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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 of us 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 Sky Muster satellite NBN or NBN 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
- : MyRepublic
- : MyRepublic
- : Spintel
- : Spintel
- : Telstra
- : SkyMesh
- : Spintel
The best NBN internet providers for most
The NBN is available to most Australians. 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, 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 (which is currently in the works), it’s likely the only fixed-line option available to you (without spending a bunch).
Thankfully, most NBN providers in Australia offer FTTN plans. 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. For other fixed-line connections—including upgrade to FTTP, Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) and Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB)—the great news is all of the NBN plans available to FTTN homes are also available to yours.
At the time of writing, the best provider for an NBN 50 plan, the most popular option in Australia, was Spintel.
With a Spintel NBN 50 plan, you’ll get typical evening download speeds of 50Mbps (up from 45Mbps). 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 the provider is one of the few still offering home phone and broadband plans. If you want to weigh up Spintel’s offering against close competitors, look at Tangerine, Superloop and MyRepublic.
For comparison, take a look at the most popular NBN plans in Australia below.
The best NBN Superfast internet providers
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 FTTP homes or select HFC abodes.
If you do count yourself among the lucky few, then you might be eligible for a Superfast or Ultrafast upgrade. And if you’re keen to dip your toe in the faster-than-NBN-100 waters, try a MyRepublic NBN Superfast plan.
Outside of a tendency for this provider to offer promotional pricing, MyRepublic’s NBN 250 plans have great typical monthly pricing and respectable 200Mbps download speeds. There’s also a 30-day happiness guarantee, so you can try it for a month and bail if it’s not for you.
Here’s a quick look at the other download speeds you can expect from competing NBN Superfast plans.
The best NBN Ultrafast internet providers
For NBN Ultrafast (aka NBN 1000), you’ve got a few options, depending on whether you want speed or value. On the speed front, it’s really a race between Telstra and Aussie Broadband, which offer 700Mbps and 600Mbps self-reported typical evening download speeds, respectively. Outside of promotional pricing, though, you’re looking at around $150 per month to score those speeds.
Superloop has long-running promo pricing for its NBN Ultrafast plan, but despite great 500Mbps download speeds, it’s on a custom NBN 500 speed tier and has a 3TB data cap. We’re not overly fond of data caps, especially at these speeds where it’s easier to download more, so we reckon it’s worth trying the 350Mbps average download speeds with MyRepublic’s NBN Ultrafast plans. MyRepublic tends to offer promo pricing and, even if it doesn’t, the typical monthly price is usually competitive.
Have a gander at the list below for an idea of the fastest NBN Ultrafast providers and their plans tracked in our comparison engine.
Note: NBN providers are fairly conservative when it comes to estimates for NBN Ultrafast, which is why you will see some of the plans listed below as 250Mbps (or lower). That’s mostly providers covering themselves. In reality, you’ll probably see speeds much faster than 250Mbps.
The best mobile broadband internet providers
Traditionally, mobile broadband plans have offered decent data without any other usual inclusions, like calls and text. They are typically used with pocket WiFi and internet dongle devices by commuters and students or anyone else who uses a lot of data on the road. Though for some 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.
Spintel has the cheapest monthly pricing for those after a whole lot of Optus 4G network data (500GB), but there’s a $300+ upfront fee to buy the Netgear AC800S mobile-hotspot WiFi modem. Still, our money is on Telstra’s mobile broadband plans, particularly if you don’t mind paying more per month to get more data.
Telstra’s priciest mobile broadband plan comes with 400GB of data, which includes access to the Telstra 5G network if that’s in your area. If you go over your data limit, speeds are capped at 1.5Mbps for the rest of the month, which isn’t fast, but it does help avoid bill shock. For a few dollars more per month, you can pay off a Telstra WiFi modem.
To get an idea of how it stacks up, take a look at this week’s most popular mobile broadband plans below.
The best 4G home internet providers
Unfortunately, 5G isn’t the most widely available wireless home internet technology for most Australian homes. For these homes, your best bet is a 4G home internet plan. Note that there’s a trend for certain 4G home internet providers to cap download speeds at 20Mbps, which includes TPG, iiNet, Internode and Vodafone. While that’s not the worst speed, we fancy something with better speed potential.
That’s why we think it’s worth looking at Spintel’s 4G plans, which have the potential to reach up to 100Mbps download speeds, plus they include a decent amount of data:
Check out the list below for a breakdown of popular 4G home internet plans from the providers in our database:
The best 5G home broadband internet providers
5G home internet is the only technology that has the chance to rival the NBN for reliable home internet. It’s still partway through the rollout, so 5G home internet 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. Note that home broadband providers tend to split 5G plans between those that can reach up to 100Mbps download speeds and those that stretch beyond 100Mbps.
