If your home internet is slow, try 4G wireless broadband
OPINION: My parents have long endured frustratingly slow internet speeds, wasting many minutes of each day trying to access the web.
They've been patiently waiting for ultrafast fibre to be installed, but despite their small town having a population of about 2500 it was not included in the first stage of the rollout.
They are in the second phase but they will have to wait several years to get connected.
But that may not matter anymore as they've just connected their home to 4G internet. They now get download speeds of about 30Mbs, a significant increase from their previous 2Mbs.
It may be a stretch to say it's life changing, but it sure has improved their digital lives. They can now swiftly browse websites, and effortlessly stream video.
4G internet (also known as home wireless broadband) is a way plan to get faster internet access for Kiwis in small towns and hard-to-reach rural areas. However, it's also a good option for city-dwellers with slow speeds.
Broadband uses copper wiring or fibre cables to bring the internet to your home, while 4G internet is accessed via cellphone towers.
I had my doubts when my parents said Spark had recommended 4G internet. I struggled to get 4G on my phone at their house so I didn't think their internet speeds would improve.
But I was wrong. The 4G modem took a few minutes to set up and while speeds did fluctuate a bit, they never went below 20Mbs. Spark says you can potentially get up to 150Mbs with 4G internet. While that would be amazing, anything above 20Mbs is good enough for the average user and allows you to easily stream video.
Another bonus is that it costs the same as standard broadband plans. You can also keep your landline and there's a free trial period. However, if you're tempted to take the unit on holiday, you can't. It can only be used at its designated address.
Thousands of Kiwis are still dealing with slow internet speeds, even those that live in cities or big towns. The ultrafast fibre network will be great when it's available everywhere, but some people have several years to wait. If you're getting impatient, then I'd highly recommend trying 4G internet.