The fastest NBN Internet in Australia
Fastest self-reportedSee PlansRead reviewGreat speeds on each tierNetwork transparency
Fastest by ACCC resultsSee PlansRead review#1 in ACCC Feb 20 resultsBonus Optus Sport (EPL)
Optus Home Wireless
Fastest alternativeSee PlansRead guide500GB for $68 p/mthNo need for NBN connection
Thanks to the ACCC and self-reported data, we’ve got a good idea of which providers offer the fastest NBN Internet plans in Australia.
If you’re going to sign up with one of Australia’s many NBN providers, why not go all in? Premium speed NBN plans have a maximum potential speed of 100Mbps, which is about 10-times as fast as must of us experienced with old ADSL2+ internet connections.
With an NBN 100 plan, you can expect Netflix movies to start without buffering and large files to download in a flash. If you were to rent a movie from the iTunes store, it’d be ready to watch in the time it takes to make popcorn in the microwave.
But it’s not all about speed. Busy families with several people connected to the Internet at the same time will find a Premium NBN connection means everyone can be streaming, downloading and web surfing at the same time. No buffering, no lag. For many smaller household, NBN 50 will be sufficient but if you’ve got a big family or just a big appetite for downloads, NBN 100 (or an NBN alternative) is where it’s at.
So which NBN 100 plans are the best? And is it really faster than 4G or 5G? We pull together a few key speed test reports to find out.
Fastest NBN Internet in Australia this month
Let’s kick things off with a simple table sorted by speed (high-to-low). The data in this table uses information provided from the ACCC, as well as self-reported data from certain providers like Superloop. The ACCC data was last updated February 2020, but the plan data is updated daily.
Fastest according to the ACCC in February 2020
The ACCC tests real-world NBN speeds in thousands of homes across Australia and records the average speed a provider is delivering to its customers. On average, Optus customers on NBN achieved 89.9% of their maximum speeds during busy hours according to the latest report.
Provider TPG had a solid run for a while but Optus NBN has taken the throne. It’s not all bad news for old TPG as it now holds the top spot as the highest-performing provider for upload speeds, achieving 87.4% of its maximum potential on average. For download speeds, it’s currently tied at second place with Exetel broadband.
Here’s how much the runner-ups will charge you for unlimited NBN 100.
Fastest self-reported internet speeds
This month, Superloop NBN has taken pole position, sitting pretty on the podium for best unlimited internet plans, and now in first place for self-reported speeds. The relatively newcomer self-reports average evening speeds at 90Mbps on its Premium NBN 100 range and is currently offering those plans at an unmatched monthly price.
It’s worth mentioning that those deals are limited. As outlined in the sections above, the discounted price will only last 6 months before reverting to the original price. With that said, Superloop’s standard pricing is still great value.
If you’d prefer to explore your options, we’ve rounded up this week’s most popular NBN 100 plans in Australia below.
Fastest NBN alternative (for most)
Home Wireless Broadband
Technically, there are still properties in Australia with access to super-fast 200Mbps cable connections but those connections are slowly being phased out. That’s why our pick for the fastest NBN alternative (for most people) is Home Wireless broadband.
There’s a couple of reasons why:
First, it offers the 4G speeds you’ve come to expect from your smartphone but with data caps more suited to the home. The theoretical maximum for 4G is 1Gbps but the reality is roughly 37 to 40Mbps according to Opensignal’s latest mobile network report. That’s still light-years ahead of the theoretical 8Mbps maximum speed of ADSL2+.
For our money, the 500GB Home Wireless Broadband plan from Optus is currently your best bet. Until 31 March 2020, it’s available at a discounted monthly price and if you sign-up for a 24-month contract, you can nab a modem at no extra cost. You will need a Home Wireless Modem as it’s different from an NBN modem and uses a SIM card like your phone.
The other reason to consider Home Wireless is the upcoming rollout of 5G in Australia. The theoretical maximum speed for 5G is 20Gbps (20 times that of 4G) and it offers lower latency (great for gaming), as well as more simultaneous connections (great for big housegolds). 5G Home is not widely available just yet but we’re looking forward to seeing it become a more commonplace NBN competitor.
In the meantime, here are a few more Home Wireless Broadband plans if you can’t get the NBN, or you just don’t want it.
What are Typical Evening Speeds?
When customers first started connecting to the NBN many had a common complaint; that the speed of their connection would slow down in the evenings. This is due to congestion which is something that can be overcome if the provider’s allocate enough bandwidth in your neighbourhood.
To counteract this, the ACCC now recommends that NBN providers include a ‘typical evening speed’ in their advertising so that customers can better compare services. This evening speed is an average that current customers of the provider get between 7pm – 11pm each day.
We’ve got a comprehensive guide on NBN speeds here.
How do we choose the best NBN 100 Plans?
Finding a good NBN plan is a pretty simple equation: which provider offers the fastest speeds at the best price. We used to also factor in how much data a plan included, but these days you should get a plan with unlimited data. You won’t save that much money on a plan with a data limit.
The problem is that finding out how NBN providers perform in the real world can be tough. The providers are supposed to publish speed test results on the websites, but many still only publish minimum expected speeds rather than the results of actual speed tests.
Why are some NBN providers faster than others?
When providers connect customers to the NBN they allocate bandwidth to that neighbourhood. Bandwidth is something that the providers need to pay for, so they have to decide whether to pay for more and deliver a faster experience, or pay less and deliver slower average speeds. This is also reflected in the prices we pay, so that faster services may come with a higher price, and vice versa.
The ACCC now requires that the providers are more transparent about this by having the providers publish the speeds customers can expect on their websites. You should always look for the ‘typical evening speeds’ in the fine print for any plan you are planning on subscribing to.
How much do premium NBN 100 plans cost?
The price of NBN plans changes frequently, but at the time of writing NBN 100 plans start from about $70 per month. As a rule of thumb, NBN 100 plans tend to cost between $10 and $20 more than NBN 50 plans.
It’s important to keep an eye out for a bargain. There is well over 100 NBN providers in Australia, which makes for a competitive landscape. You’ll find there is always bargain available, if you know where to look.
Can I get faster NBN internet at my home?
If a fixed-line NBN connection is available at your house (as in all NBN except Wireless and Satellite) then you should be eligible to apply for an NBN 100 plan. The goal of the NBN is to make all service available to a majority of homes and businesses.
However, because of technical limitations some internet providers have opted to not advertise NBN 100 plans and ask customers to wait until after they are connect to an NBN 50 plan before they can test the speed of their connection. If it is a strong connection then the provider will upgrade your service.
What can I do with faster internet?
Without going into the details, a 100Mbps NBN service running at full speed is capable of downloading about 12 megabytes of data per second. In real-world terms, this means you can download:
- A new book to read for your Kindle in 1 second
- A movie rental from iTunes in 2 minutes
- A new game from the PlayStation or Xbox store in 70 minutes
- Every article on Wikipedia in just 20 minutes