Compare Wireless Internet Providers

Compare Wireless Internet Providers

Are you looking for a wireless Internet provider in Australia? Ask just about anyone which ISP they think is best and they’ll give you a different answer. Why is that? Simple! Everyone has different needs and expectations when it comes to their Internet usage.

Some people want the cheapest wireless Internet available regardless of reliability and/or customer service while conversely, some look for the best wireless Internet provider that rates high on customer service and have a reputation for providing a reliable and solid connection. Then there are those that want the fastest speed regardless of cost! Plus, there is a whole host of Internet providers in Australia that float between either end of the spectrum.

Understanding which category you fall into is important in selecting the best wireless broadband plans and avoiding any disappointment or nasty surprises. So, let’s take a look at some Australian wireless providers and match you to a suitable offering.

In this article, we’re going to look at 4 types of wireless broadband Internet providers in Australia. Firstly, we’ll look at the cheap or budget minded ones. Next up are the reliable and consistent providers followed by the fastest ones regardless of cost.

Lastly, we’ll take a look at the wireless Internet plans that fall some where in the middle. Please note, all of these opinions are solely my own and have been formed after many years of reading and contributing to Australian broadband websites such as Whirlpool as well as my own experiences with various companies since 1995.

Cheap Wireless Internet

For many years now, Dodo have hands down delivered the cheapest Internet access in Australia. Whether it’s dial up, wireless or an ADSL connection, Dodo are loved by anyone and everyone who need to stick to a budget and are primarily concerned with the price of access. Their entry level wireless broadband plan begins at $9.90 on a 24 month contract or $14.90 month to month and includes a maximum 500Mb of data allowance; perfect for checking your email and using Facebook.

Dodo are currently running a promotion where you can select a Pendo Pad (similar to an iPad although Apple fans might disagree!) or a U900 netbook if you sign up for a contract online. With such freebies, it makes Dodo not only the cheapest wireless Internet provider in Australia but a very attractive one at that.

Unfortunately, Dodo do not have a reputation for providing a reliable connection and are known for providing poor customer service as well. This makes them a poor choice for users who demand a reliable connection above all else. If you’re a low volume user and need to stick to a budget, Dodo is still a great choice! Provided you remember you get what you pay for, Dodo is suitable for users who just need a cheap connection above anything else.

Reliable & Consistent Wireless Internet Providers

When it comes to reliable and consistent broadband companies, you can’t not mention Internode or iiNet. Both of these Australian companies have a track record for providing not only a reliable connection but excellent customer service as well. In the unlikely event you run into issues with your mobile wireless Internet and need to call them on the phone, you can rest easy knowing you will talk to an Australian in an Australian call centre and not an off-shore one.

Internode also offer many value-added services such as their gaming network. It’s perfect for those people who enjoy doing a little online gaming and require decent pings above all else. Internode’s entry level wireless plan starts at $19.95 for 1.5Gb of data but for heavier users, they also have a wireless plan which provides 18Gb for $79.95. The data allowance includes both uploads and downloads but have no excess usage fees; you won’t suffer any bill shock!

Not to be outdone, iiNet also enjoy a sound reputation for the same things as Internode. In fact, many people consider them the creme of the crop when it comes to Australian broadband providers. iiNet’s entry level wireless plan begins at $24.95 for unbundled users or $19.95 a month as part of a package deal. This plan includes 1Gb of data on peak as well as 1Gb of off peak data. If you exceed the data allowance, iiNet charge 5c per Mb you use in excess which can be of concern for those people that don’t actively monitor their usage. iiNet also provide you with a backup dial up account but given most people these days no longer own a dial up modem, it’s of little use or benefit.

Internode and iiNet are perfect for those people who need a wireless broadband provider who are reliable above all else and provide A+ customer support. Of course, you’ll pay a little extra for such reliability and service but it’s well worth it if those things are important to you in an ISP.

Fastest Wireless Providers

If you feel the need for speed regardless of cost, you’ll want to take a look at Telstra Bigpond and Vivid when researching broadband wireless Internet providers in Australia. Both providers are neck and neck when it comes to download/upload speed on their mobile Internet network. While matched in speed, there are 2 very big differences between the 2 companies and that is coverage.

Telstra have the best coverage of any wireless broadband provider in Australia and that’s all thanks to their Next G network. In the past, Bigpond was a hard sell due to the expensive plans and excessive usage charges but in more recent times, they have begun to offer competitive pricing. While far from being the cheapest, Bigpond can finally be given some real consideration when shopping around for wireless Internet access.

