Help Ditching nbn for 5G

Hi, I've recently upgraded my phone for work and it has 5G capibilities. After doing some thinking i've decided to scrap my NBN and use my phone as a mobile device in the house. Sound simple right?

Well about a month in and my wife is pretty annoyed that I always have to be home for her to access the internet, my chromecast is now useless and I cannot use my printer wirelessly. Netflix also won't allow her to watch downloaded content without an internet connection.

I've tried using my laptop as a wifi hotspot but I cannot get my printer to recognise it, I also bought a travel router but it won't recognise it unless it has a USB dongle.

Has anyone sucessfully a way to live with mobile internet as their main go to internet? or have I jumped into it a few years too early.


  • +86

    Yes, you have switched a bit early and you didn't do your research properly…

    Personal Hotspot does have limitations and only support a few devices at one time.
    If you REALLY wanted to switch to 5G, I would look at getting a proper 5G Modem and a separate Data SIM card or take a look at the 5G Home Broadband services

    In short, Your Wife has the right to be annoyed at you for doing this… If the internet was just for 1 person then running a personal hotspot is fine.

    • +36

      Yep, totally agree. It sounds like all the internet devices in OP's house are not working, except for his 5G phone. I would say NBN is cheap compared to an angry wife. :)

    • Yeah all good points, I did initially think I could buy a 5G supported modem and use my phone with it. When I found that it required a seperate data sim I ditched the idea as it was pretty much the same price as NBN and then there was a $600 upfront cost for the modem

      • +34

        Did you forget you had a wife who needed internet?

        • No I didn’t, she has internet on her phone as well

          • +5


            Well about a month in and my wife is pretty annoyed that I always have to be home for her to access the internet

            • +1

              @WatchNerd: Ok probably worded that wrong, she can generally surf, use Facebook ect but for some reason the Netflix app only works using my phone and the code only validates using my hotspot. She also liked using the chromecast as it’s pretty easy to use, so I’ll focus on getting that to work.

              She has a bunch of stuff downloaded to her phone (using my hotspot) and can’t get it to play on the tv hence the annoyance.

              • @Franky288: I'll +1 the dedicated 5g modem if your certain you want to go that way but you'll need a new sim card for it. What technology is your nbn connection?

                • @preddye: it was FTTC

                  • +1

                    @Franky288: Fttc is more than adequate in most situations. Not quite as good as fttp but still…

                    So its not your nbn connection that's the problem its that you want to be an ozbargainer and save money but not having one and using your phone. Unfortunately a phone is not great at providing internet to ther devices for more than short periods even if you use a router.

                    My advice is just stick with your nbn connection otherwise you'll be chasing something you won't really get.

              • @Franky288: Chromecast won't stream Netflix downloaded videos off of the phone - it will always connect to a Netflix server to get the video.

                • @wendellX: Yes I’ve discovered that cheers, I was also unaware the windows app for Netflix needs internet to verify the pin.

                  This makes sense as anyone could just use free wifi hotspots to download tv shows and movies then watch them at home or on the go without using any data

      • Optus previously had $75 per month for unlimited 5g phone internet. No modem fee if you signed up for 24 months but technically the modem is on loan. Not sure if they still do this deal.

        Spintel resell the same Optus 5g service. We found that if we were just outside of range with Optus, spintel would still supply it.

  • Before looking at any other problem (and wasting time), you only have internet at your house while your phone is there. Is that a deal breaker? The rest sounds doable.

  • I also bought a travel router but it won't recognise it unless it has a USB dongle.

    I am little confused. Are you trying to use your phone usb -> travel router -> other devices ? This worked perfectly with my setup.
    What is the internet source for laptop when you are not at home ?

    • Yes essentially tether my phone to the router then allow other devices to connect to it. I tried for a few hours today with not luck but could possibly be my lack of networking understanding rather than the capabilities of the travel router

      • The answer to why 5G and your devices are not talking to each other is here

        • It should work behind a CGNAT provided that his LAN IP range doesn't overlap with the CGNAT network range.

          • @bazingaa: Depends on the device. CG-NAT does break networked printers and Franky has found that out :-)

      • did you use wifi or usb thethering from phone to router ?

  • +5

    Get a used Telstra smart modem and put a Telstra sim in it with some data, that will be enough to keep things running happily at home. You can get a cheap plan or just slap a prepaid sim in it - unlimited data capped for $15 a month

    • +4

      +1 This was my main internet connection until last month, monthly usage ~130 GB @ 1.5 Mbps

      Also he can get a Felix mobile $35/month 20 Mbps unlimited sim for wife as her mobile phone connection (including unlimited voice as well).

    • 1.5Mbps after 5GB per month?

