Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband Turbo USB modem
Telstra's latest prepaid broadband package offers a boost in speed
- Excellent speed and coverage, software installed on device, microSD card slot, easy to use software, prepaid billing
- Modem is large compared to competitors, all recharges have a 30-day expiry, pricier than alternatives
With a competitive initial outlay cost, prepaid billing and the Next G network's superior speed and coverage, Telstra's Turbo USB modem is a good package overall. It's predictably pricier than the competition, though, and the 30-day recharge expiry is a downside.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
Telstra already has a pre-paid wireless broadband package available, but its latest offering promises better speeds. Aptly dubbed the Turbo USB modem, this Telstra service has excellent coverage and speed but is once again let down by a 30-day recharge expiry.
The Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband USB modem looks like most other mobile broadband devices, but its size is an issue. When we plugged it into a USB port on our test notebook (HP's Envy13 laptop) it prevented access to the second port located alongside it. Two LEDs on the modem notify you of power and data status and lifting a small flap on the left side allows the connection of an external antenna for better reception.
The software required to use the Telstra service is installed on the modem itself, which makes it easy to use on multiple computers. The modem also doubles as a USB flash drive: a microSD card slot is located just above the SIM card slot, alongside the USB connector.
The Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband modem is rated at a maximum download speed of 7.2 megabits per second (Mbps) and an upload speed of 5.8Mbps. Telstra claims the service will provide typical real world speeds of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 3Mbps. As with all mobile Broadband devices, the actual speed achieved will depend on a number of factors such as your location and equipment, network usage and coverage, and network congestion at the time. Telstra's Next G network supports download speeds of up to 21Mbps, but only the much more expensive Turbo 21 Modem can take advantage of this.
The Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband service is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, and installing the software required takes just a few minutes. Simply plug the modem into a spare USB port on your notebook or PC and the software should automatically run. The Telstra Turbo Connection Manager has an easy and straightforward interface and comes with two extra pieces of software as part of TelstraOne Experience — My Place has quick links to a range of Telstra services and content including Whereis maps, Yellow Pages and Weather information, while there is also an option to install a BigPond news application. This news ticker scrolls RSS feeds across the screen allowing you to quickly view and read the latest news stories. Personally, we found both of these extras rather uninspiring though some may see them as a worthwhile addition.
Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Wireless broadband modem managed to achieve download speeds of up to 2Mbps, but it regularly hovered around 1.5-1.6Mbps. Upload speeds were stable at around 700Kbps, but did hover over 1.2Mbps on occasions.
Using the Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband modem we were able to download an 89.9 megabyte iTunes installation package in 6min 49sec — an average speed of 225 kilobytes per second.
Telstra sells the Turbo Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband pack for $179 up-front and includes $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 GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the newsletter!
There are so many different options for cloud (online) storage.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 2 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 3 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- Everything we (already) know about the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ and Galaxy F
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- 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