This was posted 5 years 9 months 24 days ago, and might be an out-dated deal.

  • expired

Free Unlimited Wi-Fi with Telstra Air - Extended to 27 March 2017 (Telstra Customers Including $2 Prepaid SIM Owners)


Free with any $2 telstra prepaid sim.
Available at over 1,000 locations across Australia
In my experience speeds of between 8Mbits to over 100Mbits depending on location
Was originally slated to end last month but has been extended to next year.

$2 sim here:

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  • +2

    Hang on… So I can let randoms on the street or neighbours soak up my bandwidth for $2? While I have to pay $100 per month and have a usage cap too?

    How does that work?

    • +31

      yes telstra is a communist telco

      • +4

        You know they used to be named Telecom

    • +5

      Read more into it buddy. old telephone booths are wifi hotspots

      • +9

        "Telstra Air will share a portion of your home Wi-Fi connection to create a hotspot that others can use."


        • My parents are on Telstra, and when I setup their router it was an option they could enable. It wasn't however enabled by default, and my parents would never be able to find it by accident.

        • @Praeto: You have to have the more expensive modem, I signed up to telstra cable recently, they try to get you to go on it so they can sell you a $260 modem instead of a $144 one.

      • Too bad when vandsls wreck it

    • +7

      You can log into your own Telstra Air if you wish!

      • +4

        Whilst that would get you unlimited usage cap, it still doesn't prevent others from reducing your bandwidth capacity.. especially for ADSL

        • Possible to hack the router to QOS those ppl outside of ya house? lol.

        • +1


          It is already QoS'ed by Telstra.. but it still takes away some bandwidth, no way avoiding that.

        • @Thrawn: Yes, but I can't think of any security risks surrounding opening your internal network to anyone around you.

          (Even if it is "secure" on a different subnet)


        • +2

          You can turn it off.
          Or if not, you can bridge the Telstra Gateway and therefore disable Air from your home connection.

        • +1

          @scubacoles: I'll admit I'm being facetious.

          It still doesn't mean Telstra should be enabling this on home users modems/routers though.

        • +1

          @CharcoaI: I don't think they're enabling it by default, at least not on my Cable Gateway Max Modem.
          Image I don't even see an option to turn it on in the Telstra Air menu. I thought it was on, since I haven't been charged for any usage for months, but turns out their usage meter isn't working for my account and they told me it's going to take a few months to fix. They even sent me a formal email to inform me that nothing I download will be counted. Thank god for 100Mbit Cable. /smirk

        • @Kamui: When they first started the Telstra Air stuff, there was an option for turning it on/off in my Cable Gateway Max. But now they have updated the firmware so that it just says Wifi > Telstra Air > Global Information > Telstra Air Status: UP or DOWN.

          I believe the current way that we switch UP from DOWN or vice versa is through Telstra 24x7 (through or via the app). Under plan details there's an option to Activate/Deactivate Telstra Air. I did it last week and now the status on my modem is different.

        • @Kamui: >I don't think they're enabling it by default, at least not on my Cable Gateway Max Modem.

          Came enabled by default on my Cable Gateway Max.

      • How do you actually log in to your own? Mine has never shown up.

        Do you need a separate $2 sim on an unlinked Telstra account device?

        • You don't need a SIM.. you just need a Telstra Account.
          If you can't see Telstra Air as a WiFi hotspot, then perhaps your modem doesn't support Telstra Air, or you have it disabled?

    • +1

      Argh I'm upvoting you because it's true. I'd recommend you get your own third party modem/router - performance will be heaps better, and you won't have to deal with this.

      Check if your existing modem/router from Telstra offers Air, if it does, there may or may not be a setting in there to turn it off. Some of the older ones won't have this active.

    • It's literally log in at every new spot - super annoying. If you're near one I'm not sure if it's unlimited login.

  • Where would you use this? I have access to Telstra Air, but I have tried looking out for access points, but usually the signal is too weak, because I am too far away from a telephone booth.

    • +9

      I heard some people park their car outside a phone booth and have their laptop download linux isos off bittorrent while they shop for groceries.

