4G internet plans price comparison

4G and WiFi modems

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Mobile 4G data plans prices

mobile 4G data plans price comparison
4G data price Extras
Telstra 4G L 1 year contract 80 $89 $1.1 $/Gb $29-$35 /month for USB dongle or WiFi modem
Optus 4G Triple Data SIM 1 year contract 200 $60 0.3 $/Gb 0 - 3$ /month for 150Mbs modem
TPG SIM only mobile plan 6 month deal 20 $24.99 1.25 $/Gb
retrieved on 9 Oct 2018

You can combine the mobile phone and the 4G internet plans. Let's say you have a business mobile phone plan with unlimited calls but you hardly use 2GB of data. You can buy cheap 4G internet (SIM card) from the same ISP and share data across mobile and the 4G modem plans. Benefits: Quicker and movable internet, saving money. For example, as of 9 Oct 2018 you can combine Telstra Mobile plan L (90Gb unlimited calls) + Mobile Broadband Plan S (10Gb) for $99 per month. That will deliver internet up to 120Gbs (faster than NBN) and the mobile phone with unlimited calls. You will need the 4G WiFi modem as well.

ISP 4G WiFi modems

Telstra Netgear Nighthawk M1, 1 ethernet

WiFi: 2.4 and 5 GHz, speed not specified

$840 in repayments

Optus AC800S, no ethernet

WiFi: 2.4GHz only, speed not specified

$540 in repayments

BYO 4G WiFi modems

TP-Link MR400, 4 ethernet outputs, external antennas

WiFi: 300Mbps at 2.4GHz, 867Mbps at 5GHz


TP-Link MR6400, 4 ethernet outputs, external antennas

WiFi: 300Mbps at 2.4GHz


Netgear LB2120 4G LTE

no WiFi, LAN only


4G via WiFi internet

Both WiFi and Mobile 3G-4G are wireless technologies transmit data over the air. But 3G-4G connects directly to the internet while WiFi connects to your home or business internet router which in turn connects to the internet via the modem. More often, modems are built into the router. Such WiFi routers and modems in one device are confusingly called WiFi modems or WiFi routers while a WiFi router is a different device with no modem in it.

WiFi via 3G or 4G internet
WiFi 3G or 4G
Distance to a transmitter 1-30 meters up to a few kilometres
Transmitter WiFi router owned by you Tower owned by mobile network provider
Maximum speed 900 Mb/s 1-150Mb/s

It seems like WiFi provides a better connection speed. But WiFi connects only from your computer/iPad to the router. The overall speed is limited by the link to the internet provider. In the case of ADSL connections, the internet and speed is limited by the phone line, not the router. A typical ADSL speed is only 10Mb/s. NBN speeds are around 20-50Mb/s. That is why even brand new expensive WiFi routers do not improve internet speed much.

WiFi modems routers and types of the internet connection

Depending on the type of connection to the internet there are a few types of modems; fixed ADSL, Cable and mobile 3G or 4G. Again they call mobile 3G-4G network - just “wireless network“, which is true but not precise because a local WiFi network is wireless as well. So the router with a WiFi connection to a computer and mobile 3G-4G connection to the internet can be called a Mobile 3G-4G WiFi router. Mobile 3G-4G WiFi routers can be fixed and connected to the main power or movable and work on battery. The former ones Big Pond calls “Pocket WiFi Modems” because you can have them in your pocket. Optus calls Mobile 3G-4G WiFi routers “Mini WiFi Modem“. Regular WiFi routers can connect up to 255 WiFi devices, but Telstra´s and Optus mobile 3G-4G WiFi routers are limited to 10 - 20 simultaneous devices.

Smartphone as a mobile 4G WiFi router

Not everyone knows that they can use their smartphone as a mobile 3G-4G WiFi router - no additional internet account is necessary. I´ve seen people purchase more expensive iPads with 4G and pay monthly fees for an additional mobile 4G internet account while all they had to do is turn on tethering setting in their iPhone / Android phones or tablets to share internet connection with an iPad or laptop via WiFi. And on the other hand, if you have iPad with 3G already you can use it as a mobile 3G-4G WiFi router too. One thing to remember when tethering a device to your phone is the data limit. Most mobile accounts come with at least 1Gb of data which is enough for internet browsing and e-mails but may be run out fast if you download a lot. A movie download can exceed 4Gb.

  by Dimitri,   Tags: ,  ,