Internet access for the Australian traveler...
January 13, 2010 4:58 PM Subscribe
I'm an American internet addict traveling around Australia for a year with my laptop. Wifi access at hostels is often a big ripoff. How to stay connected without breaking the bank? Specifics relevant to any city of a decent size would be appreciated, since I'll probably spend some time in each of them!
posted by adamk to Travel & Transportation around Australia (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There are any number of places that offer internet access around Australia, and I'd like advice about which ones I should be frequenting and giving my business to. I'd like to avoid paying a high price for a bad connection. I'd much rather pay a low price for an excellent connection :)
I have three use cases to consider.
(1) Quick email / Twitter / Facebook / light-to-moderate browsing. This is probably a daily thing, at least in the city.
(2) Bandwidth intensive activities -- pushing lots of high-res photos to Flickr, uploading video to Vimeo, downloading music and television shows from back home. This is probably something that I'd want to do every 7-10 days.
(3) All-day scenarios: I'm a software developer, and have a few freelance clients back in the States. When I'm "at work" I need a stable connection to browse, look up documentation, check Stack Overflow, access version control, and push media back and forth. I'm currently taking a few months off from working. I'll probably put in a few weeks of work in March, when I'm in Melbourne or Perth.
Some other info:
- I brought an unlocked iPhone 3GS with me, and got a prepaid Optus account. 500MB of data transfer per month. This should work fine for some aspects of #1, but I don't like doing too much browsing on the small screen. I know how to tether my laptop to the phone's modem, but it doesn't always work as well as I'd like.
- Yes, I know about the free wifi at McDonalds (I'm posting this over an Egg McMuffin in the Sydney CBD). Seems fine for case #1, since the connection is slow and is limited to 50MB of transfer.
- Assume I'm staying in hostels or cheaper hotels in most areas. However, I plan on staying for long enough in Perth and Melbourne that I may rent an apartment and get wired internet access. Still, I work better when I'm out of the house. There's something about being in public that keeps me on task.
- I prefer free/cheap for #1, but realize that I may have to pay up to satisfy #2 and #3. I'm happy to pay as long as the connection is sufficiently fast and stable. Especially for #3, when a connection is essential for my income to keep rolling in.
- I'm in Sydney now, and will be heading to Hobart and Launceston next. Then to Melbourne for a quick visit (I'll be back later), and off to Perth via Adelaide.
- I know better than to expect much of anything in some parts of the country (e.g. the road from Perth to Broome).
Thanks for your help!