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Best 4G home internet plans Australia
Feel free to ditch the NBN with these 4G home internet plans.
If you’re unhappy with your current internet plan, you may want to consider 4G as an NBN alternative. Powered by the same mobile networks as our phones, 4G internet (also known as home wireless broadband) is an affordable, easy way to get online that bypasses the NBN entirely.
In this guide, we'll look at the major 4G internet plans available in Australia, and let you know which one is the best NBN alternative.
Best 4G Home Internet Plan
Optus Plus Everyday Basic 4G Plan
🔥 Deal: Get the first month for $0
✓ How we picked this plan:
- We ranked 4G internet plans with unlimited data by price and selected the cheapest one with the fastest speed.
If you want to get the most out of a 4G Home Internet plan, the Optus Plus Everyday Basic 4G plan is the way to go. It's got no contract, no data caps and a higher speed limit than all the other options. It's only $10 more expensive than the standard pricing of the cheapest comparable plan.
Optus is the only provider that offers 4G home internet plans with speeds of 25Mbps. Every other provider - including TPG, iINet, Vodafone, and SpinTel - has a slightly lower speed cap of 20Mbps. For comparison, 25Mbps is the maximum speed on an NBN 25 plan.
The only potential snags here are that you do have to factor in an extra $216 to pay out the cost of the modem if you leave before your first 24 months are up and the fact that it does rely on Optus' 4G network for coverage. If you live in an area with notoriously iffy coverage from Australia's second-biggest mobile provider, then maybe this plan might not make sense.
Even if this is our pick for the best 4G internet plan in Australia right now, it isn't going to suit the needs of every Aussie. For a sense of what an NBN plan at the same price can offer, check out the widget below.
Cheapest 4G Home Internet Plan
SpinTel 4G Unlimited Data Wireless Broadband
🔥 Deal: Get the first three months for $39.95 per month rather than $49.95 per month.
✓ How we picked this plan:
- We ranked 4G internet plans with unlimited data by price and selected the cheapest one.
The SpinTel 4G Unlimited Data Wireless Broadband plan is the cheapest 4G Home Internet plan available in Australia before you factor in promo pricing. It costs $49.95 per month and includes unlimited data and speeds of up to 20Mbps.
Unlike many other providers, SpinTel gives you the option of renting your modem rather than buying it outright. If you take advantage of this offer, you'll pay an extra $4 per month but you won't be hit with any big surprise hardware fees if you leave before the end of the first 24 months.
In addition, new SpinTel customers also get a $10 discount on their first three months. That brings the cost of this plan down to just $39.95 per month for the duration of that honeymoon period.
4G Internet Plans compared
Here's a look at the 4G internet plans you can get right now:
Pros and cons of 4G home internet
4G home internet plans use the same mobile network as mobile broadband and phone plans and are designed to be used as a home broadband replacement with bigger download quotas and sturdier Wi-Fi modems to deliver a more robust internet connection.
The vast majority of 4G home internet plans have unlimited data and speeds capped at either 20Mbps or 25Mbps. These plans also have the benefit of not requiring installation.
If there are only one or two people in your household, speeds of 20 to 25Mbps could still be all the speed you need. 20Mbps is fast enough to stream 4K video on Netflix, for example. That said, you'll want to avoid a 4G home internet plan if you're a gamer or regularly download or upload large files. When it comes to speed, these plans are roughly equivalent to an NBN 25 plan.
However, many NBN plans can reach much higher download speeds. NBN plans also have faster latency which is a must for online gaming and are less prone to congestion than mobile networks.
Are there any other NBN alternatives
5G home internet plans
If you're looking for a faster NBN alternative, you may want to consider 5G home internet instead. While 4G-based internet plans max out at 25Mbps, the slowest 5G home internet plans you can get start at 50Mbps.
There are currently three 5G home internet speed tiers available: 50Mbps, 100Mbps, and uncapped. 50Mbps and 100Mbps plans are equivalent to NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans, respectively. On the other hand, uncapped plans can go as fast as network conditions allow.
In our testing, we've seen speeds over 300Mbps on Optus' 5G uncapped home internet, and speeds of over 400Mbps on Telstra.
Of course, you'll need to have 5G coverage to get a 5G home internet plan. Telstra has the widest 5G network, covering over 81% of the Australian population. Optus is second best, followed by Vodafone.
SpinTel and Yomojo 5G home internet plans are powered by the Optus network, while TPG, iiNet, and Internode are all powered by Vodafone.
These 5G home internet plans have a 50Mbps speed cap:
These 5G home internet plans have a 100Mbps speed cap:
And these 5G home internet plans are uncapped:
Mobile broadband plans
Mobile broadband is another 4G-powered internet solution, but it isn't designed to replace your home internet connection in the same way that 4G and 5G home internet are.
Mobile broadband plans tend to have much smaller data limits, although there are now a couple of plans with 400GB. As such, mobile broadband plans are better suited for those who need a dedicated internet connection on the go, or a backup connection.
Here's a look at SIM-only mobile broadband plans with at least 70GB:
You'll need to pair these with a portable modem (also known as a pocket WiFI). Providers like Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone all offer these. Alternatively, you can also put your mobile broadband SIM in a tablet or an old phone.
Is 4G good for home internet?
4G home internet is roughly equivalent to an NBN 25 plan, making it a good internet option for households of one or two people. While these speeds are fast enough for most online activities, they may not be suited for more demanding users.
Whether or not 4G (or 5G, for that matter) home internet is good also depends on network coverage where you live. If you're in a metropolitan area with solid coverage on your phone, chances are you'll have equally good coverage for your home internet. On the other hand, if you're in a black spot (or live in a rural area), you might be better off with a fixed wireless NBN plan or satellite internet.
How fast is 4G home internet?
Most 4G home wireless plans are capped at speeds of 20Mbps. However, real-world speeds may vary based on network congestion and your specific coverage conditions.
Is 4G home internet faster than the NBN?
4G home wireless plans are similar to NBN 25 plans, but that's the second slowest NBN speed tier. If you're looking for a fast internet connection, you might have to bite the bullet and go with the NBN or try out another NBN alternative like 5G Home Internet.
Do 4G home internet plans come with a phone line?
4G home wireless plans don't include a phone line. You'll need to make calls using your mobile. If bundling a home phone into your internet plan is important to you, then this particular NBN alternative might not be the right fit.
How much does 4G home internet cost?
4G home internet plans cost between $50 and $60 per month, on average. If you count discount pricing, the cheapest plans start around $40. If you don't, then expect you're looking at paying as little as $49.95 per month for a 4G internet plan.
Is there an installation fee for 4G home internet?
4G home internet doesn't have an installation fee, but you may need to buy a modem upfront in some cases. After you receive your modem, you can be online instantly.
Do I need a modem for 4G home internet?
All 4G home internet plans include the modem you'll need to get online. However, the cost and capabilities of that modem can vary from provider to provider.
Most providers will throw in a modem when you sign up and let you keep it if you stay longer than 24 months. If you leave before then, you'll usually be charged a hardware fee equivalent to the cost of the modem that's then reduced proportionately based on the number of months you've been with that particular internet provider.
As an example, here's how much select providers charge for a modem:
- Spintel: $230
- Kogan: $139
- Yomojo: $179
- Optus: $216
- TPG: $192