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Best home wireless broadband plans
If you're ready to ditch the NBN and are looking for a new wireless internet plan, you've come to the right place
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- : TPG Home Wireless Unlimited
- : SpinTel 4G Unlimited Data Wireless Broadband
- : TPG Home Wireless Unlimited
- : Telstra 5G Home Internet
- : TPG 5G Home Broadband Plus
Did you lose the 'NBN lottery' at your address? The NBN is made up of a number of different technologies, where some are clearly better than others. This is what we call the ‘NBN lottery’ as you have no choice or control over which NBN tech will connect your home to the network.
If you find yourself on the end of a slow NBN connection, or in a house with no NBN, you may not be able to change it (without a lot of money) but you may be able to switch to something different entirely.
If you're looking for a way to access the internet that doesn't involve the NBN, your best bet is home wireless broadband, or perhaps even mobile broadband. If you get a decent smartphone signal at home, you may find this is the best option for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the best 4G (and 5G) home internet plans available to Australians.
Home wireless uses the same mobile network as mobile broadband and phone plans. The difference is, home wireless plans 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 to the numerous devices you will have connected. Almost every single 4G home internet plan you can get in Australia is capped to speeds of 20Mbps.
Best overall 4G home internet plan
TPG Home Wireless Unlimited
TPG takes out the crown for best overall 4G home internet plan thanks to the flexibility on offer. You'll get unlimited data at speeds of 20Mbps, and your first month free. After you'll pay $54.99 per month.
Th real value comes from the fact the plan is contract-free, and comes with the modem for free. If you want to leave, you can simply return the modem.
Whether or not 4G (or 5G, for that matter) home internet is good really 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.
Best 4G home internet plan - Optus network
SpinTel 4G Unlimited Data Wireless Broadband
If you want 4G home internet on the Optus network, SpinTel is our current winner. You'll pay $44.95 per month for your first three months, and $54.95 per month thereafter. This comes with 20Mbps download speeds and unlimited data.
You'll pay $30 upfront in device and shipping fees. If you leave SpinTel, you'll need to return the modem.
Here's how SpinTel's plan compares to other 4G home internet plans on the Optus network:
Best 4G home internet plan - Vodafone network
TPG Home Wireless Unlimited
Powered by the Vodafone network, it shouldn't be surprising to see our overall winner TPG show up here too. Once again, you'll pay $54.99 per month for unlimited data and download speeds of up to 20Mbps.
Here’s how it compares other 4G home internet options on the Vodafone network:
5G home internet an certainly replace individual NBN connections, but won't replace the need for the NBN.
Mobile networks are more prone to congestion than fixed-line networks like the NBN. Fixed-line networks simply have more capacity.
In the short term, providers like Telstra are even limiting the number of 5G connections they'll sell per post to ensure customers get reliable 5G home wireless speeds.
Best overall 5G home internet plan
Telstra 5G Home Internet
Telstra is our top choice when it comes to 5G home internet plans for three key factors.
Firstly, Telstra has the largest 5G footprint in Australia. It covers over 80% of the population, which increases the odds of you actually being able to get 5G home internet with Telstra.
Secondly, the plan has uncapped 5G speeds. When testing the plan, we've seen speeds over 500Mbps.
And lastly, the plan is $85 per month. That's cheaper than a lot of NBN 100 plans, and more affordable than Optus' uncapped plan.
The only catch you have to consider is the plan only has a 1TB allowance. While that's effectively unlimited for most, it may not be quite enough for super heavy downloaders.
This plan is contract-free. You'll just need to return your modem if you decide to leave to avoid paying a hardware fee.
Here is how Telstra's plan compares to other plans with download speeds of at least 100Mbps:
Best cheap 5G home internet plan
TPG 5G Home Broadband Plus
If you're after a cheaper 5G home internet plan, TPG is a great pick. It has an entry-level plan capped to speeds of 50Mbps - the same as an NBN 50 plan - for $59.99 per month. That's $15 per month cheaper than TPG's own NBN 50 plan.
This plan comes with its first month free, and doesn't have any lock in. If you want to leave, you'll just need to return your modem to avoid paying any hardware fees.
Here's how this plan compares to other affordable 5G options:
How to choose the best home wireless broadband plan
The key to finding a great home wireless internet plan is balancing speed and price.
Cheaper 4G home internet plans offer slower speeds than more expensive 5G home internet plans.
If you're not a demanding internet user, 4G home internet may be enough for you.
Households of three or more will want to consider at least at 50Mbps 5G home internet plan, however, if not faster.
Pros and cons of home wireless broadband
- No technician visits and delays
- Plug and play modem setup
- Can be more affordable than NBN
- Slower speeds than NBN
- Smaller range of providers to choose from
- More prone to congestion
As it is with most things, the advantages of Home Wireless Broadband are far more obvious than the drawbacks.
The fact that you can set up a brand new Home Wireless Broadband connection in minutes will come as a huge relief for anyone who has waited for weeks on an NBN technician’s visit. And we literally mean minutes; the last time we tested a Home Wireless Broadband service we timed it and it took just under three minutes.
On the flip side, home wireless broadband plans can't go as fast as NBN plans, have higher latency, and are more prone to congestion.
Best Home Wireless FAQs
Optus, SpinTel, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Vodafone, and Telstra all sell home wireless internet.
The big difference between home wirelss broadband and mobile broadband is the modem you use.
Home wireless broadband plans work with large WiFi modems like you’d get with an NBN plan. These modems can connect more users to WiFi at the same time and have Ethernet ports for directly plugging in computers. But the modem needs to be plugged into the wall for power, and it doesn’t have a battery, so you can’t take it on the bus with you.
Mobile broadband modems are exactly the opposite. These are small enough to slip in your pocket and have batteries so you can keep your connection when you’re out and about, but are mostly designed for a single user.
Mobile broadband plans also tend to have smaller download allowances, but uncapped speeds.
You'll need a 4G or 5G-ready modem to use home wireless internet. These modems are always included with your plan, however, so you won't need to think about which one you buy.
While 4G and 5G home internet plans are powered by mobile networks, they are designed to be used at a single nominated address.
If you are moving home, you will need to contact your telco to organise an address change.
If you do not do this, you may face consequences. TPG, for example, will disconnect your service if it identifies you're using it a different location than your home address.
Wireless broadband and WiFi are different. Wireless broadband is a way of connecting to the internet, while WiFi is the wireless network within your house that connects your devices to your modem.