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The best internet plans and providers for every technology
Your best options for NBN, mobile broadband, satellite, fixed wireless and 5G home broadband.
As Australia’s mobile networks compete in the great 5G rollout race, the next-gen mobile technology is quickly becoming a viable home internet solution for Australians in metropolitan areas. Still, it will be a long time until it becomes a reliable option for most Australians. Until then, most Australians have the option to slog it on NBN Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) or look for alternatives. Even then, there is still a fair portion of the population outside of the fixed-line NBN rollout. For those far-flung users, there is satellite or fixed wireless broadband.
Long story short, there are a growing number of solutions to get you connected in the home and while we appreciate a bit of variety, it’s not always as straightforward as it should be.
Let’s take a look at the options available to you, and the best plans depending on your connection type.
- : Spintel
- : Aussie Broadband
- : Superloop
- : Optus
- : SkyMesh
- : Tangerine
The best NBN plans for most
Fibre-to-the-Node NBN plans
By now, the NBN is available to most Australians, broadly speaking. Different NBN technologies deliver drastically different download and upload speeds. If you live in Australia, chances are you already know what a monumental failure the NBN rollout has been but what it means for most is pretty straightforward; the overwhelming majority of Australians only have access to the most inferior NBN technology type, Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN). It’s not the technology we wanted, but it’s the technology we got and until the government gets around to upgrading your property, it’s likely the only fixed-line option available to you.
Thankfully, most NBN providers in Australia offer FTTN. It’s the baseline technology we use for comparing the best NBN plans every month, so naturally, we’ve got a pretty good grasp on which NBN FTTN plans are worth your dime.
At the time of writing, your best option for NBN is Spintel’s NBN Unlimited Plus 50/20 plan.
With this Spintel plan, you’ll get typical evening download speeds of 45Mbps. On top of this, Spintel is running discounted first-year pricing at $59 per month. This plan is typically priced at $64.95 per month ($743.70 first-year cost).
We like Spintel’s commitment to value. Its discounted promotion is just a bonus on top of plans that are already competitively priced. Even when your discount expires, you’ll still be getting a good deal.
Spintel’s plans are all no-contract and they are one of the few providers still offering home phone and broadband plans.
For comparison, take a look at the most popular NBN plans in Australia below.
The best Superfast and Ultrafast NBN plans
It might have been a bit late to the party, but gigabit (1000Mbps) speeds are finally available on the NBN. The Superfast and Ultrafast NBN speeds have theoretical maximum speeds of 250Mbps and 1000Mbps, respectively. There’s just one catch. Superfast and Ultrafast NBN plans are only available to a select few Australians that are lucky enough to have FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) or HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial).
If you do count yourself amongst the lucky few, then you might be eligible for a Superfast or Ultrafast upgrade.
For Superfast NBN250, you can’t go past Aussie Broadband’s 250/25 Unlimited Power User plan. Outside of the promotional pricing, Aussie Broadband might not be the cheapest Superfast plan, but it is the fastest, with average typical evening speeds clocking a fast 248Mbps.
Here's a quick look at what speeds you can expect on Superfast NBN.
As for Ultrafast NBN1000, you’ve got a few comparable options. Until now, it’s been a pretty even tie between Kogan Internet and Superloop. We tend to prefer Superloop over Kogan based on past performance and great customer services, but it only offers a capped 3000GB plan. Now, most individuals would be stretched to clock 3000GB in downloads every month but it’s not impossible.
However, the cheapest deal on Ultrafast NBN goes to MyRepublic, which offers decent promotional and standard pricing on its NBN1000 plan. MyRepublic’s speed performance hasn’t been too crash hot, historically, but at the very high end of theoretical maximum speeds, the difference won’t be extremely obvious.
Note: Suppliers are fairly conservative when it comes to estimates for Ultrafast NBN, which is why you will see many of the plans listed below as 250Mbps. That's mostly providers covering themselves. In reality, you'll probably see speeds much faster than 250Mbps on Ultrafast NBN.
The best mobile broadband plans
Traditionally, mobile broadband plans have offered decent data without any other inclusions, like calls and text. They are typically used with pocket WiFi and internet dongle devices by commuters, students -- basically, anyone who uses a lot of data on the road. Though for many Australians, mobile broadband is still their only option for home internet. If that sounds like you, you’re going to want a mobile broadband plan with plenty of data to burn through.
