A prepaid Next G broabdand dongle is a cost-effective way of getting Internet access, but annoyingly the supplied software doesn’t actually track how much data you’ve used, which is pretty important information when you’re being charged based on usage. A new update to Telstra’s Connection Manager more or less solves that issue.
The account information provided by the new prepaid software is a bit basic and is shown in a browser rather than the client itself, but it does show how much data you’ve got left and what your expiry date is. The install process is also a bit fiddly — the links to the file downloads are hidden in PDF files (which are hidden under the ‘Latest Connection Manager’ tab on the page linked below), and you have to uninstall the old software yourself first.
Despite that, keeping track of your usage is important enough for prepaid users that this is arguably an essential download. The software is available for Windows and Mac users, and is unmetered if you download using the dongle itself. Incidentally, Telstra attributes the lack of metering in earlier software releases to the fact that prepaid voice users only ever want to know how much money they had left, and no-one thought to change it when data entered the equation.