Best 4G home internet plans Australia: Your NBN alternatives

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

Alex Choros
Group Reviews Editor
Read More
November 30, 2022
3 min read

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If you’re unhappy with your NBN plan, you may want to consider 4G home internet as an alternative. Powered by the same mobile networks as our phones, 4G home internet is an affordable, easy way to get online that bypasses the NBN entirely.

In this guide, we'll look at the major 4G home internet plans available in Australia, as well as a few other NBN alternatives.

4G home internet plans

4G home internet plans are best thought of as being roughly equivalent to an NBN 25 plan. The vast majority of 4G home internet plans have unlimited data and speeds capped to either 20Mbps or 25Mbps. For comparison, 25Mbps is the maximum speed you'll get on an NBN 25 plan.

Optus is the only provider that offer 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.

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.

Conversely, you'll want to avoid a 4G home internet plan if you're a gamer or regularly download or upload large files.

These plans all come with a modem similar to the one you'd get with an NBN plan.

Here's a look at the 4G home internet plans you can get right now:

Is 4G home internet any good?
Light Bulb

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.

5G home internet plans

If you're looking for something a little bit more robust, you may want to consider 5G home internet instead. While 4G home 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 80% of the Australian population. Optus is second best, followed by Vodafone.

SpinTel 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.

What is home wireless internet?

Home wireless internet is a broadband connection powered using the same mobile networks your phone connects to instead of a fixed-line network like the NBN. Depending on coverage in your area, you can either get plans on a 4G mobile network, or a faster 5G mobile network.

How does 4G home internet compare to the NBN?

4G home internet plans are roughly equivalent to an NBN 25 connection. You'll get maximum speeds between 20Mbps or 25Mbps, depending on your provider, and unlimited data.

4G home internet has the benefit of not requiring installation. After you receive your modem, you can be online instantly. 4G home internet can also be a little more affordable than a similar NBN 25 plan.

On the other hand, NBN plans can be a lot faster. You can get plans as fast as 1Gbps if you're on the right technology type. NBN plans also have faster latency which is a must for online gaming, and are less prone to congestion than mobile networks.

FAQ

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, it may not be suited for more demanding users.

How fast is 4G home wireless internet?

Most 4G home wireless plans are capped to speeds of 20Mbps.

Is 4G home internet faster than the NBN?

4G home internet speeds are slower than most NBN plans. 4G home internet plans are similar to NBN 25 plans, but that's the second slowest NBN speed tier.

Do 4G home internet plans come with a phone line?

4G home internet plans don't include a phone line. You'll need to make calls using your mobile.

How much doe 4G home internet cost?

4G home internet plans cost between $50 and $60 per month, on average.

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.

Do I need a modem for 4G home internet?

All 4G home internet plans include the modem you'll need to get online.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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