Optus Prepaid Internet

optus prepaid internet

Enjoy the freedom of wireless access to the internet and stay in control with Optus Prepaid Internet. No bills, no long-term contracts and no commitments – spend as little or as much on your internet access as you want to.

Quick Summary – Optus Prepaid Internet

Product Speed Term Downloads Price p/MB Bonuses Notes More
optus prepaid internet Optus 3G/4G 30 days 5GB Starter Pack $99 Includes E5377 4G Wifi Modem
(Sim Card only for $30 & 3GB)
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Optus Prepaid Internet Optus 3G/4G 30 days 5GB Starter Pack $49
Optus Prepaid Internet Optus 3G/4G 7 days 1GB $10 $0.01 All data usage charged in 1KB increments. Recharge will rollover up to 36GB. 15% bonus credit applies when recharging online with your credit card.
Optus Prepaid Internet Optus 3G/4G 30 days 4GB $30 $0.01
Optus Prepaid Internet Optus 3G/4G 365 days 7GB $50 $0.01
Optus Prepaid Internet Optus 3G/4G 720 days 22GB $130 $0.01

Optus Prepaid Internet Review (June 2015)

The price of 3G Wifi Modems has fallen over the past 12 – 18 months making them a lot more affordable for the everyday consumer. When they were first launched they retailed for over $100, today, you can pick up an Optus or Telstra 3G Wifi modem for under $70. In fact Telstra’s 3G Wifi Modem actually sells for under $40, Optus’ remains at $70 on their website (note this comes with 5GB and 30 days). Luckily enough for me, Kmart launched a promotion in early January and have been selling the E5331 for $39, with 2GB of data and 14 days access. This is the cheapest I have seen this device and might be a sign that Optus is looking to clear out its 3G stocks to place greater focus on 4G modems.

Lets check out the E5331 specs:

  • Height, Width, Depth: 92.8mm×60.0mm×13.8mm
  • Weight: 82 g (including the battery)
  • Display: OLED
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours working battery life and up to 280 hours standby
  • Operating frequency: HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS (2100/900 MHz)
  • WLAN: 802.11b/g/n
  • Internal Memory: 128 MB Flash, 64 MB Memory
  • USB interface: Micro USB
  • Software Installation: Automatic installation (PnP)
  • WiFi connection: Connects up to 8 devices at once

The size of this device looks to me to be about 20% bigger than the Telstra equivalent (it is more like the size of a credit card) which is OK if it is just lying around the house or office, but if you were going to carry the device around with you in your pocket, it might become annoying after a while.

The display is basic showing you 4 icons covering reception, wifi connection, battery and mail.

In the box
The Optus Prepaid Internet box comes with the Wifi Modem, battery, SIM card packet and USB to micro USB charging cable for use with your PC or power adapter if you have one.

The SIM card packet enables you to cut out the actual SIM card in both standard and micro sim form. The SIM card itself is a prepaid mobile broadband SIM card and can be used within the modem or directly within a tablet.

Also included is a quick start guide.

Getting Started
I found this to be much easier than when I did the same with Telstra. My Telstra experience required me to call Telstra to trouble shoot the activation, which was not enjoyable. However with Optus Prepaid Internet, all I needed to do was assemble, activate, charge and connect.

Assemble:
This is really easy. All you need to do is remove the Optus Prepaid Internet SIM card from the SIM card packet. The packet will be needed for the activation step. I have often found that with the double cuts that the SIM cards now have to accommodate (both standard and micro-sims), the micro sim cut tends to break first, which is annoying but easily placed back in its spot inside the standard sim.

The next step is to open the wifi modem by pulling the back plate off. Inside you will find a place for the SIM card and the battery which is also housed inside the box.

Before you close the case, take note of the wifi details which are listed inside the wifi back plate. Both the SSID and the Wifi Key will be listed. The SSID is the modem reference you will be looking for when you turn wifi mode on via your laptop or tablet, the Key is your password.

