Gone are the days where Aussies could only hope for a decent internet connection when their modems were plugged into the phone line – the country has some truly terrific home wireless broadband options available now.
If you’re not able to get a good cabled NBN connection, find yourself on the road a lot, or otherwise just want to look the best NBN alternatives, we’re here to help, with this page comparing the best NBN fixed wireless plans as well as 4G and 5G home internet and mobile broadband options.
Noteworthy home wireless deals
We’ve hand-picked our top plan recommendations below, but there are also some excellent discounts now available on NBN fixed wireless, 4G and 5G home internet plans:
- Tangerine: save AU$15p/m for 6 months on NBN fixed wireless plans (from AU$54.90p/m)
- TPG: 4G home internet for AU$54.99p/m (first month free)
- Optus: 4G home internet for AU$59p/m (first month free)
- Optus: 5G home internet for AU$69p/m (first month free)
Best NBN fixed wireless plans
Best NBN fixed wireless plan: our pick
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If you live in a regional, rural or remote area of Australia, you may not have access to a physical fixed line NBN connection, and that’s where NBN fixed wireless comes in. Just like fixed line NBN plans, fixed wireless connections are also available on different speed tiers:
- NBN 12: 12Mbps download / 1Mbps upload
- NBN 25: 25Mbps download / 5Mbps upload
- NBN 75: 75Mbps download / 10Mbps upload
The NBN providers which offer fixed wireless plans will have different speed tiers available, and different data limits too, so weigh up your needs when comparing options and know what you’re signing up for. Here is our recommendation for the best NBN fixed wireless plan, but you can also view the comparison tool below for more options.
This deal from Tangerine gets you an NBN fixed wireless plan with unlimited data and a typical evening speed of 23Mbps. You’ll pay AU$54.90 a month for your first six months on the connection, after which it raises to AU$69.90 a month ongoing, which is still the best option out there for this speed and data combo. Tangerine can provide you with a modem for AU$159.90, or you can bring your own.
Total minimum cost: AU$54.90 | Total cost for first year: AU$748.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$838.80
Best 4G home internet plans
Best 4G home internet plan: our pick
While mobile broadband connections are designed to be used on the move, 4G home internet plans give you an alternative to the NBN’s own fixed wireless plans by making use of a mobile network from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.
The modems provided with these plans will need to stay hooked up in your house, as they’re intended to be used in the home, not while you’re on the road. 4G home internet plans offer much more in the way of data compared to mobile broadband offerings, which you can read about further below.
Optus is our new pick for best 4G home internet plan. We recommend it because Optus offers a maximum download speed of 25Mbps on this plan, while competitors such as TPG, Spintel and iiNet max out at 20Mbps. With 25Mbps speed, Optus can match what the best NBN 25 plans offer, but keep in mind that your results will vary depending on where you live and other factors. You’ll get your first month for free, but you’ll need to pay the remaining cost of your modem (AU$216) if you leave within the first 24 months.
Total minimum cost: AU$216 (includes modem) | Total cost for first year: AU$649 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$708
Best 5G home internet plans
Best 5G home internet plan: our picks
A growing number of telcos now offer 5G home wireless plans, including Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Spintel and Vodafone. As is the case with 4G home internet plans, 5G home internet plans do without the NBN altogether, and make use of the major telco’s mobile towers instead. Because Telstra and Optus have wider-reaching 5G networks, these two providers tend to have the best 5G home internet plans.
If you want to maximise the fast download speeds that 5G can bring, then you might want a plan that can reach at least 100Mbps. This 5G home internet plan from Optus does just that, with maximum downloads of 100Mbps, and a typical evening speed of 87Mbps. It’s not the cheapest option at AU$79 a month, but Optus’ 5G network has proven to be a top performer in some reports. There are more affordable alternatives from providers using the Vodafone network, but its coverage isn’t as far-reaching.
Total minimum cost: AU$576 (includes modem) | Total cost for first year: AU$869 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$948
Telstra’s 5G home internet plan is one of the most expensive options in the market at AU$85 a month. Telstra says download speeds can range between 50Mbps–600Mbps, though the typical evening speed is quoted as 378Mbps – that’s a cut above the best NBN 250 plans. A drawback of Telstra’s 5G home internet is that it comes with a limited data cap of 1TB per month, which may not be ideal for gamers who frequently download games. For most people though, 1TB should be enough. You’ll get your first month on this plan for free, and if you do decide to leave within 24 months, simply return the modem or pay a non-return fee.
Total minimum cost: AU$0 | Total cost for first year: AU$935 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,020
Best mobile broadband plans
Mobile broadband offers people the ability to connect their devices to the internet via mobile data networks owned by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, instead of through the NBN. But unlike the 4G and 5G home internet plans we’ve outlined above, mobile broadband is designed to be portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
There’s a few ways you can get connected to the internet through mobile broadband, and it’s the same whether you want 4G or 5G speeds. Some plans come with portable modems, giving you access to the internet on the move, while others are designed to slot straight into your SIM-compatible device, such as an iPad with 4G capabilities.
Given that Telstra has the largest 4G and 5G networks in Australia, we’d argue that Telstra is a good choice for mobile broadband needs. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) which resell access to the Telstra network, such as Belong, are also strong choices. We’ve selected the most well-balanced plans on offer, but the comparison tool below will help you make your choice if it doesn’t suit your needs.
Best cheap mobile broadband plan: our pick
Optus is our new recommendation for the best cheap mobile broadband plan. It’s now offering double the data, so you’ll get 40GB each month instead of the usual 20GB. You’ll keep receiving 40GB every month for your first 12 months, before it reverts back to the standard amount. If you want to lock in this offer, you’ll need to sign up by May 21. This price only includes a SIM card, but you can add a portable modem for an additional price.
Total minimum cost: AU$20 (excluding modem) | Total cost for first year: AU$240
Best big-data mobile broadband plan: our pick
If you want a big chunk of data to use while you’re on the go, it’s hard to look past this plan from Belong. You’ll get 100GB a month for AU$35, and because Belong uses parts of Telstra’s 4G and 5G network, you should get decent coverage across the country. Your download speeds are capped at 100Mbps, which is excellent too. Just note this plan comes in the form of a SIM card, so your device will need a SIM card slot.
Total minimum cost: AU$35 | Total cost for first year: AU$420
- Telstra vs Optus NBN: which has better wired broadband?
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Jasmine Gearie is an ecommerce editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers cut through the jargon to find the best mobile and internet plans for their needs. She crunches the numbers to maintain dedicated guides to the latest phones, NBN and broadband plans of all types, and covers the important telco industry news. She also hunts down tech deals on laptops, phones, gaming consoles and more, so readers know where to buy the products they want for the cheapest prices.