Not all internet providers are equal – especially when it comes to the NBN. Buying a fast NBN plan should be simple, but there are a whole plethora of factors that can affect just how fast your connection is.
How NBN Speeds Differ with providers
Telcos try to give you an idea of how fast their NBN plans are by reporting typical evening speeds. That is, the kind of speeds you can expect during the busiest hours of the day – between 7pm and 11pm. The faster a provider’s evening speeds, the more reliable your connection will be during the times you use it most.
Evening speeds can change, however, and more than a few telcos have recently published new data on how fast their plans are. Some of these changes have been positive. Aussie Broadband recently increased its NBN 100 speeds to 99Mbps. Others not so much. While TPG and iiNet recently reported typical evening speeds of 95Mbps on NBN 100 plans, they both now report 85Mbps.
To help you pick a provider that delivers the speeds you’re after, we’ve rounded up some of the fastest plans around, based on the most recent evening speed data major ISPs have released.
Now it’s worth noting that NBN 1000 is also available in Australia. But it’s not available on the majority of connections. At the present time its only available on FTTP and some HFC connections.
With that in mind, we haven’t included NBN 1000 plans here. But if you are after gigabit internet, we have a round up of plans here.
The fastest NBN 250 plans
If you’ve got the need for speed and the right kind of connection, you may want to consider an NBN 250 plan. Aussie Broadband currently reports the highest NBN 250 speeds, measuring in at 248Mbps during peak hours.
If you use the promo code FAST30, you can save $30 per month for your first six months. This means you’ll pay $99 per month for your first six months, and $129 per month thereafter. Aussie Broadband’s plans are completely contract-free.
Optus, Telstra, and Superloop are up next and all report typical evening speeds of 215Mbp. Superloop is the cheapest option, billed at $99.95 per month for your first six months and $129 per month thereafter. Telstra follows with a $100 per month plan for your first six months, which rises to $140 per month thereafter. And Optus bills $130 per month, but has a $99 setup fee.
While both Telstra and Optus’ plans are contract-free, they have early exit fees. If you leave your Telstra plan within your first 24 months, you’ll pay a prorated modem fee equivalent to $9 multiplied by the number of months left in your term. On Optus, this is $7 per month for each month left in your three-year term.
Be aware that you can only get an NBN 250 plan if you have a FTTP or HFC NBN connection. At present, only 70% of HFC customers can get NBN 250 speeds, but NBN Co intends to upgrade the network to allow all HFC customers to do so by June 2021.
The fastest NBN 100 plans
Telstra is the current victor when it comes to typical evening speeds on NBN 100 plans, reporting a full 100Mbps. This means – theoretically speaking – you should never encounter any congestion, no matter what time of day.
Of course, Telstra is also the priciest major NBN provider around. You’re looking at $100 per month for your first six months, and then $110 per month thereafter. Telstra NBN plans also include 4G back-up with download speeds of up to 25Mbps and a three-month free subscription to Binge.
While Telstra NBN plans are contract-free, you’ll pay out a prorated modem fee if you bail within your first 24 months. This is equivalent to $9 multiplied by the number of months left in your term.
Aussie Broadband now sits in second place, reporting typical evening speeds of 99Mbps. That’s just 1Mbps less than Telstra, and unlikely to make an actual difference in terms of day-to-day performance.
Aussie Broadband is also on the more expensive side of the pricing spectrum, but currently has a deal on NBN 100 plans. If you use the promo code FAST10, you’ll save $10 per month on the first six months of your plan. This means you’ll pay $89 per month initially, and then $99 per month after your discount expires. The plan is contract-free, however.
Next up, Superloop, SpinTel, and Optus sit in equal third with typical evening speeds of 90Mbps.
SpinTel is the cheapest out of three, charging $74 per month for your first six months, and $84.95 per month thereafter. Even at full price, that’s cheaper than the vast majority of NBN 100 plans when you exclude any promos. Once again, the plan is completely contract-free.
Superloop is a hair more expensive, offering its NBN 100 plan for $74.95 per month for your first six months. You’ll be up for $89.95 per month after the discount expires, so you can yeet whenever.
Lastly, Optus will charge $95 per month for its NBN 100 plan. This plan attracts a $99 setup fee, and you’ll also have to deal with a modem fee if you leave within your first 36 months. This works out to be $7 per month for each month remaining in your three-year term.
When it comes to cheaper options, you may want to consider MATE. You’ll pay $79 per month for an unlimited NBN 100 plan with reported typical evening speeds of 83Mbps. You can save a further $10 per month by adding in a MATE SIM-only plan. These start at $20 per month with 5GB and are powered by the Telstra network. The $25 per month plan with 18GB is definitely a better deal, however.
The fastest NBN 50 plans
Telstra and Aussie Broadband are tied when it comes to NBN 50 plans. Both report typical evening speeds of 50Mbps. Aussie Broadband has the cheapest option at $79 per month.
Telstra is a little more expensive. You’ll pay $80 per month for your first six months, and then $90 per month thereafter. You do get a few bonuses, however.
As with Big T NBN 100 plans, you’ll get 4G back-up and a three-month free subscription to Binge. Of course, you’ll also still be up for a modem fee if you leave within your first 24 months. This is equivalent to $9 multiplied by the number of months remaining in your two-year term.
iiNet and TPG tie for second place, with both reporting speeds of 48Mbps. You’ll pay $74.99 per month on iiNet, or $69.99 per month on TPG.
In third, you’ll find Kogan and Vodafone, with typical evening speeds of 46Mbps. Kogan charges $63.90 per month for your first six months, and $71.90 per month thereafter. You can also earn one Qantas Point per two dollars you spend on your Kogan NBN bill.
Vodafone’s NBN plan is a little more expensive, billed at $65 per month for your first six months, and then $75 per month thereafter. However, you can bundle multiple Vodafone postpaid services on the same account for a discount on your total bill. You’ll save 5% for every mobile, mobile broadband, tablet, or NBN service on your account after the first, for a maximum discount of 20%.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.