      • +5

        Lol.. multi tasking, I like it… And sure.. they were downloading "linux isos" off bit torrent… :)

        • +1

          yeah, linux isos are available to download for free from FileArena, among other places. No need to leave a laptop in a car where someone stealing it would easily cost more than an internet connection :-|

        • +1

          @zzymurgy: it's an older internet reference, as saying you're downloading movies off bittorrent may be enough for a court to convict you on - so back then people used to say linux isos :)

        • @zzymurgy: $10 phones run Bittorrent …allegedly…to download said iso's..sniff!

      • Use something like or just use newsgroups. Both of those should max the Telstra air connection.

      • That is hardly Team Australia!

      • le Linux isos xD

    • My home has full Telstra Air reception!! woohoooooooo

      • +11

        Until you realise that your modem IS where the signal is coming from? :)

        • +3

          Nah my SSID is called NBN

        • +1

          If you're With Telstra (and have a suitable modem) then it will be broadcasting secondary WiFi networks called Telstra Air and Fon WiFi.

        • @scubacoles: Oh I see, so I can connect to them?

      • Me too. Surprisingly better reception than my home wifi. Why would anyone want to share their wifi? What's in it for them?

        • +3

          You share your WiFi and in exchange your allowed to use other people's WiFi.

    • The Telstra Air hotspots can be found on this map:

      I'm really not sure what shows up on that map, because my modem isn't appearing on it, but some locations that don't seem like phone booths do show up, which seems to indicate that some home modems are showing up.

      • +1

        See the link here for home locations.

        • I compared the Telstra and the and the FON map is much better. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

          Looks like the Telstra map shows pink phone booths and maybe Telstra stores, but the FON map shows home modems

  • +3

    Still not available to Telstra Business customers.

    • +1

      You could always buy your own prepaid sim if you wanted to jump on this. They're something like $2.

      • Or…use your wife's (or other relative's) Telstra account on your business phone and laptop. :

        I'm a freelance consultant and Telstra Air is great when I'm in the CBD.
        U/L speeds are terrible but it comes in very handy when I'm working with a client that has restricted WiFi networks.

  • Where can I score $2 Telstra Sims? If so - Buy this and setup in neighbours backyard (nearest to WiFi Hotspot) and you're all set.

      • Score!
        Add this link to description for more upvotes!

      • +3

        Why not just put a raspberry pi near your fence and bridge the internet connection back to your house? :)

        • +7

          I actually did this (with an old laptop) after NBN stuffed up our ADSL to FttN NBN transposition…
          Worked great for 4 days (you have to log in again every 12 hours), but then the damn neighbors went on holiday and turned off their modem!
          Lived out the last few days on 4G before NBN finally got their crap sorted.

        • @scubacoles: Run a cable to a phone booth? Lol.

        • +4


          Damn selfish neighbours! :)

        • @warwickjames:
          Yeah and we got along great until then too!

        • +5

          @geek001: "Run a cable to a phone booth?"

          fiber to the booth ?

          talk about outsourcing the NBN rollout

  • +2

    Don't get overly excited. I have been using it since the free trial started. The coverage is very limited (eg. it's normally far away from any building/shop/station etc and even when it's close enough once you step into the building it's gone). The connection mechanism is not streamlined at all even with the Telstra Air app and you don't want that app running 24/7 anyway.

    I think I used less than 5G of data combined up to this point.

    • All the Telstra Air App does is setup the wireless connection, you don't need the app running to automatically connect to a hotspot. If the connection is slow its normally because the wifi signal is poor or you've moved through the coverage area too quickly for your device to identify the SSID and authenticate.

      • +1

        LOL, NO. All hotspots have the same SSID but you are required to obtain a new IP every time you connect. After that there is an additional login gateway (same as any other free wifi providers). This is not your normal SSID/Pwd authentication.

        The only reason you want the App is to get a seamless connection without having to type in your Telstra ID / Password every time you drop-off. It's also supposed to log you in automatically whenever a hotspot is in range so that you can maximise your free usage. However, it's so poorly implemented that it never does any of those.

