The Best NBN Satellite Internet Plans
What you need to know
When most people think about the NBN, they think about super fast speeds in the city to stream 4K Netflix. But a big part of the NBN rollout was making sure that those in remote areas could access adequate internet connections with satellite broadband to do everything from run their farms with IoT or for kids to do homework.
While it would cost a lot to run out fibre optics to every farm in Australia, the NBN put up two new high-speed internet satellites they call SkyMuster.
SkyMuster I and II offers remote NBN users download speeds up to 25Mbps, but this will rise to 50Mbps in the next couple of months after a few new upgrades go live.
While speeds are much better than they used to be pre-NBN days, a thing to note with satellite broadband is that data limits are generally still not as great as fixed broadband due to capacity limitations. So you’ll often find most plans will have a small cap during the day, but open it up more in the down time at night which is when you should try downloading your movies, TV shows or large files.
As a result, we think SkyMesh is the best NBN satellite provider for most people at the moment, offering the best balance of data inclusions and price.
The Best NBN Satellite provider – SkyMesh
If you’re living in remote areas, your choices between NBN providers are much less than the city dwellers, but that doesn’t mean you’re left without some good options.
When it comes to picking a plan, we think that at a minimum in a household of 2 people or more you will want at least 100GB of data to spread. Likewise, for most modern households, you should be looking at a minimum speed of 25Mbps, which is the maximum for NBN’s satellite connections.
Unlike fixed broadband in the cities where providers buy different amounts of capacity which can create significant differences in speeds between users, this is less of an issue with satellite NBN, so price, data and customer service matter most.
And this is why we think SkyMesh is the best for most people. It has the cheapest plan with at least 100GB of data at $44.95 a month, however its best value plan is just $5 more at $49.95 a month.
For that $49.95 you will get 185GB of data per month, including 45GB of anytime data (For use between 7am-1am). They also include a bonus 10GB of anytime data during school holidays for when the kids are home.
If you need a lot more data, SkyMesh’s plans top out at $199.95 a month for 260GB of data, of which 120GB is anytime data.
Off-peak times on the NBN satellite network are 1am-7am each night, while every other time is considered on-peak or anytime data.
These measures are put in by NBN as there is only a certain amount of capacity, or data that can be shared between everyone on the satellite network. By splitting up the data usage times between when it thinks most people will and won’t be on the network, the idea is that it will change people’s internet habits to spread usage out and ensure fast and reliable connections for everyone.
The best NBN satellite plan anytime data – Clear NBN 285GB
Clear Networks is the provider we had as a close second behind SkyMesh as our best NBN satellite provider for most people. The only reason it got beaten out is because SkyMesh had some better value plans down at the lower end. However, if you want reliable data and need more of it during anytime peak periods, then Clear Network’s largest plan is your best bet.
Clear actually has a plan that offers more data in total at 305GB per month, however they only offer this at the lower 12Mbps speed tier, which we’d recommend to avoid if you want to stream any TV or video. As a result, their 285GB plan, which costs $204.95 a month is your best bet. You’ll get 145GB to use in peak data periods, and another 140GB for off-peak. Plus Clear often has deals for your first month or two free depending on how long you commit for.
How does NBN satellite broadband get installed?
For you, the process of getting NBN satellite isn’t too dissimilar to how anyone would get an NBN connection, and simply involves checking you’re in a service area, finding the right provider and booking in a connection date. But let’s break that down a bit more:
- First make sure you can connect to an NBN SkyMuster Satellite plan. You can find that out by going here and running your address through. Although almost all homes in remote Australia that can’t access fibre, cable or fixed wireless NBN will be able to access it.
- Find the best plan for you. You can either take our recommendations above, or you can go here to take a look at all the best plans and find one for you.
- Book in an installation date. NBN says that it aims to have each home connected in less than 20 days after you first enquire on a plan, so hopefully you won’t be waiting too long. You will organise this directly with the internet provider you sign up with, who will guide you through it all on the day of connection, too.
- Once your satellite is hooked up and configured by the NBN technician your internet provider will provide you with a router to use to connect your devices to the internet with. This will usually be pre-configured so you’ll just need to plug it in and write down your new WiFi password.
What satellite internet NBN providers are there?
With the launch of NBN’s SkyMuster I and II lowering the cost to offer internet to rural customers, more satellite internet providers have popped up in Australia to provide choice for customers. The full list of satellite internet NBN providers at the moment include:
- Clear networks
- Southern Phone