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The best NBN 50 plans

These NBN 50 plans offer enough speed without breaking the bank.

Nathan Lawrence
Oct 11, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read

NBN Standard isn't what it used to be. Not that long ago, this NBN tier was a whole lot slower. Nowadays, it's not just faster. It's the people's choice when it comes to internet plans.

Rewind the clock a bit, and NBN 25 was called NBN Standard, but now that NBN Co has changed the naming conventions, relegating cheaper NBN 25 to NBN Basic II (ouch), there’s a new NBN Standard in town. And that new NBN Standard is NBN 50—up to double the download and four times the upload speed—which is a fitting name given it’s the most popular NBN speed tier around.

Best NBN 50 deals

NBN 50 is the most common speed tier among Australian households, so it's hardly a surprise that most internet providers are jockeying for attention with time-limited discounts and other promotions.

Check out the widget below for a quick comparison of this month's NBN 50 deals, sorted by popularity.

See this month's best NBN plans

Every single month, the team of editors and database managers at Reviews.org meet up to score and rank the very best NBN internet plans in Australia. 

Best NBN 50 Plan

Dodo NBN50 Unlimited Plan

Dodo is usually one of the better bets when it comes to NBN 50 plans and that's very much the case at the moment, thanks to the limited-time deal on the provider's NBN 50 offering.

Until 30 November 2023, you can save $21.20 per month on Dodo's nbn50 Unlimited plan. That discount puts a dent in the usual $75 monthly price, bringing it down to $53.80 per month for the first six months.

At the time of writing, Dodo offers the maximum potential download speeds for NBN Standard (50Mbps) plus bundling deals for existing (or future) Mobile or Energy customers looking to save a bit of extra cash.

In addition to coming with unlimited data, this plan is a no-contract option. If doesn't work out for you, you're free to cancel at any time without incurring any additional costs. For a sense of how it fares against the rest of the best NBN 50 plans available at the moment, check out the widget below and compare NBN 50 plans for yourself.

Cheapest NBN 50 plan

Exetel Extra-value NBN 50 plan

This month, Exetel has come out on top. The Exetel Extra-value NBN 50 plan boasts typical evening speedss of 50Mbps, typical evening upload speeds of 17Mbps, unlimited data plus five-speed boosts per month. These speed boosts are part of what makes the difference here.

These allow you to temporarily bump your connection speed up from what you usually get from Exetel’s NBN 50 plan to what you could be getting from its NBN 100 internet plan. Unused speed boost days roll over up to thirty days. You can also toss in an unlimited Home Phone (VoIP) connection for an additional $10 per month.

The brawl for the cheapest NBN 50 plan tends to involve Tangerine, Spintel and Superloop. All three providers offer unlimited-data plans with no contracts, plus they compete around similar price points with long-running six-month discounts. This time around, all three have come up short. For a sense of how much, compare the cheapest NBN 50 plan listed above to the alternatives found in the widget below.

How fast is NBN 50?

Just how much faster is NBN 50 than NBN 25? How much slower is it than NBN 100? Fortunately, these are common NBN comparison questions have straightforward answers. Simply check out the table below to compare how fast NBN 50 is versus the other options.

Internet speed
Number of people
Activities

NBN 25

1–2

Casual web browsing, emails, social media, streaming SD video, streaming music

NBN 50

1–3

Streaming HD and 4K video, streaming music, online gaming, light work from home

NBN 100

2–4

Streaming 4K video, online gaming, working from home, using home security devices

NBN 250

2–5

Streaming 4K video, online gaming, running a home office, using home security and smart home devices

NBN 1000

3–5+

Running a home office or creative profession, streaming in 4K, live streaming, online gaming, using home security and smart home devices

NBN 50 alternatives

Besides the obvious option of up-selling yourself to a faster NBN speed tier, the natural next best choice to an NBN 50 plan is going to be a home wireless one. Powered by either a 4G or 5G connection akin to the one found in most mobile plans, this type of internet service might be able to offer you better bang for your buck.

These days, there are plenty of 5G home internet plans that can offer equivalent speeds at a better price than almost any NBN 50 plan. Check out the widget below for a round-up of the cheapest options so that you can compare 5G home internet against the best NBN 50 plans.

NBN 50 FAQs

Here are the most commonly asked questions about NBN 50

What is NBN 50

NBN 50 is the middle-of-the-road option when it comes to NBN speed tiers. Aussies signed up for an internet plan with this connection type can expect to see download speeds of up to 50Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, depending on the provider.

In short, NBN 50 is a one-size-fits-most solution that's perfect for small households that need a little extra 'oomph' to satisfy their higher-usage needs from time to time.

Who is NBN 50 suitable for?

The official word from NBN Co is that NBN 50 is intended for those in a home with three or four occupants, all of whom tend to be online at the same time. In other words, the NBN 50 speed tier is built for abodes looking to have multiple 1080p streams (plus a 4K stream or two), play online games, work from home (with tasks like videoconferencing) and download files at a reasonable clip.

Those who don’t care for 4K television or online gaming can comfortably settle with a cheaper NBN 12 or NBN 25 plan, but if you’re serious about streaming (or gaming), you are going to need NBN 50, at the least.

Streaming Netflix in 4K/UHD requires, at a minimum, 25Mbps. For Stan, it’s 15Mbps. Kayo Sports is capped at 1080p HD and only requires a minimum of 7.5Mbps. That said, one of the app’s most unique features offers HD picture-in-picture streaming, which means you multiply 7.5Mbps by the number of pictures you’re streaming. Four, for instance, equates to a 30Mbps requirement. Bear in mind that accessing those full speed means other devices in the home will have to not be downloading at the same time.

For the gamers in a home with an NBN 50 connection, there won’t be any issue playing games online (even for multiple in-home gamers). However, downloading a 100GB game will take around 4.5 hours at full speed.

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, 4.5Mbps upload speeds for 1080p HD broadcasting at 30 frames per second (fps) or 6Mbps for 1080p at 60fps.

Similarly, those working from home—particularly those working with large file transfers—may consider the 20Mbps upload limit to be restrictive. This will also impact how long it takes to back up smartphone photos and videos, particularly if everyone is doing it at the same time.

NBN plans are advertised in terms of typical evening download speeds, which is when most people are online and speeds tend to slow down. Still, as you can see from the speed requirements above, the max 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload of NBN 50 comfortably meets all of these which, coupled with competitive pricing, helps to make sense of why it’s so popular in Australia.

Is NBN 50 fast enough?

NBN 50 is fast enough for most Australian homes, which explains its popularity. Assuming your home can hit max 50Mbps download speeds, you'll have more than bandwidth to go around. The average number of occupants per home from the last round of available Census data is 2.6; the NBN Co recommendation that NBN 50 plans are for three to four people is comfortably above this. On paper, NBN 50 has what it takes to deliver two simultaneous 4K streams or around 10 HD streams. We’d comfortably recommend NBN 50 for most homes with average internet needs. If it’s not enough for your home’s internet needs, most Australian homes can sign up for NBN 100 plans, too, which offer up to double the download and upload speed (though most NBN 100 plans have 20Mbps upload limits). With an NBN 100 plan, you’d be able to watch four simultaneous 4K streams or roughly 20 HD streams, and that 100GB game would download in half the time. Check out the daily updating list of plans below to see if a popular list of NBN 100 plans from our database: Still not enough speed? You may want to consider an NBN 250 plan. Note that NBN 250 plans are only available to Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and select Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) homes. If you’re in one of those homes, the daily updating list below showcases cheap NBN 250 plans from our comparison engine.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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