NBN may still be the go-to internet connection for most, but 5G home internet is an increasingly viable option as coverage expands. Plans are available from. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, iiNet, TPG, Internode and SpinTel. Better yet, these telcos really want you to try 5G. Most will even give you your first month free.
5G home internet plans come in two different forms: capped and uncapped. If you get a capped plan, you can pick between 50Mbps and 100Mbps options. Those are equivalent to NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans, respectively, but may experience slightly slower speeds during peak hours.
Here’s a look at the 50Mbps capped 5G home internet plans you can get with a free trial:
And here’s a look at the 100Mbps 5G home internet options with a free trial:
On the other hand, uncapped plans can go as fast network conditions allow. When testing Optus 5G home internet, we experienced speed as fast as 300Mbps. On Telstra 5G home internet, we’ve seen speeds over 500Mbps. Exact speeds will depend on your coverage and congestion, but 200Mbps is a pretty safe average.
Here’s a look at the uncapped 5G home internet plans you can get with a free trial:
For the most part, these trials are all risk-free. If you decide 5G home internet isn’t for you, you can simply cancel your plan without paying your cent, provided you return your modem to your telco.
There are two exceptions.
SpinTel only offers a 14-day free trial, and you’ll still be billed for your first month. If you’re not happy, you can leave within the fortnight and get a refund. You’ll need to return your modem, naturally.
And if you pick up an Optus 5G home internet plan and you change your mind, you’ll get stung by a costly exit fee. If you cancel your Optus plan within your first 36 months, you’ll pay a modem fee equivalent to $16 for each month left in your three-year term. That’s a maximum of $576.
The exception to Optus’ rule is if you can’t get speeds of at least 50Mbps. If that’s the case and Optus can’t help you improve them, you can return your modem and get out of the plan scot-free.
Telstra, Vodafone, iiNet, Internode and TPG all let you return your modem if you decide to cancel during or after your free trial.
The big benefit of being able to get a free month of 5G home internet is it makes it easier to see if the service is right for you. You don’t need to cancel your NBN to do so, and you won’t end up paying two internet bills for that month.
While 5G home internet may naturally be quite appealing to anyone with an underperforming NBN connection, it can also be a great way to get faster speeds for less money. Uncapped 5G home internet plans are cheaper than an NBN 100 plan, but can offer performance similar to or faster than an NBN 250 plan. Capped 5G home internet plans are also cheaper than their same speed NBN alternatives.
For reference, here are the NBN 100 plans from the telcos offering 5G home internet free trials:
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.
This article has been updated since it was first published.