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Windows update pc pitstop port macquarie

Courtesy of Microsoft Corp

Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software.

End of Support

End of Support refers to the date when microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available updates or service pack installed. Without micorosoft support, you no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. 

Windows XP

Latest update or service pack: Service Pack 3

End of mainstream support: April 14, 2009

End of extended support: April 8, 2014

 

Windows Vista

Latest update or service pack: Service Pack 2

End of mainstream support: April 10, 2012

End of extended support: April 11, 2017

 

Windows 7

Latest update or service pack: Service Pack 1

End of mainstream support: January 13, 2015

End of extended support: January 14, 2020

 

Windows 8

Latest update or service pack: Windows 8.1

End of mainstream support: January 9, 2018

End of extended support: January 19, 2023

 

Windows 10

Latest update or service pack: N/A

End of mainstream support: October 13, 2020

End of extended support: October 14, 2025

 

Support for windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates

All updates are cumulative, with each update build upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to insall the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices.

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14.7 million pixels.
And the power to do beautiful things with them.

 

 

And this for Apple: http://www.apple.com/au/imac-with-retina/

And this for Dell: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/189342-dell-unveils-5k-desktop-monitor-with-almost-2x-the-pixels-of-your-puny-4k-display

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It is the year Back to the Future II predicted sneakers would lace themselves and kids would fly about on hoverboards.
Technology in 2015 technology may fall short of those lofty goals but there is still much to anticipate, from virtual reality to smart motorcycle helmets and, yes, at least one hoverboard.

We peer into the crystal ball to deliver 10 top technologies to watch next year:

  • Virtual reality headsets
  • Apple Watch
  • Windows 10
  • Hendo Hoverboard
  • Samsung Project Zero
  • Fitbit Surge
  • Skully AR-1 Motocycle Helmet
  • Google Glass Revisited
  • Jawbone Up3
  • Netflix

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/top-technology-to-watch-in-2015-from-hoverboards-to-wearable-tech-and-the-gadgets-we-really-want/story-fnda1lbo-1227159730194

 

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Follow Social Beat

#Facebook comments just got more interesting. You can now comment using stickers on timelines, groups & events :)

0

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Follow The Future of Technology

rfid-tag

RFID Tags – Making Things Talk to Each Other

Internet of things is going to be the next big thing. According to an estimate, the IoT industry touches $7 - $19 trillion by the 2020 and a report by Gartner says that there will be 26 billion devices connected by Internet of Things by 2020.

RFID technology is going to play a significant role in the boom of this upcoming industry. RFIDs can be the agents of complete digitization.

Lets dig the some of the few areas where this tech will be utilised in future.

Check here -http://greybmusings.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/rfid-tags/

#rfidtags#rfidtechnoloogy#IoT

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gallery-parkmate-gallery

ParkMate

Pocket

lfttt

Sooner

SwipetimesTime Tracker

Pushover

http://smarter.telstrabusiness.com/6-time-saving-apps.htm

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cloudrain

With all the security concerns about the cloud and Dropbox, is it worth ditching Dropbox and setting up your own personal cloud?


Read more: http://www.bit.com.au/Guide/365066,is-it-time-to-setup-my-own-personal-cloud-instead-of-using-dropbox.aspx#ixzz39ZAqP8Xx
 
.

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Despite Setbacks, Moving Forward in Clean Tech

 


eSolar

 

When environmental history is written, 2010 could be seen a disaster for the clean technology industry. The year dawned just after the disappointment that was December's U.N. global warming summit in Copenhagen, where the nations of the world failed to produce a comprehensive treaty to cut carbon emissions — the sort of agreement that could have given business the long-term confidence to invest in clean tech. It didn't help that the overblown controversy known as "climategate" — which involved allegations of fraud by climate scientists — undermined trust in global warming science, letting skeptics back into the debate. Worst of all, the Senate failed even to vote on a bill that would have capped U.S. carbon emissions and produce a market designed to kick start clean tech. In America, at least, green tech seems to have gone backwards.

But that's a myopic view. In Europe, which already has a carbon market, investment in clean energy — including wind and solar — isn't going away. China has emerged as a major player in clean tech, investing hundreds of billions of dollars in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In doing so, it's positioning itself to lead the world in the industry of tomorrow. And even the U.S., for all its political problems, hasn't stood still: the Department of Energy, under Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, has begun directly supporting innovative clean tech companies and pumping more money into basic research and development. Most important, the U.S. — and especially Silicon Valley — is still home to what might be the world's most innovative entrepreneurs in clean tech. These folks are not short of smart ideas, as you'll see here.