Still, Telstra and Optus are both investing a lot in their own 5G home products. Telstra’s 5G home is now out in the wild, but anyone with ample coverage can sign up to Optus 5G home. Despite being one of the more expensive offerings, our pick is Telstra. Here’s what you get:
This Telstra 5G Home Internet plan has a reasonable monthly price, comes with 1TB of data (which is a fair chunk) and speeds are capped at 25Mbps if you use it all up. There’s a chance of that, too, given the 378Mbps average download speeds, which is part of the 50–600Mbps typical download speed range.
For comparison, check out other popular home wireless plans from the providers in our comparison engine:
The best satellite NBN internet providers
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 Sky Muster satellite NBN customers. Unfortunately, it’s the only 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. For example, one plan might claim it delivers 500GB in total, but only 100GB of that data might be usable within daylight hours.
During peak times (7:00am to 1:00am), you’ve got peak data to work with, and the rest is allocated as off-peak data (1:00am to 7:00am). Because of this, it’s worth scheduling overnight downloads. If you exceed your monthly allowance, speeds are slowed to symmetrical speeds (think kilobytes-per-second) for the rest of the billing cycle.
If you need Sky Muster satellite NBN, we’d recommend reading our best satellite internet plans guide for the technology. It’s also worth considering a Sky Muster Plus plan, which offers unmetered downloads across specific categories as well as download speeds that can reach beyond 25Mbps. Alternatively, if Starlink satellite is available in your area and you don’t balk at the higher monthly fees, it offers significantly faster speed potential.
For our money, SkyMesh has a great range of Sky Muster satellite NBN plans, which includes options across NBN 12, NBN 25 and Sky Muster Plus speed tiers. Check out a handful of SkyMesh’s most popular Sky Muster satellite NBN plans below:
For comparison, have a look at the popular Sky Muster satellite NBN plans below from the providers in our database:
Before you commit to a Sky Muster satellite NBN plan, it’s worth finding out whether you’re eligible for Fixed Wireless NBN. Fixed Wireless NBN providers offer faster speeds than satellite, unlimited data and more affordable plans.
There’s only one catch: you need to live within 14km of an NBN 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.
Spintel is the Fixed Wireless provider we recommend. Whether you’re after an NBN 25 plan or NBN 50 plan, Spintel offers some of the cheapest plans in our comparison engine.
While other Fixed Wireless NBN providers like Tangerine and Moose offer promo pricing that makes for great initial value, Spintel’s plans are some of the cheapest for typical pricing. For comparison, check out other popular Fixed Wireless NBN plans below from internet providers in our database:
How to choose the best NBN plan
Choosing the best NBN plan is determined by the technology that services your home and what speeds you need for seamless internet. All NBN technologies can sign up to NBN 12 and NBN 25 plans. Fixed Wireless NBN and all fixed-line NBN technologies can use plans up to NBN 50, which is the most popular and has the best dollar-to-data value.
Only select fixed-line NBN technologies can sign up to NBN 100 plans and, even then, FTTC, FTTB and FTTN technologies may not be able to hit full advertised download speeds. NBN providers often add a disclaimer that they’ll confirm speeds for these NBN technologies after connection. Meanwhile, all FTTP and select HFC homes can tap into every NBN speed tier, including NBN Superfast and NBN Ultrafast plans.
Note that NBN 12 plans are meant for only one person, NBN 25 is built for two, and NBN 50 plans are intended for homes with three or four people. Every faster NBN speed tier is meant for homes with five or more active internet users.
How to choose the best home wireless plan
The first step of choosing the best home wireless plan is determining whether your home is eligible. This means heading to the website of an intended provider (or hitting the ‘Go’ button next to a plan you like the look of above) and punching in your address to confirm it’s eligible.
Remember that while home wireless internet uses mobile technology to get you online, it can’t travel with you unless you shift to another eligible address. Ultimately, the best home wireless plans will come from the network that provides the best signal to your home: whether that’s Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.
If you can get 5G home internet, there are a range of plans with decent prices, some of which include unlimited data and others that have speeds that reach beyond 100Mbps. Otherwise, pick a 4G home internet plan from a provider that uses the network where you get the best signal. Use the interactive map below as a guide.
How to choose the best mobile broadband plan
Because mobile broadband is built to travel with you, it’s best to consider where you use it most: at home, in specific areas or wherever you may roam abroad. For predictable areas, use that same interactive map above to determine which network provider offers the best reception in these locations.
After all, mobile broadband is only as good as your signal strength. It’s also worth weighing up how much data you intend on using, then scaling it up or down proportionately. Certain mobile broadband providers offer generous data caps but may charge extra if you bust those caps, while others slow speeds, which can help control costs.
If you want a mobile broadband plan that you don’t mind paying extra for, go with Telstra. Optus and Vodafone have smaller networks (in that order, too), but tend to offer more competitive pricing. Telstra, though, has the widest-reaching network, which includes 4G and 5G.