Activation:
For this step you need the SIM card packet. Along with your personal details, all you need is the sim reference number displayed on the card. You can activate online as I did, but this means you need an internet connection (I used my mobile phone). The actual activation at Optus’ end only took a few minutes and my only issue which I also found with Telstra is that a confirmation email is never sent. The only message you receive via the website is that you need to give it an hour and all will be ready.

Charging:
The wifi modem needs to be charged to work. The package comes with a USB to micro USB cable so that you can charge it up on your laptop or via a wall charger. I chose the later.

Connection:
If you are using a tablet, go to your settings and turn wifi on. Your tablet will then list the connections close to you that you can request connection to. The SSID of your Optus device will appear in this list once the activation step is complete. When you see it listed, select it and enter the Wifi Key. Your connection is then made and off you go.

Recharging
Optus Prepaid Internet uses per KB data increment. Your Optus Prepaid Internet recharging options include:

  • $10 buys 750MB for 30 days
  • $30 buys 3GB for 30 days
  • $50 buys 5GB for 60 days
  • $80 buys 8GB for 90 days
  • $130 buys 15GB for 365 days

You can recharge using your credit card, debit card, PayPal or payclick by visiting the Optus website. Other options include the Tablet App or prepaid vouchers purchased via a store.

Optus allows you to rollover your prepaid vouchers as long as you recharge before the expiry data and don’t accumulate more than 20GB.

Performance
During my Optus Prepaid Internet trial I had two devices connected and the internet speeds were great. In terms of actual speeds, I ran a couple of speed tests.

  • Test 1: Ping – 102 ms, Download – 6.78Mbps, Upload – 2Mpbs
  • Test 2: Ping – 606 ms, Download – 6.06Mbps, Upload – 2.77Mpbs

These tests were undertaken within an iPad2. As a comparison, my iPad also has a Telstra SIM card installed inside it, its speed test showed:

  • Ping – 75ms, Download – 5.27Mbps, Upload – 0.83Mbps

The location of these tests was Perth.

Power Charge:
The 5 hours battery life looks reasonable based on the time I have used it. The only thing to note is that the indication that it requires charging is that the icon turns red, there is no symbol to show 50% battery capacity etc.

Final say:
I think everyone needs to have access to wifi modem if they have a laptop or tablet. They are a very convenient device and can be shared by several (up to 8) devices at the same time. I haven’t tested 8 devices myself to see what the performance or battery life would be like under these extreme conditions, but with two devices, it handles perfectly.

What I have also found and the speed tests prove it again, is that you will achieve faster speeds with a wifi modem using a iPad 2 rather than having a SIM card installed within the modem. You need to however put up with the device.

The big plus with these modems is convenience, particularly if you are going away and need to support several connections to the net at the same time.

The gradual price drops is making them a lot more accessible today. The 3G modem from Optus I purchased for under $40. The 4G version is still over $150. The recharging options you can see above. Probably the only difficulty is unlocking these devices but this is usually available when you recharge $150 or more.
Additional Information 

Coverage Optus coverage map
Network Optus 3G/4G
Data Increments p/KB
Website www.optus.com.au
Phone 1800 780 219

Optus Prepaid Internet Acceptable Use policy applies. ^Data is counted in 1kB increments and includes both uploads and downloads. After you’ve used your Data Allowance, you will no longer be able to use your service until you recharge again. Unused credit will rollover when you recharge before credit expiry. The maximum Data Allowance at any time is 36GB. You will forfeit any data you recharge over this 36GB limit. Compatibility: If you bring your own device, make sure it’s not locked to other networks and is compatible with the Optus network: 3G (UMTS 900MHz/2100MHz) and/or 4G (1800MHz). To access the extended coverage of our 4G Plus network you will require a 4G Plus compatible device (2300MHz/1800MHz). To learn more, visit www.optus.com.au/compatibility. Coverage: With 3G devices, you are able to access our 3G (2100Mhz/900Mhz) Network. With 4G devices, you are able to access our entire 3G Network and 4G 1800Mhz Network. With 4G Plus devices, you can access all areas of the Optus Network, including our 3G, 4G & 4G Plus (2300Mhz) Networks. For detailed coverage maps see www.optus.com.au/coverage.