The night is dark, full of terrors and shit NBN speeds if you pick the wrong provider.
While every ISP is technically reselling access to the same network, the way in which providers like Telstra and Optus buy capacity from NBN Co means there can be a bit of variance in the speeds you’ll get from one provider to another. Especially during busy periods, like at night when everyone jumps online at the same time.
Contracts suck. The telco industry is built on the back of two-year commitments, but locking yourself into one provider for as long as 24 months always feels bad. Two years is a long time, after all. Thankfully, when it comes to NBN, there are plenty of providers who offer no-contract plans. Contract-free plans tends to be the most flexible NBN option: you can leave whenever you want, for whatever reason. There’s no awkward goodbye.
If your entire neighbourhood is trying to “stream” Game of Thrones and there’s not enough bandwidth to go around, you end up with a digital traffic jam. Even if you’re paying for what may seem like the fastest NBN plan around.
But thanks to the ACCC, NBN providers are revealing what kind of speeds you can realistically expect to get during busy hours, not just the NBN speed tier the plan is based on.
To help you find an NBN plan that consistently delivers the speeds you’re paying for, we've done the leg-work and put together a list of the fastest NBN 100 and NBN 50 plans, based on the evening speeds providers have disclosed.
The providers with some of fastest advertised evening speeds for their NBN 100 plans are as follows:
- Telstra: Typical evening speed of 92.46Mbps
- Aussie Broadband: Typical evening speed of 90Mbps
- Optus: Typical evening speed of 87.9Mbps
- Vodafone: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- Kogan: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- Exetel: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- MyRepublic: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- Belong: Typical evening speeds of 80Mbps
And here's what you’ll pay for an unlimited data NBN 100 plan from one of these providers:
Telstra doesn't have any NBN 100 plans in its standard range, so we’ve included a separate table with its NBN 50 plans instead. To get NBN 100 speeds on Telstra, you’ll need to sign-up for one of these and then grab a speed boost for an extra $30 per month.
Vodafone is currently your cheapest option for high evening speed NBN 100 plans. If you sign up before June 30, you can get a Vodafone NBN 100 plan with unlimited data for just $69 per month for your first six months. That’s one of the cheapest NBN 100 plans around right now. You’ll pay $89 per month thereafter.
While this Vodafone plan has no contract, you’ll need to pay out the remainder of a modem fee if you leave within your first three years. This is equivalent to $5 multiplied by the number of months you’ve got left in that three-year period.
MyRepublic is also running a discount on its NBN 100 plan. You’ll pay $79.95 for your first 12 months, and $89.95 per month thereafter. The plan is genuinely contract-free however, and you won’t be slugged with any fees if you decide to leave early.
In terms of bang-for-buck, Aussie Broadband offers some of the best advertised evening speeds around on NBN 100 plans but is $20 per month cheaper than Telstra. If you’re after premium, Aussie Broadband is safe bet.
The NBN providers with some of the fastest advertised evening speeds for their NBN 50 plans are as follows:
- Telstra: Typical evening speed of 46.47Mbps
- Southern Phone: Typical evening speeds of 46Mbps
- Optus: Typical evening speed of 45.7Mbps
- Aussie Broadband: Typical evening speed of 45Mbps
- Vodafone: Typical evening speed of 45Mbps
- Kogan: Typical evening speed of 45Mbps
- Internode: Typical evening speed of 43.6Mbps
- MyRepublic: Typical evening speed of 43Mbps
- Exetel: Typical evening speed of 43Mbps
And here's what you’ll pay for an unlimited data NBN 50 plan from one of these providers:
Exetel is presently the cheapest option for an NBN 50 plan with fast evening speeds. You’ll pay $59.99 per month for a plan with unlimited data, but will need to sign a 12-month contract. Going contract-free with Exetel will cost you an extra $10 per month.
If you’d prefer a different contract-free plan, Kogan has a $65.90 per month NBN 50 offer with no contract and no setup fees. If you stay for a full month, you’ll even get your modem free.
For just a few dollars more per month, you can get Southern Phone’s unlimited plan, which has the second fastest advertised NBN 50 evening speeds around, only bested by Telstra.
As always, it's important to note that "typical evening speeds" disclosed by NBN providers are just an indication of the speeds you can reasonably expect during peak hours. There are plenty of other factors that could affect the speeds you get. These include the technology you're using to connect to the NBN, the hardware in your home, and abnormally high usage in your area.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.
As Gizmodo editors we write about stuff we like and think you'll like too. Gizmodo often has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.