It doesn't take more than a quick scan of NBN plans to reveal that you might as well get an unlimited data plan. Especially if you plan on getting a plan faster than 12Mbps - and you really should do that.
Take Standard Plus NBN plans. The difference between a plan with a data limit, like 100GB per month, and the next cheapest with unlimited data is only $10 per month, or $4.50 per month if you take current promotions into account. Now, a saving of $10 per month isn't to be sneezed at, but I'd argue that paying the extra and then never worry about data limits again is worth the difference.
We'll take a look at the lowest cost unlimited data plans across all four speed tiers, but I'll start with the 50Mbps and 100Mbps first, because this is where you really should be looking.
NBN Standard Plus (NBN 50) Plans
The first thing you'll notice about the list of plans above is that the first 6 plans all include a promotional price valid for your first six months, which means you need to be aware of what the price is after the promotion finishes. In most cases the prices revert to about $70 per month, but the Teleron plan is much cheaper at $54.50 during the promotion and $61.50 per month thereafter.
Exetel is also worth a shout-out for having the cheapest non-promotional price. The plan is on a 12-month contract with no setup fees, except for the delivery cost of sending out a free WiFi modem. Exetel also claims an average evening speed of 43Mbps, which is solid compared with the other providers in the industry.
NBN Premium (NBN 100) Plans
As we saw with the NBN 50 plans, the top of the table is dominated by 6-month promos. The Click Broadband deal is a decent discount of $12 per month or a saving of $72 all up.
But when you compare these plans beyond the first 6 months, MyRepublic comes out a shade ahead at just under $85 per month. You also get the option to choose a contract and save on setup costs, or pay $99 setup and keep the flexibility of a no-contract plan.
NBN Standard (NBN 25) Plans
Thanks to changes in NBN wholesale pricing, the Standard Plans are not great value anymore. All of the providers, especially the smaller providers, are promoting NBN 50 plans, and you can see when you compare this table with the first list that you can actually double the speed of your connection and save a couple of bucks a month.
Several of the 6 month promotions apply to NBN 25 plans, but these discounts don't reduce the price significantly enough to recommend a Standard plan over a faster Standard Plus option.
NBN Basic (NBN 12) Plans
If you're looking to save as much money as you can on your NBN connection, you will save a bit by choosing a Basic plan option. In general, current NBN Basic plan prices are about $10 cheaper than an NBN Standard Plus plan.
It's totally up to you, but I definitely think $10 is worth paying for a 4x speed bump. In most cases, this is the difference between using the internet without buffering and being that guy at the BBQ complaining that the NBN sucks and you don't know why the government spent $50 billion on it. Don't be that guy.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.