Wireless Broadband for Home: Any opinions?

Hello. I am new here.

I saw a great, informative post on this site about wireless broadband. It's an alternative to NBN, using 4G.

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/422837#comment

I am moving house soon and looking into this as an alternative.

I am wondering if anyone here has signed up and started using wireless broadband at their home. I would welcome your thoughts and opinions on the company/plan you chose and the performance.

Thanking you.

Harriet

Comments

    • I should add that I'm not using an external antenna and the modem is in the garage (e.g. Brick / steel on 4 sides)

    • +1

      Why not go up to the 500GB plan? Only $20 more per month, or $5 extra per person.

  • Great thread.

    I'm now actually thinking of doing this rather than simply waiting for NBN which could take forever at my address.

    My parents need a new tablet, we frequently watch soccer so Optus Sports would be amazing and all this would be heaps better than what I've got at the moment stuck with ADSL2+.

  • Can you actually get NBN at your new premises? If you can then I would still have that as your first choice as you can sign up for free for the first month with Aussie Broadband and see whether it is ok or not and if for some strange reason the wired NBN connection isn't stable enough then go with the inferior wireless broadband option.

    • NBN is available for connection to the address, but there is a complication. There is a tenant currently living in a studio at the property, which is separate to the main house. She has ordered NBN, but without the permission of the current owner, and not knowing it must be connected to the main house (not the studio). Therefore, the order has stalled. She is refusing to cancel the order; rather, is just letting it sit in limbo. So it is currently locked to anyone else, including us (future owners) - unless we want to pay $3oo+ for what is called a "subsequent connection". Rather than go into further battle with the tenant, I am just looking for another option.

      • Why should she cancel the order? Every rental property including studios have a right to access the NBN. Secondly, it's the landlords responsibility to pay all costs involved in installing that NBN connection to the rented premises.

        Going the wireless path just to circumvent your obligations as a landlord would be doing things the hard way and not the best way to start a new landlord/tenant relationship…

        • Yes, I agree. Going about things the wrong way or the hard way is not a good way to start a new tenant/landlord relationship.

  • +3

    Coming to this thread late and it looks like there is a lot of confusion/misinformation in it already..

    To clarify, none of the Optus wireless broadband plans are capped at 12/1 (the capped plans have been retired). I personally wouldn't consider using a capped 12/1 service (i.e. Exetel), which would be barely better than ADSL2 when it works well and when it doesn't you get the added latency and unreliability of RF.

    I also wouldn't worry too much about the device CAT rating, aggregation aside this only refers to the maximum 4G speed a device can handle but does not affect the quality otherwise. So testing with any phone released within the last ~3 years (CAT6 and above) will give you a good estimate of your performance with this product.

    For Optus, the wiki on WP is a good source of info: https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/optus_wireless_broadband

    I've been on the Optus plan for 3 months due to NBN (profanity) up my area rollout, overall I've been very satisfied with the experience and would recommend it to anyone with good Optus coverage at their house.

    • 2 main factors for speed are signal quality and congestion. You can improve your signal in various ways (moving modem to closest window, external antennas, etc.) but you can't do anything about the 6pm slowdown. My speed tops out at ~80Mbps in early morning, but can slow down to ~30MBbps for that 1-2 hr evening block. I don't mind cause that's still a lot better than my old ADSL2, it's still enough for 4K Netflix and I can schedule downloads etc around it.
    • Use the tower map to find how close you are to your nearest Optus tower. From what I've seen, <1km to tower should yield good speeds. If you have multiple towers in that distance even better. If you have direct LOS to a tower you'll be cheering. https://oztowers.com.au/Home/Query
    • Testing phones with Optus sims vs home modem shows very similar (<5%) results at all times of day.
    • AC800S is supposedly faster than B525 in 4G performance, but it is terrible as a router (no Ethernet ports, very poor WiFi performance, very basic settings / control). If you want to use it I strongly recommend buying the DC112A cradle or USB tethering to an ASUS AC-RT68U or similar. Don't confuse bad Wifi with a bad 4G service.
    • My AC800S experience has been hit and miss, the device itself appears very unstable for a decent amount of users and I've also had some random drop outs caused by it. I'm also skeptical the 4G speed is any better than B525 due to the antenna design. If you just want a 'plug and play' solution and don't want to have to fiddle around bridging routers and changing settings, just go for B525.
    • Latency for gaming is slightly worse than ADSL2+ if that matters to you.
    • No static IP is available on any Optus plans, and it is behind CGNAT, if that matters to you.
    • The 24 month Optus plans have no cancellation fee, you just have to pay out the remainder of the modem cost (pro-rata on monthly basis). So there is no real point in going month-to-month.
    • Data is pooled between all Optus services on your account, so if you have any Optus mobiles you can effectively keep them on 4G at home so they get their own bandwidth and are not affected by the home connection.
    • Thanks for taking the time to write this very informative post.

      At my new house I will have at least three Optus towers within 250 metres, including one that is literally around the corner.

      Considering I am happy enough with my current 16mbs (on ADSL), this is looking pretty promising.

      Thanks again.

    • Fantastic summary, but some minor changes since then:

      Data pooling/sharing is not a feature of the current (Jan 2021) version of these plans.

      Huawei B818 is presently the default modem provided with these plans and from my experience with it, it's pretty good. 2x Ethernet ports, much better wifi range than the B525 & E5186, 2 external antenna ports, quad band Carrier Aggregation, etc.

      Current T&C's and CIS: https://www.optus.com.au/broadband-nbn/4g-home-internet/huaw...

      Side note: Carrier Aggregation is great until it's not. It will aggregate a slow, congested band into the mix if it has good signal strength, and that negatively affects the speeds you get. You can use a tool like LTEInspecteur to restrict the modem from using specific bands that get bad congestion. This has made an enormous difference to the speed and stability of my B818 setup.

  • Im about 750m away from the nearest tower, would that cause any issue to the 12/1 speeds?

  • About to install the new B818 modem 800m away from a tower. Should be interesting .

    • Please do update with the results and if possible comparison to speedtests you may have gotten with a mobile phone.

      • Will run a speed test ASAP but it was streaming (no lag) at 4K last night.

        Was very nervous but absolutely delighted.

    • How’d you go? I signed up to the Optus 500GB for $68 deal with the Huawei B818. The Optus coverage map indicated that my address had full coverage, but my address was not close to a tower when checking a 3rd party tower app. So I was optimistic, but not confident of great speeds. I would have been happy with consistent 10 Mbps.

      Set the modem up, reception was good. All down hill from there. Outside of peak times I could very inconsistently hit 10 - 12 Mbps, more often sub 5 Mbps. Peak times, I could not crack 1 Mbps. Unusable for me. Dropped a Telstra sim in the B818 to test coverage and it’s no comparison. Unfortunately I can only get 100GB/month for $75 with Telstra, but it’s my only option. Damn you Optus.

      • Roof antennas are the other solution for you and I. I also have the B818 and have it connected to a pair of slant polarised LDPA antennas on my roof. With the modem then getting much stronger signal, you can use LTEInspecteur to force your modem to avoid congested frequency bands.

        It is a bit of stuffing around to get it set up, but worth the hassle to get much more data for much less money in my opinion.

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