The Best NBN 50 Plans
Do you need NBN 50 Standard Plus?
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: Tangerine XL Speed Boost Unlimited
Tangerine’s XL Speed Boost Unlimited has taken over as the cheapest unlimited NBN 50 plan. Though there’s one small caveat: while the plan is month-to-month (e.g. no contract), the discounted monthly cost will go up to $69.90 if you stick around past six months. $69.90 per month is still a competitive price for unlimited data on NBN 50 but its definitely not the cheapest.
Tangerine is another telco that self-reports its NBN speeds (opposed to ACCC tracking) and it clocks its NBN 50 plan at 43Mbps. If you’re all about transparency, you might want to opt for our runner-up pick for NBN 50: TPG’s SL Bundle.
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. The data in this table is accurate as of the date we published this article, but it is likely to change regularly.
|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: Spintel 200GB Plus
Now that Exetel’s cheap 100GB NBN 50 plan has left the market, Spintel has taken the lead with the cheapest NBN 50 plan available. Spintel’s 200GB Plus plan gives you double the data for $54.95 per month. The one catch is that it’s only available on a 12-month contract. Spintel is also running a limited time deal that gets you a $69 credit when you sign up to its NBN 200GB Plus plan.
Participation awards: TPG and Aussie Broadband
Spintel’s speeds aren’t currently tracked by the ACCC. Instead, Spintel has opted to self-report its speeds. It reports typical evening speeds of 40Mbps on the NBN 50 tier but your actual results may not reflect that claim.
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.