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Have you seen Telstra Air pop up on your list of available networks when you're searching out a Wi-Fi connection? If you've got an existing mobile or broadband plan with Telstra, you can actually hop onto these for free broadband access.
What is Telstra Air?
Telstra Air is a national Wi-Fi network built and maintained by Australia's largest telecommunications company. Telstra customers can access free Wi-Fi data from 1 million hotspot locations nation-wide on their phone, laptop or other Wi-Fi capable device.
It's freely available to customers who have one of the following services:
- Telstra prepaid mobile plan
- Telstra postpaid SIM-only plan
- Telstra home or mobile broadband
You can also get temporary access to Telstra Air by purchasing a Telstra Air guest pass.
How to connect to Telstra Air
If you have an eligible, activated Telstra service, all you need to do is turn your device's Wi-Fi on and select "Telstra Air" from the list of available networks. You are allowed to have up to three devices connected at the same time, logging in with your Telstra ID each time.
To connect more easily, you can use the Telstra Air app, which:
- Connects automatically near hotspots
- Locates nearby hotspots and directs you towards them
- Can be used for Australian hotspots and Fon hotspots overseas
How do I buy a Telstra Air guest pass?
You can buy a temporary guest pass when you attempt to connect to a Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspot and don't have a valid Telstra ID. A browser window will open up, letting you select one of the following passes:
- 1 hour for $5
- 1 day for $10
- 7 days for $25
- 30 days for $30
Alternatively, you can use the Telstra Air app.
Compare mobile plans to get Telstra Air
Remember, you can also get Telstra Air access on any of Telstra's home or mobile broadband plans. We've shown Telstra mobile plans below as it's a cheaper and simpler way to get access to Telstra Air.
How does Telstra Air work?
Telstra Air uses a mix of three different kinds of hotspots to create availability Australia-wide and overseas:
- Installed hotspots. Wi-Fi access points that Telstra builds and maintains in a variety of public locations.
- Customer hotspots. Telstra home broadband customers who have added their modem to the Telstra Air network, opening up a small amount of their broadband to passing users for guest-style access.
- Fon hotspots. A third-party network of 23 million hotspots, all overseas, mostly based in Europe with others scattered around Japan, Korea, South Africa and Brazil.
Telstra Air hotspot locations
With 1 million hotspots around Australia, it's impossible to list everywhere that Telstra Air is available. However, it's widely accessible at a few different kinds of locations:
- Public payphones (with the pink Telstra Air box above them)
- Local council areas
- Residential areas
- Business centres
If you're unsure if Telstra Air is available, you can always turn your device's Wi-Fi on and browse through what's around, or find a hotspot with Telstra's postcode tracker.
Those with access to Telstra Air can also hop onto Fon Wi-Fi hotspots overseas, which also offer free Wi-Fi on the go. The Fon Wi-Fi network has 23 million locations internationally, most of which are located in Europe.
How much does Telstra Air cost?
Telstra Air is a free add-on for customers with an eligible plan. All of the data you use on Telstra Air is free and unmetered, and doesn't count against any plan data inclusions.
Alternatively, you can pay anywhere between $5 and $30 for a temporary guest pass if you don't have ongoing access.
What are Telstra Air speeds like?
Telstra Air speeds are highly variable, depending on what hotspot you're accessing and how strong your signal is. Your connection is likely to fall into one of the following three speed tiers:
- 2Mbps for home broadband hotspots. These are capped at 2Mbps so you don't interfere with their home Internet connection.
- Up to 20Mbps for public payphone hotspots and other general hotspot locations built by Telstra.
- Up to 100Mbps or more at some premium hotspot locations, like Telstra stores with fibre Internet.
For most cases, expect to fall somewhere in the second tier.
FAQ about Telstra Air
How do I get Telstra Air with a Telstra home broadband plan?
Unlike those with mobile plans, Telstra home broadband customers have to meet a couple of requirements to get access to Telstra Air:
- Own a Telstra Air compatible gateway (modem).
- By default, you will be added to the Telstra Air network, though you can opt out using account management.
- A fraction of your bandwidth (up to 2Mbps) will be reserved for passing users of the Telstra Air network. Your home broadband connection is kept separate and private, so that public users can't access your data or information.
Can I use Telstra Air as a substitute for home Internet?
Technically, yes, but it's not recommended. It's possible to purchase a super cheap Telstra mobile plan (say, 1GB for $10 prepaid) and get easy access to the Telstra Air network. Then, if you happen to live right on top of a Telstra Air hotspot, you could connect to it for all your Internet needs. However, there are many downsides, including:
- Needing to sign in constantly every few minutes to a half hour
- Being on a completely unencrypted public network with all your data unsecured
- Slow speeds unless you're right on top of a non-home broadband hotspot
- Not being able to connect if too many other people are connected at the same time
Is Telstra Air free?
Yes, Telstra Air is free for Telstra customers. If you're not a Telstra customer but wish to use a Telstra Air hotspot, you'll need to purchase a guest pass.
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