Best 5G home internet plans in Australia: is the NBN alternative for you?

5G data signal beaming around a city
(Image credit: Mate)

5G home internet is a genuine alternative to the NBN that you may have previously dismissed. But it's become one of the best internet plans in Australia that could give you superfast internet at home, that you’re unable to get through a fixed-line NBN connection.  

This is because Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have invested more in the technology and rolled it out to five of Australia’s major cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra (albeit still in select areas within these).

Therein does lie a limitation of 5G home broadband, however. For you to be able to truly take advantage of the technology, you need to be living in an area with 5G network coverage. Telstra currently offers potential customers the best 5G coverage, covering 80% of the Australian population. Optus and Vodafone do both cover Australian cities, but not quite to the same extent. 

If you do live in an area with good network coverage, and 5G home internet is available (5G mobile coverage doesn’t necessarily mean there’ll be 5G home internet coverage) then it’s worth considering your home internet options. In fact, it could give you similar speeds to NBN for a more affordable monthly fee, or internet speeds faster than NBN for a similar price.

We’ve partnered with WhistleOut to bring you the best 5G home internet plans currently available in Australia. You never know, the speeds of 5G coupled with the other benefits of the mobile technology could just be what your household needs. 

Best 5G home internet plans

Because 5G is still in its relative infancy, there is only a small handful of telcos who currently supply it. The major telcos: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, all offer plans, along with mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) including Internode, Spintel and iiNet. These are the best 5G home internet plans for each of the providers.

Telstra 5G Home Internet | 1TB data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$85p/m ongoing  (opens in new tab)

Telstra 5G Home Internet | 1TB data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$85p/m ongoing  (opens in new tab)

Telstra’s 5G plan has a cap of 1TB of data for use each month and says typical evening speeds can reach 378Mbps download and 46Mbps upload, depending on the network coverage in your area. 

You get the modem included and your first month free to try it out. Telstra also throws in a few extras, including 2 months of Binge, 3 months of Apple TV Plus, 4 months of Spotify Premium and 12 months of Kayo Sports included for free. Telstra's 5G home internet plan may cost more per month than other providers, but the total value of the inclusions could be enough to make it worthwhile for you. 

Total cost for first 12 months: AU$935

Optus Plus Everyday Fast 5G | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$79p/m (opens in new tab)

Optus Plus Everyday Fast 5G | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$79p/m (opens in new tab)

Optus takes a slightly different approach to Telstra. The mobile operator offers unlimited data, but does put a speed cap on this plan of 100Mbps (and claims typical evening speeds of 83Mbps). However, Optus does promise you will achieve 50Mbps speeds at a minimum. If you want faster speeds, you can sign up to an uncapped speed tier, which advertises evening speeds of 225Mbps and also includes a Standard Netflix subscription. 

Optus includes a modem with your service, but if you cancel within 36 months, you will be charged $16p/m left of a 36 month period. 

Total cost for first 12 months: AU$869

Vodafone 5G Home Internet | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$70p/m (opens in new tab)

Vodafone 5G Home Internet | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$70p/m (opens in new tab)

Vodafone offers two 5G home internet plans, both of which have speed caps, at either 50Mbps or 100Mbps. There is a AU$5p/m difference between the two and we’ve selected the 100Mbps option here. If you have a mobile phone plan with Vodafone you can save AU$5p/m. 

The required 5G modem is included for free, as long as you stay connected for 36 months. If you cancel, Vodafone says you must return the modem within 30 days and in good condition, or you’ll be subjected to a non-return fee. This is charged at AU$17 per month left in the 36 month period. 

Total cost for first 12 months: AU$770

Spintel 5G Home Internet | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$59p/m (opens in new tab)

Spintel 5G Home Internet | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$59p/m (opens in new tab) (for first 3 months, then AU$79p/m)

Spintel’s 5G home internet service piggybacks off of the Optus 5G network and offers similar tiers: capped at 50Mbps, 100Mbps and uncapped. Typical evening speeds are advertised as 225Mbps on the uncapped tier. Spintel is currently offering AU$20 off the 100Mbps capped tier for the first three months, before reverting to its usual price of AU$79p/m. 

