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Are you having a hard time with the NBN? Or are you a professional cat sitter who likes to pick up and carry your Wi-Fi with you to each new gig? If so, Home Wireless Broadband might be just what you’re looking for.
Home Wireless Broadband – it’s just Wi-Fi that you have in your house, right? Not so fast. Okay, yes, technically, it’s Wi-Fi that you have in your house. But it’s not just any kind of Wi-Fi. The ‘wireless’ here actually refers to the wire that connects your phone line or NBN box to your modem, which – surprise – this type of plan doesn’t have. So, you get a wireless modem and a wireless computer! Double the wireless; why wouldn’t you want that?
Well, a few reasons actually. Home Wireless Broadband connects to the Internet via the 4G and 5G networks, the same way your phone does, so it can have some of the same connectivity issues you find with your phone. If you only have access to the 4G network, it’s also quite a bit slower.1
You might choose Home Wireless Broadband over the NBN if you’re having problems with your NBN connection, or if you’re a renter and want to take your Internet Plan with you with no hassles. A Home Wireless Broadband modem does need to be connected to electricity, but you can basically plug it in anywhere and it’s ready to go, as long as you can get a decent signal.
The NBN is typically a fixed-line service, connecting your home to the Internet through cables underneath your street. On the other hand, Home Wireless Broadband is a mobile service, so it connects to the Internet via a 4G or 5G tower, the same way your mobile does.
If you’re in an area with 5G, Home Wireless Broadband plans are pretty similar to NBN plans in their speeds, data allowances and prices.2 If your area still has 4G, the NBN is generally faster.
If you’re in a hurry to get connected, you might appreciate that Home Wireless Broadband is usually ready to go as soon as you buy it, whereas getting your NBN set up can take a few days.
And if you’re a renter or you move around a lot, you’ll probably appreciate that Home Wireless Broadband is more portable than the NBN, given it connects to the Internet the same way a mobile phone does.
Home Wireless Broadband and Mobile Broadband both connect you to the internet via the 4G or 5G network. So, what’s the difference, you ask? The main one is the type of modem you use. You can access Mobile Broadband via a dongle, a portable hotspot, or a data-only SIM card. On the other hand, to access Home Wireless Broadband, you need a modem that plugs into a power outlet.
Once you have your equipment, all you need to do is plug in your modem and get online. On the back or bottom of your modem, you’ll generally find a Wi-Fi network name and password which you use to connect your devices. Super easy.
Then your Wi-Fi network will work its magic and use radio signals to connect your wireless devices to the internet.
|5G speeds generally as fast as the NBN3||4G speeds generally slower than the NBN|
|Doesn’t need a wired phone line or NBN connection||Needs to be plugged in to power|
|Low or no set-up fees and set-up time||Reliability can vary, like on a mobile|
Wireless Broadband plans generally come with unlimited data packages, which are ideal for big streamers, gamers, or for those who work from home. If this is you, you might want to choose a plan that also has uncapped speed.
If you’re planning on using the Internet just for general browsing or for maintaining your daily dose of Netflix, then you could consider a cheaper plan with slower download speeds. For a more limited package, you might be looking at download speeds of around 20–50 Mbps.
To determine if Wireless Broadband is a good fit for you, ask yourself the following questions:
If you’re nodding your head and thinking ‘yes’, then Wireless Broadband might just be the way for you to go.
As always, different plans suit different needs, and there are plenty of options available.
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1 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts – What is 5G?
2 Australian Competition & Consumer Commission – Communications market report 2021–22, p3
3 As above