Telstra and Optus both offer decent deals on mobile broadband but their data caps still aren’t entirely suited for full-time usage at home. Spintel is the only provider that offers a workable solution for mobile broadband at home with its 500GB per month plan.
It uses the Optus 4G network and comes on a no-contract, month-to-month plan at a great monthly price and if you need a mobile broadband modem, Spintel will hook you up with one for a once-off payment on your first bill.
To get an idea of how it stacks up, take a look at this week's most popular mobile broadband plans below.
The best 5G home broadband plans
5G home is the only technology that has the chance to rival the NBN for reliable home internet. It’s still very early in the rollout, so 5G home isn’t available to a lot of Australians. Even where it is available, the sparse coverage can make for a fairly unstable home broadband experience.
Still, Telstra and Optus are both investing a lot in their own 5G home products. Telstra’s 5G home is still an invite-only early access arrangement, but anyone with ample coverage can sign up to Optus 5G home.
Here’s what you can get:
The Optus 5G Internet Everyday plan comes in at $75 per month. It comes with one month free, unlimited downloads, Optus Sport + Optus Sport Fitness, and the included Nokia 5G modem. The key difference with the Everyday plan is that download speeds are capped at a 100Mbps maximum. Optus claims Internet Everyday customers can expect around 85Mbps typical evening speeds (7 pm – 11 pm).
The Optus 5G Internet Entertainer bundle costs $90 per month. It comes with all the benefits of 5G Internet Everyday with a few extras. Firstly, its speeds are uncapped (though Optus says to expect around 239Mbps for typical evening speeds). Secondly, it comes with an included Fetch Mighty PVR streaming box, three months of the Ultimate Channel Pack free, and included one Premium Channel Pack for the life of the plan.
Those deals are comparable to a traditional fixed-line home broadband plan and a great NBN alternative if you’re covered by the Optus 5G network.
The best satellite broadband plans
Where fixed-line NBN customers more or less know what they’re getting into when they sign up for home Internet, things are a lot more complicated (and expensive) for satellite NBN customers. Unfortunately, it could be the option for many remote Australians.
With satellite internet, there are a lot of unpredictable geographical and environmental factors at play that could impact your speeds and stability. The market for satellite plans is also a little archaic, in that it still divides data allowance by peak and off-peak data, which can make it tough to compare. One plan might claim it delivers 500GB in total, but only 100GB of that data might be usable within daylight hours.
If you need satellite NBN, we’d recommend reading our more comprehensive plan guide for the technology.
For our money, SkyMesh’s 235GB Basic I is currently the best value satellite internet plan, if you can get it.
During peak times (7am to 1am), you’ve got 55GB of data to work with a month, and 180GB of off-peak data (1am to 7am) if you need to schedule overnight downloads. If you exceed your monthly allowance, speeds are slowed to symmetrical 128kbps for the rest of the billing cycle.
There is a 12-month contract, which means the first-year cost of paying $44.95 a month comes to $539.40. This is a Basic I plan, though, so don’t expect speeds to stretch beyond 12Mbps. You can, however, opt for the still-great value of the SkyMesh 235GB Basic II plan if you’d like to tap into speeds that have the potential to hit closer to 25Mbps.
The best fixed wireless broadband plans
Before you commit to a satellite NBN plan, it’s worth finding out whether you’re eligible for Fixed Wireless. Fixed Wireless NBN offers faster speeds and more affordable plans over the 4G mobile network.
There’s only one catch, you need to live within 14kms of a Fixed Wireless mobile tower to be eligible. If you live in a rural area and find that you’re eligible for Fixed Wireless, you’ll experience much faster speeds, a more reliable connection, and better value plans than you would on satellite internet. Fixed Wireless plans are more comparable to fixed-line broadband plans when it comes to price and inclusions.
Take Tangerine’s XL Speed Boost Unlimited Fixed Wireless plan. It offers unlimited downloads and potential speeds over 50 Mbps for less than $60 per month on promotional pricing (around $69.90 per month outside of the promo period).
To get an idea of Tangerine’s value, take a look at more popular Fixed Wireless plans below.