  • Recycling e-Waste
  • Algae Biofuel
  • Algae food
  • Thin-film Solar
  • Molten Salt Storage
  • Solar Tower
  • Custom Biofuels
  • Electric Cars
  • Smart Meters
  • Lithium-ion Batteries
  • Fuel Cells
  • Rooftop Wind Power
  • Tidal Power
  • Green IT
  • Green Concrete
  • Green Building Materials
  • Modular Nuclear Power
  • Artificial Photosynthesis
  • Waste to Energy
  • Biochar
  •  

     

     

    READ FULL ARTICLE >>> HERE <<<

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    Reversible USB cable design shown off for first time

    Article from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26868531

    USB design
     
    The new designs will put an end to inserting a USB cable the wrong way round

    A new design for USB - a standardised connection for data transfers between electronic devices - has been shown off for the first time.

    The new connector will be reversible, bringing an end to the everyday irritant of trying to force a USB cable in the wrong way.

    The images were first published by technology news site The Verge.

    The USB Implementers Forum anticipates the new designs will be finalised in July.

    But rollout of new ports will take some time as manufacturers gradually incorporate them into their products.

    New USB socket
     
    The smaller port resembles Apple's Lightning port

    The new Type-C standard will be similar in size to the current MicroUSB connector, typically used for charging mobile phones and cameras.

    The first USB cables were released in the mid-1990s and, until now, could only be plugged into a computer or other device one way round to ensure a data connection.

    Other improvements to the new cable include:

    • Support for scalable power charging, allowing the cable to offer up to 100 watts
    • Data speed transfers of up to 10 gigabits per second, double what is possible at the moment
    • A promise that the new design will accommodate further upgrades

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    The Digiumk Switchvox PABX phone system is a great step in the right direction for unified communications. It does a lot of what the bigger PABX phone systems cannot at a pretty good price point. Digium Switchvox is the perfect phone solution for small to medium sized businesses or call centers.

    We started with Asterisk Free then tried a few different free versions like elastix and freepbx but landed well with the free version of switchvox free home edition.
    As our business grew the home version simply wasn't enough. We knew this when we started but needed to get the feel for the system before committing and spending the dollars on a complete solutuon.

    The overall setup of Switchvox is very straight forward but one area that tripped us up was the sound manager in switchvox.

    Sound files for the system are very picky of the file types and compression settings. This is because the telephone systems that Switchvox connects to - like the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), the mobile telephone networks (GSM, 3G, 4G), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) have very narrow sound channels that hi fidelity (Hi-Fi) sounds recorded staright from our computers and devices cannot handle and pass through correctly.

    To get around this we used Adobe Audition to convert and set the sound files to basically a lower standard of sound that will have no problem of working through these various systems. (You could use other free programs as well to convert)

    The settings we found that worked the best for switchvox was to set the sounds to 8Khz Mono WAV Files (on the free version we had to make OGG files). This does take a lot of the crispness and bass out but allows the sounds to work fine through all the different telephone systems.

    When we didnt have the settings right, our customers complained of choppy sound and missing sound from menu options. It was all fixed with using the correct settings.

    Another intersting thing we found is that sound files sometime insert Metadata at the end of the files. When we sounds were played through the phone system to customers - sometimes they would hear cracks and pops. By removing the Metadata setting when saving the file - the sounds worked fine. This is because Switchvox converts the file to its own settings in the phone system and seems to do a poor job of handeling the metadata which is usually located at the end of the sound file.

    I hope this has helped others out there troubleshoot and provision their sound on the Digium Switchvox PABX.

    Best of luck!

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    $299 3D printer achieves Kickstarter goal in minutes

    Article from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26945020

    M3D printer

    The 'cheap' M3D printer may be the first one to appeal to a mass market
     

    An ultra-cheap 3D printer has hit its Kickstarter goal in just 11 minutes, with some lauding it as the first mass market version of the technology.

    Makers M3D have currently raised over $1m (£597,000) well ahead of their $50,000 target with 28 days to go.

    Early backers will get the machine for just $199 and other backers can pledge as little as $299.

