How should I test 3G broadband on a train?

880U_BigPond_DSC2844[1] .jpgTelcos love to boast about the range of their 3G networks, but in practice the only way to tell if a service works well is to test it in as many places as possible. This week, I'm going to be travelling from Brisbane to Townsville on the Sunlander train, which strikes me as a great opportunity to see just how extensive Telstra's Next G network really is and how well it performs on the go. (I've regularly tested all the 3G broadband options on Sydney and Melbourne trains, but far north Queensland seems like more of a challenge.) As well as doing my regular work tasks (the train comes with power outlets), I'm also planning a few specific tests. There are some obvious challenges like using Skype, or uploading YouTube videos, but I'm also keen for ideas from Lifehacker readers. Which Net-dependent apps should I try out while speeding north? Share your ideas in the comments.


Comments

    I'm a fan of the basics. Find an address you can ping from 'Net and do a ping address -t

    I will be travelling from Darwin to Adelaide over the next couple of weeks and will be testing Optus 3G coverage with my iphone. I am hoping to upload photos to my blog map along the way, but I am expecting that this will be very hit and miss. I may have to wait until I get to Adelaide at the end of the trip!

    According to the Optus coverage map, 3G reception exists in Darwin and Adelaide, but not much in between.

    Streaming internet radio.

    It's OK on my all-stations line (suburban Sydney). It will be a challenge I think for the speed you are going. Increasing your player's buffer might help for a while, I think.

    ping www.google.com /t

    Start up a game of canasta on yahoo.com

    the platform was built sometime in the 80s and is likely to fall over when connected to cable internet. if you're going to test it, test it. shouldn't eat into your download limit too much.

    Try a LogMeIn/VNC/RDC connection to another pc that is connected.
    If it drops or lags you will see it.

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