Review: Telstra Advanced III 4GX WiFi Hotspot
4.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $No outright: available only on plans;
Manufacturer: Telstra / Netgear

Telstra’s 4G network is turning into a force to be reckoned with, and that makes it perfect for mobile broadband. If you’re looking for the fastest way of getting that, Telstra’s Advanced III sets the pace.

What is it?

Connecting to the internet when you’re on the go isn’t as difficult as it used to be, what with mobile hotspot technology built into smartphones and 4G dongles, but what if you don’t want rely on the 4G from your phone?

There are many reasons why this might be the case, ranging from a lack of data to an older phone to the idea of 4G mobile data killing your smartphone battery, all of which are serious reasons, and seriously good reasons to consider a mobile hotspot.

Think of these as little portable modems — because that’s exactly what they are — with the ability to get their internet access from a mobile network and transmit that access to any device that connects to the modem.

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Laptop not included.

 

For the Telstra Advanced III 4GX WiFi Hotspot (a mouthful of a name), Telstra is relying on a piece of hardware mad by Netgear, the AirCard 810S. This little bit of hardware is what Telstra is branding and provides a Category 11 connection to Telstra’s 4GX networks, delivering speeds as high as the theoretical 600Mbps Category 11 can achieve, though less is far more likely.

Connections to the portable modem (also called a “hotspot”) are handled through high-speed 802.11ac connections, and there’s even a 2.4 inch LCD touchscreen on the device to let you control and setup the device dependent on your needs. A network SSID and password will be ready out of the box for you to connect to, though you can change this if need be, and you can even log on to a web interface to explore the options of the Telstra Advanced III as well.

This means you can change features like VPN settings, encryption, and if there’s a guest network or not using a website for settings modification built into the device.

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Few actual buttons can be found on the deice, with a single physical button on the very top of the unit, and two soft buttons to the right of the LCD catering to home and a back button.

A removable battery can be found inside the Advanced III 4GX hotspot, providing 2930mAh of power and being charged through the USB 3.0 microUSB connection found at the very bottom of the device.

Telstra has also included a microUSB breakout charge cable in the box, allowing you to exploit the massive power supply and recharge a device from the hotspot’s battery.

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Performance

Built for business, Telstra’s Advanced III is one of those “you know you need it when you need high speeds and only high speeds” sort of devices, and if you’ve ever dealt with Australia’s mediocre internet access, you can count yourself in this category.