The best NBN alternatives

Feel free to ditch the NBN with these data-heavy alternatives.
  • Best NBN Alternative

    Spintel Home Wireless

    500GB included data
    $59.90 p/m (no contract)
  • Runner Up

    Optus Home Wireless

    500GB included data
    $75 p/month (contract options)
  • Best Mobile Broadband

    Optus $25 Data SIM Plan

    50GB included data
    $25 p/m (no contract)

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.

Home wireless broadband and other mobile internet options are available and 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 NBN alternatives available to Australians.

Best NBN Alternative

Spintel Home Wireless Internet

Spintel streak ahead with a great price on its Home Wireless service with 500GB of data — which should be enough for most households. It runs on the Optus 4G Plus network, so people with an Optus phone service will have a good idea about how the Spintel Home Wireless plan will work for them.

The plan is no contract, which is great for testing out the service, but you will need to buy a modem; which Spintel can provide as part of your plan setup costs.

If you don’t feel like you need 500GB of data per month you can opt for the cheaper plan with 200GB for $49.95 per month.

Our advice? Check how much data you typically use with your current provider before switching to home wireless broadband.

Runner Up: Optus Home Wireless Internet

Optus is the most well-known name in Home Wireless internet, and though you will pay slightly more each month, you do get some extra flexibility.

All Home Wireless internet plans require a special modem to use them, and this isn’t something most of us have lying around the house. In general, you should expect to pay about $200.

Unlike most of the other providers, Optus offers the option to sign up for a 24-month term and get this modem for free. Otherwise you can choose a month-to-month obligation and pay $216 for the modem upfront. If you sign up for the two-year term you may find Optus offers a discount on your monthly bill as well.

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What is Home Wireless Broadband anyway?

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. In Australia, 4G speeds typically hit around 33 Mbps, but can also achieve well over 100Mbps in certain areas, too (which blows ADSL2+ out of the water).

Best Telstra 4G Home Internet

Telstra Upfront Data Plan Large

While it’s not technically a home wireless broadband plan (Telstra still needs to catch up), Telstra does offer mobile broadband, which is essentially a data-only SIM card that can be placed in a compatible dongle or device.

Telstra’s Large plan is a good alternative for those who need a little extra coverage, and if that’s your primary concern, there are a few other Telstra MVNOs doing good deals on data. The only issue is, Telstra MVNOs don’t typically offer data-only plans.

Still, there’s a decent selection of Telstra-powered mobile plans that you can tether from in a pickle. Here are some of the most popular.

Best 5G Home Alternative

Optus 5G Home

While it’s only available in select areas, Optus is slowly rolling out 5G across Australia. There are already a number of towers that have switched on 5G and Optus is selling 5G modems to eligible customers.

Optus is currently selling its Home 5G at $70 per month, for unlimited data with included Nokia 5G modem. Check it out over on the Optus website.

Will 5G replace NBN?

Currently, Optus is experimenting with mind-blowing 5G home wireless plans that offer unlimited data on a slick 50 Mbps connection for just $70 per month. That’s stunning value for a home wireless plan but only a handful of Australian suburbs are currently serviced by Optus 5G.

Head over to the Optus website to check if you’re suburb is one of the lucky few.

There’s also no telling if Optus will continue to sell 5G at a steal once the rollout is complete.

What does 5G mean for the future of NBN? Well, it’s hard to say.

Both broadband technologies can be impacted by a wide variety of environmental and infrastructure issues. NBN speeds can take a hit if there’s congestion on the network or if your retail service provider hasn’t purchased enough CVC in your area. 5G home wireless speeds will be subject to the same old network coverage issues of any other mobile technology (i.e. distance from the tower).

Best 4G Mobile Broadband

Optus $25 Data SIM plan

If you’re opting for mobile broadband over home wireless, our guess is that you don’t need too much data and want to save a bit of money on your monthly bill. Luckily, there are still providers offering decent deals on data-only SIM plans designed to be used on the go.

If you’re looking for an even better mobile solution, head over to our guide for the best pocket WiFi and WiFi dongles available.

If that’s not your pace, here’s a small handful of month-to-month 4G mobile broadband plans.

Most popular NBN plans

Maybe it’s not the NBN itself, maybe you just haven’t found the right plan for you. If speed’s a worry, there are currently some great deals on NBN 100 plans. Take a look at the table below at the most popular NBN 100 plans this week.

What can you do about slow NBN?

As we mentioned above, a major factor in the performance of your NBN connection is the technology used to get the internet to your house. While this is true, there are some other things to check before you give up on the NBN. Things like the modem you are using, it’s position in your home, interference from other wireless devices, like cordless phones. We’ve put together a guide on how to diagnose slow internet problems with our best tips on getting your connection back up and running.

When do I have to switch to the NBN and is it compulsory?

Simple answer: No, it’s not compulsory. Though the NBN rollout is intended to replace the ADSL network in your area (which will be unavailable after a specified cut-off date once NBN is live), you are not required to sign up for an NBN plan. With that said, it could be your best option. We’ve discussed a lot of NBN alternatives in this guide, but realistically, NBN could actually be your best option for broadband if you’re looking for a good value unlimited plan.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

Decided to stick with NBN? Check out the best plans


If you're after a sweet deal on mobile, we've got those too.

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  • John Anderson

    Hi , Im currently a Telstra cable customer. I get unlimited data for $69 per month. My download speeds alternate between 110-130mps with upload at 4.7mps and ping speed 12ms. Telstra keep calling me to change me over to NBN which I refuse because my understanding is the best download speed I will get is 85mbps and that during peak times this could half. So Im looking at possibly 50% of my current performance at a higher price !!!! I can’t believe that in this day and age we could be going backwards !!! What should I do if I want to maintain these sorts of performance speeds ( is there anything I can do ??) Is 5G an option ? ( I dont have 5G enabled mobiles !!! ).