Are you avoiding reviewing your home internet plan because you simply don’t know where to start?
We don’t blame you. With 4G, 5G, NBN, ADSL, cable broadband and home wireless broadband all on offer these days, it can be overwhelming to understand which connection and plan best suits your family’s browsing needs.
While it may seem easier to put reviewing your home internet plan in the ‘too hard basket’, you might actually be missing out on not only saving yourself some money but also the potential for an improved internet connection (goodbye buffering mid-film!).
We’ve made it easy for you by breaking down some of the latest trends in home internet and sharing how to make sure your family is on a suitable internet plan.
The Who’s Who of Internet Connection
ADSL and ADSL2+ is the most basic broadband connection on offer. However, now that the NBN has commenced roll out across Australia, ADSL connections are slowly being phased out. If your home is in an NBN rollout area, you’ll generally have 18 months to switch across after NBN becomes available before your ADSL service is disconnected1.
If the NBN isn’t readily available in your area, don’t fret, there are other options available which we’ll tell you about in a moment (or, skip down to Home Wireless Broadband if you simply can’t wait any longer!)
Put simply, Cable Broadband uses Pay TV cables and generally provides a faster connection than ADSL. However, like ADSL, most cable services are also being phased out as a part of the NBN roll out plan.
The NBN or National Broadband Network is currently being rolled out across the country and 10 million homes and businesses can already connect to the NBN2. NBN plans are available in a range of different speeds options ranging from basic to premium, and you’ll also need to choose an appropriate data allowance.
Home Wireless Broadband
If the NBN is not yet available in your area or you’re a family who is often on the move, then home wireless broadband could provide you with a convenient home internet connection.
Home wireless broadband is a term used to describe ‘wireless’ home internet access via a portable modem. While home wireless can potentially offer you a faster connection than ADSL, the real bonus is that you can take it with you when you move or travel within Australia as long as there is suitable mobile coverage, making it a great option for renters or families with holiday homes.
4G v. 5G
5G (5th Generation Wireless) is predicted to have faster than ever speeds with minimal delays in receiving data plus offer more connections. However, so far only Telstra and Optus have switched on 5G in some limited metropolitan and regional areas but are currently expanding their coverage across Australia.
While down the track 5G is likely to offer an improved user experience for home wireless broadband, given the currently limited product and coverage availability, you’re more likely to have access to 4G, until 5G becomes more readily available.
iSelect’s Top Tips to Choosing a Great Broadband Deal
Speed is key
To try to avoid slow connections or buffering issues with an NBN connection, opt for at least a Standard Plus Evening Speed plan as this will give you a typical evening speed of around 30 Mbps. This option is great for families wanting to connect multiple devices, stream online entertainment or gaming.
Unlimited may be unnecessary
‘Unlimited’ data plans are often preferred by most as they provide budget certainty but many users don’t actually need unlimited data and could be paying more than they need to. Understanding how you use the internet and your data usage will help you decide what is most suitable for your family.
Lock it in
While a month-to-month plan may seem appealing because its offers low commitment, if you’re trying to keep upfront costs down it may be better to consider a 12 or 24 month contract instead. Contract plans generally have lower set-up fees and often include a pre-configured modem which can help optimise your connection speed.
If the NBN is not yet available in your area or you are always on the move, then home wireless broadband could provide you with a convenient home internet connection. The bonus of opting for a home wireless broadband plan is that you can take it with you when you move or travel within Australia (as long as there is a mobile signal).
Speak to an consultant
With so many new technologies and plans on offer, it can be confusing (and let’s face it, boring!) to sit down and compare internet plans. So save yourself time, hassle and hopefully some money too by speaking to an internet comparison service like iSelect. iSelect’s trained internet consultants can help you understand your family’s internet use and find a plan from their available plans and providers to meet your needs and budget.
*iSelect does not compare all broadband providers or plans in the market. The availability of plans may change from time to time. Not all plans available from iSelect providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements or availability, not all plans compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.