+ Wednesday June 19th, 2019

After writing about Optus’ new Home Broadband plans last night, I have kept my word and been into Optus today (Hi, Optus Hornsby staff!) and signed up for a new Optus Home Broadband 500GB plan. After an initial bit of confusion (I tried to open a Business account but was told I can’t without a printed letterhead giving me permission to do so … from myself), the sign-up process was painless and easy, and now I’m all set up!

The process is extremely simple, especially compared to signing up with traditional fixed-line broadband providers.

Here’s how it looks signing up as a brand-new Optus customer – note, if you’re an existing customer, it might be easier still:

  • Provide 100 points of ID (drivers licence, Medicare card, etc)
  • Provide basic details – where you live, your employment, etc
  • Confirm whether you want the 200GB or 500GB plan
  • Confirm whether you want month-by-month (with upfront $192 modem cost) or 24-month plan (no modem cost)
  • Sign on the dotted line
  • Walk out with your new modem

This whole process took about twenty minutes. Upon getting back to your home or office, setting up the modem is equally easy; simply open the bottom of the modem and insert the Optus SIM, power on the modem, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

As you can see, I’ve got the modem set up on my office window, and even here with fairly poor signal, I’m getting some crazy fast speeds out of it:

That’s just shy of 80Mbps downstream, and 5.5Mbps upstream and we’re in a bit of a signal black hole here. Our apartment – where the Optus Home Broadband modem will end up – is four storeys’ high and we generally get excellent mobile signal at home. I’m expecting something a bit quicker still.

In answer to some questions people have asked:

  • Can you use the Optus Home Broadband SIM in your mobile or other device? The answer, it seems, is no. It doesn’t work in my mobile. It looks as if it’ll work in the supplied modem only.
  • Is it speed limited? Only by technical limits rather than any artificially imposed – I’d expect with good signal on a cell tower that isn’t oversubscribed you could easily exceed 100Mbps here.
  • Can you use your Vividwireless modem as a BYO and get a SIM-only option? It appears, for now, the answer is no – this might require some further clarification from Optus.

That said, you probably want to use Optus’ supplied modem instead of something else. It’s a category 6 LTE device which means it’s going to be significantly faster than the Vividwireless modem which is Cat4 LTE only.

Let me know if you’ve got any other questions and I’ll do my best.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Cameron
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Cameron

Hi Chris,

Just 1 question. Between the Huawei B525 and NETGEAR AC800S, why did you choose the Huawei?
NETGEAR is running Cat 9 LTE vs Huawei on Cat 6.
Besides the Huawei allowing more devices to connect simultaneously, what else made you go for the Huawei?

Simon
Guest
Simon

How is this holding up? I signed up last week but am currently overseas so haven’t had the chance to test it out.
I live on a offshore island so will be looking into getting some yagis to get the maximum speed possible.
I currently have a good ADSL2 connection where I get around 8-15mb down but when testing the 4g with a Optus sim I can pull down 50mb so it was too good to pass up.
Will be home in a week so will do more testing 🙂

A
Guest
A

Is there any public way to find out if your closest tower has 2300mhz? Because I’ve read you will only get decent speeds if this is the case.

Simon
Guest
Simon

If you have a Android device download “Aus phone towers”
This will show you the locations of all yours towers and the frequencies they run off.
Using the app “opensignal” which is also on the Play store will show you the direction of the tower you are connected too which is helpful if your setting up external antennas.

Rod
Guest
Rod

Hi Chris. You can do it either through the modem web page http://192.168.8.1/html/mobileconnection.html or the HUAWEI HiLink app.

BTW – I moved the modem to the furthest point in our house from the mobile tower. For some reason this is getting better reception. On five signal bars I’m now getting between 60 and 80 mbps download. I’m a happy camper again! I suspect if it wasn’t so windy today it may go higher (and fluctuate less).

Rod
Guest
Rod

Apologies, you’ll all be getting sick of me. I tried changing the modem profile name from Optus Mobile Broadband to Optus Connect. The speed immediately went up to 90 mbps. My happiness was short lived as I’m pretty sure I was just sharing my wife’s mobile data allowance. She only has 512 mb per month (and she doesn’t use that!). She immediately got a text saying her data was nearly all gone. Anyway, can anyone explain why there should be this discrepancy between the 4g home broadband plan speeds and normal 4g data speeds. My 500 gb allowance is going… Read more »

Rod
Guest
Rod

Thanks Chis. Yes a consistent 40 would be fine, even a 20 would be quite satisfactory. It’s around 10.00am now and i’m down to about 10. My phone is with Amaysim but it’s still Optus. I might take it back to the shop on Monday and see if I can call and chat with their technical support. I tried contacting Optus through ‘live chat’ this morning but it would appear he wasn’t that familiar with the device as his last advice was to locate the reset button under the battery cover 😀. Anyway, reset did nothing. It may be a… Read more »

Simon
Guest
Simon

Mounting some external Yagi antenna’s and have them pointed at a suitable tower will help fix the speed issues

Rod
Guest
Rod

I bought the modem yesterday. It started off promising with around 40 mbps download, but then deteriorated in the afternoon and night. At one point I was only getting 0.19 mbps download with only one mobile device connected. Meanwhile my phone was consistently hitting 120 mbps download. We are very close to a tower. This morning it started off and 40 mbps again, but has started dropping as the day progresses. Meanwhile the phone is getting 135 mbps. I wasn’t expecting to get the same speeds as the phone, but I’m feeling very disappointed at this point.

David
Guest
David

Hi, could you do speed tests ar different times of the day – does it vary much.

John
Guest
John

Limited internet nowadays is a joke. Optus never again!

