Back in the day, mobile broadband plans were prohibitively expensive. They were almost exclusively reserved for always-connected corporate types with funny-looking dongles jutting out of their laptops. Thankfully, those days are now long gone.
While mobile broadband might have once been a luxury, data-only plans are now for everyone. A 5GB data-only SIM for a tablet will now cost you as little as $15 per month, or you can get a massive 200GB plan to replace your home internet for just $60.
Whether you want a small or large plan, we’ve picked out some of the favourite mobile broadband deals around. We’ll start with the highest inclusion plans first.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 200GB of data
These new Optus home mobile broadband plans are special in that they’re genuinely designed to replace your home internet connection. You’ll get full 4G speeds (typically between 20Mbps and 100Mbps) and data allowances comparable to a fixed line service.
The modem is free if you sign a 24-month contract and is more robust than a 4G hotspot – it even has Ethernet ports – but it needs to plugged into the wall.
If you’re still waiting on the NBN, these plans will quench your thirst for faster internet.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 80GB
If you’re looking for a more traditional mobile broadband plan that you can use at home or on-the-go, there’s now plenty of high inclusion options.
In terms of data-per-dollar, Optus is the best option with 200GB for $60 per month. This is similar to the home mobile broadband plans we mentioned above, but there are differences. The biggest is that this plan is SIM-only and can be used with whatever device you’d like, whereas the home mobile broadband plan requires a specific Optus-supplied modem.
If your Optus coverage is a bit patchy, you might want to consider Vodafone’s $60 per month 90GB mobile broadband plan, or Telstra’s $89 per month 90GB plan. Both these plans are sold on 12-month contracts.
If you’d prefer a month-to-month option, Jeenee Mobile will do 100GB for $65 per month with a $12.37 setup fee.
In most cases, these plans will require you to bring your own 4G modem. If you don’t have one, you can always throw the data-only SIM in an old phone or tablet and run that device in hotspot mode.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 50GB
50GB might not quite replace your internet connection if you’re a heavy downloader, but it could make an excellent stop gap if you’re moving house or going on a holiday where you won’t have reliable Wi-Fi access.
Dodo currently has the cheapest plan in this ballpark, offering 50GB for $40 per month. You will however need to sign a 12-month contract to get this deal. If you’d prefer something a bit more casual, OVO, SpinTel, and Jeenee Mobile will all do 50GB for around $50 per month on a month-to-month or prepaid basis.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 5GB
If all you want is a SIM to throw in a tablet or secondary device, a cheap data-only SIM is perfect. 5GB plans are now available for as little as $15 per month. Better yet, these teeny tiny plans are typically contract-free.
If you’re purely after the cheapest option, the Optus-powered plans from SpinTel are Jeenee Mobile are your best bet. Be aware that you’ll need to pay a small setup fee in both cases.
Alternatively, just $5 per month more will get you a 25GB allowance on Dodo. This does however require signing a 12-month contract.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s now had far too many phone plan related dreams.