    Dubbed Micro, it comes with easy-to-use software that allows users to search, drag and drop objects to print.

    Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website that has breathed life into a range of technology projects, including the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which was subsequently bought by Facebook for $2bn.

    'Exciting thing'

    At just 7.3in (18.5cm) square and weighing 1kg (2.2lbs), the device will be easy to move around. It can be used with Windows, Mac or Linux.

    The Micro with software

    Users can choose a design to make.

    It comes with software that allows users to search and browse objects online. Once they have picked something they would like to print they drag it into the printer and hit print.

    "It's our goal to make the Micro accessible to everyday users," reads the pitch on Kickstarter.

    The tagline on its Kickstarter page calls it "the first truly consumer 3D printer".

    Some believe that it could be a game changer.

    "Along with the market entry of New Kinpo I think it's one of the most interesting things to happen in desktop 3D printing," said expert Joris Peels.

    "New price points and lower pricing will be key in getting people to buy a 3D printer. Not many people can afford to pay $2,000 for a printer but many more can try one for $500 or $300," he added.

    The team hope to be able to start shipping the machines in August.

    While those supporting the device on Kickstarter will get it for $299 or below, a retail price has not yet been set although it is expected to be "within the same price bracket" according to a company spokeswoman.

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    5 things you need to know about cloud, that you might not know already

    5 things you need to know about cloud, that you might not know already

    Still getting your head around the cloud and whether it can help you at work? Here is an introduction to some basic questions you should be asking.

    As part of our coverager of the cloud and how it can help you, we invited Kris Hansen, technology manager at GFI Software to submit this guest column. Disclaimer: GFI has been an advertiser on the BIT website.

    1. You'll still need your IT support

    Even though your hardware (and software) will be off your hands you’ll still need access to expertise to configure and manage your cloud based services and accounts.

    How do you find the right solution? Who can you contact to ask questions? What if it stops working? Managed service providers (sometimes called cloud service providers) can be your contact point to get the most out of cloud services and keep them running smoothly.

    Consider Google Apps, a popular cloud service to host IT services like email, websites and documents. The price might be attractive, but you don’t have a number to call for support when you need it. Other providers may not offer support during your core business hours.  Having an IT Expert who is well versed in the cloud services you need is a necessity.

    Having an easily accessable IT Expert who is well versed in the cloud services you need (and knows of more you may want) ensures the service is configured for your business.

    2. You need a way to migrate your existing data

    Unless your first day running in the cloud is the first day you’re open for business you will need a way to export all of your company data from the old way you stored it, to the cloud storage. Data can come in all shapes, it could be a excel spreadsheet you keep, it could be a storage file in a local application you use or it could be a directory full of text files such as sales receipts and job notes. This data must be identified then converted into a version the cloud solution understands, and then uploaded.

    Always ensure that the cloud solution can migrate your existing data and how much time and money this migration of all your data will cost.

    Don’t forget to also consider how you get it all back again if you need to? In order to change service providers in the future, or to retrieve your data for sharing with 3rd parties a cost effective, bulk retrieval method must be available to “get your data out” when you wish.

     

    3. Its easy to try it out first

    Don't get me wrong, most services are better in the cloud but there are some compromises, which for your business may be a deal breaker.
     
    For example you may have a requirement to regularly transfer large amounts of data from your local computers into a custom system, your internet link may not be quick enough to provide cloud benefits, or should you have compliance requirements to locally store data. Apart from that, most of your current business applications can either be hosted on cloud servers or better, provided as a direct service to cut costs and increase capabilities. 
     
    Reputable cloud solution providers will provide free trials if you ask so you can test out the live solution on your company’s network before you go ahead. You can find out if you need to upgrade other parts of your network to allow for the service.
     
    Also compare a few different solutions before you pick the one that feels right for your company. With cloud services the setup time is minimal so trialling is very simple – experiment with a non-critical business function first to get a feel and remember, your on-tap cloud expert can help you identify and work around any such considerations.
     

    4. Due diligence… are you going broke?

    Many cloud service providers will boast, "It's so easy to get started with a cloud account, anyone can do it." The fact that cloud is great for easily expanding capacity without the cap-ex, of purchasing a new computer means you need to be diligent to ensure that your consumption remains under control. With cloud adding capacity can be as easy as ticking a box in your interface or sometimes just being billed for what you HAVE used. 
     
