How Fast is Home Wireless Broadband?

With more and more Australians moving to the NBN – and relying on their connections for work, study, and entertainment at home – the network’s bound to get a little crowded, especially at peak traffic times. If you’re on a fixed-line connection like NBN or ADSL, you may have experienced the effects of traffic congestion first-hand, including slow speeds and serious lag.

This means that alternatives to traditional wired home internet are now a valuable choice. Wireless home broadband might be the solution for you, as it runs on an entirely different network to NBN, ADSL, or cable connections. It runs on your provider’s 4G or 5G mobile networks, as well as through satellites, which might bring you to question – how fast can wireless broadband really be? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to your wireless broadband questions right here.

How fast is home wireless broadband?

Home wireless broadband plans typically stay at speeds around 12Mbps, similar to Basic NBN 12, but just faster than Australian ADSL speeds.

Home wireless broadband speeds tend to stick around the 12Mbps mark across the board, similar to what you can achieve with basic NBN plans, yet faster than average ADSL speeds. This is a great speed for basic streaming, browsing and social media use, but you’ll find severe lag when multiple people use it at once.

We’ve got more information on this later in the article, including what you can expect from different providers.

Jump to:

What is home wireless broadband?

Home wireless broadband is a replacement for fixed line connections, taking the forms of phone/mobile network connections through SIM cards or through satellites. Like fixed line broadband, home wireless connections are meant to stay in the home; but unlike the very-similar mobile broadband, home wireless broadband isn’t intended for being used on the go.

Rather than being a convenient solution to an immediate problem, wireless broadband is intended to completely replace home connections, with bigger data packages.

Home wireless broadband is particularly useful if you are a renter, you frequently move, don’t like lock-in contracts, have a dodgy fixed line, or if you can’t access the NBN or ADSL.

Home wireless broadband speeds explained

Typically, you’ll find home wireless broadband delivers download speeds of 12Mbps on a 4G connection, faster than Australian ADSL connections, similar to NBN Basic 12 plans offered with wired NBN connections. Speeds can vary between 20Mbps and 100Mbps. On a 5G connection, you could get speeds up to 1Gbps, but only some areas in Australia currently have 5G access.

The typical home wireless broadband speed is somewhere between having the basic NBN package and a good ADSL connection. This is great if you want to do some basic streaming or browsing, but you may find some lag if you’ve got multiple devices using the internet at once. All this being said, it’s certainly a consideration to get wireless broadband if you live in an area lacking NBN.

woman using wireless broandband

However, it also greatly depends on the technology that you’re using to get online, along with the coverage of the area that you live in. The speeds of each provider’s network will also be different, varying depending on the type of device you use to connect.

  • Telstra’s 4GX network can reach speeds up to 300Mbps with premium modems and hotspots. Slower 4GX-capable devices reach downloads speeds of between 2-75Mbps, and standard 4G devices offer up to 50Mbps.
  • Optus customers can expect speeds up to 100Mbps on the 4G Plus network, although results may vary.
  • Vodafone hasn’t revealed its exact speeds, but 4G customers on their network can theoretically expect downloads up to 100Mbps, with the average under 50Mbps.

Remember: these speeds are fine for casual use, such as social media use, browsing and video streaming. For anything requiring big downloads, consider a high-end NBN plan, such as those at the Standard Plus NBN 50 tier or the Premium NBN 100 tier.

Be aware!

Some providers might throttle your download speed. Exetel caps wireless internet speeds at 12/1Mbps in metropolitan areas with 2300MHz 4G coverage, giving you speeds equal to the Basic 12 NBN speed. tier.

What about 5G wireless broadband?

If you live in an area where 5G is available, you should certainly consider it before jumping on a standard wireless broadband plan, or even an NBN plan for that matter, what with promised speeds of 1Gbps!

Currently the only provider in the country to offer 5G wireless broadband is Optus, promising $70 unlimited 5G internet – if you’re in an area with Optus 5G coverage, you shouldn’t just overlook this. Optus’ 5G home broadband comes with a speed guarantee of 50Mbps in busy hours, and customers report average speeds of around 160Mbps.

If you do want a more portable option, you can sign up for 5G mobile broadband with Telstra in eligible areas – more information on 5G mobile broadband can be found here.

Home Wireless Broadband Plans

We’ve put together a selection of several wireless broadband plans on the market right now. You’ll need to make sure the plan you go with has enough data for what you need it to do. If you do lots of video calling, streaming or gaming, consider a plan with a bigger data package. If you only need the internet for browsing, emails and work-related things, consider a lower-end plan.

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 mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is portable alternative to home wireless, and also operates on 4G networks. If you’re considering mobile broadband as a home internet alternative, we’ve listed some plan picks below.

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

min. cost $15 over one month

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

Small

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

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
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

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

10GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $20 over first month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Logo

40GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $40 over first month

40GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $60 over first month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

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 Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

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 Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

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

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

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

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

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

Image: RawPixel.com / Shutterstock

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