Back in December, on news of Vividwireless’ demise, I decided to sign up with Optus for some 4G home broadband. As you may recall, at $80 per month for 500GB of data, it sounded like a deal too good to be true. My place is in broadband hell. We can’t get decent ADSL because we’re too far from the exchange, our developer didn’t register our building with NBN (so we have to wait) and there’s no other alternatives.

So, I went with the best offer I could find. Vividwireless’ unlimited plan cost $10 more at $90 per month, and besides Optus, wireless broadband options are pretty scant.

The sign-up process was a breeze, and initial impressions were positive. I thought I’d come back and talk about the service after a month’s use so you can get some real-world impression of how the service performs.

How fast is Optus 4G wireless broadband, really?

When comparing a broadband plan, speed matters. Unlike the NBN, where speeds are (relatively) predictable, 4G is something completely different. There are many factors that impact the speed you get at home. Factors such as modem placement, signal strength, congestion on your local mobile tower all combine to limit your maximum speed.

Luckily for me, I don’t have to run speed tests every day to find out what’s going on. Google WiFi runs regular speed tests for you, and reports them easily. Below, you can see that since switching from Vividwireless, our speeds have definitely improved:

There is a downside, though. Our speeds are far from constant, and they do vary a bit during the day. For example, just now while I’m writing this story, our speed is sitting at 47mbps down and 8.4mbps up:

That’s quite a usable speed, and in downstream speed at least it’s the equal of the majority of NBN plans. The upload speed is quite a bit less, but the average user really doesn’t need much by way of upload speed. Frankly, neither do I. 8mbps is more than enough to upload photos and videos for Ausdroid, to backup my photos to Google’s Cloud, and to send emails etc. Unless you’re backing up massive amounts of data over the Internet, anything more is – in 2019 – largely unnecessary.

However, Optus’ 4G speed isn’t constant throughout the day. Like most Internet services, it starts to taper off later in the afternoon and into the evening – but it is very variable.

What are the worst part of Optus 4G wireless broadband?

In a word? Congestion. Optus’ network – like most others, to be fair – is well subscribed. I wouldn’t say its overly so, but there are times when the impact is obvious, and it’s mostly in the evening.

I’ve also found that Optus’ 2300 MHz spectrum can be very congested in the evenings. It’s shared with Vividwireless customers, and even on that service, it was very slow at night. Fortunately, Optus’ 4G modem allows you to specify what 4G you’d like to use:

  • 4G (Auto)
  • 4G (No 2300 MHz band)
  • 4G (2300 MHz band only)

It might sound simple – just don’t use 2300 MHz and you’ll be fine. However, it isn’t quite that simple. In the evenings, the 2300 MHz band is pretty poor, and you’ll find yourself wanting to avoid it. However, during business hours (and early morning), the 2300 MHz band can actually be the faster experience.

At our place, we’ve settled on 4G (No 2300 MHz band) because it gives the more consistent speed; it’s fast during the day, and still fairly quick at night (even though it does taper off a bit).

Overall, Optus 4G wireless broadband is plenty quick enough for whatever your needs, most of the time.

Does Optus 4G wireless broadband support all the things I want?

Yeah, it does. If your household is anything like mine, there’s some must-have services that have to work reliably over your home internet.

For example, Netflix is a must. Streaming sports? Absolutely. The ability to upload photos and stuff off-site. The ability to do most of these things at the same time? Absolutely essential.

In my experience, you can achieve most of this. Except at its very worst performance (which has only happened once or twice over the last month), Optus 4G has been fast enough to support Netflix streaming while doing other things – for example, working on Ausdroid, browsing the web, doing app updates from the Play Store and more.

Can you stream multiple HD videos while downloading Linux ISOs at full speed? Well, no. But you can watch Netflix in the loungeroom while someone’s downloading something at a reasonable clip. Yesterday, we had Netflix going for the kids and I was downloading some data at 3MB/s with no issue.

Would I recommend it?

If you can’t get ADSL, or its garbage, and you can’t get NBN just yet, then yes. Optus 4G Home Wireless Broadband has been a godsend for our place.

At $80 a month, the 500GB inclusion is huge and something we’re unlikely to ever reach. Your place might be different, and the excess usage fees aren’t cheap – $10 per 10 GB is prohibitive, and you can only get an extra 50GB before you get dropped back to 256kbps speeds. Let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to hit 500GB a month unless they’re doing a LOT of streaming (or downloading things they shouldn’t).

If you’re not afraid of logging into your modem to change a few settings (which you may have to do to get the best speed), then Optus 4G broadband is a no-brainer. Changing the settings is easy, and you can’t really break it.