    For example, one of your staff members may want to buy some cloud file storage. The setup charge may minimal but an accidental upload of a large amount of data or even just a large amount of traffic may mean a larger bill next month you didn’t expect. 
     
    It’s important to have a well-managed process for controlling who in your business can order extra capacity. Negotiate with your service provider to place limits on your usage beyond which they’ll need to notify you and gain your sign-off; in the same way your mobile provider or your internet ISP notifies you when you reach various billing and usage thresholds.
     

    5. Regulation and compliance requirements in your industry.

    Data Privacy, Backup & Security are a requirement in most professional industries. However many Australian small businesses don’t know this until the auditor arrives at their doorstep.

    Cloud services can actually help you better achieve compliance in some instances, but you need to ask questions to your cloud provider to ensure you know where your data is stored along with how it is secured and backed up.

    Ask your cloud service provider to attest to which security standards they adhere to that can be referenced in any compliance reporting you’re on the hook for.

     

    Summary

    1.       Know what data you want to “move” into your new cloud services and make sure the company can help you get it there.

    2.       Retain the services of an IT support company for help and advice.

    3.       Try before you buy and ensure the cloud service is better than your current way of working.

    4.       Only authorise key staff to setup cloud services and have them stay vigilant over what's being spent. An existing service can easily be expanded, which may cost you more unnecessarily. 

    5.       Is the solution industry compliant? Know your requirements before you decide and choose a solution that can meet your industry requirements.


    Read more: http://www.bit.com.au/News/383168,5-things-you-need-to-know-about-cloud-that-you-haven8217t-been-told-already.aspx#ixzz30QLCDrrD

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    Posted by on in Tech News

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/privacy/23792/microsofts-scroogled-campaign-bites-dust-or-does-it

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/04/apple-mac-pro-australian-review/

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/04/irs-misses-xp-deadline-pays-microsoft-millions-for-custom-support/

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    Apple Replaces Ageing iPad 2 With 16GB iPad 4

    Apple Replaces Ageing iPad 2 With 16GB iPad 4

    Apple has re-introduced the fourth-generation iPad, replacing the ageing iPad 2 with a single 16GB version of the newer tablet.

    There aren’t any changes to the re-introduced device: it simply replaces the old tablet which still featured the old 30-pin connector, sitting as a budget option in comparison to the iPad Air . As a refresher, the fourth-gen iPad packed Apple’s custom dual-core A6X processor, a 5 MP iSight camera, and 1.2 MP FaceTime camera.

    The iPad 4 will cost $529 for the Wi-Fi model, while the cellular version will set you back $679. Both are available onApple’s website and in retail stores now. [Apple]

     

    CAN PC PITSTOP REPAIR IPAD 4's. SURE CAN! CALL OR POP IN TO TALK TO TRISTAN.

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    Doomsday for XP :: You could be under attack right now!

    4 dys until we say Rest in Peace XP.

    Are you ready for this?

    "Microsoft first said it was planning to end support for Windows XP in 2007. It has since been warning consumers and businesses an upgrade is necessary to keep their computers from being run over by a train of malicious software, or malware."

    READ MORE >>> http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/doomsday-approaches-for-windows-xp-users-20140319-hvkdg.html

    Windows-XP-End

    If you answer yes to any of the following questions, give us a call on 65 841 551, and as each situation has different variables we'll assess each accordingly and get your SORTED!:

    Arrow-Right-iconDo you run any specialised software or hardware that only runs on XP?

    Arrow-Right-iconDo you run software that needs a 32Bit operating system?

    Arrow-Right-iconDo you run a business and share files or printers between any Windows XP based computers?

    Arrow-Right-iconDo you run a business with new versions of Windows and Windows XP?

    Arrow-Right-iconAre you confused about what operating system is best for you?

    POINTS TO NOTE:

    - Unfortunately, going from Windows XP to Windows 7 and above is not just a simple upgrade. There are just too many differences between the versions of Windows.

    - A full migration of all your information needs to take place and you may need to purchase newer versions of software to compliment your computer (i.e Microsoft Office). All you programs and settings will be lost in the migration and will have to be setup manually again. It is a big job, but something the team here at PC Pitstop do every day. Our team are well equipped and will plan and work through with you to make the migration as smooth as possible.

