers maximum speeds of up to 54Mbps, and standard GSM up to 50kbps. Like most mobile broadband services, Wireless Connect will automatically connect to the best available network in your area. If the 3G signal isn't strong enough, the service will fall back to a standard 2G (GSM) connection, but this is barely usable, even for basic web browsing and email capabilities. Optus also has a number of its own wireless Internet hotspots, which can be viewed here: https://rego.optusnet.com.au/wireless/locations.html.

The card itself has two LED status lights to let users know the level of their current connection at a glance. A blue light indicates that a 3G connection is available, a red light for 2G and a green light indicates that there are available WiFi networks in the area.

We tested the Mobile card in our office (based in St Leonards) as well as around the Sydney and North Sydney CBD zones. Speeds of up to 48KB/sec were achieved, although we averaged speeds of about 35KB/sec. We received a solid 3G signal in our office and around the North Sydney CBD zone. As with all our mobile broadband reviews, we performed a number of tests using small amounts of data like emails and Web browsing, streaming online services and larger files ranging from 1MB to 4MB in size.

For basic Web browsing, the Wireless Connect Card performs well, loading common sites like The Sydney Morning Herald and News.com.au, and had no problem streaming content from You Tube and Pandora. We experienced some slowdown streaming multimedia content, but this was only at times when the service was struggling to maintain a signal. Unfortunately, the Wireless Connect card isn't ideal for multitasking. We experienced some lengthy loading times when streaming a YouTube video while downloading other files in the background.

Downloading small files while in a 3G coverage area (our offices in St Leonards), we were able to achieve speeds of up to 48Kb/s but regularly fluctuating between 31KB/sec and 42KB/sec. A 1MB file took 26 seconds to complete, while the best we could manage for a 4MB file was two minutes. Overall, the Wireless Connect service is ideal for most users, as it is capable of streaming some light multimedia, while also performing well for basic web browsing and email.

Installation was a simple process and took under five minutes. The Wireless Connect software shows you how strong your current signal is and which network you are using (WiFi, 3G or 2G). The software also offers quick tabs to your default Internet browser, email, VPN and more connections. There is even access to a graph of usage for the month, showing total and average data use in a convenient bar graph.

The Wireless Connect card we tested costs $359 to buy outright on a 24-month plan. For a 12 month plan this jumps to $419, while users can purchase the card without a plan for $599. Alternatively, if you own a notebook with inbuilt WiFi, you can purchase a Wireless Connect card without WiFi, for $239 (24 months), $299 (12 months) or $399 (no plan). Four plans are offered ranging from $29.95 per month for 100MB of data, up to $129.95 per month for 2GB of data. Excess usage on all four plans is charged at 30 cents per MB.

Overall, the Optus Wireless Connect card offers excellent coverage, solid speeds and competitively priced plans when compared to other offerings in the mobile broadband space. However, the Wireless Connect service can't match the speeds capable of its HSDPA counterparts, namely Telstra and Vodafone.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?