What is a Pocket Wi-Fi? The Ultimate Guide to Buying Pocket Wi-Fi

What is a Pocket Wi-Fi?

A pocket Wi-Fi is one of the most portable, flexible, reliable, and affordable options for connecting to the internet.

What is a pocket Wi-Fi?

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeping many Australians indoors, it’s more imperative than ever to have an internet-enabled workstation at home. The right choice of gadgets can make work a lot easier and help you stay connected. Among a wide range of choices for internet connectivity, the pocket WiFi is one of your best options, thanks to its portability and data speeds.

A pocket Wi-Fi is a portable gadget about the size of a deck of cards – even smaller. You can easily slip it into your pockets while browsing on the go. It’s designed to broadcast network signals to any Wi-Fi-enabled devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Although the device is small, the connectivity power isn’t. A pocket WiFi provides instant access to high-speed internet, and has a large coverage area of about 10-15 meters radius. With these features, it allows for mobility, cost effectiveness, and seamless internet access.

How does pocket WiFi work?

A pocket Wi-Fi works like a home broadband Wi-Fi hotspot, providing network access to connected devices. It requires no installation, cables, or software –  just turn on the device and follow the booting instructions, if any. To power a pocket WiFi, simply charge it with an AC adapter (charger) on a wall socket, or use a USB cable to connect to your device as a power source.

A pocket WiFi establishes high-speed connectivity that can be shared among at least 10 users at a time. It is designed to be a highly effective solution especially in the face of location constraints. It allows web connectivity anytime, anywhere, using mobile networks. Since the vast majority Australia has 3G and 4G mobile network coverage, you won’t have to worry about internet coverage wherever you are in Australia.

How to recharge a data plan for your pocket WiFi

A pocket WiFi operates using a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. The SIM cards carry the pocket Wi-Fi’s mobile or cellular network. The network provider makes provision for data plans ranging from 5GB to 100GB or more depending on the demand.

Australian telcos, including Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, have generous data plans for their 3G, 4G, and 5G networks. Many of these deals offer free pocket Wi-Fi devices as perks.

Once your pocket WiFi has an activated data plan, it will be connected to the internet through the SIM card. This, in turn, enables the pocket WiFi to dispense Wi-Fi signals that allow internet-capable devices to get connected.

Pocket Wi-Fi available In Australia

pocket wifi

All the top telcos have all joined the pocket Wi-Fi bandwagon, offering highly attractive deals

Thanks to healthy competition in the pocket WiFi space, Australians have a wide variety of options. But most come locked to a specific network, and the unlocked ones might be pricier. You can also buy a pocket Wi-Fi through prepaid and postpaid plans.

Here’s a look at some of the best pocket Wi-Fi plans in Australia include:

  • Optus:
    Optus offers a Netgear AC800S Modem as part of its 4G broadband plans. The Netgear device supports about 11hours of usage (with 260 hours of standby battery life) with up to 15 users connected.
  • Vodafone:
    Vodafone’s Pocket Wi-Fi 2 offers 4G connectivity. It only has a 6-hour battery life, so it is not the best choice for people in remote, hard-to-reach areas of Australia, who may run into frequent power challenges. Nonetheless, it runs on the Vodafone network, but you won’t be under any contract. The pocket Wi-Fi supports up to 16 connections at a time.
  • Telstra:
    Telstra’s pocket Wi-Fi offer is currently the most in-demand in the country. That’s been mostly because it offers both 4G and 5G connectivity. Telstra’s HTC’s 5G Hub is a future–proof device. It combines a 5G hotspot, an Android hub and a battery pack into a single device. It runs Android 9.0 pie and allows streaming of TV shows and movies. It handles up to 20 connections simultaneously. It even allows you to use a USB–C connection to hook up a HDMI port on a TV.

Final words – Network speed of using a pocket WiFi  

Pocket WiFis offer some attractive internet speeds. It simply eradicates concerns about broadband speed arising from shared connections. With multiple users hooked to the device simultaneously, a pocket WiFi can still give everyone high-speed internet access at speeds of up to 150Mbs.

In a nutshell, pocket WiFi is the best option if you’re looking for a portable, stable, and speedy internet connection at home, the office or on the go.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.