Though it can be slow at times, I’m yet to find an Internet provider that isn’t. In the last month or so, we’ve had two instances where the Internet has been truly too slow to use. For the rest of the time, we’ve had no issues at all, and found it a pleasure to use.

Disclosure Statement

Chris bought the Optus Home Wireless Broadband service for his home use.

Stock Image Credit: Shutterstock By dennizn.
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HI Chris, I’m on the same plan, but I am interested in your modem menu. My modem doesn’t have the option on changing / selecting different frequencies, also I suspect it doesn’t have the ability to receive 2300MHz. (hard to confirm) I have a Huawei B315s-607. (non Vividwireless)
What modem are you using?


I have 2 adsl and tried to load balance them but most of the time you are stuck with 1 adsl speed. There was no way I was going that crap skymuster. Anyway I tripped over this optus 4g plan of 500gb for $85 and I got it straight away. The lady told me (not sure if true) that if the service isnt fit for purpose, around 50mbps, then I can ask to get out of contract. I didnt hesitate. What a change it looks like so far. I bought a dual mimo 14db gain antenna and set it up… Read more »


Just in case its helpful for others, ill link some sites I used in researching getting the most out of my service. Figuring out antenna needs 1. This explains how to find nearest towers and how to use google earth to try to figure out where to point antenna if yagi type and how high it would need to be to get line of sight. 2. Most useful info I found on what type of antenna I needed came from onwireless but there were others with similar helpful information 3. I walked around the house to find the strong… Read more »


Switched to Optus 4G Home Broadband after being fed up with the cost and paltry data allowance of SkyMuster (our only other option). We are 1km from the nearest Optus 4G tower (Vic 3915.) 1 month in and I am seeing an average of 0.6mbps. Optus say 1mbps is acceptable, and to just ‘keep monitoring over a longer period’. I have 5 bars of 4G signal on the modem and ‘full strength’ signal showing in the admin settings page for the modem (Huawei b525). Would an external antenna help? Or is the network just way way over congested.


I’ll just hop in here to say that today I switched from Optus cable (which was terrible) to Optus 4G home wireless, and it’s great. 28mbps down, 10mbps up. Stoked. That said, it’s only been a few hours — let’s see how it goes over the next few weeks! I’m @mikedoeslife on Twitter if anybody wants an update.


Chris, I am looking at this also . . . and I am wondering what the range is like? We want the signal to stretch about five metres from the main house to a granny flat out the back. Have you experienced any issues with signal weakness (separate to the slowness at night)?


I’m looking at this option since my ADSL is very inconsistent, however I’ve read that the ping is very inconsistent for online gaming. Can anyone confirm this at all? Options are limited where I am, even though I’m only 8km away from Melbourne CBD. Actually the internet options in Australia are terrible altogether, unless your one of those lucky ones that have fibre/cable…


I would love to endorse the previous comments but my experience with Optus Wireless Broadband is markedly different on Sunshine Coast, Qld. At the moment getting 1.4 Mbs download and 2.6 Mbs upload. Modem showing 4 bar reception on 4g. Connected by Ethernet cable to modem. Use for Netflix…no chance. This is on a Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. Not exactly a peak period. Best I have ever achieved is 7 Mbs at 10 pm. Signed up because no NBN in sight for last 8 houses in our street and adsl 2 was almost as slow.


Yes, because Optus always was (and is) lockong the max speed of Home Broadband at 5Mps and upload at 2Mbps. I have no idea how the author coud get the speed listed (yes you can get this on mobile phone data card, but not on the home wireless modem sim)


Well if you have 2300MHz coverage you can get up to 12Mbps and this is the max limit confirmed by Optus. So, getting anything like 20Mbps or more on Optus Home Internet is a myth.


Have been using the Optus service without any issues. Have the service at home and the office and one has a regular phone SIM and the speed is the same as the data SIM, up to 70Mbps. The ability to pool data with my mobiles has made the option a no-brainer.
The Huawei B525 supplied does not seem to have the option to choose frequency.
NBN is now available and I have no interest whatsoever.


Optus has now unlocked the speed restrictions on its wireless internet services


Is it possible to modify the DNS or configure a VPN within the modem? I’m on Optus cable atm and I can’t change anything in the modem/router. Thanks for the post.


To answer my own question as I just got the 500GB package, yes you can add VPN config but I can’t see anywhere to edit DNS.

