Best internet deals in Australia for most people
When our dreams of a future-focused national broadband network were dashed, Australians were left a little disgruntled by what seemed like the only option for many: the NBN. It was such a disappointment to many that “do I have to switch to NBN?” became a commonly asked question on Google. A fair question, but even though ADSL2+ is on its way out in Australia, telcos have begun shifting focus to home wireless Internet and mobile broadband solutions, with the promise of widespread 5G on the horizon.
Here are the best Internet plans and connection types in Australia for most people.
Our top picks were last updated in March 2021. If you’re looking for a more regularly updated round-up, check out our best NBN plans page.
Best Internet Deal – NBN
Tangerine XL Speed Boost NBN
If you follow our monthly picks for Australia’s top contenders in the NBN market, you’ll be familiar with Tangerine Broadband. For speed and value, Tangerine delivers month in, month out, consistently ranking as one of the best Internet providers in the country. And its XL Speed Boost NBN Plan is always a solid choice for folks looking for unlimited data, sufficient speeds (NBN 50), and no long-term commitment at a reasonable monthly price.
Thanks to an ongoing promotion, this plan comes at a discounted price for the first six months. But the plan is no-contract, and switching NBN providers is easy, which means you can always change plans once the price goes up.
Next best internet deal – NBN
SpinTel NBN Unlimited Plus
SpinTel has really upped its game in the last year, combining high speeds with unlimited data and a low ongoing cost. While its promo price ($59 per month for the first six months) isn’t quite as good as Tangerine’s (above), it reverts to one of the lowest-cost NBN 50 plans on the market at just $64.95 per month.
It’s a completely contract-free plan, so even if you want to do a bit of promo price-hopping, you can leave at any time and switch to a better deal if you’re no longer getting your money’s worth.
For the sake of comparison, here’s a small selection of this week’s most popular NBN plans with at least 50GB of data.
Best Internet Deal – Home Wireless
SpinTel High Speed Wireless Broadband 500GB
If you can’t get NBN, or you don’t want it, there are some solid alternatives on the market these days. Primarily the recent push into home wireless broadband from providers like SpinTel.
These plans utilise the same 4G network as your mobile phone plan using a modem that’s intended to be kept in the house. This allows for the super-fast speeds of mobile 4G without any need for an NBN installation.
SpinTel home wireless runs on the Optus 4G mobile network. And our most recent speed test on Optus Home Wireless 4G managed 78.4Mbps download and 7.33Mbps upload speeds, which is pretty decent. Of course, the speeds you can achieve at home will vary depending on factors like your home equipment and the mobile signal at your premises.
The only downside is that you’re subject to the same outages and inconsistencies of the mobile network, and Home Wireless plans typically have capped data (e.g. 200GB or 500GB per month).
As it stands, SpinTel is offering one of the best home wireless deals right now.
Next Best Internet Deal – Home wireless
Optus 4G Home Internet Everyday 500GB
If you prefer the confidence that comes with going with a name-brand, this home wireless deal from Optus is your best bet. Optus was perhaps the first Australian provider to offer home wireless plans with uncapped speeds and huge data allowances and continues to be a popular choice. You can sign up for a 24-month contract and get a modem included in the cost, or pay month-to-month with a large upfront cost for the modem. Feel the need for speed? Optus also has some 5G home wireless plans on offer with unlimited data from just $75 per month.
If you’re looking for more alternatives, here’s what’s popular this week.
Best Internet Deal – Mobile Broadband
Telstra Upfront Data Plan Large
If you need a portable Internet connection, whether you travel for work or leisure, coverage might be a more critical factor for you than someone settling in with home wireless. That’s why our top pick is Telstra’s Large Upfront Data Plan.
It’s not the most economical Internet connection, but it’s the most reliable for people travelling outside of metropolitan areas.
If you’re after a mobile broadband plan, we’d recommend sussing out your best options for pocket WiFi modems and WiFi dongles.
Next Best internet Deal – Mobile Broadband
Optus $50 Data SIM Plan
If you mostly travel to areas with ample Optus coverage, you could save a little cash with its $50 plan. It’s a great alternative to Telstra if the Optus 4G network gets you by just fine and comes with a very decent 150GB of data.
To give you an idea of how those mobile broadband plans stack up, take a look at this week’s most popular plans with 50GB or more.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the difference between NBN, home wireless and mobile broadband?
Not sure which technology is right for you? We get it – the world of internet plans is a pretty complex one, so let’s break it down.
We’ve all heard of the NBN by now – it’s Australia’s National Broadband Network, built over the last decade with the aim of providing all Aussies with fast, reliable Internet. While there have been a few hiccups on the road to the project’s completion, today, it’s the most popular connection, reaching more than 12 million homes and businesses.
Home wireless, on the other hand, runs on the same 4G and 5G networks as our phones. While that generally means it’s capable of achieving high speeds (often higher than the NBN itself), it comes with the same pitfalls as your mobile data. That means factors like coverage, network congestion and outages can impact your service.
Finally, we have mobile broadband. It’s essentially the same as home wireless, but where home wireless runs on a stationary modem placed somewhere on your property, mobile broadband is just that – mobile. That means you can take it with you wherever you go and as long as there’s coverage, you’ll have Internet access.
Which should I pick?
While the NBN is the best connection for most, it may not suit everyone as the speeds you receive are highly dependent on the technology used to connect you to the NBN (i.e. FTTC, FTTN, FTTP and HFC). If you’ve been left unsatisfied with your NBN service, a home wireless plan could be the solution you’re looking for. However, it’s important to check network coverage in your area before committing to anything.
In a similar vein, mobile broadband is a good option for those looking for an NBN alternative in areas with decent network coverage. Also, due to its portable nature, you can take it with you on commutes, road trips and events and always stay connected. On the downside, mobile broadband (and home wireless, for that matter) rarely offer unlimited data plans. That means you’ll be capped to a certain amount of GB, after which you may be charged for excess data.