Broadband Guides

Mobile vs Home broadband explained

You would be forgiven for thinking that home broadband was always the best option for home and mobile broadband was the best for your phone. But in fact, mobile broadband can be a legitimate alternative to home broadband. That being said, there are many pros and cons of both, so here we will discuss the relative merits of each.

Broadband: Speed and performance

Home broadband speeds are on the whole much faster than the mobile equivalent. While 4G networks have drastically improved the speed of mobile connections, the slowest home broadband speeds would still compete with this. 4G speeds are generally around 21Mbps, while the fastest home broadband is over 10 times that speed.

Home broadband is also generally much more reliable in that mobile broadband depends heavily on the area, but one advantage mobile has over home is that if you are in an area that generally receives good reception, the chances of it dropping for an extended period are very low, whereas with home broadband if there is a fault in your connection you may have to wait for a repair.

Startup costs and hassles

For many users, one of the better aspect of mobile broadband is that the startup costs are basically zero in most cases, and it is easy to switch provider or even have more than one. This is especially the case for prepaid mobile broadband. There is also much lower effort needed to have it installed, and a phone line is of course not needed. The convenience of being able to use it on the move is also a big advantage, especially for those who live in student accommodation.

Broadband usage limits

Mobile broadband is nearly always subject to much lower data caps or allowances – and there are sometimes costly surcharges for exceeding your limit. Home broadband is for most customers unlimited now, subject to fair usage policies.

Overall cost

MB for MB, home broadband is much cheaper, and also has less surcharges. For overall setup costs and for those who use very low amounts per month, mobile can work out better as an ultra low-cost option. Another cost advantage of home broadband is that it can be bundled with other products for greater price savings – while mobile broadband can be bundled also, providers offer less savings with this (TV and a mobile internet bundle would be rare, for example).