      • +1

        yep, I got it for a offer so only $5/month

        • +2

          reminiscing the ADSL days

          • +2

            @JimB: better than 28.8 kbps dial-up lol

            • @bazingaa: 28.8 kbps dial-up was exactly twice as fast as my first modem!

              • @JimB: Rookie numbers! I started on a 1234 modem … "up to" 2,400 baud!

                • +2

                  @Seraphin7: You had a modem?

                  • @spackbace: Eventually. I also had a printer attached to my C64 without having any word processing or similar software. Interesting experience writing a letter using BASIC commands!

                  • @spackbace: I remember having to travel to the national library in Canberra to try the internet.

                    • @md333: You had a library?

                      • @spackbace: If I had a library I wouldn't have had to go all the way to Canberra.

                    • @md333: Amazed your memory is still good - or is it only the long term memory still working?

                • +4

                  @Seraphin7: I had a 2,400 baud modem too before my 14.4k, was given to me, I couldn't dial anywhere.

                  Once I got my 14.4k, I was on the information super highway. Not really, as I couldn't afford the $5 hourly charges. I used it to connect to BBS's.

                  I can still hear the modem connection dial tones in my head and the disappointment of an engaged phone signal.

                  The pain of someone picking up the phone while you have downloaded 99% of a massive 10mb file.

                • @Seraphin7: Modem?? Nah, acoustic coupler!

            • +1

              @bazingaa: Weeeeeee haaaaaaaaw, weeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaw……

  • +12

    There's a massive difference between 5G and using 5G hotspot.

    Just go and pay the monthly NBN charges.

  • +7

    5G is barely available on the go in most places at this stage.

    I would definitely stick to NBN personally until 5G is more mature. But in general I'd think NBN will always be faster than 5G, the talk that 5G is some super internet that will be far superior to a great NBN is woefully incorrect.

    • Basically yep. Remember when 4g came out? It was constantly questioned why we need a nbn with a 4g network. Well that 4g network still isn't usable in a fair chunk of Australia. I know it drops to 3g in quite a lot of Sydney and the "4g" connection runs at 2mbs

  • +10

    Just get nbn

    Happy wife happy life and all that

    • That’s a myth. The happy bit :-p

  • +5

    Mobile networks use Carrier Grade NAT or CG-NAT for short. Go back to NBN with an ISP that offers a proper IPv4 and IPv6 address.

  • +12

    wow and you're still married?

    • +3

      yeah wife hasn't been able to research a good divorce lawyer or get on tinder, cos you know, no internet.

  • +2

    Is your issue wanting 5G or is your issue availability/set up?

    If you can, Optus has unlimited 5G with the modem at
    Good price if you're in an area that can use it, and it says faster speeds and the like? (Haven't tried it myself).

    But it sounds like your issue is availability and network? You'll probably find it easier with a full 5G router/modem? I imagine that the wireless printer and the like works with a good router/modem whether you're using internet or not.
    Obviously if you're going to be taking the internet with you, then you won't have internet. Its kind of not really a 5G thing. If I cancelled my NBN every time I was out the house (and the ISP let me) the same thing would happen.

    I have a 4G Huawei router at home, the 4G stays home so I always have internet when i get back. I connect through wifi and my wireless printer works fine. So its possible, but you'll have to make changes to the setup.

    • +1

      I actually looked at that deal the other day but unfortunately Optus 5G isn't avaliable here yet only Telstra.

      cheers for the advice, I still have my old router in the shed, maybe i'll have a play a set up a home connection and try to get my printer working

  • +21

    5G - OPs internet connection
    500G - what his divorce will cost him

  • +3

    Not sure who your phone carrier is, but with Optus, I simply paid $5 to receive an additional sim card that uses my phone data.

    I put that sim card into a travel wifi dongle. I've not tried it, but I believe the dongle can be connected to router via USB and then broadcast internet <—- not 100% sure. If this doesn't work, I too have a travel dongle and would simple use that as a repeater of sorts.

    Limitation of the above for you would be that my wifi dongle is only 4G and I paid $30 for it. Not sure how much a 5G equivalent would be.

    • I have heard of people doing this with Telstra as well,

      To be honest 4g would be sufficient when i'm not home as it's fast enough to stream netflix, youtube, spotify ect.

      • As an aside, I've given my mother the wifi dongle with my (additional) sim card which provides her internet at her house without needing to get a home plan. 4G for her is sufficient for the single user (Netflix, Youtube)

        4G, at least in my location, is equivalent or better than my home 50/20 NBN plan. The only thing preventing me from pursuing my above plan full time (and that which you want to achieve but with 5G) is the data limitation. Current 50/20 plan is unlimited data, where phone is limited to 50GB.

