The best mobile broadband plans for data on the go

Need internet for your laptop, tablet or iPad on the go? Consider mobile broadband.
  • Best overall

    OVO X Large OVOBoom

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    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Largest data inclusions
    Data rewards for OVOPlay streaming
  • Best Optus

    $50 Data Plan M2M

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    4 out of 5 overall
    No lock-in contract
    Optus Sport subscription at no extra cost
  • Best Telstra

    $75 Large MBB Plan

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    4.5 out of 5 overall
    No excess data charges
    Data-free Apple Music and sports streaming
  • Best cheap

    $20 Mobile Broadband

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    4 out of 5 overall
    Affordable price for Optus network
    12-month contract

For those with patchy WiFi at home or who are constantly working on their iPad or tablet throughout the day on the go, you might want to consider getting mobile broadband.

How does mobile broadband work?

There are four types of mobile broadband: data only SIM (no modem required), pocket WiFi (4G WiFi modem), USB modem and home wireless (5G modem). The type you’ll want to choose will depend on how many devices you want to connect, whether you want it plugged directly into your power outlet at home or to insert straight into your laptop, tablet or iPad. 

For those wanting mobile broadband on the go, it would suit most users to either pick a data SIM for their iPad/tablet or a pocket WiFi modem to connect multiple devices while you’re out. For just plugging into a single laptop, consider a 4G USB modem. If you’re at home, consider getting home wireless.

So, there are heaps of plans to pick from, but which is right for your needs?

Let’s get down to the details.

Best mobile broadband overall

For those looking to use mobile broadband as an alternative to fixed wireless, you’ll probably want a heap of data capacity. Most users will find OVO’s X Large OVOBoom plan has plenty of data: for $79.95, you’ll get 250GB per 30 days. 

You’ll also get gifted back data you use streaming on OVOPlay for up to 10GB. Plus, if you’re already using the Optus network, you’ll be assured that OVO, as an MVNO operating on the entire Optus 4G network, should give you the same network coverage in your area.

For those that don’t mind committing to a 12-month contract plan, you can also consider Moose Mobile’s 250GB 12M Data SIM Plan for $66 per month. Note that since this is a data SIM plan, you’ll need to insert your SIM card directly to your iPad or tablet. 

If you don’t want to be locked into a 12-month contract, you could also consider the SpinTel 4G Mobile Broadband 250GB for $74.95 per month, which is actually slightly cheaper than OVO’s plan above and also uses the Optus network but comes without any extra perks. You’ll need to pay an extra $5 upfront for SIM card activation though. 

See more popular mobile broadband plans:

How to find the best mobile broadband plan

Essentially, before picking a mobile broadband plan, you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you have a compatible modem?

If you do, move on to Q2. If you don’t, you’ll need to either source one yourself or pick a mobile broadband (MBB) plan with a modem included. Ensure you pick a compatible device that supports 3G-850MHz, 4G 1800Mhz and 4G 700Mhz or 5G 3500MHz bandwidth if you’re in an area with 5G coverage. Here are some examples of available 4G WiFi modems and USB modems that offer free shipping from Amazon Australia.

2. How much mobile data do you (and your household) need?  

If you’re a light data user, 20GB to 30GB per month should be more than enough for most people to satisfy your streaming and browsing needs. For heavy data users, wanting to stream videos in 4K or who are using your device for work all day, you’ll probably want to look at plans from at least 60GB up per month.

3. Do you have a network preference?

Check whether the provider you’re considering has good coverage in your area(s). If you’re already with a provider, look out for any bundle deals they may be offering or you might want to stick with the same provider to make life easier. 

4. Do you want a no-lock in contract?

If you’re unsure about committing to a mobile broadband plan right now, it’d be wiser to stick with a month-to-month plan for the moment. If you don’t mind committing, you might be able to save yourself some dollars by picking a 12-month contract plan.

5. Are there any extras you value and will use?

For example, if you’re keen to get data-free or a free subscription to Apple Music or for sports streaming, you might want to pick Telstra or Optus for such perks which most MVNOs don’t have available.

6. Now you’re ready to pick the right mobile broadband plan for your individual needs.

Best Optus mobile broadband

Optus’ $50 Data Plan offers 75GB for $50 per month as well as an optional Optus Sport subscription at no extra cost, though it’s not data-free. You can opt to BYO modem or add a tablet or modem over a 12-month, 24-month or 36-month plan. 

75GB a month should still be sufficient for most people who are using their tablet on the go or connecting their laptop for a couple of hours a day at the most. Since the plan is month-to-month, you’ve got room to upsize or downsize your plan as needed.

Here are more popular Optus mobile broadband plans:

Best Telstra mobile broadband

Telstra’s $75 Large MBB Plan which provides 100GB for $75 per month is the most popular mobile broadband plan at the time of writing according to WhistleOut’s comparison engine. One big reason is that Telstra’s mobile broadband plans have no excess charges. Once your data allowance has been used up for the month, you’ll still be able to browse the net but at a speed cap of 1.5Mbps till your next bill cycle.

Another plus is you’ll get data-free Apple Music and sports streaming. You’ll also gain access to Telstra Air, which has over 1 million free Telstra WiFi hotspots across Australia as well as 19 million Fon Spots overseas. 

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Should you BYO modem or pick a modem bundle?

While you can opt to bring your own modem, be sure that you choose a compatible handset that supports 3G-850MHz, 4G 1800Mhz and 4G 700Mhz as well as 5G 3500MHz bandwidth.

Telstra also has a $15 Extra Small, $25 Small and $50 Medium mobile broadband plans so if you find you aren’t finishing your data balance at the end of the month, you can always consider switching to a lower-data plan.

Here are more popular Telstra mobile broadband plans:

Best cheap mobile broadband

Dodo’s 12-month contract 25GB plan for $20 per month is a great steal for those on a tight budget. As long as you don’t mind committing to this mobile broadband plan for at least a year and you’re not fussed about extra perks and benefits, Dodo could offer you the data you need at a very affordable deal. 

In comparison, on Dodo’s no-contract option which also offers $20 per month, you’ll receive 5GB less every month (15GB monthly in total).

If you’re a heavier data user, also consider Moose Mobile’s 12-month contract $36 for 50GB per month plan which is also a sweet deal with a similar tradeoff to Dodo’s plans mentioned above. 

Here are more cheap mobile broadband plans under $30 per month:

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

Still looking? Check out the best home wireless broadband plans.

READ REVIEW

Got a tablet or laptop? Check out the best data SIM plans.

READ REVIEW