wireless broadband

Submitted: Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 23:28
ThreadID: 124343 Views:4104 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Wondering if anyone with wireless broadband could let us know what sort of set up they have and how successful it is in remote areas.
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Reply By: Andy1 - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 14:02

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 14:02
We have BigPond Wireless Broadband using the BigPond BP3 (big blue) modem & so far are more than satisfied. I do not believe than the aerials supplied with the modems are of much use, on my desk I use a fairly small, about 50cm, aerial & in the van have a much larger, about 1.5m, high gain unit which attaches to the van for remote reception.

The minor disadvantage with the BP3 modem is that it requires a (small) 240v input which is not realy an issue as modern laptops are pretty power hungry and an inverter is a must for any reasonable bush use.

AnswerID: 574015

Follow Up By: Shortcuts - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 19:17

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 19:17
Thanks for the response Andy. I find that peoples personal experience with these things is sometimes the best way to work out which set up to get.
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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 02:17

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 02:17
Hi Andy & everyone else,

I am looking into going wireless broadband also, our plan is to end our home internet connection and purchase a connection we can take away with us. I have previously used a $29 70mb Data Pack with our Next G but looking at other options.

Is the BP3 [big blue] one of these ?

Site Link

7.2 MOBILE CARD - $349
for a laptop with a PC Card (PCMCIA) or
ExpressCard/34 Slot

It has a blue end on the card, I am thinking of either buying it outright or a 36mth plan and utilising the 200mb limit at $54.95. Is PCMCIA card better than USB ? vice versa or both the same in performance?

Am i understanding correctly that browsing has no limit? it's just the download amount? All we want to do is check & reply email, banking & browse our forums and submit the BAS [word docs]

We would be interested in others opinions please.

Mick & Vickie


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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 04:46

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 04:46
It also appears that Bigpond have a better plan for the modem that Andy has as it is designed for people to use at home where they cannot get fixed line broadband.
We have the small USB Modem that requires and external antenna for good reception and my daughter has recently purchased the same as Andy for use at home.

My plan is 10 hours per month at $34.95 where my daughter has 1 GIG of download and hers is about $50 per month.

The fact that the small USB modems are truly portable means that you have to pay a lot more than the ones powered by 240 volts.

If I had my choice now I would go the same way as Andy has, as a small inverter can be plugged into a car to give you power and then it is usable wherever you have a 12 volt battery.

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AnswerID: 574016

Reply By: Maitland Bushies - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 07:20

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 07:20
We have 200mb download p/month with Bigpond which costs $49.95 p/month. We were supplied the Option GTMAX card when we changed over from CDMA to NextG. This worked OK for a while and seemed OK in remote areas, but slowly broke down to the stage it was reverting back to the CDMA signal instead of NextG, it then started to crash the computer. Telstra then supplied us with the SIERRA WIRELESS AC875. This is also a card that goes into the PCMA slot and requires no outside power. It only came this week and seems to work great. It does not have the fiddly little ariels that the older cards had that were prone to damage. This card has a big solid lump on the end of it and seems much more robust.
According to the Bigpond site the plans available now are:
200mb costs $54.95 p/m.
1 Gig costs $84.95 p/m.
3Gig costs $114.95 p/m.
10 hours costs $34.95 p/m.
We find the 200mb p/m is enough to do all our banking and surfing etc, but you must watch what you download. I have found that I have to turn off automatic downloads from Microsoft as they can gobble up 200mb in 1 session. I do my updates when I can plug into our sons internet connection at his house as he has unlimited download capability and wouldn't notice any extra from me.
As there is no time limit on this plan you can browse for hours with no worries. (It takes me hours just to read the BOG site, so much good stuff).
Hope this helps, Max.
AnswerID: 574017

Reply By: Kilcoy Yowies - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 08:57

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 08:57
We have the same setup as Andy with the blue modem and we are very happy with it. When we were camped on the Roper River in NT in a very remote area we were thrilled to get perfect mobile phone and internet connection. This apparently was due to the close proximity of the aboriginal town of Ngukkar just over the river in Arnhem land.
It was fun to be able to email to the kids the Google Earth image of our exact campsite which looked quite scarey to them. It was nice to hear their concern for us to take care and watch out for crocodiles ! Its a change for your kids to worry about you.
We half wish we had bought the USB card rather than the blue modem for the simple reason that we seem to have cords and cables everywhere on our small caravan table and it would be tidier..but also it costs a lot more than our $50 for 1Gb a month plan.
We use this wireless broadband system at home and simply take it with us when we travel as the area we live does not have Broadband and it definitely beats slow old dialup.
We got Sound in Motion to install an external aerial as when we were camped at King Ash Bay those that had the external aerial could get mobile phone and internet coverage whereas we couldn't while there. We haven't tried the aerial yet.
Hope this is of some help.
Maureen and David
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AnswerID: 574018

Reply By: Shortcuts - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 20:59

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 20:59
Thanks everybody your information is very helpful to us as we are also in an area at home where we can,t get your normal broadband so are looking for something that will work well at home and in travel.
AnswerID: 574019

Reply By: Andy1 - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 16:31

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 16:31
Mick & Vickie

The BP3 (Big Blue Modem) is not a card, rather a small box that sits seperate from the computer. We have been on the road with this unit since February & with the addition of the smaller of the two aerials we carry never had nothing but excellent reception. In this time I have noticed & talked to a number of people with the cards struggling to get a decent coverage, several have in fact been pretty bleep off that the Telstra shop they used had not recommended the BP3. I think, without certain knowledge, that the BP3 is not sold in Telstra shops as it is a BigPond product available only by direct purchase or from stores like Harvey Norman.

We are on the "BigPond Wireless Super G Fast 3GB" plan @ $109.95 per month. We also use this connection at home. The 3GB plan is probably a bit of an overkill & the 1GB @ $79.95 would probably be adequate. I do like to get all of the Windows (Vista) updates along the way as many are security related. Mostly in caravan parks I just leave the computer on line all day.

There is a drawback, the BP3 requires that you use a new email address xxxx@bigpond.com so to also keep our previous addresses we have to maintain our Dial up Account on the minimum cost (casual) plan.


AnswerID: 574020

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 04:13

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 04:13
Thanks Andy that explains it well,

I have received emails from John & Jean who are presently camped in Paradise [Lefroy Bay Ningaloo] and they have the same set up & getting a signal.

It does require 240v or an invertor though and i was trying to stay away from that aspect.

I am shutting my email address down end of this month and if i dont get bigpond & wireless then i will be using a data pack with my next g phone and a free G Mail account
Mick & Vickie


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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 19:13

Monday, Apr 14, 2008 at 19:13
Shortcuts, I have a photo of the Bigpond Next G dongle and antenna in my photos album.

Worked well for us whilst we were travelling. If reception was a bit dicky I would just move the antenna up onto the windowsill next to the dinette and usually had no probs. Small, compact and if needed I could use it in the car with no trouble.

(ex Bushtracker Babe)
AnswerID: 574021

Follow Up By: Andy1 - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 06:53

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 06:53

We, 3BT's were at Lake Hart last night. BP3 Modem + over van height aerial = Wireless Broadband, Netphone etc. Try this with a dongle.

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