fbpx

Types of Internet Connection

There’s a range of internet connection types to wrap your head around in Australia, from the NBN to home wireless, mobile broadband and more.

Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on February 13th, 2024       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Internet Banner - Man sitting in an office smiling at his laptop

Are you curious about the various types of internet connection available in Australia? There’s a range of technologies that power our online experiences. In Savvy’s helpful guide, we'll delve into the different types of connection on offer around the country today. Whether you're looking to understand the fundamental differences between the NBN, home wireless, mobile broadband and ADSL or you're exploring options for your home or business, find out all you need to know with us here!

What types of internet connection are available in Australia?

There’s a wide range of potential options when it comes to connecting your home or business to the internet in Australia. The connection types available today are:

National Broadband Network (NBN)

The NBN is a government-driven initiative which aims to provide high-speed internet access to homes and businesses across Australia via fixed line connections. It offers a range of speed tiers to suit different needs, which are:

  • NBN 12: 12Mbps download, 1Mbps upload
  • NBN 25: 25Mbps download, 5Mbps upload
  • NBN 50: 50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload
  • NBN 100: 100Mbps download, 20Mbps or 40Mbps upload
  • NBN 250: 250Mbps download, 25Mbps upload
  • NBN 1000: 1Gbps download, 50Mbps upload

In terms of establishing a connection, there’s a wide range of options for how your home or business is hooked up to an NBN plan. This can range from purely fibre optic cables (Fibre to the Premises) to a combination of fibre optic and coaxial (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) or copper cables (Fibre to the Node, Curb and Building). Rural properties can also connect to the internet via radio (Fixed Wireless) and satellite signals (Satellite).

Home wireless broadband

Home wireless broadband uses mobile networks to deliver internet access to your home. This either comes via the widely available 4G network or the newer, more powerful 5G network which can rival some of the faster NBN speed tiers (but is more limited in its availability as of September 2023).

It typically involves a modem that connects to the mobile network in your area, providing Wi-Fi connectivity within your home or business. This option is suitable for areas with good mobile coverage or who simply wish to move away from the NBN.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband allows you to access the internet via mobile networks in the same way as home wireless broadband, but the difference between the two is that this type of internet is designed for on-the-go use. As the name suggests, this broadband is more portable, rather than being fixed to one stable location.

In terms of how to connect to the internet via mobile broadband, you can choose from the following options:

  • Data-only SIM: in its simplest form, mobile broadband can be activated via a SIM card inserted into your tablet, laptop or any other compatible device. These are also inserted into dongles and pocket Wi-Fi devices.
  • USB dongle: a USB modem, also known as a dongle, can be plugged into a laptop or any other compatible device to provide you with mobile internet.
  • Pocket Wi-Fi: this is a transportable modem which can establish a Wi-Fi network for multiple devices to connect to at once wirelessly.

Mobile broadband plans can also either be prepaid (paid before usage period and recharged when required) or postpaid (paid after usage period on an ongoing basis).

Fibre internet

Fibre internet is essentially the same as the NBN, with the difference being that these plans are offered by private providers. They can deliver ultra-fast and reliable internet through dedicated optical fibre cables like the NBN.

However, in most cases, availability for these plans is much more limited comparatively and connections are only available via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), ruling them out as an option for those without this connection type.

Cable internet

Cable internet plans rely on existing pay TV infrastructure to deliver internet access. It’s important to note that these plans are only available in areas where the NBN is yet to be rolled out and are offered by very few providers. Once the NBN reaches your area, your cable internet connection will be overhauled by new technology, such as a Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection.

ADSL

ADSL internet plans use existing copper phone lines to provide internet access. It offers variable speeds based on your distance from the exchange, with maximum speeds not exceeding the lowest NBN speed tiers in many cases. The NBN was essentially designed to replace the existing ADSL infrastructure around Australia, so these plans are only on offer to those without the NBN available.

Helpful guides on internet plans

Internet Banner - Young couple sitting on the couch together looking at a tablet

What is a Mesh Network?

A mesh network could be the solution if you’re experiencing internet dead spots in your home or business. You might’ve...

Internet Banner - Internet modem router sitting on a table while a woman uses her tablet in the background

Modem vs Router

Modems and routers are both important for your home or business internet connection, but what do they do? You might’ve...

Internet Banner - Couple sitting at the table together conducting an NBN speed test on their laptop

NBN Speed Test

Test the speed for your home or business NBN plan to find out your download and upload speeds, ping and...

Internet Banner - Man smiling at his tablet while his partner lies on the couch behind listening to music

FTTP NBN Explained

Find out more about FTTP connections on the NBN, how they work and their potential speeds. FTTP is the most...

Internet Banner - Woman sitting on the couch next to her dog conducting an NBN check

NBN Check

Find out how to check the status of your NBN connection and its availability in your area. If you're keen...

Internet Banner - Woman sitting on the couch on her laptop

Fibre Internet Plans

Fibre internet plans provide an alternative fixed line connection to the NBN for eligible homes in Australia. There are plenty...

