NBN plans with 4G backup

Get a 4G backup modem with your NBN plan to keep connected during an outage.

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4G backup is the spare tire of the Internet world. It's not quite as fast as your regular connection, but you'll be glad it's there when there's an NBN outage.

There are currently 5 providers in Australia whose NBN plans include a modem with 4G backup:

  • Telstra, comes with the Telstra Wi-Fi Smart Modem.
  • Optus, comes with the Optus Ultra Wi-Fi Modem.
  • Vodafone, comes with the Vodafone Wi-Fi Hub.
  • iiNet, comes with its High-Speed NBN Modem.
  • Internode, comes with its High-Speed NBN Modem.

iPrimus also offers this option at an additional cost. Otherwise, you'll get its regular modem without the extra 4G feature.

Compare NBN plans with 4G backup

How does 4G backup work?

If your NBN connection goes out (but you still have power), your modem with 4G backup will kick in using its 4G mobile connection to get you online until the NBN outage ends.

  • Keep in mind: While your regular 4G connection on your phone is capable of 100Mbps download speeds, 4G speeds on back-up modems are capped between 12 and 25Mbps.

Depending on how fast your usual NBN plan is, the 4G backup may feel considerably slower.

While the speed won't be anything to write home about, it will mean you won't have to stop working altogether.

Telstra NBN plans

Telstra is Australia's largest telco and has the widest 4G coverage in Australia. While it's not the cheapest provider, its 4G backup could make all the difference for those in regional areas.

Pros

  • Telstra Wi-Fi Smart Modem comes as standard on all NBN plans.
  • 4G modem is free if you stay for 24 months, or if returned when the plan is cancelled.
  • 4G speed is capped at 25Mbps (instead of the usual 12Mbps).
  • Widest 4G coverage in Australia.

Cons

  • Plans are more expensive than others.

Optus NBN plans

Optus may not be the largest telco but it has topped the ACCC's broadband performance charts for having the most reliable speeds. Its Ultra Wi-Fi Modem comes included on most plans, excluding the gaming ones (which come with a gaming modem).

Pros

  • 4G speed capped at 25Mbps download, 2Mbps upload.
  • Modem is free if you stay connected for 36 months.
  • Good 4G coverage.

Cons

  • If you leave earlier than 36 months (which is quite a long time), you need to pay out $7 per remaining month for the modem.

Vodafone NBN plans

Vodafone's NBN plans are a bargain if you're already a Vodafone mobile customer. Otherwise, it's still slightly cheaper than Telstra and Optus, but comes with a slower speed cap and more conditions tied to its usage.

Pros

  • Vodafone mobile customers save $15 per month.
  • Modem is free after 24 months.

Cons

  • 4G speed is capped at 12Mbps download/1Mbps upload.
  • 4G doesn't kick in automatically, you have to call Vodafone to activate it.
  • 4G can't be used for more than 30 consecutive days if you have a difficult fault.
  • If you cancel before 24 months, you need to pay out $7.50 per remaining month for the modem.

iiNet NBN plans

iiNet offers its 4G backup modem for free if you stay for 24 months. If you leave earlier, the modem is actually cheaper than with other providers, coming out to a max cost of $192.

Pros

  • Plans are overall a little cheaper or on par with the bigger providers
  • Modem itself costs less than from other providers

Cons

  • 4G speed limited to 12Mbps download/1Mbps upload

Internode NBN plans

Internode is another carrier that has 4G backup modems as an option when you sign up to any NBN plan. The 4G backup modem is exactly the same free ($192) as iiNet, only the delivery fee is $15 instead of $10.

Pros

  • 4G backup modem is free if you stay for 24 months

Cons

  • Plans aren't the cheapest being on par with Optus prices (and faster modem speeds with Optus too)
  • Delivery fee is slightly higher than iiNet, making its modem more expensive overall
  • 4G speed limited to 12Mbps download/1Mbps upload

iPrimus NBN plans

iPrimus doesn't offer its 4G backup modem for free. Instead, you'll need to fork out an extra $10 a month for this option. Otherwise, you'll get a regular modem without 4G.

Pros

  • Regular plans (without 4G backup modems) are $9 per month cheaper than Optus.

Cons

  • Modem costs an extra $10 a month on top of normal plan pricing (which then makes it $1 more expensive than Optus).
  • 4G speed limited to 12Mbps download/1Mbps upload.

Compare NBN plans with 4G backup

All providers shown in the comparison table offer 4G backup modems. Only iPrimus requires you to pay an extra fee for it, the rest include it with the plan.