The NBN is a mixed bag. While it’s not quite the train wreck we’ve all been led to believe, it’s definitely not Malcolm Turnbull’s futuristic wet dream either. It’s more like a a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans – you plunge into the bag and a lot of the time you’ll get yourself some sweet, sweet internet. But some of the time you’ll end up with a connection that’s a turd.


What I didn’t know until recently is that there is actually another option. It’s called home wireless broadband and it does pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s home internet that comes to you via the mobile network. And if you don’t want the NBN or don’t have it yet, it could just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

There are a few different home wireless options floating around right now, but Optus is definitely one of the best, for two very simple reasons: speed and data. While the speeds you get will depend on things like reception at your house and how many of your neighbours are also trying to connect, these plans are capable of reaching speeds of up to 50Mbps. In English, that’s fast enough for four people in your sharehouse to be streaming Netflix at once. Nice.

If you don’t mind signing a 24-month contract your plan will come with a modem included. Or you could go contract-free and buy the modem upfront for $192.

Of course, Optus isn’t the only home wireless show in town. You can also get an over-the-air connection from Exetel, Moose Mobile, Yomojo or SpinTel. Of these plans, SpinTel is probably the best choice, offering speeds that should rival those from Optus.

On the other hand, Exetel, Moose and Yomojo are all cheaper. But be aware that speeds on these plans won’t go higher than 12Mbps. You’ll still be able to stream Netflix, but if there’s more than one person in your house, you’ll have to take turns. Only one stream at a time.

Jacqui Dent is Associate Editor at WhistleOut and Reviews.org. What she doesn’t know about phone plans isn’t worth knowing.

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