Internet Banner - A woman sitting at a table with a laptop and mobile phone

What is an ISP?

ISPs are a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to connecting your home or business to the internet....

Internet Banner: A man in glasses sitting at a desk with a laptop

5G vs NBN

Find out the differences between 5G and NBN internet connections, including their availability, cost, reliability and more. With both 5G...

Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!

Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.

$50 Woolworths eGift card terms and conditions
  • The Promoter is CIMET Sales Pty Ltd ABN 72 620 395 726. Level 18/570 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000. Econnex Comparison is powered by CIMET.
  • Promotion available on qualifying Broadband Plan purchases between 1st February 2024 to 31st July 2024 (“Promotional Period”) and may be withdrawn at any time by Econnex Econnex Comparison retains the right to change or alter the terms of this offer.
  • You (“Customer”) will receive $50 worth of Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards when you purchase a Broadband Plan via Econnex Comparison, subject to these Terms and Conditions.
  • Information on how to qualify to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card forms part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is considered acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Eligibility requirements
  • To be eligible to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards, you must purchase the Broadband Plan via the following link: https://app.econnex.com.au/broadband?rcCode=90709
  • You must switch to a new Broadband retailer. Customers who change plans via Econnex but remain with the same retailer will not be eligible.
  • Your Broadband Plan must be connected within 30 days from the date of purchase.
  • Eligible Recipients will receive the applicable Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards by email up to 120 days after purchasing the Broadband Plan.
  • Econnex Comparison is not liable if any Customer details supplied are incorrect.
  • Econnex Comparison is providing this offer in conjunction with the retail services offered on its platform.
  • Details of Econnex Comparison retailers can be found at the following link: https://www.econnex.com.au/approved-providers-list
  • You must be an Australian resident aged 18 or over. Econnex Comparison may request you to provide a copy of your valid ID for identification purposes.
  • The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards and Customer’s information (including the Customer’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the claim process, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the promotion.
  • Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter's discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
  • When the request for a connection cannot be completed, is unsuccessful, or a request is made for the cancellation of your Broadband Plan within the first 30 days from the date of connection, you will not be eligible to receive any gift card.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card is subject to any issuer Terms and Conditions.
  • Any ancillary costs with redeeming the gift cards are not included.
  • No responsibility is taken for any lost or stolen Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Cards.
  • If the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are unavailable, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards to a card with equivalent value, subject to directions from a regulatory authority.
  • If the offer is not able to be conducted as reasonably anticipated, due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to: technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the extent permitted by law: a. to disqualify any individual; or b. to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the promotion, as appropriate.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer from Econnex
Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions.
  • Econnex Comparison will transfer your Broadband Plan request and details to the selected retailer.
  • Econnex Comparison may contact you to clarify any details or discrepancies in the information you provided for your Broadband Plan purchase.
  • To cancel your request, you will need to contact the Broadband Plan retailer and inform them of your decision.
  • Please note that we do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands.
  • If you have any inquiries regarding your Broadband Plan purchase, you can contact us directly at 1800 013 000 or email us at [email protected]
  • Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions: https://www.econnex.com.au/terms-and-conditions/
  • By participating in this promotion, the individual authorises the Promoter to collect, hold, use and disclose their personal information in accordance with Econnex’s privacy policy, including providing such information to third parties such as contractors, service providers, suppliers and where required or authorised by law. Econnex’s Privacy policy can be found at https://www.econnex.com.au/privacy-policy
  • Econnex may, unless the individual tells us not to, use the information to communicate with them by mail or electronically by, for example, email, phone, SMS to issue direct marketing and commercial communications telemarketing calls.
  • To opt out of direct marketing access, update, or correct personal information you may contact us at [email protected]
Other Information
  • Woolworths Group Ltd ABN 88 000 014 675 is the issuer of the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card but is not the Promoter of the offer nor responsible for fulfillment of the offer terms.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards have a fixed term expiry as displayed on the front of the gift card and are redeemable in-store and online at Woolworths Supermarket stores only.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are valid for 3 months from the issue date and Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are not reloadable or redeemable for cash.
  • Econnex Comparison and Woolworths will not replace, expired, lost, stolen, or deleted Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards.
  • Check your Spam/junk email if you have not received a Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card in your inbox within 120 days after activation of your Energy, Electricity or Gas Plan.
  • Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Card is sent via email from [email protected] or [email protected]
  • For enquiries related to the application, gift cards, or adding or removing any details on the application, please contact the Econnex Comparison at 1800 013 000 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  • For the balance and transactions history on this Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card and Woolworths Terms and Conditions visit https://woolworths.com.au/giftcards or call 1300 101 234.
Internet Banner - Man sitting in an office smiling at his laptop

We'd love to chat, how can we help?

By clicking "Submit", you agree to be contacted by a Savvy Agency Owner and to receive communications from Savvy which you can unsubscribe from at any time. Read our Privacy Policy.