NBN alternatives in Australia: How to get connected

Friends pointing at laptop

With the NBN taking over as the primary internet service in Australia, most providers offer a range of NBN products and services to get you connected to the net. For those who aren’t able to access or don’t wish to use the NBN service, there are still alternatives to get you online at competitive prices and speeds.

ADSL is still an option for those in an NBN-activated area (most of Australia) for 18 months after the NBN has been made available for your household. Various providers also offer their own fibre connections to deliver a high-speed alternative to the NBN, with infrastructure usually owned and operated by the provider themselves.

ADSL

ADSL was the backbone of Australian internet up until the advent of NBN. While it can at times be slow and unreliable, it’s still a viable option for those who are eligible for it and don’t wish to switch over the NBN just yet.

ADSL relies on copper telephone wires to deliver internet to homes, and as such your internet speed will be slower the further your home is from your local telephone exchange.

Provider cable options

Another alternative to NBN is cable options delivered straight from your provider. You again need to be in an eligible area for this type of service, but it is a faster alternative to NBN than an ADSL connection.

A cable connection relies on a coaxial cable to deliver internet to your home, the same technology that delivers pay-TV services such as Foxtel. Cable can be more prone to congestion than an NBN service, and also features lower upload speeds on average so keep those factors in mind.

Mobile broadband

If you’re after a non-cabled alternative to the NBN, mobile broadband is another option to consider. Available in a number of forms including USB, pocket wi-fi and home wireless, mobile broadband connects to the same mobile networks that get our phones online.

You’ll find a range of data options available, depending on how much you’re planning to use your mobile broadband connection. Then, your devices can be connected via a modem/router similar to NBN and other home internet options. From there, the modem/router connects to the 4G or 5G network just like your phone and provides connection when plugged into a device (USB) or creates a network your devices can join (wireless).

Mobile broadband does rely on a mobile network just like your phone, so you’ll want to ensure your provider has a strong signal in your area before signing up to a plan.

Head over to our broadband hub for everything you want to know about plans and providers in your area. Check out some NBN alternatives to consider in the table below: