Let's be honest, ADSL in this country sucks. Cable is pretty good, and the NBN is great if you have it. But everyone knows how a smartphone works, right? Australia's mobile networks are advancing way faster than competing tech. And, thusly, here's a router that you can use for the internet in your home via 4G — but also in your hotel room in a trip around the world — with D-Link teaming up with mobile telco Globalgig for internet everywhere.
The D-Link DWR-922 is a home Wi-Fi router with a SIM card slot for a 4G mobile data SIM. It'll connect to your existing modem (for cable or NBN or ADSL) if you already have one, but you can also run it entirely off the 4G slot, which makes the company's new partnership with Globalgig all the more interesting.
D-Link will be selling the DWR-922 bundled with a Globalgig 4G SIM and $30 of starter credit through its website and Officeworks. Globalgig uses Optus' 4G network in Australia, so you can be assured of fast 'net speeds for your downloads, although as with any mobile connection you'll have to keep a careful eye on your data quota.
But you can take the D-Link DWR-922 on vacation with you, too — not only around Australia, but around the world. The big advantage of Globalgig is that the company provides flat-rate 3G mobile broadband 'net access in 84 countries, with plans from as little as $20 for 250MB, stretching up to $70 for 5GB. Keeping connected to the internet while you're travelling can be a godsend, especially if you're on an extended holiday away from your friends and family and loved ones, and having your own internet connection means not relying on a hotel or hostel when you want to Skype or FaceTime back home.
Having a router with you in your hotel room might sound like a bit of a strange experience, but if it saves you from dodgy hotel internet or paying for an overpriced and insecure Wi-Fi connection, then it's done its job quite nicely. Also, having the DWR-922 and its Globalgig SIM pre-configured before you travel means no setup woes — just plug it in and off you go. This $249.95 bundle from D-Link will get you started with the router itself, a Globalgig SIM and $30 of starter credit that'll get you 5GB of 4G data within Australia or about 1GB overseas.
Just about the only issue with the DWR-922's hardware is that it won't work on Telstra and Optus' new 700MHz 4G network, and Optus is Globalgig's Aussie data partner. That means that you'll be using the other 3G and 4G frequencies that Optus uses — there are quite a few — and sharing your potential Internet speed with other smartphone and tablet users around your neighbourhood. Optus is rolling out its 4G coverage around regional areas of the country throughout this year, though, which should help. Similarly, you'd have to check its supported frequencies against the telcos of any international destination you might plan to visit.