- 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. 4G is also a good option for people who live in rural areas or who have a poor internet connection. Also, for people who want to save money on their internet bills, 4G is a viable choice.
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.
Another one of the advantages of having a 4G backup is that you can use your home phone and mobile phone at the same time. This means that you can make calls and use the internet at the same time. This is a great feature for people who work from home or who need to be able to stay connected to the internet while they are on the go.
Optus4G connection speed can reach up to 100Mbps. This is because the networks of some providers have been upgraded to offer this speed. Rest assured that the other NBN providers are working on their network upgrades. 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.
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.
When it comes to backup, you can also consider the 5G plans of Optus. All of the telco’s NBN plans come with a free trial for its new technology, which promises speeds of up to 20Mbps. You will need to have a compatible modem to avail of this feature, though. This means that the total cost of the plan will be higher, as you will need to factor in the cost of the modem.
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-month end, 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.
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.
Just keep in mind that in general, the plans offered by Telstra are more expensive than other providers. This is because the telco has invested in its network to offer fast speeds, as well as other features. Rest assured that the company is known for its excellent customer service and wide coverage. This means that you will be getting your money’s worth, especially if you choose an unlimited data plan.
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.
While you may deem that Vodafone’s offer is not as great as the other two, keep in mind that it’s one of the most affordable telcos when it comes to NBN plans. This means that you will still be able to save money in the long run, even with the added cost of the modem.
TPG also has an NBN plan that comes with a free trial of its new technology. This telco’s NBN plans offer speeds of up to 20Mbps, which is on par with what Optus offers. Just like with Optus, you can also consider TPG’s mobile broadband plans as a backup connection. The telco offers a USB dongle that you can use to connect your devices to the internet.
TPG’s mobile broadband plans start at $29.99 per month, with a data allowance of 20GB. If you need more data, you can opt for the $39.99 per month plan, which comes with 50GB of data. Both plans have a maximum speed of 12Mbps. While this is not as fast as what you can get with NBN, it is still a decent backup option.
Just like with Optus, you will need to factor in the cost of the modem when considering TPG’s NBN plans. The total cost of the plan will be higher, as you will need to factor in the cost of the modem. However, TPG is one of the most affordable NBN providers, so you will still be able to save money in the long run.
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 if you need assistance in finding the best plans and deals in your area.