    - Your printer or a piece of hardware may also be too old to run the newer version of Windows and an additional investment may need to be made there too. We must assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.

    - Additionally, our team can even come to your premises and spend the time to set everything up just the way you like it. We also go as far as offering one on one lessons to help you feel comfortable with your new system. ($85/hour instore, $99/hour at your premises)

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    scary-tech-concerns


    Security Scares & What They Should Remind You to Do


    The Apple iOS 7.0.6 Secuirty Flaw

    >>> READ ALL ABOUT IT <<<

    What You Need to Do Now: Update your iPhone right now. (Or after you back it up!) Then be diligent about backing it up and keeping it updated.

     

    Ransomware Computer Virus

    >>> READ ALL ABOUT IT <<<

    What You Need to Do Now: Get yourself an up to date version of Norton Internet Security from PC Pitstop; scan often and avoid illegal downloads and suspiscious links. Then Backup! Regularly.

     

    Every Single Social Media Scares

    >>> READ ALL ABOUT THEM <<<

    What You Need to Do Now: Go and set your facebook, twitter, etc privacy settings to Max; don't share your passwords nor connect with people you don't know; and avoid apps that have even a whiff of dodgy! (I'm looking at you facebook games!)


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    You Might Actually Be Able To Afford A 4K Monitor Soon

    4K-monitor

     

    Apple iPhone 5s vs 5c: which model should you buy?

    5s-vs-5c

     

     

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    IF THIS IS YOU, CHEK OUT THE FULL INFOGRAPHIC >>> HERE <<<
     .....and avoid #squareeyes!

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    1. BETTER CONNECTED WORKFORCES DO MORE IN THE FIELD

    Tablets, smartphones and Bring Your Own Device

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    THE STATS :: 83% of private sector organisations are likely to invest in mobility technologies in the future.

    READ MORE about it: http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/cisco-byod-improves-employee-productivity-lowers-enterprise-costs/2013-05-24

    THE PLUG :: PC Pitstop is the biggest repairer of smartphones and devices in the Mid North Coast - we have most devices out the door FIXED FAST the same day! Incredible. Don't trust your device to anyone else when your team is counting on you!

     

    2. SECURE ACCESS TO BUSINESS INFORMATION IN MORE PLACES

    Cloud services for data and software

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    THE STATS :: Of the 53% of Australian companies using cloud computng, 70% will increase their cloud budget significantly over the next 12months.

    READ MORE about it: http://betanews.com/2013/10/08/cloud-computing-is-it-right-for-your-business/

    THE PLUG ::

     

    3. REMOTE AUTOMATION OF SYSTEMS & PROCESSES

    Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology

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    THE STATS :: 12 to 50 billion devices could be M2M connected by 2020.

    READ MORE about it: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/08/08/3821104.htm

    THE PLUG :: PC Pitstop can configure exisiting systems to communicate machine to machine. Take advantage of this new technology with us!

     

    4. FASTER CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE & DEVICES

    Mobile broadband

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    THE STATS :: 46% of businesses said higher-speed mobile broadband would make them, or their employees, more likely to work remotely.

    READ MORE about it: http://smarter.telstrabusiness.com/technology/built-for-speed-faster-mobile-broadband.htm

    THE PLUG :: Talk to your friendly PC Pitstop technician about the best solution for you and your business, we'll even consult in plain english so you KNOW you're needs are rightly met!

     

    5. BETTER COLLABORATION AMONG TEAMS AT MULTIPE SITES

    Managed networks and video conferencing

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    THE STATS :: One third of small businesses would consider using video-conferencing rather than travelling to meetings.

    READ MORE about it:

    THE PLUG ::

     

    6. WELL-INTERGRATED SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT GROWTH

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    Scalable technology that future-proofs your business

    THE STATS :: 61% of productivity improvements to more effective customer communications.

    READ MORE about it:

    THE PLUG ::

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    Posted by on in Tech News
    HAPPY BOXING DAY.
     
    For those of you not shopping and not watching the cricket...here's some good news from LifeHacker:
     

    Planhacker: The Best No-Contract Phone Deal For Each Australian Mobile Phone Network

    Not only does signing up to a contract for a phone leave you stuck with the same network and handset for a full two years, it can often result in less data and call allowances than if you take a no-contract prepaid or month-by-month deal. We’ve eliminated the also-rans and come up with one clear recommendation for the best value no-contract deal on each of Australia’s main mobile networks.