Total cost for first 12 months: AU$888 plus AU$20 postage fee for modem

TPG 5G Home Broadband | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$64.99p/m (opens in new tab)

TPG 5G Home Broadband | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$64.99p/m (opens in new tab) 

TPG follows a similar model to Vodafone, in that there are two speed tiers to choose from: 50Mbps and 100Mbps. We’ve chosen the 100Mbps Premium tier as our recommended plan, for its higher speed, yet relative affordability. TPG also offers the first month free and, similarly to other telcos, supplies the modem for free, based on a 36 month period. If you cancel and don’t return the modem, you’ll be subject to a non-return fee. TPG’s first year cost is one of the lowest of all the providers for 100Mbps speeds.

Total cost for first 12 months: AU$714.89

iiNet 5G Home Broadband | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$69.99p/m (opens in new tab)

iiNet 5G Home Broadband | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$69.99p/m (opens in new tab)

iiNet also uses the Vodafone 5G network, offering the same 50Mbps and 100Mbps capped speed tiers. The company currently offers the first month of service for free and as with most other telcos, iiNet will charge a no-return fee if you cancel your service and fail to return the modem within 21 days. This is charged at AU$17 per month left on a 36 month period.

Total cost for first 12 months: AU$769.89

What is 5G home internet?

5G home internet works in much the same way as 5G mobile internet. It relies on 5G data signals being sent from antennas to a modem in your home, which receives the signal and sends it out as a Wi-Fi signal. You then connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network in the same way you would if you had an NBN connection. 

5G has the capability to support greater capacity and faster speeds than the previous 4G technology, and can even achieve speeds greater than the NBN. 

How fast is 5G home broadband?

5G home broadband can theoretically achieve speeds up to 1,000Mbps, although in reality, you're unlikely to experience this. Telstra offers some of the fastest average 5G home broadband download speeds, at 378Mbps. However, the telco says real world speeds can range between 50Mbps - 600Mbps.

5G home internet plans may cap speeds at 50Mbps or 100Mbps, but some offer uncapped speeds. The speed you can get will depend on the strength of the network in your area. 

Is 5G home internet better than NBN?

While 5G home internet can realistically achieve much faster speeds than NBN, its availability is currently far more limited. However, if 5G home broadband is available in your area, it is much easier to get connected to the internet. You don’t need to have a technician come to your address to install any equipment – instead, when your 5G modem arrives, you just need to plug it in, wait for it to connect to a 5G signal, and you’re done. 

So, it’s not necessarily better than NBN, but if you are in an area that can take advantage of 5G, then we recommend it as something to consider. 

What is the cheapest 5G home internet?

The cheapest 5G home internet plan in Australia is provided by either TPG, iiNet or Internode. All three telcos currently offer a 5G home internet plan that costs AU$49.99p/m for the first 6 months, which increases to AU$59.99p/m, with speeds capped at 50Mbps. 

When will 5G internet be available in my area?

If you live in one of Australia's major cities, there's a good chance you'll already have access to a 5G network. If you're not currently in an area served by 5G, then you will almost definitely be able to connect to a 4G signal. 

The major telcos have all said they're working to make 5G available around the country, but naturally, these things take time. And, to make matters a little more confusing, just because you might be able to get a 5G connection on your smartphone, doesn't mean you will be able to get 5G home internet.

Click the links below to check the current 5G network coverage maps of each 5G home internet provider. 

Telstra
Optus
Vodafone
Spintel
TPG
iiNet

Max Langridge
Senior Editor, Tom's Guide AU

Max is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, where he covers all things internet-related, including NBN and the emerging alternatives, along with audio and visual products such as headphones and TVs. Max started his career in his homeland of England, where he spent time working for What Hi-Fi? and Pocket-lint, before moving to Australia in 2018.