Hertz rents pocket wifi mobile Internet 3G routers in Australia

By John Walton, November 1 2012
Hertz rents pocket wifi mobile Internet 3G routers in Australia

Rental car company Hertz is branching out into mobile Internet, with pocket wifi devices that suck down 3G data and pump out a short-range wifi network for your iPhone or Android device, laptop, iPad or other tablet for rent in Australia.

It's a handy option for domestic travellers who don't have their own mobile Internet connection, but who need to be online when travelling -- and it's a reasonable recommendation for visiting colleagues or business contacts based overseas too. 

You can add a pocket wifi unit (sometimes called "mifi" devices) to your car rental for $12 a day plus GST, which gives you 150MB to use daily.

That should be more than enough for most people's smartphones, and a light bit of tablet or laptop use, but heavy laptop users or anyone slurping down streaming video should probably think again.

Given Australia's ripoff hotel Internet rates, $12 a day for 150MB is a reasonable price for the convenience on a quick trip, aimed at travellers who don't already travel with their own 3G or 4G connections and who want a "switch on and go" Internet connection.

But what happens when you reach that 150MB limit?

Hertz says customers get a warning as they approach the 150MB mark, and once past that "you’ll normally get a few extra MB to finish what you’re doing and then it cuts out" a Hertz representative told Australian Business Traveller.

"At this point a portal appears where you can use your credit card to purchase more data."

That'll cost you:

  • $4.95 for 50MB
  • $9.95 for 100MB
  • $12.95 for 150MB
  • $29 for 500MB

But the extra data is valid for the whole rest of your rental.

So, if you're on a short trip and just want to check your email, Facebook and Twitter, and perhaps Skype home for a bit at night, this might be for you.

But if your trip is more than a few days long, or you travel frequently, we suggest you start looking into picking up your own pocket wifi device and slot in either a contract or pre-paid SIM card -- it'll be much better value.

Hertz also rents the devices in New Zealand and, further afield, if you're renting a car from them in the UK

For all the latest information on keeping yourself connected while travelling, follow us on Twitter! We're @AusBT

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1377

Crazy prices compared to having your own device (under $100) and gettin a prepaid SIM with data, but cheaper than hotels

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