Home Wireless Broadband vs NBN

With the initial NBN rollout essentially complete, and many existing users set to get upgrades across the country before 2023, it’s safe to say that the once contentious Australia-wide internet connection is now the most common way to get online. That being said, there are some people who prefer not to use the NBN, or might not have a fixed line connection available at their home. Thankfully, alternatives exist, with one of these being home wireless broadband.

Home wireless broadband is an internet type that uses 3G, 4G and even 5G signals to connect your home to the internet, unlike the NBN which primarily uses fixed-line wire connections dug in the ground. It’s worth comparing the two types to find the right one for you as although they achieve similar results, one might be a better pick than the other. Let’s jump into the comparison below.

Home Wireless Broadband vs NBN: The key points

  • Home wireless uses existing mobile networks (3G, 4G and 5G in some areas)
  • Home wireless works straight out of the box – simply insert your SIM card and plug the modem into the wall
  • Depending on the type of NBN connection at your place, you may need a technician to visit your property
  • Home wireless broadband plans typically come with smaller data allowances than NBN plans
  • Widely available NBN download speeds reach up to 100Mbps, whereas home wireless users with 4G coverage will have to settle for slower speeds of around 20-30Mbps

What’s the difference between home wireless broadband and NBN?

A wireless modem plugged into a wall
Home wireless broadband uses a SIM card inside a stationary modem plugged into a power socket.

The main difference between home wireless and NBN is that home wireless uses mainly 4G and 3G mobile signals to get you web surfing, whereas the NBN uses fixed line connections, which travel directly to your home from nodes across the country.

Other differences include costs and plan structure. While most NBN plans include unlimited data, you’ll find that almost all home wireless broadband plans using 4G and 3G signals are data capped.

Another difference is the modem. Home wireless and NBN each use a different type of modem, so if you’re changing from one to the other, you’ll likely have to get yourself a new device.

Below you’ll find some examples of home wireless broadband plans from across the market.

Home Wireless Plans

iiNet Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published iiNet home wireless broadband plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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

Home Wireless Broadband Liimitless Plan

  • Up to 20Mbps speed
  • $0 set up fees and no lock-in contract
  • $0 premium WiFi modem
  • Special offer: one month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $59.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $59.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

TPG Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published TPG home wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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

Home Wireless Broadband Unlimited Plan

  • Up to 20Mbps speeds
  • $0 setup fee with no lock-in contract
  • $0 home wireless modem
  • Special offer: First month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $54.99 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $54.99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus 4G Home Internet Plans

The following table shows a selection of Optus 4G Home Internet 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
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Lite 200GB (24 Months)

  • Includes: B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0003
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $1,416 over 24 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Lite 200GB (Month-to-Month)

  • $216 upfront modem cost for B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0003
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $275 (incl. $216 modem cost) over first month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Everyday 500GB (24 Month)

  • Includes: B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0002
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $1,656 over 24 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Everyday 500GB (Month-to-Month)

  • $216 upfront modem cost for B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0002
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $285 (incl. $216 modem cost) over first month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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

  • $79 upfront WiFi modem
  • Optus 4G wireless broadband network

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

200GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Southern Phones Logo

Home Wireless 70

  • $79 upfront WiFi modem
  • Optus 4G wireless broadband network

min. cost $1,759 over 24 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Tangerine Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Tangerine 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
Tangerine Logo

200GB Plan

  • Optus 4G Plus Network coverage
  • Optional modem from $259.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $59.90 per month for first 6 months, then $69.90 ongoing

min. cost $59.90 over first month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $69.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Tangerine Logo

500GB Plan

  • Optus 4G Plus Network coverage
  • Optional modem from $259.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $69.90 per month for first 6 months, then $79.90 ongoing

min. cost $69.90 over first month

500GBMax Data**/billing period $79.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Tangerine Logo

1000GB Plan

  • Optus 4G Plus Network coverage
  • Optional modem from $259.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $89.90 per month for first 6 months, then $99.90 ongoing

min. cost $99.90 over first month

1000GBMax Data**/billing period $99.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

What about NBN plans?

