The Best NBN 50 Plans
What you need to know
Hitting that sweet spot between speed and value, NBN Standard Plus plans are the most popular option on the market as Australians look to connect to the NBN.
As the quality of our video streaming continues to improve and our video game patches grow larger by the day, Australian broadband users are beginning to see the importance of faster internet. Those who don’t care for 4K television or online gaming can comfortably settle with an nbn12 or nbn20 plan but if you’re serious about streaming, you are going to need nbn50 (also known as Standard Plus), at the least.
Streaming Netflix in 4K/UHD requires, at a minimum, 25 Mbps. For Stan, it’s 15 Mbps. Kayo Sports is capped at 1080p HD and only requires a minimum of 7.5 Mbps but one of the app’s most unique features offers HD picture-in-picture streaming, and your broadband will have to be a lot faster than 7.5 Mbps. Then there are upload speeds to consider. If you plan on kicking off a lucrative career as a Twitch streamer, you will need, at minimum, 4 Mbps upload speeds for 1080p HD broadcasting.
But these are the bare-minimum requirements for 4K streaming and HD uploads. If you want a truly steady stream, you will want to hover over the minimum speeds. Especially when you consider that, according to the ACCC, under 70% of NBN plans actually offer 90% of the speed they promise. So you need some wiggle room if it’s a busy night on the network.
That’s partly why NBN 50 plans are the most popular speed choice for NBN customers (well, that and it’s the default offered by most providers these days).
Let’s take a look at the best, cheapest and unlimited NBN 50 plans available.
Best NBN 50 Plan: Exetel nbn50 Unlimited
Not only is Exetel’s unlimited Standard Plus plan the cheapest unlimited nbn50 on the market at $59.99 per month but it’s also one of your best bets for speed consistency according to ACCC data. Following TPG and Aussie Broadband, Exetel had the third highest average when it came to delivering advertised NBN speeds, hitting 85.2% of its maximum plan speeds on average during busy hours (7pm to 11pm).
ACCC Broadband Speed Results
Since 2018, the ACCC has been monitoring real-world broadband performance data from Australian ISPs. The performance outlined below is the result of the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) program. The MBA program records real-world evening download and upload speeds via a “Whitebox” installed in the homes of volunteers.
The percentages displayed below represent how close on average each ISP gets to delivering the full speed of its retail NBN plans.
|Provider||Download – Busy Hours||Potential Speeds||Download – Busiest Hour||Upload – Busy Hours||Netflix ISP Speed|
|Aussie Broadband||85.90%||89.40%||82.20%||85.60%||4.28 Mbps|
|Dodo & iPrimus||81.80%||84.90%||69.00%||85.80%||3.61 Mbps|
Cheapest NBN 50 Plan: Exetel 100 GB nbn50
It’s a clean sweep for Exetel when it comes to NBN 50 plans. If saving some dosh is number one on your agenda, Exetel’s 100 GB nbn50 plan is your best bet. Not only is it the cheapest NBN 50 plan available but it’s also available on a month-to-month agreement, so you can cancel whenever you please.
With that said, 100 GB isn’t a lot of data, especially with 50 Mbps speeds. If you find you’re burning through more data than expected, consider moving over to our first choice, the Exetel nbn50 unlimited plan for an extra $10 per month.
Participation awards: TPG and Aussie Broadband
For sheer value for money, Exetel takes the cake. However, things start to look a little dicey for Exetel when we look at the ACCC’s data for download speeds during the network’s busiest hour. During Exetel’s busiest hour, it only managed to hit 81% of its maximum advertised speeds, dropping below Telstra and Optus in the busiest hour while TPG and Aussie Broadband remained consistent.
Exetel also ranks as the slowest NBN provider amongst those tracked by the Netflix ISP speed ranking. TPG’s comes in second to last on the streaming giants leaderboard, despite leading the pack in ACCC’s testing during busy hours. Netflix only tracks download speeds via its own service and doesn’t account for any other traffic on the network, so take those figures with a grain of salt.
So our two runner-ups for best NBN 50 plans go to TPG for overall performance and Aussie Broadband for kicking goals on the Netflix leaderboard.