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What Is The Difference Between NBN And Wireless Broadband?

It helps to understand Internet jargon like ‘NBN’ and ‘Wireless Broadband’ when deciding which plan is best for you. So what is the difference between NBN and Wireless Broadband? And is one better than the other?

Home wireless broadband is the main alternative to the NBN. The NBN is delivered through a fixed line connection, in other words using lines of cable underneath the street connected to your home. Meanwhile, wireless broadband delivers Internet through the air via a wireless connection.

We’ll explain what each one is and why it might be the preferred option for you.

Wireless Broadband vs NBN

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is an Internet source available to nearly every Australian. Since the project was founded in 2009, the government has been rolling out a new fibre-optic cable network across the country with greater capacity for faster and more reliable Internet than the previous copper network. This is the NBN.

However, the feedback on the NBN is a mixed bag. For some Australians it has delivered exactly what it promised but for others, they feel the NBN is not up to scratch. These households may like to consider the alternative – wireless broadband.

Wireless broadband delivers an Internet connection to your home using the same networks that your smartphone does.

Comparing Speed


The NBN offers four different speed tiers.

  1. Basic Evening Speed (12/1Mbps)
  2. Standard Evening Speed (25/5Mbps)
  3. Standard Plus Evening Speed (50/20Mbps)
  4. Premium Evening Speed (100/40Mbps)

These speeds seem complicated but Mbps simply refers to Megabits per second. In a Premium plan, you will have a maximum download speed of 100Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 40Mbps.

The NBN’s aim is to provide a speed to fit every Australian household. Among the four different tiers, there’s almost certainly one that will meet your particular needs.

Home Wireless

The speed of a home wireless plan is more difficult to predict. It varies with the strength of the mobile signal and congestion on mobile networks. That said, there are still a variety of home wireless plans to match the Internet speed you need.

Value For Money

Wireless Broadband

The advantage of wireless broadband is that it can allow you to stay online wherever you go. With a small USB stick or ‘dongle’ plugged into your laptop, you can receive an Internet signal via mobile phone towers when you’re on the go.

If you are a light Internet user that travels frequently for business or leisure, a wireless broadband connection could be perfect. It can be a very cheap option if you only need a small amount of data.

However, it’s easy to see that NBN plans are the better option in terms of value for money. Home wireless plans do often come with lower starting prices. However, the more you need out of a your home wireless plan in terms of speed and data, the more it quickly becomes expensive.


The purpose behind the NBN was to make improved broadband technologies accessible to every Australian. The hope was to design a network that could keep up with the demands of the 21st century.

The result is that NBN plans provides households with a large amount of download data and a very fast Internet connection at reasonable prices. However, if your NBN plan is not delivering what it promises, there are a range of possible solutions. Purchasing a wireless broadband plan instead or as a backup when your NBN speeds are letting you down could be one solution.

Regardless of which plan you’re currently using, if you’re feeling dissatisfied with your service it might be time to shop around. At Compare & Connect, we can make shopping around for a new plan as easy and straightforward as possible. At no cost to you, our experts can consider your unique needs and scan the web to find the very best plan for you.

Sally Writes 03 Nov 2020