The best broadband plans for working from home

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With broadband speeds getting faster and connections more reliable, more and more employers are offering flexible working arrangements to employees. Working from home – full time, part time, or every now and then – has become a convenient way to balance professional and personal obligations, providing a helpful alternative for parents, students, or anyone needing a break from the stress of commuting.

If you’re fortunate enough to have flexible work or study conditions, you’ll need a reliable and fast internet option, either for your home or on-the-go. Luckily, there are several broadband types available that combine affordability with portability, making it easier than ever to get work done outside the office.

Flexible working internet options:

Mobile broadband plans

HTC 5G Hub

Instead of being locked into a fixed-line internet plan that’s only available at your home, you may want to consider the flexibility of mobile broadband. A mobile broadband plan uses the same 4G or 5G cellular network as your mobile phone, but can connect to other devices such as your tablet or laptop. Mobile broadband plans are data-only, but are great for anyone needing an easy, portable, plug-in-and-go internet connection both at home and away.

If you’re a student, renter, or someone who’s constantly working on the road or out of the office, mobile broadband could be right for you. Most mobile broadband plans are powered by a SIM card, which can be inserted into your device or portable modem, or a dongle that plugs straight into your laptop (or any other USB-enabled device).

While most providers only offer mobile broadband on 4G and 3G networks, 5G service is now available from Telstra. As Telstra 5G is only live in limited major-city areas, coverage will vary, and you’ll also need Telstra’s new 5G Hub in order to access the network via a mobile broadband plan.

Telstra is currently offering a monthly discount on its Small, Medium, and Large mobile broadband plans. Customers will receive either a $10 or $15 monthly account credit each month for their first 12 months, saving you up to $180 over a full year. This offer is available now through to 6 April, 2020.

Telstra 5G mobile broadband

Telstra’s HTC 5G Hub was the first 5G-capable device available to Australians, and can be paired with any of Telstra’s mobile broadband plans on a 24 or 36-month contract. The Hub offers mobile access to both 5G and 4G networks where available, with Telstra’s 5G network now live in 32 cities and towns across Australia.

The below table features all published Telstra mobile broadband plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance. These do not include device payments for the HTC 5G Hub or any other Telstra device. These are products with links to a referral partner.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $25 over one month

20GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $50 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $75 over one month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

More about Telstra’s 5G Hub

The Telstra 5G Hub can connect up to 20 devices over Wi-Fi, as well as support a 1GB ethernet connection. If you’re not in a 5G-covered area, you can still use Telstra’s 5G Hub with its 4G service, or pair a Telstra mobile broadband plan with a 4G-only device, such as Telstra’s 4GX WiFi Pro or the 4GX USB dongle.

Currently, Telstra is offering access to its 5G network free to all customers with 5G-capable devices. However, from June 2020, smaller tier plans will revert back to 4G-only, unless customers pay an extra $15 per month for continued 5G access. In this case, Telstra mobile broadband customers on Extra Small and Small plans will need to pay the additional $15 each month for 5G, but customers on Medium and Large options can continue to use 5G at no extra cost.

4G mobile broadband options

If 5G is not yet available in your area, there are still plenty of 4G mobile broadband options available, across a variety of data allowances and price points. Many mobile broadband plans are available on a month-to-month basis, and you can even find prepaid options if you’re worried about bill shock.

We’ve highlighted several mobile broadband ranges from selected providers in the below table.

OVO Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published OVO mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Small

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $49.95 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $49.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Large

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $64.95 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $64.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom XL

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $79.95 over 30 day billing period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $79.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $25 over one month

20GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $50 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $75 over one month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Vodafone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

5GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $180 over 12 months

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

25GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $360 over 12 months

25GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

60GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $540 over 12 months

60GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $720 over 12 months

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Amaysim Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of  published Amaysim mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 7GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15 over 28 day billing period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $25 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $45 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 240GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

240GBMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared

The following table shows a selection of published 100GB mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $720 over 12 months

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Large

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $64.95 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $64.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 100GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $70 over 28 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $75 over one month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Home wireless broadband

Nokia 5G Modem

If your home isn’t yet NBN-ready, or you’ve had issues with your existing NBN or fixed-line connection, you may benefit from a home wireless broadband plan. Like with mobile broadband, home wireless uses your provider’s 4G or 5G mobile network to connect your devices; however, plans are designed to be used in a fixed location, rather than on-the-go, and usually include larger data allowances, plus a router to enable multiple devices to connect at once.

Essentially, home wireless broadband serves as your primary home internet, rather than as a complement to your existing broadband service. As with mobile broadband, many Australians are turning to home wireless as an alternative to unsatisfactory ADSL connections, or as a stopgap measure while they wait for the NBN.

Most home wireless plans include a modem or hub, rather than the SIM card or dongle you’ll usually get with mobile broadband. However, this can vary between telcos – your service provider will let you know how you’ll connect at sign-up.