Jon Jackson
Guest
Jon Jackson

Does the new modem supplied allow you to configure access. Such as restrict certain devices from access to the internet at certain times etc. ?

Lawrence
Guest
Lawrence

I am using optus 200Gb plan, dont have public IP, so i will switch to other later. 🙁

At_a_Crawl
Guest
At_a_Crawl

Let’s visit this thread in 12 months and see it over utilized and speeds being greatly affected, especially during peak times. Then a dose of reality will set in for all those that signed up… Until then, amigo’s!

Philip Clark
Ausdroid Reader

You mean just like NBN, the infrastructure that’s meant to be far more scalable and futureproof?

Les
Guest
Les

The original NBN was scalable. But the one that eventuated, that connects to old HFC cable, or even worse, rusted copper (instead of optical fibre) is rubbish. It was obsolete before they installed it, and because it can’t be upgraded, will eventually cost more than fibre would have.

Craig Mitchell
Ausdroid Reader

Hopefully 5G will ensure this doesn’t happen.

Stan
Guest
Stan

Vwry keen to get this , however still worried about the possible, or likely in my household, excessive data charge and how to avoid it when trying to use the maximum 500gb , I am sure someone smarter out there knows a trick or two? Is there a sofware can be utilised to cut off the connection when , say, you are at 497/498 gb before cycle cut? Or , how do you guys manage this bit?

Flare
Guest
Flare

I thought you could use the vividwireless modem but the max would be 100 down and about 7 up? I hopefully only need it for a few months

Dany
Guest
Dany

Do you get a public IP? I’m with OVO and limited to a wan private IP 🙁 can’t do any hosting at home…

Murray juchau
Guest
Murray juchau

I have had 267mbs download from the Optus tower in south Nowra multiple times.

Julian Wong
Guest
Julian Wong

I use my Optus full speed mobile broadband plan from my iPad in a Huawei 5186 modem router. Bought cheap $3 antenna from eBay and the signal quality increased significantly when tuned. The 5186 is well supported by modders using international and modded firmware and it enables me to use band locking. Band locking is useful when you want a balance of decent upload and download speeds instead of all bandwidth focused on high speed downloads. Great for cloud backups.
I’ll definitely move onto this 500gb plan once my iPad is out of contract. Screw NBN.

Sam S
Guest
Sam S

Which $3 antenna did you get ? I want one lol

Samuel
Guest
Samuel

I’m considering this with the AC800S, in tether mode, plugged into an Asus RT-AC68U, has anyone done that here before? I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.

Kathryn Marie
Guest
Kathryn Marie

Can you bundle the data with your mobile plan? I have a wifi router which has the data bundled with my phone currently, but this one has much more data!

Les
Guest
Les

Optus has other deals where you can bundle data. If you get an Optus phone, or even two Optus phones in your household, they’ll hand out data SIMs for next to nothing, which you can then place in a modem to fill your house with WiFi – and share the SIM’s data between the phones.

Kathryn Marie
Guest
Kathryn Marie

Yes, I do have a bundle deal already, just not with this much data for that price 😊

Peter Gillespie
Guest
Peter Gillespie

Sounds great. My only query is unfortunately going to cost you test. At the eom can you run your data out to 550 GB? That will incur a $50 penalty. I’m very interested if you get speed limited or just keep being got with $10 top ups.

Peter Gillespie

Sid Dabarera
Guest
Sid Dabarera

$10 per 10GB up to 50GB. Speed will drop down to 256kbps aftwr 550GB. (Optus employee)

Wilson
Guest
Wilson

I’ve been using the Optus mobile broadband ac800s modem for the last two years, it’s a cat9 modem that runs much faster than their standard modems. I get 224mbit downstream off peak and 120mbit downstream during peak. Not sure if other people just have their modems placed in bad positions but I haven’t had any latency issues, average 20-30ms ping in games and no dropouts.

It’s good for me since I’m renting. If I relocate, I can just bring the modem with me as I have done in the past, no new setup fees or anything.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I’ve setup my home network with mesh wifi and dedicate firewall, do you know if the router works on bridge mode and just run a cat6 cable to my switch like other modems?

Matt
Guest
Matt

Those are the goodies, now let’s mention badies as I’ve used for over a year an Optus mobile plan for my home:
– My AC800S Netgear (fastest Optus modem) or the plan doesn’t play well with dozens of connections at the same time
– Even download speed is higher, my modem response latency is not near as flashing fast as ADSl or fixed broadband.
– Speeds are very variable, and towers tend to prioritise short new mobile connections over long home modems, so you quickly get dropped to the slower frequencies and sometimes a restart doesn’t fix the issue.

Hope Optus addresses those issues.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Inserted sim, powered up wireless modem, B525LTE CPE but no connection to internet, I’ve switched off, reinserted sim, restarted, rebooted, does the sim have to be activated, if so how and why. Instructions haven’t provided an answer. Was trying to avoid having to go through the phone menu,/offshore help line scenario. Thought it would be plug and play.

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

Question Chris, what site was that Speedtest looking at? Australian local, Australian interstate, or overseas?

Dave
Guest
Dave
Stuart
Guest
Stuart

I’ve tethered my phone out of desperation at home for my computer and saw 200+ down and 10+ upload (from memory). Granted is was Telstra 4G, but do you believe this Optus Modem could experience the same speeds?

Adrian Mace
Guest
Adrian Mace

Interesting product – if it were slightly more bandwidth I’d be very interested. Currently pay for 2x VividWireless unlimited connections and push ~450-600GB through each depending on the month – and that’s at the 12/1 speeds they provide!

Sid
Guest
Sid

Can I sign up on this at home and simply take to my office than away with me on holidays ?

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