What’s the difference between NBN/ADSL Wi-Fi and Mobile Wireless?

  • ADSL is more common and typically more cost effective
  • Mobile broadband is suitable for travellers or light users
  • Mobile Wireless speeds are slower, and data limits lower than that of NBN or ADSL

If you want to be able to access the internet whilst in every room of your home, from the toilet to the backyard, it will be necessary to get a wireless internet connection. The problem is, you don’t know what’s best for you, NBN/ADSL or mobile?

Click here for the best home Wi-Fi plans.

Click here for our best mobile broadband plans.

 
The NBN/ADSL Wi-Fi option:

NBN/ADSL Wi-Fi is when you have a connection coming into your home, whether that’s through the fibre optic cables being rolling out across Australia for NBN or copper telephone wire for
 ADSL2+ broadband connection. In either case, it will link to a modem with wireless capabilities to create a Wi-Fi signal within your home so you can connect wirelessly across multiple devices.

NBN is the optimal form of wireless internet one can have at home, and if it’s possible, definitely go for it, but when that is not available, ADSL2+ is the best option available on the market. Not only can you get a large amount of download data on a good plan, it is typically a very fast internet connection.

The Mobile Wireless broadband option:

Mobile Wireless broadband is an option where you plug a small USB stick, or ‘dongle’ as it’s commonly known, into your computer so you can receive an internet signal via mobile phone towers. The USB stick has a SIM card inside of it, and works much like a mobile phone.

Mobile Wireless is great for people who want to be online everywhere they go. Those who travel a lot for business or pleasure can connect to wireless signals all over Australia easily with Mobile Wireless because this type of modem functions anywhere, and isn’t restricted to the area within their own home like 
NBN or ADSL Wi-Fi. However, Mobile Wireless is limited to coverage areas that a specific provider’s mobile phone towers’ service. 

If you are a light internet user, Mobile Wireless can be a great option, as you don’t need to pay for an active landline telephone service, and plans are often prepaid, or extremely cheap to access small amounts of data. If your coverage is good, you can get high speeds, especially if you’re on a 4G service. 

On the flipside, like a mobile phone, Mobile Wireless can be more temperamental than a stable ADSL internet connection, as ‘dropouts’ and ‘black spots’ can occur. Dropouts are like when your mobile suddenly loses connection, and a black spot is where a geographical feature impedes the flow of a mobile phone tower’s wavelength so that you can’t find a signal. In these instances, you can add an antenna to try enhance the reception and/or speed of the connection.

Not to mention, Mobile Wireless usually works out to be more expensive than an NBN or ADSL plan if you are a heavy user. It doesn’t provide a lot of download data, and speeds can change unpredictably although this technology has come a long way over the years and is evolving at an exponential rate.

Wirelessly networking multiple computers:


If you have more than one computer at home, it’s often ideal to have a wireless router set up so you and your friends/family/colleagues can be online at the same time. 

For NBN or ADSL Wi-Fi connections, this is a simple process, as the modem and router are usually combined in one unit.

With Mobile Wireless, this network is more difficult to create, as a USB dongle can only plug into one computer at a time. In cases like this, you would have to purchase a special Mobile Wireless router to create a Wi-Fi signal within the home.

 

As Mobile Wireless speeds are slower, and data limits lower than that of NBN or ADSL, this type of network doesn’t always provide each person with a good user experience.