Review: Telstra WiFi 4G Advanced II
4.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $No outright price; Available on contract plans from Telstra;
Manufacturer: Netgear

Need fast speeds to go? Telstra is letting us check out the next generation of speeds on its network, now being upgraded to Category 6 with 300Mbps speeds.

Features and performance

Getting online is a must have these days, and while Australians have had access to 3G and ADSL2+ for some time, we’re all craving faster speeds, whether it’s because we’re watching more streaming videos or wishing to download content more quickly.

Telcos are listening, however, as are hardware manufacturers, and working together, the two parties evolving mobile broadband so that it’s faster than ever.

We started with the 100Mbps download speeds of Category 3, saw Category 4’s 150Mbps last year, and this year, Australians will be able to get their hands on 300Mbps with Category 6.

Telstra’s newly renamed 4GX network is being upgraded to work with this new category of 4G, meaning it needs devices that let people take advantage of the speeds.

Right now, there are only two we can think of, with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and Huawei Ascend Mate 7 providing smartphones that can take advantage of these speeds, but if you don’t have one of these mobile handsets and don’t wish to upgrade, you’ll need something else.

If that’s you, Telstra is hoping to bring you over with the WiFi 4G Advanced II, a mobile hotspot with a small touchscreen up front and a rubberised back.

The hotspot is about the same size as others, resembling a small 4 inch phone, though with a much smaller 2.4 inch touchscreen for use inside the device.

The screen is colour, but won’t offer much in the way of viewing angles, but you won’t be using it for this anyway, so no need to worry.

Two antenna ports are available in case you want to plug in external antennas, but for most people, the hotspot will be all they want, relying on the internal antennas provided here.

There are numerous positives for Telstra’s WiFi 4G Advanced II, not least of which is the speed, but we’ll get to that shortly.

First we check out the interface, and thanks to a touchscreen, this has to be one of the easiest to use wireless hotspots we’ve seen.