      • +1

        Do you not care about your wife

  • +6

    OP operates like he is still single (if we hadn't known he has a wife and is annoyed with his internet "ideas") and creating solutions to looking for a problem…

    • +7

      You don't even need to be in a relationship to understand consideration… I mean he has lived with a family before right?
      Feel sorry for his wife, but then again it was her choice to marry the OP.

      • -7

        Haha seriously wtf, cheers for your input

  • my wife is pretty annoyed that I always have to be home for her to access the internet

    Communications abuse?

  • +16

    Stop mucking around with the internet if you don't know what you're doing.

    Using hotspot as main source internet when you have NBN readily available is just silly. You'd be constantly frying your phone battery aswell.

    Understandable if you're a Uni student looking to save a coin, but you're married man, stick to the NBN. It's a stable connection.

    Alot of areas don't yet have NBN or can't get NBN, yet you chose ditch NBN for the path to being single again.

    You're better off reading this advice and others above from a random stranger from the internet rather than your wife. You're welcome!

    • I didnt realise OP is actually a student and a married man. LOL. my bad.
      I think dial up 56k connection is best for OP

  • +5

    Has anyone sucessfully a way to live with mobile internet as their main go to internet? or have I jumped into it a few years too early.

    Yes we use optus 4g wirelsss broadband 500gb plan and its faster than Nbn (70-90mbps average) pay $55 a month with some bundled discounts, using it for more than a year, dont feel the need to switch to nbn.
    Better to get a seperate plan and use with a modem rather than hotspots.

    • been there, done that but unless you're with Telstra, it's not worth it. Optus is notorious for over subscribing their tower. I was on their 4g plan with the 4g tower can be seen from my roof but the speed and lag just unreliable. I'm now back to the lowest tier NBN plan for nearly a year and not a single person in my household complained about it yet.

  • +1

    I was thinking of this as well because I’m on Optus 4g broadband and can’t deal with the data cap! I have 5g in my area but can’t get Optus 5g broadband because I don’t have a booster on my street. The problem with 5g mobile hotspot is the trash and inconsistent upload speed if you care for that. I was looking into finding a 5g moderm and sticking a sim in it but the moderms are so expensive atm so I’m just going to sign upto nbn and wait a few years I think it’s too early for the switch. You can get a Vodafone sim which has unlimited capped at 25mbps for 50$ after 500gb 5g but I found the 4g voda speed to be terrible and the 5g upload to be 1mbps lol! Australia has royally shafted us!

  • +4

    You switched over and wonder why your wife is angry because you need to be home.

    You didn’t really think this one through did you.

    How would you feel if your wife glued the tv remote to her handbag.

    • Well I study full time and work from home so that’s not really a huge issue

      It seems you’re right though, a 5G modem with data would be a better option than using my phone which I now understand

  • +3

    5G will not be the end of NBN, once the area fills up with 5G users you will find it will slow down considerably. Go back to NBN if you are on FTTP…..

    • +2

      Agreed! FTTP is much better especially due to lower latency on Fibre

  • +1

    If you're with Telstra their new plans coming out soon have data pooling, you might be able to get a second cheap sim and insert it into a router at your house to share the data off your main account.

  • +2

    It's doable if you have a spare phone and a router that can do usb connection sharing. I've done it with 4 year old android phones and an Asus RT- AC68u

    While waiting for nbn to connect to a new property, we survived on cheap 4G sims for a few months. Only reason I went back to nbn was my work vpn disconnected a few times a day over mobile, and the additional latency was annoying while using remote desktop. Every few days the phone would disconnect from the router, which was a pain if I wasn't home to fix, but if I turned it off every night for an hour and rebooted the phone it was fine.

    It handled multiple netflix streams no problems, and when had their 100gb deal I could stop sim cycling before the month was out.

  • +1

    I have been using my "4G" phone as a hotspot for years, whilst others seem to flounder on excessive NBN charges with mediocre service.

    If you are 5G, are you sure you will receive 5G at your premises? Remember, 5G is Australia is in its infancy and much like the NBN, they are NOT offering "true" 5G.

    But, I bet, even your 4G would be much faster than your current arrangement.

    • Yes I get about 700mbps on my phone 5G service and was getting about 60mbps on my NBN.

