- Feeling like the NBN isn't working out for you?
- Thinking about trying Home Wireless Broadband or Mobile Broadband?
- Trying to work out the difference between 4G and 5G?
Although the NBN has extensive coverage across Australia, it might not be the ideal choice for everyone. Whatever your circumstances, there may be better-suited alternatives to meet your specific requirements.
Fortunately, Australia offers several NBN alternatives, from 5G home Internet to 4G home Internet, mobile broadband to private fibre networks, and Starlink. But how do you determine which option is the best fit for you?
In this guide, we will break down the best NBN alternatives, and help you to find the right solution.
Home wireless vs. mobile broadband: Which is better?
Home wireless and mobile broadband both rely on mobile networks, serving as alternatives to traditional Internet connections like NBN or cable. Despite this similarity, there are key differences between the two.
Home wireless broadband
Is the primary choice for customers seeking a fixed Internet connection at home or in the office. However, home wireless lacks user flexibility since the modem requires a power source.
Since the modem isn't designed for portability, it's not easily mobile.
Mobile broadband, on the other hand, is the portable counterpart to home wireless, using 4G or 5G mobile networks with various data plans.
Customers typically receive data allowances similar to phone plans but with lower data caps for the same cost as home wireless plans.
For those frequently on the move, mobile broadband is the preferred choice as it doesn't require a constant power source. You can even use a portable hotspot or a SIM card in a spare smartphone or tablet.
When selecting a wireless broadband plan, you can choose from various telcos offering the service.
4G vs 5G connectivity
Although 4G broadband has been the standard for a number of years, 5G broadband is gaining popularity for its faster performance.
5G has very low latency and faster download speeds than 4G or even the NBN. Despite concerns about 5G's impact on health, there's no scientific evidence to support these worries as the frequencies used by Australian 5G networks are not strong enough to harm humans.
Some networks may upgrade to even faster frequencies, but these are similar to those used by satellites and radar for decades.
Check out our dedicated 5G page to learn more about our plans.
Regional alternatives to NBN
Of course, your options are still very much dependent on what’s available in your area. Living regionally often restricts your options for NBN alternatives further. So, even if you want to opt out of your NBN plan, it won’t be easy if you don’t have many options.
Among the better-known alternatives to NBN is Opticomm.
Opticomm is a leading provider of high-speed fibre-optic networks in Australia. It specialises in bringing fast and reliable Internet and telecom services to new buildings and communities.
Its focus is on using advanced fibre-optic technology to ensure that people have access to the best Internet experience possible, including high-definition streaming, online gaming, and smart home devices.
Opticomm also works with existing communities to upgrade their Internet infrastructure to fibre-optic networks, improving connectivity for everyone. As the demand for high-speed Internet grows, Opticomm continues to lead the way in providing alternative solutions for homes and businesses across Australia.
Starlink is a satellite broadband service that offers faster Internet with lower latency compared to the NBN's satellite service.
Operated by Elon Musk's SpaceX, Starlink uses thousands of satellites in low earth orbit, around 550 km above the Earth. This proximity allows for better performance than the NBN's Sky Muster, which operates with satellites more than 36,000km away, resulting in higher latency.
There are two types of Sky Muster services: regular Sky Muster and Sky Muster Plus. Sky Muster Plus offers a premium experience with some activities not counting towards your data allowance.
In contrast, Starlink's closer satellites enable it to offer lower latency and speeds ranging from 20 Mbps to 100Mbps. Starlink is ideal for those in rural or remote areas who want a change from Sky Muster.
To switch or not to switch?
As the range of Internet options beyond the NBN continues to grow, many customers are considering a switch, especially when multiple options are available in their area. However, choosing the best broadband plan can be a complex decision.
Should you opt for home Wi-Fi over a Mobile Broadband plan? Is it time to replace your NBN with a more reliable 5G plan from another provider?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. The best choice depends on your personal preferences. Before deciding, you should think about other aspects such as:
In addition to speed, the costs associated with different Internet service providers are crucial factors to consider.
After identifying your main options, take note of the data plans on offer to determine which ones fit your budget. It's important to set a limit on how much you're willing to spend on your connection and thoroughly research your options.
Understanding the rates of each network can simplify your decision-making process.
If you're considering leaving the NBN due to poor or unreliable connection, that's a valid reason. However, it's crucial to ensure that the network you switch to offers better performance.
You might ask friends, relatives, or neighbours for recommendations on alternative networks that perform well in your area.
Alternatively, if you prefer expert advice, you can call one of our friendly consultants at 1300 106 571 for a free broadband consultation.
Another crucial consideration is customer service. While network providers may encounter outages, having accessible customer support is invaluable.
A company with poor customer service or that's challenging to contact may not be the most reliable choice. Comparing telcos and plans is an effective way to assess this aspect.
Get connected with Compare Broadband
For more information on NBN alternatives at your address, why not chat to one of our friendly, Australia-based team members? We can help to get you connected in minutes and all you have to do is call our call centre on 1800 061 200.