Hi, I currently have a broadband connection for my laptop ($29.
95) with Optus. I just purchased an iPad and I am need a wireless/wi-fi connection. I am looking for a connection for both my iPad and laptop. What is the best deal? Regards, Riccardo
based on what you're paying and the way you say "for my laptop", I'm guessing that the broadband connection you're using with Optus is their $29.95 Mobile Broadband 5GB plan with a USB 'Dongle' modem that plugs directly into the laptop.At first blush, this modem and connection is not going to work with an iPad. It's also worth considering whether your iPad is 3G + WiFi, or just WiFi. Let's take a minute to look at what this could mean.
Right now, there are two widespread ways to get a broadband (high speed) internet connection in Australia. The most popular is Mobile Broadband, which is a wireless connection, provided over a 3G (in some cases, 4G) signal from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. This service is cheap, easy to set up and mobile.
The alternative is a fixed-line connection over an existing copper telephone line, which is called ADSL2+. ADSL2+ is far more reliable than a mobile signal, providing greater and more consistent speeds, with vastly more data available with your monthly plan. A typical Mobile Broadband data plan is between 5 and 15 GB; ADSL2+ connections usually provide 100 or more GB, with many plans providing Unlimited internet access at high speed. ADSL2+, however, is more expensive upfront, with connection and modem fees payable. It also requires an active telephone line as part of the cost (referred to as 'Line Rental'), which discourages many potential buyers. But even with line rental factored in (for a phone service you may have no use for), ADSL2+ is on the whole far better value than Mobile Broadband, if not immediately cheaper.
Both of these connections terminate in some type of modem device. In the case of Mobile Broadband, it's usually a small thumb drive shaped 'dongle' modem that plugs into the USB port on your PC. If you open the USB dongle, you'll find a SIM care, just like in a mobile phone.
ADSL2+ terminate at the telephone point in your home. You then would plug in a separate modem to handle the connection from there.
Both of these solutions can end in a Wi-Fi enabled router. This is usually built into your modem. This allows the incoming connection to be re-routed to other computers and devices in your home, within a short range (about 50m) radius.
On the surface, this seems similar to Mobile Broadband - which is exactly why we distinguish between Wi-Fi and Mobile Broadband, instead of just using the term 'wireless'. Mobile Broadband, or 3G, or 4G, are all different names to refer to a product you pay for. Wi-Fi is a feature of the modem that you use.
With that in mind, let's consider your options for what you've requested.If you do have a USB Dongle modem, you can't share that with your iPad unless you buy a router on its own. I can only really recommend JB Hi Fi or Harvey Norman for this; you'd be asking for a 3G compatible WiFi router.
As mentioned earlier, the iPad can come in two varities - Wifi + 3G, or just WiFi. If you have the former, you can get a SIM card that goes directly into the iPad, which has its own data connection that you pay separately for. Amaysim (1300 302 942) and Dodo (1300 136 793) have great rates for SIM-only iPad data plans.
Alternatively, you may look into ditching the mobile broadband service for a steady ADSL2+ connection, which can be shared between your two devices (at home only, of course). If you otherwise need the mobility of mobile broadband, try one of the aforementioned options.
If you need further help, please give us a call.
Adam at Compare Broadband
1300 106 571