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Unless you use uploads a lot (like a home worker or web hosting), this is fine although you pay for data both ways — unused data each month its forfeit.

For $60/80 per month (on a 24-month plan) you get 200/500GB of data. Extra data is $10 per 10GB – reasonable.

Otherwise, for a monthly plan – no lock-in – the modem costs $192, and you can have the same data price and data as a 24-month plan.

Telstra Direct

Telstra has a 4GX Modem Cat 11 Gateway (more for fixed installations supports up to 20 devices) or a NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 modem Cat 16 – 1Gbps/150Mbps.

Alternatives to NBN

Despite the Nighthawk being a Cat 16, Telstra advises that speeds are typically 3-300Mbps with this device. Still, that is better than Optus that state speeds are from 5-12Mbps.

The 4GX gateway is Cat 11, and Telstra advise it should do 5-200Mbps in 4GX and 2-50Mbps in 4G areas.

24-month plans are $35/59/89 for 10/30/80GB data (at present there is an offer of 5/20/10GB bonus data respectively). Extra data is $10 per GB (Optus is $10 for 10GB).

Telstra is eye-wateringly expensive, but it provides higher speeds if you have good 4GX reception.

Vodafone direct

Alternatives to NBN

We considered the Vodafone offer, but as the modem choices were both Cat 4 (150/50Mbps), we do not consider this fast enough to support home mobile broadband.

24-month plans are $17/31/45/60 for 3/10/30/90GB. There is a current promotion to add 0/10/30/20GB to the plans and prices may vary.

GadgetGuy’s take: Alternatives to NBN are very poor but better than nothing

Bottom line – if NBN is available go for it. If ADSL is available go for it. Home wireless broadband is expensive and slow. Optus offers the best deals and data allowances but at lower speeds than Telstra.

Also look at resellers – but most will use Optus infrastructure. For example, OVO offer $50/70/90/100 for 30-day plans for 50/100/150/250GB plus you buy a Huawei B525 modem (as used by Optus and may not work on the Telstra network).

And don’t be fooled by companies offering cheap mobile data sims and cheap internet dongles. These don’t use the dedicated frequencies needed. Mobile phones and home wireless broadband work on different frequencies.

So if you have just built and/or there is no NBN, copper (ADSL) or you are a renter that wants a temporary solution – this is as good as it gets! Until 5G is ubiquitous and that won’t be cheap.