        • MadMax is correct. All hotspots show as both Telstra Air and Fon WiFi (because it's the same thing). The app is supposed to automatically connect and authenticate you as soon as the signal is strong enough, but at the moment it's so horrible that they have no chance of going live until they fix the app. Half the time it does nothing even when the signal is sufficient. No sane user would put up with having to do secondary authentication using the browser at every hotspot. Even that is slow when the bandwidth is sufficient, there are lots of redirects between Fon and Telstra. Their dataflow diagram must look awful.

  • +4

    I've got a feeling that this isn't working as well as Telstra Marketing hoped and it might just end up being perpetually free!

  • +5

    go in front of a telstra shop. the speed there is insane. i managed to do 24megabytes per sec on speedtest. just bring ur laptop and update ur steam library there.

    • Not all stores have it yet and some that do, well it isn't very fast.

      Having said that, over in Whirlpool some users have obtained over 200Mbps symmetric from a store.

      NOTE: the connection speed from home Air connection is limited to 2Mbps/1Mbps and only one user.

      • Why do you say that it's only one connected user from home Air connection? I just tested this myself and was able to connect multiple users. Currently it shows "SSID: Telstra Air, Number of Connected Users: 3" on my device. I just connected two of my devices, and someone else is the third connected user.

        The 2/1 speeds seems correct.

        • What type and speed of connection do you have?

        • @not a bargain: We're on the 100/2 Speedboost on Cable, so actually I think limiting guests to 2 Mbps down is a bit of overkill.

    • Any idea of the stores?

      • All Sydney CBD stores have a great connection…..I save up my iOS app updates which now can be 2GB at a time and Telstra Air via a store has them downloaded in a few seconds - insane speed.

  • Signed up when this deal first came about, maybe last year or so….from a $2 sim.

    Never found anywhere a Telstra air WiFi works.
    I must never be anywhere near one of the 1000 spots

  • Ripper tune boris

  • -1

    Anyone else in NSW been offline with Telstra Eastern Sydney area

  • it would be great if they spent just as much time on mainting their cable network, been down for 3 days now ! back to the stone age for impacted ..

    • Me too… wtf is doing on its insane.

  • Do you just login to your Telstra account?

  • Was originally slated to end last month but has been extended to next year.

    (I think the OP might have meant end June, but it's already Aug so last month is July.)

    Actually it was extended once already, to Sep 30. They seem to have put in more APs, and the extension will mean more. I see more WiFi hats on payphones and happen across APs in residential neighbourhoods. Great, so I'll keep watching movies from my neighbour's AP. Great return for a bargain 50c SIM bought last Christmas.

    • Thanks for demonstrating why Telstra Air is a bad deal and why I won't switch it on. Your neighbours don't get a bargain. They lose a good portion of their bandwidth to you.

      • It's their choice, they signed up for it, and it's up to the QoS algorithm to decide who gets how much. I've noticed that the best times are late at night when there is less contention. Busy times, speeds too frustrating for streaming but ok for updating software as you can leave it going.

        • @syousef: How would I know and why would I care? Caveat emptor and FWP.

        • +4

          @syousef: Telstra Air usage does not contribute to the owner's own usage of the service.

          The initial marketing spiel for Telstra Air was that if you had a Telstra home Internet service, then you could also use your own account/bandwidth allocation when connecting to other Telstra Air services (either payphone/store hotspots, or other Telstra air services connected to home services).

          The primary issue now is that anyone can buy a $2 sim and get the same features. This issue also contributes to your own decision not to include your own home device in the service.

        • @camreeves: I think syousef was concerned about the bandwidth. It all depends on how the QoS allocates bandwidth. I've noticed that on SBS movies on demand the rate will sometime slow due to contention.

          Currently it's free because the service is half-baked. It needs critical mass. After next March, if they don't extend, I'll have to be a subscriber, with the quota coming out of my allocation, or buy a pass to use the service.

        • @greenpossum:

          Critical mass is key.

