Need some data for your dongle? You’re in the right place.
Well, most mobile broadband plans have moved on from funny-looking dongles to funny-looking portable hotspots, but they’ve also become a lot more affordable. Data-only plans are now for everyone.
A 5GB data-only SIM for a tablet will now cost you as little as $15 per month, or you can get a massive 200GB plan that could replace your traditional home internet for $60 per month.
Whether you want a small or large plan, we've picked out some of our favourite mobile broadband deals around.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 80GB
If you're looking for a more traditional mobile broadband plan that you can use at home or on-the-go, there are now plenty of high data inclusion options.
In terms of data-per-dollar, Optus is the best option with 200GB for $60 per month on a 12-month contract. But it’s worth noting that half of this data is “bonus data”; unless extended, you’ll need to sign up before the end of February 3 to get the full 200GB.
If your Optus coverage is a bit patchy, you might want to consider Vodafone's $60 per month 110GB mobile broadband plan, or Telstra's $89 per month 90GB plan. Both these plans are sold on 12-month contracts. Vodafone’s plan includes 20GB of bonus data; it will go down to a 90GB plan after February 4.
If you'd prefer a month-to-month option, Jeenee Mobile has a 100GB plan for $65 per month. While you won’t have to sign a contract for this plan, you will pay a $12.37 setup fee. Jeenee is powered by the Optus network.
In most cases, these plans will require you to bring your own 4G modem. If you don't have one, you can always throw the data-only SIM in an old phone or tablet and use that device as a portable hots-pot.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 50GB
50GB probably isn’t enough to replace a home internet connection, but it could make an excellent stop gap if you're moving to a new house or going on a holiday where you won't have reliable Wi-Fi access.
Dodo currently has the cheapest plan in this ballpark, offering 50GB for $40 per month. You will however need to sign a 12-month contract to get this deal. If you'd prefer something a bit more casual, OVO, SpinTel, and Jeenee Mobile will all do 50GB for around $50 per month on a month-to-month or prepaid basis.
These four providers are all powered by the Optus network.
Mobile broadband plans with at least 5GB
If all you want is a SIM to throw in a secondary device or tablet, a cheap data-only SIM is perfect. 5GB plans now cost around $15 per month. Better yet, these plans are typically contract-free.
If you're purely after the cheapest, the Optus-powered plans from SpinTel and Jeenee Mobile are your best bet. Be aware that you'll need to pay a small upfront setup fee in both cases.
Alternatively, spending just $5 more per month will score you a 25GB allowance on Dodo. This does however require signing a 12-month contract.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website. He's now had far too many phone plan related dreams.