On my first night I was getting up to 85mbps down and 10mbps up.


you can change the DNS on the router its just a little tricky. you need to log onto the modem using Chrome once loged in goto settings and then DHCP then press F12 to bring up dev screen then type the following into console and press enter $(‘#dhcp_dns_statistic’).show(); $(‘#dhcp_primary_dns’).show(); $(‘#dhcp_secondary_dns’).show(); DNS options will now be on screen 🙂 i am also using a awesome program to lock the modem to a certain band. my modem tends to default to band 28 but now ive locked it to 7 where i get far better signal. i forget the name of the… Read more »


program to band lock the modem is called LTEInspector
website is in German but program can be changed to English
Also VERY helpful when setting up external antennas as you can have a full screen readout of your RSRP,RSRP,SINR readings so very helpful if setting up your antenna solo


Great piece of info. Been backwards and forwards way too many times now with NBN issues. Ombudsman does very little to resolve the issue and I’ve absolutley had enough of this pathetic technology. Had three NBN RSP’s and now their only fix is to cancel my service. Internet speeds are 0.16 down and 0.01 up. They tell me nothing can be done due to congestion. It was good to see this info as I’ve had my copper service cut off which was a consistant 13Mbps, can’t get satellite as I’m in a wireless NBN zone and have not one bar… Read more »


After having frequent lost of syncs and not able to sync for 1-2 days on our wonderful, advanced, 1st world, 21st Century ball busting piece of new old tech called the NBN utilizing last century tech for its last mile, I am looking to move away from this piece of jolly fibre/copper hybrid tech. This Optus wireless broadband looks to be a better option, though 5G is not that far away, I may be wrong. Anyway, just want to know if anyone living in the Balcatta, WA area is using this and can comment on its usability. I understand the… Read more »


so i have had mine up and running for a few days now.
I live on a small offshore island and the tower i am connecting to is 11kms away and with no external antenna my downloads speeds range from 20-50mb and uploads 10-20.
Pretty happy with the speeds but looking to make the speeds more constant so will be adding some yargi antennas shortly


Which antenna did you choose?
I use onwireless for my antenna needs they have alot of different options for the B525 and support from them is great.


Hi Chris, which antenna did you get? B525 isn’t in their list though.


I believe the one I’m using at the moment is – seems to work very well but it’s a bit bulky, would prefer to have it mounted outdoors instead of inside but renting.


FYI that is the wrong version
the B525 has SMA connections so you will need the WMM8G-5-SMA


I mounted this on my external TV antenna mast and has made a massive difference. Consistently getting ~80Mbps down and ~7Mbps up during off peak times and ~50Mps down and ~5Mbps up during peak times. I’m in Concord, NSW.

Using the internal antennas i was getting ~40Mbps down and ~5Mbps up during off peak and ~20Mbps down and ~3Mbps up.


Oops again, here is the product link.


I signed up with Optus NBN
After 2 months I gave up. Daily calls to Optus to fix was a joke. I would not recommend Optus in any form.

Carl Eastwood

Simon, the sims shouldn’t be sim locked. I’ve had two wireless broadband sims and neither were locked. I use my 200gb Optus wireless broadband sim with an unlocked Netgear Nighthawk M1 and it works perfectly out of the box. A few more settings tweaks can help though.


Not forget to mention media pack at $10, which allows unlimited bandwidth for specific streaming services like Netflix, stan, stotify, ect..


Thanks for the review Chris. Came at a great time as my in-laws are having a bad time with crap ADSL connection. This turned out to be a great option until their appartment is connected to NBN – and maybe even an alternative if it continues to work as now


has it been confirmed if the optus sim will work in other modems?
i got my new optus sim and modem today but didn’t have time to setup the device before i left for work.
i grabbed my netgear M1 as i was running out the door and with the optus sim its showing 4G reception but when my devices connect to it they have no internet access regardless what APN settings i try to use..


ok looks like the sim is locked to the device.
when trying to load a web page i got redirected to a optus page saying “Hmmm… looks like you’ve tried to use your Home Wireless Broadband Sim in another device..
You SIM will only work in the Home Wireless modem supplied in the kit……….”

Will just have to wait till i get home and setup the Optus modem.


Ausdroid! 2hat are you doing? I’ve been in and out of Optus thinking that they are getting better than before. I don’t know if you are getting paid or not for these ‘doctored review of optus’. My first phone was with Optus 20 yrs ago and they were good… It’s 2019 and they don’t even close to Vodafone coverage in my area let alone Telstra. That’s all I will say.


This is a great option but only if you got great Optus mobile coverage on your area, I’m in one of those areas myself where reception is practically non existence so I’m stuck with adsl, I have contacted Optus about numerous times but they seem to not care at all.


Just signed up with Optus as ADSL2+ Off Grid is crap. Newsprout is a great Aussie company that I’ve used for a few years now, $69 for 1TB of data. The problem is it just ain’t fast enough for me, most I get is 8.5mb/s and average 1.5 to 2mb/s because of being off grid. Hopefully wireless 4G Plus will solve this as my phone hits 104mb/s on the Optus Network 4G Plus.


