When you think of internet connectivity for your home, it’s easy to feel that the
is the be-all and end-all. Everyone else seems to have it, so it must be the best option, right? Not necessarily.
In fact, when it comes to home internet solutions, you have a few options.
Especially if you live in an apartment, have a small household or just want a bit more flexibility and convenience.
Your two main alternatives to the NBN are home wireless broadband and mobile broadband. Both use 4G mobile networks to get you online, and the data allowances can exceed 200GB.
Sure, that’s not going to be quite enough to suit everyone, but for those who don’t need mountains of data, they can be an excellent alternative.
Here’s everything you need to know about mobile broadband and home wireless broadband, and some of the best plans on offer right now.
Home Wireless Broadband
Home wireless broadband plans, as the name suggests, are designed for home use. This means the modem needs a constant power source, but is usually quite robust and has extras like Ethernet ports.
The below plans are all contract-free, meaning you can leave whenever suits you. Most offer 200GB of data, but some like
, Internode, and
offer unlimited data. The catch is that the data is capped at a speed of 20Mbps, but for general internet use and streaming, that’s usually fast enough for most users.
Better still, TPG, iiNet, and Internode are all offering the first month free when you sign up. You also won’t pay a modem fee on these plans - but if you leave within the first 24 months, you’ll just need to send it back. So if you don’t need lightning-fast internet for say, gaming, then these home wireless options can be a great alternative to the NBN.
By the way - SpinTel is powered by the
network, and TPG, iiNet and Internode are powered by the
Mobile broadband is an internet connection that’s similar to the type you get on your smartphone. Most are powered by 4G networks, have similar prices to a standard mobile plan but usually offer a bigger data allowance but don’t include phone calls or text.
Mobile broadband comes in the following forms:
SIM Only Mobile Broadband
You don’t even need a modem for this one. You just purchase a SIM card from a carrier, pop it into your tablet or laptop (providing they have a built-in modem) and hey presto - you’re online.
Have a look at some of the SIM Only options:
If your tablet or laptop isn’t a 4G-ready model, then you’ll need a portable modem option for your mobile broadband.
You can opt for a USB modem, or dongle, as a good, affordable option for connecting a single laptop online. Most people however choose a portable WiFi Hotspot modem, which creates a private WiFi network and can connect multiple devices at the same time.
Here are some USB modem options:
And some portable WiFi options:
Kate Reynolds is Digital Content Editor at
, Australia’s mobile and internet comparison site.