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Home Wireless Broadband

If you're looking for lots of data, home wireless broadband may be a good option.

Home wireless broadband uses mobile networks to get you connected to the Internet, so if you’re sick of a poor connection that drags down your speed, you simply plug your modem in, and you’re good to go. Find out more about home wireless broadband in this article.

What is home wireless broadband?

Home wireless broadband connects you to the Internet by using mobile phone networks. All you need is a modem from your Internet provider and a power source, then you’re good to go. No more waiting around for an installation technician to get you hooked up. Once your modem is working, you can connect your devices to it as you normally would via Wi-Fi.

What’s the difference between home wireless broadband and mobile broadband?

Home wireless broadband uses a full-sized modem which you can get from your chosen Internet provider, but will be bigger in size compared to the equipment you use for mobile broadband. That’s because home wireless broadband is intended to be an alternative home Internet solution rather than an easy travel option. It generally has higher data allowances and is much better suited towards heavy data users with most plans ranging from 100GB to 500GB, and you may even be able to find unlimited data options.

Mobile broadband works similarly to home wireless broadband, in that it relies on mobile networks for connectivity. It uses portable hotspots as well as dongles (USB modem) to get you connected ‘on-the-go’. Prices for mobile broadband plans can be a little more compared to home wireless broadband and data allowance is also usually significantly less.

Home wireless broadband vs tethering your phone connection

Tethering your phone is essentially using your phone as a modem and connecting it to another device for it to use your mobile data either through a hotspot, Bluetooth connection or USB port. It’s similar to home wireless broadband in that it allows you to have Internet access wherever you are, as long as you’ve got mobile coverage. As you don’t have a separate modem to use, tethering your phone connection can drain your phone’s battery since it’s being used as the modem. It’s also not the best home Internet solution since you’ll be eating into your mobile’s data plan, so it’s better used as a quick fix option when you’re somewhere without accessible Wi-Fi.

Home wireless broadband vs a normal home Internet connection

Your usual home Internet connection types typically include ADSL, fibre, part-fibre, cable and satellite. What they all have in common is that they’re fixed to the address you submit when you sign up for a plan. Standard broadband delivers Internet to you via your phone line or your provider’s network of cables. These are run through a router, which then allows you to connect your devices through Wi-Fi or ethernet cable.

On the other hand, as home wireless broadband uses mobile networks instead of cables and phone lines to get you an Internet connection, it means you can use it outside of your home as long as you’ve got the modem with you. As coverage can vary depending on location, home wireless broadband may not be as reliable as standard broadband. It all comes down to how and where you plan to use your Internet connection and which type of broadband suits your needs better.

How fast is home wireless broadband?

Generally speaking, speeds for home wireless broadband can get up to 1Bbps, but cheaper plans will often cap download speeds at 10Mbps. It’ll be enough to stream Netflix and do your regular online browsing, but if you’re sharing your connection with more than a few people, you’re probably better off paying a little bit extra for faster speeds.

Pros and cons of home wireless broadband.

  • Convenient modem means you can take your connection wherever you go, as long as there’s a power source to plug in your modem and network coverage in your area.
  • Simple “plug and play” set-up with instructions from your provider so there’s no need to arrange for a technician to come over for installation.
  • No-lock-in contracts may be available, to give you the freedom of choosing when you want to stop using it.
  • Plans can be more expensive than standard fixed line plans, such as ADSL.
  • Some providers limit the speed, which can affect how fast your content loads.
  • Coverage depends on mobile signal strength so check with your provider before using it in your area.

Bottom line

The convenience and flexibility of home wireless broadband makes it an attractive choice for those looking for an easy-to-use Internet connection that isn’t cemented to a single location. Renters who need to move homes frequently due to factors such as short leases may prefer a home wireless broadband connection over traditional fixed-line plans.

The modems used for your home wireless broadband can be taken wherever you’re going, so long as your provider has sufficient coverage in the area. Network signals can change depending on where you’re located so it may be a good idea to try a no-contract plan first, which allows you the option to switch if you need to.

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