Telstra Air WiFi

Intro about using WiFi

Mobile data is great, but it has several limitations. In many cases, your SIM plan likely has a limited amount of data. Once that data inclusion runs out, you’ll either get charged to continue using data, or you’ll have to purchase more data. In some cases, your telco might allow you to keep browsing at crippling speeds – like 1.5Mbps, for instance.

In today’s world, these options can really slow you down. And if you choose not to spend more money oh high speed data, then you might be without data until your next billing cycle or recharge. But what about WiFi?

WiFi is perhaps the best option whenever its available. Some establishments offer unlimited WiFi access if you happen to patronize their business. For instance, hotels might include free WiFi while you remain a guest.

WiFi is essentially wireless technology that broadcasts signals to connect your device to the Internet. Think about data without actually purchasing mobile data. In most cases, WiFi signals are broadcast from broadband networks (both wired and mobile). This means that such access include massive amounts of data inclusions, and unlimited data in many cases.

But the catch is that these WiFi networks are usually password protected. If you don’t have the password, then you can’t get access. However, if you’re a Telstra customer, then you likely have access to the largest WiFi network in Australia free of charge.

Read on to find out all about Telstra Air WiFi and how to access it.

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About Telstra Air WiFi

Telstra Air is a WiFi network is brought to you by Telstra, the largest telco in Australia. It allows Telstra customers connect to a free WiFi network without having to spend their plan data.

There are 19 million Telstra Air WiFi hotspots worldwide. One million of those hotspots are right here in Australia. With that many hotspots spread out throughout the country, there’s a great chance you can latch on to Telstra Air for free unlimited data.

So how exactly does Telstra make all of this happen? Well, think of Telstra Air as a large, cooperative WiFi network. Telstra uses their public phone booths as access points, broadcasting WiFi signals to customers who might be close by and in need of Internet access.

But perhaps the most interesting part of it all is that Telstra customers themselves play a role. If you’re a Telstra home Internet customer, then you are likely a Telstra Air WiFi hotspot. Telstra home Internet customers have two hotspots: One that is password protected for their home, and another that is public which broadcasts WiFi signals for anyone close by that needs access to Telstra Air.

If you’re concerned about any privacy implications about this, Telstra say you should not. And, besides, you can opt out if you want.

How to use Telstra Air WiFi

Using Telstra Air WiFi is quite straightforward, but gaining access has some requirements.

Eligible Telstra customers can access Telstra Air free of charge. To qualify, you’d have to be purchase a Telstra SIM Only plan, home broadband plan, or mobile broadband plan.

And if you’d like to access Telstra Air WiFi without being a Telstra customer, all you have to do is purchase a Telstra Air guest pass – they cost anywhere from $5 to $30, depending on how long you’d like to have access to their hotspots.

Once your access to Telstra Air is certain, here’s all you have to do to connect:

  • Download the Telstra Air app
  • Enter your Telstra log in details
  • Your device will automatically connect to a Telstra Air WiFi hotspot whenever one is available.
  • If you’re not automatically connected, turn on WiFi on your device and select “Telstra Air”.

Telstra Air coverage

Telstra Air coverage depends on whether or not you are close to one of their 1 million hot spots in Australia. These include Telstra broadband customers who share their home WiFi with Telstra Air, and business customers who do the same, and phone booths around the country.

One million hot spots is a lot, but it obviously leaves some black spots in some areas where there will be no Telstra Air service. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you would only have access to Telstra Air when you’re in range of a hot spot.

Telstra Air signals are quite strong, however. Some customers as far as 1.5km away from the nearest hot spot connect to Telstra Air easily.

How to turn off Telstra Air

As we’ve stated, if you’re not comfortable with your home Internet network being used as a Telstra Air hot spot, you can log into your Telstra account and opt out once per calendar month. Doing this doesn’t affect your access to Telstra Air – you will still be able to access free WiFi.

To turn off Telstra Air as a user, all you have to do is disconnect from any Telstra Air hotspot you’ve connected to. If you are not connected, simply avoid connecting. You can also turn off your WiFi to avoid connecting to Telstra Air automatically, or set your device to forget the Telstra Air network.

Why does Telstra give away Telstra Air for free?

We’re in the information age, and Big Data is king. So I’m sure you’ve guessed that Telstra isn’t just going to give you free access to their WiFi without storing some information about you.

So what exactly do Telstra collect when you access Telstra Air? According to their website, they collect “aggregate data” about:

  • Device names;
  • Timestamps;
  • Data usage in megabytes;
  • Operating systems;
  • IP addresses and MAC addresses, and;
  • The location of hotspots that devices are connected to.

And what do Telstra do with that information? According to Telstra, they only use it to improve their service and “develop new and better ways to connect.” Again, whether or not you choose to believe that is up to you.

Telstra Air and your privacy

Telstra insists that your private information is safe with Telstra Air, whether you’re connecting to their hotspot or providing a hotspot for others with your home Internet.

But the telco also discloses that they collect some data about all users, including your data usage, IP address, the hotspot(s) you’ve connected to, timestamps, and more. This data can easily be viewed as extensive, as it can provide a significant amount of information about the user and her/his location.

However, Telstra assures customers that they only use this information to improve their service.


Telstra Air Wifi is not a mainstream feature of their services that Telstra makes a big deal of. There are also questions about what they do with the information they glean from people using it. Industry insiders suggest that it’s used to target advertising on the individuals who log on to the internet using one of the many Telstra Air WiFi hotspots.

That said, the best internet is the one that’s available to you – and if you’re out and about and you have used up all your plan data, a ‘free’ service like Telstra Air can be a useful boon. We recommend using a VPN while you log in to a Telstra Air hotspot (and/or any other public WiFi hotspot) to keep your personal information safe, and avoid any potential hackers who might be lurking nearby.