Despite all of the hard work going into the NBN rollout, fixed-line internet isn’t going to be the best internet solution for every household. Depending on how many people there are at home, and how much you use the internet, you might find that going mobile is an awesome option.
You’ve got a few choices for mobile broadband these days. You can get ‘Home Wireless Broadband’, which are products that try and simulate a fixed line connection with bigger data inclusions and a full-size WiFi router. Or you can use a portable mobile broadband modem, like a pocket-sized WiFi hotspot.
There are pros and cons with each, like speed limits on Home Wireless Broadband, and the cost of mobile broadband, but in general all options are worth a look if you plan on ditching the NBN.
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For a full-speed Data SIM, you don’t need to pay more much, but you won’t get nearly as much data. Considering that you’d pay $70 per month for an NBN plan, the Jeenee Mobile and Amaysim plans are both great value.
If you’re already an Optus phone customer, you get a $10 per month discount on mobile broadband, plus all of the other benefits, like music and video streaming, and cheap tickets at the cinema.
All of the plans above are for SIM cards only, so you’ll need to sort out a portable modem, or dig an old phone out of the drawer to use as a hotspot. You need to keep an eye on excess data use as well. Many offer 1GB top-ups for $10, like phone plans, but others have fixed per MB rates. Either way it would get mighty pricey if you go over your limits.
Home Wireless Broadband
If you take a look at how much data you actually use, you might be surprised to learn that 200GB to 250GB is enough. Even if you watch Netflix a fair bit, you’d still squeeze in about 60 hours per month.
You do need to keep two things in mind before signing up. All of the plans above operate on the Optus mobile network, so you need good Optus coverage at your house. And, all of the plans are speed limited to 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. I’ve tested this out before and it is fine for all of the standard internet applications I use, like Netflix, gaming, etc, but it might not be the best idea if you regularly download big files, like digital copies of games, or need to send large files for work.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.
This story has been updated since its original publication.