I had this Optus vivid 4G plan, and it didn’t work for me as speed reach 12mbps only some times and most of the time was 3-4mbps.
So, I switch to W3 Networks and that solved my problem.


Re: using vividwireless modem on this Optus plan – yes you can, I am doing that just now.


We did have optus wireless broadband but switched to another provider. Our internet kept dropping out and then found out that optus was charging us a standed fee for our home phone ànd also charging us per minute on top for local calls in the metro area. To me that ain’t right. Can they actually do that.


I’m still tossing up whether to ditch NBN FW or see if the tower upgrades performed last month, with another scheduled outage this month, actually improve anything. The speeds of a night are usually maxing out about 400KB/sec, which is absolute crap.
I’m likely to go with the AC800 plugged into my RT68U, we don’t go over 250GB a month, it should be better.


I checked with Optus support to see which wireless Broadband will suit my requirements.. and to my surprise, they told me that my average ADSL usage is more then 1800GB per month for last 4 months…. We are family of 3 and mostly we use Netflix and youtube and that volume of BW is hell to much… With this, even 500GB package is insufficient for home use… I am really fed up with ADSL but have no other choice…

Carissa M

We are looking at switching to the Optus 4G Mobile Broadband from Telstra ADSL2+, simply for the price! Would the Optus be able to handle to T.Vs streaming Netflix at the same time? We have no issues with our ADSL speeds, and the Optus bloke said 4G is faster. Do you agree? Thanks for the article.

Mark B

Can you use your existing Vivid Wireless modem Huawei or do you have to buy another modem? (Wondering if it’s locked to VividWireless even though they are owned by Optus.


Little slower than the > 400Mbit I have been getting on Telstra 4G. We have 3 of these Optus services (enterprise, we pay $5 more per month for static public IP addressss). Not real fast but better than nothing. That B525 is shocking though, can’t even change LAN IP range AFAIK.

James Edenborough

I made the switch to Optus 4G about 12months a go from the ADSL service I was on, as you have mentioned speeds are sufficient for multiple activities my service is normally around 40-50mbps and off peak I often get over 100mbps. I have been greatly surprised by the reliability of the service and now have the flexibility of taking the service with me when we go away on holidays.


I posted in the original thread that we need to see what happens 12 months down the track. Chris, see if you sign up with SamKnows to get more information on what your connection is doing. I did with BP NBN and it’s interesting to see how it runs over a long period

Magnus Windle

Optus 4G wireless broadband not available in our suburb, on the city fringe. If I want decent internet I have to move, or wait!

Blake Currall

Haven’t had an issue with speed or congestion since switching over from patchy iiNet adsl to Optus 4g,constant 20+mb/sec speeds around the clock, best internet decision I’ve made in ages


Thanks for this post Chris.

I am heading out to a rural property soon and was stressing about the previous data-limited 4G offerings, but happy to see that this should meet my needs based off your review.


I heard you don’t get a public IP address with this service. Does that mean you can’t remote login to a home computer? Or view a security camera?

Sam S

Have you tried using VoIP services ?

I’ve tried a number of configurations and hardware and the only way I could get voip to work on Optus 4g was with the Optus HUAWEI e5186 modem and a Siemens gigaset.

This is registering to mynetfone and maxotel

Did also have at one stage an Optus 3G USB stick in a fritz box 7490 registering to maxotel and mynetfone but after a Fritz box firmware update could not get it to work anymore – only one way audio after the fritz update

Brad Donovan

@Jay it is but only up to 50GB over, after that it slows down the speed

Brad Donovan

Out of curiosity which modem did you get with it, the
smaller netgear AC800S or the bigger Huawei B525?


Isn’t it $10 for 10 GB once you exceed 500gb?


Thanks for all your updates, was very informative and helpful


This was a great read. Fixed internet services are so poor in Australia, great to see a read of alternatives.

I live in Melbourne CBD, no NBN yet but my ADSL connection is pretty great, except it’s ADSL. 1.5mb upload is tiny and if anyone is uploading anything the connection is shot. I wonder if 4G service like this is better?

Andrew Palozzo

Sorry mate! This reply came into my spam box, only just saw it now!! All very good points. You are 100% right, I had cable in the late 90’s and somehow moved places, to dial up, then adsl 1.. now in Melb CBD and won’t see NBN until 2020.. and even then, it’ll probably just be fibre to the basement.

I’m evaluating my options, as I rely on a good internet service with a large download quota, so I’ll be monitoring this space 4g/5g…