• To ensure you don’t lose connection when needed, you should look for an NBN provider that offers plans with a backup.
  • If a 5G connection is not available in your area yet, a 4G backup connection will work fine. 4G backup connection speed can reach up to 12Mbps.
  • When an internet plan has a 4G backup, this means that the modem can connect both to the NBN and to the wireless network your mobile phones use to get online.

With the ongoing pandemic and most of us staying at home, a reliable internet connection is essential. Thanks to technology, we can carry on with our businesses, work, and learning and keep the family safe. This means an internet outage is the last thing anyone would want to experience right now. To ensure you don’t lose connection when needed, you should look for an NBN provider that offers plans with a backup. 

 

If a 5G connection is not available in your area yet, a 4G backup connection will work fine. 4G is the technology that allows mobile phones to connect to the internet wirelessly. So it makes a great backup connection in case of an outage in your area.

 

When an internet plan has a 4G backup, this means that the modem can connect both to the NBN and to the wireless network your mobile phones use to connect to the internet. Many users overlook this feature, but this can come in handy once your home connection goes out.

 

4G connection speed can reach up to 100Mbps. However, when it’s used as a backup connection, it will be limited to 12Mbps. That’s slower than the regular NBN plan, but having slow internet is undoubtedly better than having no internet at all. That said, here are the providers you’ll want to consider. 

 

Optus

 

All Optus NBN plans include the Optus Ultra WiFi Modem — a modem-router that doubles as a 4G backup device. So if your area is not NBN ready yet, you can use the 4G backup feature as a temporary connection. All of Optus’s NBN plans have unlimited data, and the same goes for your backup data. However, the backup is restricted to 2Mbps for upload and 25Mbps for download speeds. 

 

Optus NBN plans are contract-free. However, you need to use their service for at least 36 months if you don’t want to pay extra to keep the Optus Ultra WiFi Modem. If you switch providers before the 36 months ended, you will need to pay a penalty fee of $252 with $7 deducted for each month you’ve been with Optus. 

 

So, for example, if you switch providers after a year, you’ll be charged $168. However, switching providers after two years would mean you’ll only have to pay $84.

 

Telstra

 

Australia’s oldest and largest telecommunications company offers a wide range of plans, including NBN broadband plans. Signing up for a Telstra NBN plan means you get a second-generation Telstra Wi-Fi Smart Modem (yes, it’s a modem-router, too). 

 

Much like Optus, Telstra’s 4G backup connection is limited to 25Mbps download and 2Mbps upload speed. The only thing you have to remember is that if you’re not on an unlimited data plan, the data cap set for you includes both your broadband and 4G backup. So, if you have a 500GB data limit, that is the total you can consume, whether through broadband or a 4G connection.

 

Like Optus’s modem-router, the device is yours to keep unless you cancel early. If you plan to keep the modem, you will have to use Telstra’s service for at least 24 months. If you cancel before then, you’ll be charged $9 for each of the remaining months. So, for example, if you cancel after six months, you’ll have to pay $162. If you cancel after a year and a half, you’ll pay $54.

 

Vodafone

 

Vodafone’s plans also come with a modem-router - the Vodafone WiFi Hub - which has an integrated 4G backup. It also provides a reliable temporary means to stay connected for areas that are not NBN ready. This modem also immediately switches to a 4G backup during an outage. 

 

Vodafone’s backup connection provides unlimited 4G data of up to 12Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed.

 

A monthly discount of $15 on any NBN plans is given to all existing Vodafone subscribers. So if you’re currently using Vodafone, you are entitled to this discount if NBN is already available in your area.

 

To keep the modem, you will need to use Vodafone’s service for at least 36 months before switching providers. If you cancel early, Vodafone charges $5 per month left. So, for example, if you cancel after 18 months, you’ll have to pay $90; if you cancel after two years, you’ll have to pay $60 to keep the modem.

 

Finding the Right Provider

 

To find the right provider, consider the following factors: your location and connection type available, lock-in periods before you can keep the modem, and the fee that comes with transferring providers. At Compare Broadband, we’ve analysed and compared hundreds of NBN plans Australia’s top internet providers offer. Call us up if you need assistance in finding the best plans and deals in your area.