Their entry level plan begins from $9.95 but to be eligible for this pricing, you must have a full service land line connection as well as another Telstra product such as a mobile phone. As a stand alone product, this product costs $29.95 a month on a 24 month contract and provides 400Mb of data; only sufficient for checking email and using Facebook. If you require more data, you can select their 12Gb Liberty plan from $69.95 a month (bundled) or $89.95 as a stand alone product on a 24 month contract. Thankfully, Bigpond no longer include excessive usage fees and all wireless plans are capped so that you will not incur additional charges.

Telstra Bigpond wireless is perfect for those people that live in remote regions of Australia as they will enjoy the benefits of the Next G network; speed and excellent coverage. Many people go with them simply because no other provider has the coverage that Bigpond provides. For many consumers, that forms part of the love/hate relationship that they have with Telstra.

Vivid Wireless are the only other company in Australia who can stand toe to toe with Telstra Bigpond when it comes to wireless broadband speeds. Their plans are much cheaper but unfortunately, they lack coverage. If you’re lucky enough to live in a coverage zone (Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra & Melbourne) you can enjoy some fast wireless speeds at prices that are good value. Their entry level plan begins at $19 per month for 2Gb of data but they also provide an unlimited data plan which costs $79 per a month. Be warned though, while this plan does provide unlimited data, lovers of P2P and torrents shouldn’t get too excited as these protocols are shaped.

The In-Between Wireless Internet Providers

Lastly, there are the wireless Internet providers that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum for speed, reliability, customer service and value for money. No other company epitomises the middleground than Vodafone and their pocket wifi device. The pocket wifi modem is a router that allows you to share the wireless connection with other devices such as your iPad, iPhone and numerous laptops. Their entry level plan begins at $15 a month for 1.5Gb of data but if you require more, the plan which provides 10Gb of data for $49 a month would be better suited to heavy users.

When comparing wireless Internet providers, start up costs can be expensive due to the added fees of purchasing the modem. Fortunately, Vodafone have reduced the cost of their pocket wifi device to $0 on post paid plans. To top it all off, their current promotion includes the first month free!

In-between wireless providers such as Vodafone are perfect for people who need a reliable service at a price that can only be considered great value. They’re not the cheapest nor are they the most expensive. They’re not the fastest but neither the slowest. It’s the perfect middle ground for your average Internet user. In fact, it’s what I use myself and you can watch my video review regarding my experiences with the pocket wifi product here.

You should now be equipped with everything you need to know in order to make an informed purchase and avoid any of the pitfalls some people have experienced with wireless broadband in Australia. At the end of the day, it all comes down to selecting the right plan to meet your needs and expectations. Many of the above mentioned wireless Internet providers are now offering portable pocket wifi modems as part of their plans or soon will.

Please feel free to leave any feedback regarding your own experiences or a great deal you’ve recently discovered. Post a comment below!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret Antoine June 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Thank you you were most informative.I was inquiring for my sister(pensioner) the cheapest plan plus a free modem. it looks like the vodaphone pocket wifi,she is not able to get broadband in her area. For her to use it for e-mail plus games a little browsing ,what amount of GB do you think she would need. Sorry we are both computer illiterate and would appreciate your advice. Thank you Margaret Antoine


admin June 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

Hi Margaret.

If you’re not sure how much she will use, you will want to go with a smaller plan at first but ensure it has a cap to avoid any excess usage charges. I wouldn’t think she would require any more than 5-6Gb per month ($29 a month with Vodafone for 6Gb – great if you’re living in a coverage zone).

Also, if she is living in a regional area, I would be tempted to sign up with Telstra Bigpond instead. They have the best coverage across Australia and their plans finally have a cap on them – no nasty bills.

I hope that helps.


Christopher Ant January 31, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Thanks for your helpful contribution to my data plan research for a Wi-Wi device. I have just taken up a $49 plan for 15 GB data with free 4G modem on a 12 month term. “Vivid” has impressed me and their undertaking of a prompt 14 day refund and termination for inadequate service supplyis reassuring. In addition l can alter my plan from time to time should l desire. Now my smart phone, galaxy tablet and lap top can share one data deal and my partner can still a device or two also. I dont think Telstra would get close to this deal at anytime in the coming, year. My procrastination is over! THANKS AGAIN.


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