          The basic idea is if you get Telstra Air for free you also volunteer your own connection as a trade off. The algorithm will manage the connection and if you're on a slow ADSL link you won't have Telstra Air active - I am sure they have set a bandwidth minimum before your home connection starts broadcasting an Air connection.

          Also remember you need to sign up to a bundle including Telstra Air for it to become active on your own service - it hasn't just been switched on across the country.

        • +1


          I am sure they have set a bandwidth minimum before your home connection starts broadcasting an Air connection.

          That's hilarious. I've got a TIO complaint in because Telstra can't even source decent firmware that will keep Telstra Air off if you switch it off on their flagship cable gateway device. One of several bugs.

          One of many threads here:

        • +1

          @syousef: I have one of their 'flagship' gateway devices and the firmware is indeed pathetic, a couple of features I wanted aren't working.

        • @leTintin:

          I pushed far enough that actual managers (not customer support staff) are aware of the issues I believe, and I've provided enough details for them to replicate some of the issues. They say they're working on it. But honestly who knows. It's a shame. The hardware is actually quite good with workarounds in place. One of those workarounds is to turn off the DHCP server and use a second device because the software can't even honour static reservations.

        • @syousef: That's not how QOS works… It will drop the Air packets if they are interfering, and set an increasing backoff timer that drops more packets.

        • @camreeves: Interesting how that would be implemented.

        • @greenpossum:

          I think that is an SBS problem. I have seen it. Nothing wrong with my connection more than 60Mbps available at the time.

        • @fruit: No different or difficult to any other accounting of Internet usage based on authentication of a session.

        • @not a bargain: The bandwidth indicator does show a drop in the bandwidth and it happens much less late at night so I believe the modem is throttling my connection.

        • +2


          Good luck with the QOS working on a modem/gateway device that can't do the basics properly.

          The flagship C6300BD doesn't honour static DHCP requests, setting guest and main subnets to the same IP causes dropouts (when they should be independant), likes to set the network to open if you re-enable a password on your wireless and turns the Telstra AIR and FON hotspots on even if you don't have them activated if you have wireless mesh turned on.

          I find the down votes and the faith that QOS works so brilliantly on Telstra devices amusing.

        • @syousef: BTW there is no such thing as a "static request", however the DHCP server can elect to offer prespecified IP addresses. It's not a feature that's always available and certainly one would expect it in an expensive router as it's useful for pinning down the address of a server.

        • +1


          Technically it's a "Static DHCP reservation" resulting in a "Static DHCP lease". I am simply typing on the run. All but the cheapest nastiest home equipment offer it. This is 2016, not 1996. Some devices don't work well if assigned random addresses each time. Especially if you're talking about mixed networks with various operating systems including phones and gaming systems.

          If a set address is required for a device, the other way to do it is to statically assign the address on each and every device, then exclude the range you're using for the manually set devices from the list the DHCP server assigns. If the server doesn't honor that and tries to set an address that a device is already using you get a collision and everything goes to hell. Before you put "everything goes to hell" in air quotes by that I mean your devices don't talk to each other properly. The device may try to reach either device or neither. You can get devices passing things back and forth trying to reach the 2 devices. It's a mess.

        • @syousef: There are in-between ways. Nearly all routers support a restricted range, sometimes user specified, sometimes hardwired. As long as your device's static IP is not in this range, the router's leases will not interfere. You can have a mix of dynamic and static IPs on a subnet. I do it. In fact I disabled my router's DHCP server and run a DHCP server on my workhorse. I really should migrate the DHCP server to my DD-WRT router, but since I have my workhorse on 24/7, I haven't been fussed about it.

        • @greenpossum:

          All ways require a DHCP server that behaves itself. I don't trust the one on the C6300BD so I switch it off and use my old WRT54GL. I shouldn't have to.

        • @camreeves: But isn't the same modem counting data for the subscriber and Telstra Air users separately?

    • +1

      Haha yes. I do the same thing. Moved into a new place that hasnt got nbn installed, have never bothered to set up my own nbn connection/accoubt cause i can use my neighbours air. Also helps that i work weird hours so im not using their bandwidth when they want it but get excellent speeds to stream netflix etc!

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