Whether studying on campus or online, students need a reliable, cheap broadband connection. The two options most suited to students is a Mobile Broadband plan or an ADSL2+/ADSL plan depending on what is available.

The best broadband plan depends on your priorities. If you are after heaps of data at the fastest possible speed, an ADSL2+ plan will be the cheapest and best type of broadband connection.

But if you are after a simple, easy to set-up and completely portable broadband connection, allowing you to access the internet in the park or at another student's home, Mobile Broadband is the better option.

Naked Broadband plans for students

Many students use their mobile phones and do not need a landline. Unfortunately, an ADSL2+ broadband connection requires an active phone line, which means line rental for a service you may not use.

However, there are a couple of ways you can avoid this extra cost. The first is to sign up for a Naked DSL plan. This is a type of broadband that does not require line rental.

Naked DSL is set up in three stages. First, the phone line is activated. Next, the internet connection is made. Finally, the voice component of the line is deactivated, leaving the internet active.

Some companies will only sign you up if you already have an active home phone line, while others will take this first step for you. Internode, iiNet and iPrimus are all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who will set up a Naked DSL plan from scratch.

iPrimus has a good entry-level plan with 40GB for $49.95 a month (20GB on peak, 20GB off peak). Plans are available on a 12-month or a 24-month basis. Call iPrimus on 1300 137 794. iPrimus currently offers a free VoIP plan to Naked customers who also buy a Home Hub modem.

For heavy downloaders, iiNet has a 100GB plan for $69.95 a month (50GB on peak and 50GB off peak). iiNet offers either a month-to-month contract or a 24-month contract. Give iiNet a call on 1300 106 571.

Internode has a massive 150GB of data on a Naked plan available anytime, for just $59.95 a month on a 0-month contract, perfect for students who want to share the connection between a few people with a Wi-Fi modem. Give us a call on 1300 301 384 for more details on Internode plans.

Cheap ADSL2+ broadband bundles

Alternatively, you could opt for a cheap broadband bundle and never use the telephone. TPG offers 100GB plus home phone line rental for $49.99 a month, split (30GB peak time and 70GB off peak time). If 100GB is not enough, TPG offers unlimited data for $59.99 a month. TPG bundle plans are available on a six month or 18 month contract.

TPG will set up both the phone line and the internet for you. Give us a call on 1300 106 571 for more information on cheap TPG plans.

Mobile Broadband

If you prefer a Mobile Broadband plan, you need to consider which provider has the best coverage in your area, as well as which has a plan that meets your needs.

The major Mobile Broadband providers are Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. While coverage from all three is generally good in cities, regional customers may find coverage is patchy and therefore experience connection problems.

Most of the other providers, such as Virgin Mobile, Spin, Dodo, iPrimus and iiNet, all use Optus as the carrier, so provided Optus coverage is good in your area, you have plenty of choice.

Light users should look at Spin for a 1.5GB for $14.90 a month plan on a 0-month contract. For more information, give Spin a call on 1300 381 277.

Heavier users could go for a Virgin Mobile plan, with 10GB for $49 a month. Give Virgin Mobile a call on 1300 106 571 for more information.