      • +2

        You're much better off with NBN with 60mbps than 5G hotspot with 10000000mbps.
        - 5G hotspot is unstable. It will intermittently drop out and reconnect. Sounds similar to you.
        - NBN is stable and will bring stability to your marriage
        - 5G hotspot drains your phone battery bro. Much like how you're draining the wifeys life.
        - the latency is always lower (better) on NBN.
        - you have limitations with multi device connections
        - your phone does not have router capabilities compared to even basic level router supplied by the ISP
        - your wife wants to google "divorce settlement" but is unable to connect to the internet (thankgod), so she texts her friend instead. However iMessage fails to work on the wifi and her blood level hasen risen faster than your 5G can reconnect. You do not want to know the exchanges in these messages. It would be riveting.
        Good luck my friend.

  • OP, you can try sharing the hotspot through a desktop, with internet sharing it will allow all your devices attached to your home router to work as normal

    • These are all hacks to a fundamentally flawed setup. Relying on a device that travels with one person for a multi person household is just broken. Get a lower phone plan and reconnect nbn

  • +3

    This would be a lot simpler if you didn't have a wife, just sayin.

    • OP, FYI, NBN for $99 a month is a lot cheaper than a divorce.

      Just saying.

      • +1

        not divorce, bikies.

  • +1

    When I couldn’t get nbn at my house I had to rely on 4G. I got the Telstra ultimate sim with unlimited data (they don’t offer it anymore unfortunately) and I connected the sim in a phone to a spare old MacBook via USB hotspot and then shared that connection from the MacBook through the Ethernet to my google wifi points. Never had a problem. This would mean leaving your SIM card at home in a device.

    I had to leave the sim in a phone because when I put it in a 4G router Telstra warned me (probably through IMEI lookups) after a few days that that sim needed to be in a phone.

  • +2

    Short answer is 5G home broadband if available in your area.
    If not 4G home broadband is very good but the deals aren't as good as 5G

  • +1

    Everything you’ll need is here swap out 4g with 5G infra

  • Member Since

    Do you cook your food on the public bbq too?

    Lay off the booze and use the savings to pay for internet

  • +1

    I have recently cancelled my NBN and now using a Huawei Wifi Cube 4G with Vodafone.
    Alot faster than what the NBN was and with plenty of data (Vodafone have special SIM Card 500GB for $60. You can buy the 4G cube outright or pay about $20 a month for 36 months.

  • Cheers for your help and advice legends to those that didn’t resort to personal insults.

    Got 4G set up in the house (with a stick and sim) and so far it’s faster, cheaper and more convenient than my old nbn connection which in the end was my goal.

    • +1

      I installed rooter (custom build of openwrt) on a compatible router about 5 years ago. Have plugged my android phone in via usb occasionally and tethered via usb when the internet was down. Recently moved house just before covid, not able to get internet - "temporary accomodation" - and lived off it for 9 months. Chromecast, everything just worked. Still, I'm happy im back on the NBN now due to not working unless my phone was plugged in.

  • +2

    Somone on facebook told me 5G causes Corn virus

    PS look at Starlink

    • +2

      Please be careful of Corn viruses OP!!

  • You can setup centralized. For example any device in your home connect only to router. And to provide internet to router, you need 4g or 5g modem. Best on market is huawei b818 or netgear m1/m2 (M5 is too overkill at this time because we don't have unlimited 5G plan and the coverage yet)

    Setup like this and your wife will love you again. :D

  • Close to working..

    With this setup you need a fail over connection.
    You also need hardware to support this. Most will not accept a mobile hotspot as the internet gateway. You were on the right path with the travel router, as it is likely to be running a WRT variant and can use the WiFi.

    Aside from the NAT issues, You still need a main router that your home is connected to. All devices. That will get your printer and chromecast working again.

    Your router will need to be able to have more than one WAN. This can be setup to failover or use both and failover.

    So, you need a Load Balancing Router. eg TP-Link multi-wan or Ubiquity edge router
    A Travel router - to connect to your phone. - turn off almost all functions to bridge
    Something to connect to your other internet.

    one of the travel router companies did produce a router that could tether via WiFi and have a second WAN via USB, but I have not looked at that market for some time.

    With SOHO equipment, you are going to end up with double NAT. (not an issue for most)

  • gg

  • +2

    Best thread ever. Reminds me when a customer said they will get rid of all their corporate wireless/LAN/WAN and use 5G instead.

  • OP really fell for the whole 5G is better than NBN spree the gov went on about. Thank god you don't game, you're in for a shit show once more people join 5G (for normal use not this dumb use), not futureproof at all.

  • I've ditched my NBN in favour of 4G using a Huawei modem/router. If you want to use 5G you could use your phone as the modem and configure your PC as the router and connect it to your WiFi access point. It is not something I'd recommend the average user to do but it is not that difficult.

  • Get a new wife that doesn’t need internet. Problem solved.

    • +1

      tell your wife to use hotspot on her mobile phone, its crazy how so many people don't get that

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