Optus 5G home broadband

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area covered by Optus’ new 5G network, you may be eligible for the telco’s unlimited data 5G home broadband plan. Priced at $70 per month on both month-to-month and 24-month options, this plan includes a Nokia 5G modem and comes with a minimum speed guarantee of 50Mbps.

If you do opt for a no-contract Optus 5G broadband plan, be aware that you’ll need to pay a $200 set-up fee that isn’t required on a two-year contract. Keep in mind also that Optus’ 5G network is still only available in limited areas, but 4G mobile broadband plans make a great substitute while you wait.

The following table shows selected published Optus 5G home broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Home Broadband (24 months)

  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $1,680 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Home Broadband (month-to-month)

  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • $200 setup fee
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $270 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

4G home wireless broadband

5G not yet available in your area? You can still sign up to a 4G-only home wireless broadband plan. These plans are available Australia-wide, and usually offer data allowances of 100GB or more each month.

We’ve highlighted several home wireless broadband options from selected providers in the below table.

Southern Phone Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Home Wireless 50

  • Includes WiFi modem
  • Optus 4G wireless broadband network

min. cost $1,279 over 24 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Home Wireless 70

  • Includes WiFi modem
  • Optus 4G wireless broadband network

min. cost $1,579 over 24 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Optus wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

4G Wireless Broadband 200GB

  • Includes: B8 18 modem

min. cost $1,560 over 24 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

4G Wireless Broadband 500GB

  • Includes: B8 18 modem

min. cost $2,040 over 24 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Yomojo Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Yomojo wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

Home Wireless Broadband Plan

  • $169 Huawei 4G B525 Modem upfront cost

min. cost $228.90 for the first month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

Home Wireless Broadband Plan

  • $169 Huawei 4G B525 Modem upfront cost

min. cost $248.90 for the first month

500GBMax Data**/billing period $79.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Spintel Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Spintel wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Spintel Logo

Basic Home Wireless Broadband Plan (12Mbps)

  • $145 upfront for NetComm WiFi modem ($20 P&H)
  • $100 account credit

min. cost $764.40 over 12 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $49.95Advertised Data^^/billing period
Spintel Logo

Home Wireless Broadband Plan (High Speed 4G)

  • $145 upfront for NetComm WiFi modem ($20 P&H)
  • $100 account credit

min. cost $884.40 over 12 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59.95Advertised Data^^/billing period
Spintel Logo

Home Wireless Broadband (High Speed 4G)

  • $145 upfront for NetComm WiFi modem ($20 P&H)
  • $100 account credit

min. cost $1,064.40 over 12 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $74.95Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Exetel Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Exetel wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Exetel Logo

Home Wireless Broadband month-to-month plan

  • $189 upfront for WiFi modem ($20 P&H)
  • Download speeds up to 12Mbps

min. cost $278.00 for the first month

250GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Data^^/billing period
Exetel Logo

Home Wireless Broadband 12 month plan

  • $94.50 upfront for WiFi modem ($20 P&H)
  • Download speeds up to 12Mbps

min. cost $942.50 over 12 month plan period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

NBN plans

Despite the controversy, the NBN still remains a fast, effective, and reliable home broadband option for the majority of Australians. However, if you’re looking for a plan that offers quick speeds, low latency, and quality performance during high-traffic periods, you’ll probably want to consider the higher NBN speed tiers.

Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)

For Australians looking for an all-round option that’s great for everyday use and can support multiple simultaneous connections, Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) is your best bet. With a maximum download speed of 50Mbps, and maximum uploads of 20Mbps, most plans on this tier come with a typical evening speed of over 40Mbps during peak hours (7pm to 11pm), and faster speeds during the day. NBN 50 is also considered the ‘hero’ speed tier by most telcos, so this is where you’ll often find the best deals.

Almost all NBN 50 plans are available with unlimited monthly data, and depending on your provider, you may also be given the option of ditching the contract and going month-to-month, often without set-up fees. You can also generally bring your own modem, or opt for a pre-configured modem/router provided by your telco.

In the event that there’s an NBN outage or issue, several providers also offer 4G network backup. Vodafone’s WiFi Hub and Telstra’s Smart Modem both automatically switch customers to each provider’s 4G mobile network during outages at no extra cost.

Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)

If you’re looking for a truly fast and congestion-proof connection, and don’t mind paying a little extra each month, you may prefer to upgrade to Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100). With maximum download speeds of 100Mbps, and uploads to 40Mbps, NBN 100 typically delivers evening speeds in the 80Mbps region, but this obviously varies by provider.

Premium plans are obviously pricier than Standard Plus, but are a great option if you need to send or receive large amounts of data, join video calls or conferences, or require ultra-HD streaming.

Image: Creative Lab/Shutterstock

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