    Phone picture from Shutterstock

    We ran a basic version of this list back in September, which made it clear that it’s a topic that interests people but that we needed to offer more detail. So this is an expanded and up-to-date version of that guide.

    The Rules

    These are the criteria we applied when selecting plans:

      • The plan had to be a no-contract deal, which means either a classic prepaid arrangement which you recharge every month or a month-to-month deal you can cancel at any time. It also couldn’t be tied into buying another service.
      • It had to offer a decent allowance for Australian calling, SMS and data.
      • It had to be priced at under $50 a month.
      • Ideally, the plan would offer 4G access, but we didn’t make that a compulsory requirement (since 4G phones will also end up on 3G some of the time).
      • We made one selection for each of Australia’s active networks: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Coverage varies, so which network suits you depends on where you live (and travel). We’re not aiming to list every prepaid plan from every MVNO provider here.

    If you need a really large amount of data, or are focused on being able to call overseas numbers, or only want to spend $20 a month, you’ll need to do more research and choose a different plan. However, if you’re paying $70 a month for a contract deal, you should crunch the numbers carefully. An outright buy and a no-contract plan is could well be cheaper when you factor in data allowances, which are typically very low on cheaper contract plans.

    Telstra

    Telstra’s broad 4G coverage means it’s a very popular choice, but it also charges a serious premium for data, which makes it difficult to find a plan that offers any reasonable amount of data. As we’ve noted before, this can be done via the Encore Cap deal — but it’s a confusing plan that requires careful explanation.

    Here’s how you can use the Encore Cap deal to get a decent calling and data allowance:

    • Buy the $50 recharge. This includes $950 worth of calling and texting credits for Australian numbers, and the ability to make free calls and texts between 6pm and 6am. While not as good as an unlimited deal, for calling and texting purposes, this should be more than adequate for most people. (And if you do use all the credit, you won’t be stung with excess charges; you’ll just have to recharge again.)
    • The problem with this plan on the face of it is that it only includes 800MB of data, which isn’t a lot. However, there is an option to add extra data without spending any extra money. Here’s how
    • As well as $950 for call credits, the $50 recharge also includes $50 of “recharge credit”, which you can spend on other services (such as dialling international or premium numbers). The important point here is that you can spend that credit to buy a $49 Browse Plus Pack, which adds 3GB of data to the 800MB you already have.

    When we’ve written about this plan before, many people have misunderstood and assumed you have to spend $99 a month ($50 for the cap and $49 for the Browse Plus Pack). That’s not how it works. That extra data can be paid for with the “recharge credit” which you are assigned when you spend the first $50.

    Yes, that’s a slightly fiddly arrangement. In particular, you have to ‘buy’ a new browse pack (via your mobile our computer) each month and can’t automate the process. Nonetheless, it’s easily the best-value deal on the Telstra network.

    Optus

    Our favourite plan here is Amaysim Unlimited . For $39.90 a month, you score unlimited calls and texts to Australian numbers and 4GB of data from a reliable, well-established provider. (It’s also a lot less fiddly than the Telstra arrangement described above while offering more value.)

    The one minor caveat is that Amaysim doesn’t currently offer 4G (and isn’t in a rush to do so. If 4G is essential, then the best choice is probably Optus’ $2 Day plan. That costs $60 a month if you use it every day (which puts it out of full contention given our criteria here), but you get unlimited calls and texts in Australia and as much as 15GB of data. Check out our detailed writeup if that’s of interest.

    Vodafone

    Vodafone’s best option uses a similar approach to that described for Telstra above, though it’s a little less generous. If you purchase the $49 Flexi Cap, you receive 3GB of data and $350 of “flexible credit”. (You also have $650 of credit for calling Vodafone numbers, but that’s not particularly useful for most purposes).

    One of the thing you can spend that “flexible credit” on is additional data packs. $8 scores you 350MB of data, and there’s no apparent limit on how many you can add, so this is a useful way of expanding your data allowance. However, there are no free calls or texts on this plan, so you need to balance what you spend on data with what you’ll need to spend on basic communications each month.

     

    PS. THE PLUG :: If you're one of those poor suckers (we've all been there!) who've dropped your phone or device over Chrissy, better come get it fixed! Call Tristan, 99% of the time he'll have it ready for you in less than 3hrs. #WINNING

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