Not all internet providers are equal – especially when it comes to the NBN. Buying a fast NBN plan should be simple, but there’s a whole range of factors that can affect just how fast your connection is.
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 we’ve seen a couple of changes in speeds recently. A few providers are now ostensibly offering congestion-free connectivity and NBN 100 plans, and most telcos now report typical evening speeds of 50Mbps on NBN 50 plans.
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.
The fastest NBN 1000 plans
If you’re lucky enough to be able to get NBN 1000, Telstra has the fastest plan around from any major provider reporting typical evening speeds of 700Mbps. You’ll pay $165 per month for your first six months, and $180 per month thereafter. The plan is contract-free, but you’ll pay a modem fee if you leave within your first two years. This is equivalent to $9 multiplied by the number of months left in your term.
Aussie Broadband is up next, reporting 600Mbps during peak hours. Aussie bills $149 per month for its NBN 1000 plan. Its plans are contract-free.
MyRepublic places in third with typical evening speeds of 350Mbps. The plan is also one of your cheaper options if you’re after gigabit connectivity. You’ll pay $105 per month for your first six months and $135 per month thereafter.
NBN 1000 plans are only available to FTTP NBN connections and around 90% of HFC connections.
The fastest NBN 250 plans
Telstra also takes out top spot when it comes to NBN 250 plans, reporting typical evening speeds of 250Mbps. The plan is on the pricier side, however. You’ll pay $125 per month for your first six months and $140 per month thereafter. Once again it’s worth noting that Telstra’s plan may be contract-free, but you’ll pay a prorated modem fee if you leave in your first two years.
Aussie Broadband is a hair behind with typical evening speeds of 248Mbps. Aussie charges $129 per month, and once again, its plans are completely contract-free.
Superloop follows reporting typical evening speeds of 240Mbps. You’ll pay $99.95 per month for your first six months, and $119.95 per month thereafter. The plan is contract-free, so you’re always free to leave after your discount runs out.
Exetel has recently started offering NBN 250 plans, and is reporting a rather respectable 225Mbps during peak hours. You’ll pay $125 per month, but the telco is currently offering new customers their first month free. The plan is contract-free, so you can essentially try before you buy.
One of your cheapest options for NBN 250 comes from MATE, where you’ll pay just $99 per month. You can also save a further $10 per month by bundling in a MATE SIM-only mobile plan, powered by the Telstra network. MATE reports typical evening speeds of 208Mbps.
Just note that you can only get an NBN 250 plan If you’ve got a FTTP or HFC NBN connection.
The fastest NBN 100 plans
Four NBN providers are now reporting typical evening speeds of 100Mbps of their NBN 100 plans: SpinTel, Exetel, Optus, and Telstra. This means you should never encounter congestion, no matter what the time.
SpinTel is the cheapest out of the bunch, charging $74 per month for your first six months, and $84.95 per month thereafter. Even at full price, that’s one of the cheapest NBN 100 plans around.
Optus is next at $85 per month for your first six months, and $95 per month thereafter. Just aware you’ll get hit 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.
Exetel is up next at $95 per month, with no discounts. You will get your first month for free, however.
Finally, Telstra is the priciest out of the four, charging $95 per month for your first six months and $110 per month thereafter. As aforementioned, Telstra’s plans carry a modem fee if you leave within your first 24-months.
Aussie Broadband sits in second place with typical evening speeds of 99Mbps, but at just 1Mbps less than the aforementioned providers, it’s unlikely to make any significant difference. Aussie Broadband charges $99 per month for its NBN 100 plan.
And in third is Superloop, reporting typical evening speeds of 96Mbps. You’ll pay $69.95 for your first six months and $89.95 per month thereafter.
The fastest NBN 50 plans
Evening speeds barely matter anymore when it comes to NBN 50 plans, with many providers now all reporting 50Mbps during peak hours.
Exetel is worth a shout out thanks to its first month free promo. You’d normally pay $75 per month on Exetel.
SpinTel is one of your cheapest options at $59 per month for your first six months, and $64.95 per month thereafter. At full price, that’s cheaper than the vast majority of non-discounted NBN 50 plans.
If you’re a Vodafone postpaid mobile customer, you can save $15 per month on its NBN 50 plan. While it normally goes for $80 per month, the discount drops it to $65.
It’s important to be aware that typical evening speeds disclosed by NBN providers are just an indication of the speeds you can reasonably expect during peak hours. Other factors can still affect the speeds you get at home. These can include the technology you’re using to connect to the NBN, the hardware in your home, and any abnormally high usage in your area.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.