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Home Wireless Broadband vs the NBN | Is It Worth the Switch?

When people refer to the ‘NBN lottery’, they are talking about the inconsistent results that people experience when using the NBN [link to What is the NBN blog] in various parts of the country. If you find yourself with an unsatisfactory NBN connection, there is often not much you can do to fix it. Instead, it’s easier to look to alternative home Internet solutions like home wireless broadband.

Here’s everything you need to know to decide which option is better for you, home wireless broadband or the NBN.

What’s the difference between Home Wireless Broadband and the NBN?

Home wireless broadband is not to be confused with mobile broadband. While they both use the same mobile networks, such as 3G, 4G and now 5G, home wireless plans are designed to be your main Internet source at home. That means home wireless plans have greater download capacity and a more reliable connection.

The NBN is different again, as it uses cables under the ground to connect to the Internet rather than wireless signals.

Both home wireless broadband and the NBN use modems to transmit the Internet connection to your device. The connection between the modem and your device can be wireless in the case of both. However, the modems that each Internet sources uses are different. That means switching from one to the other will likely require you to purchase a new modem.

What are the Advantages of Home Wireless Broadband?

Home wireless broadband has greater ease of set up. Once you have inserted the SIM card and plugged the modem into a power source, it will work instantly. This also brings the added benefit of allowing you to unplug the modem and plug it in somewhere else, providing immediate Internet access.

At certain times, such as when you’re moving house, the ease of home wireless broadband can feel invaluable.

What are the Advantages of the NBN?

Once you overcome the hassle of setting up the NBN, which sometimes requires a technician visiting your home, it’s likely to be the far better option for your at-home Internet needs.

NBN plans commonly offer unlimited data and faster download speeds [Link to What is a Good Internet speed blog]. In theory, 4G home wireless broadband plans can reach up to 100Mbps but an NBN connection will reach these speeds with greater consistency and reliability. There are even NBN plans that offer speeds of 250Mbps and 1Gbps, however they are not widely available.

The rollout of 5G networks means mobile speeds could rival that of the NBN, with download speeds as fast as 20Gbps being a theoretical possibility on the 5G network. However, while the 5G network could revolutionise the Internet in Australia, it is still in its early stages. For now, the NBN remains the best option for accessing Internet with the fastest download capacity.

Which is Cheaper?

In terms of price, home wireless broadband plans tend to be on par with the NBN. However, the data capacity and speed of these plans is more limited.

In other words, while the price of home wireless broadband plans may be comparable to the NBN, they are not yet comparable in what they can offer in terms of data and speed.

Which is Right for Me?

Whether the NBN or home wireless broadband is more suitable depends on your Internet needs. If the NBN in your area is not as reliable as it should be or you are yet to gain access, home wireless broadband is likely to be the best alternative. Moreover, if fast speeds and large data capacity is superfluous to your needs, then home wireless broadband may be the more convenient and flexible option for you.

To help you make the decision, our experts at Compare & Connect can compare the prices and capabilities of NBN plans to home wireless broadbands in just minutes. In order to truly find the best deal for you, leave it to Compare & Connect.

Sally Writes 16 Dec 2020

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