If you’re using the internet for high-bandwidth purposes with heavy data usage, the NBN might be the better choice for you. NBN plans are sold by speed tiers, which we’ve sorted in the table below, selecting plans from across the market. Alternatively, you can use our comparison tool to search for plans yourself.

Unlimited 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Unlimited 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Is NBN faster than home wireless broadband?

4G home wireless broadband plans can comfortably reach 12Mbps download speeds, although theoretically can hit between 20Mbps and 100Mbps. Generally, the NBN will be consistently faster than home wireless, with speeds getting close to their 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps maximum downloads.

NBN plans are sold by the speed tiers offered (NBN 25, NBN 50, NBN 100 and so on) and as such offer higher consistent speeds. Depending on your plan, provider, and NBN connection type, you may have access to plan speeds of 100Mbps, 250Mbps, or even 1Gbps, although real-world speeds are likely to be slower.

If you’re looking for a fast home wireless connection, 5G broadband is now rolling out in selected areas on plans from Optus and SpinTel. 5G home wireless broadband can reach speeds rivalling the NBN, with Optus citing an average download speed of 225Mbps on its premium 5G Entertainer plan.

Keep in mind that as 5G networks are still rolling out across the country, this type of connection is sparsely available, and is mostly limited to selected suburbs of major cities. Regardless, you can check out plans available in the table below. You’ll also find Telstra 5G mobile broadband plans in the table below. Mobile broadband is a portable kind of home wireless broadband that you can use on the go, at the cost of smaller data amounts.

5G Home Wireless Plans

The following table shows selected published 5G home internet 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

Spintel 5G Home Wireless Contract

  • Average speed of 147Mbps
  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Nokia 5G modem included

min. cost $1,460 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Optus Logo

Optus 5G Internet Everyday

  • Speed capped at 100Mbps
  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $75 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Optus Logo

Optus 5G Internet Entertainer

  • No speed cap
  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Spintel Logo

Spintel 5G Home Wireless No Contract

  • Average speed of 147Mbps
  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Nokia 5G modem included

min. cost $110 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

5G Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published 5G mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their 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

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Is home wireless broadband cheaper than NBN?

Generally, home wireless broadband plans are priced similarly to NBN plans, albeit with data caps on almost every plan (excluding some 5G plans). A home wireless broadband plan costs between $50 and $100 per month, whereas an NBN plan can cost you anywhere between $30 and $180 monthly depending on your speed tier of choice.

Is home wireless better than NBN?

Deciding which option is better for your home comes down to how you use the internet and whether you can access the NBN. If you’re not in an NBN-ready suburb then home wireless broadband is a good alternative, provided that you’re not using the internet for anything high data (such as 4K streaming or constant video calling). For anything that sucks up bandwidth and data, you’d be best going with an NBN plan if possible, as they are generally unlimited and have more reliable, consistent speeds.

Is 5G broadband better than NBN?

5G home wireless broadband might reach similar speeds to the NBN, but it’s far from being better at this time. 5G networks are still under construction across Australia, and theoretically the NBN can reach higher speeds than widespread 5G in Australia.

However, prices for 5G internet plans are now quite cheap, and the standard is that they are unlimited, so this type of wireless broadband may satisfy you if you’re looking for a fast NBN alternative. But keep in mind that 5G coverage is still in its early stages and not yet available to all Australians.

Are home wireless broadband and WiFi the same?

Home wireless broadband is an internet connection type which involves using a modem and wireless signal that allows you to get onto the internet. WiFi is the term used to describe the wireless signal within your home, transmitted directly from your modem. The terms are not interchangeable and apply to different things.

The final word on home wireless broadband and the NBN

Think of it this way – if the NBN is available in your area, it’s probably going to be the best and most convenient internet option for your home in the long-term, at least once you get through connection day which can be a bit of a pain if you need a technician to visit your home to get things set up.

On the other hand, if you simply don’t fancy the idea of switching to the NBN, or you don’t want an NBN installation box installed on your property (only for certain connection types), then home wireless broadband is a super-easy way to get online without the wires.

Share this article

[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]
[a-zA-Zbs]