The best NBN 50 plans

These plans offer enough speed without breaking the bank.

Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
Published on April 28, 2021
3 min read

Do you need NBN 50 (Standard) speed?

Hitting that sweet spot between speed and value, NBN 50 (a.k.a NBN Standard) plans have been the most popular option on the market as Australians connected 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 a cheaper NBN 12 or NBN 25 plan but if you’re serious about streaming, you are going to need NBN 50, 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, 79% 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 and cheapest unlimited NBN 50 plans available.

Best NBN 50 Plan

Tangerine XL Speed Boost Unlimited

Tangerine's XL Speed Boost Unlimited is consistently top of the NBN 50 plans popularity charts, thanks in part to its juicy promo offer for new customers. At the time of writing, their XL Speed Boost Unlimited Plan (which comes with unlimited data, self-reported evening speeds of 50Mbps and a contract-free plan) is just $54.90 per month. Though there's one small caveat: this discounted monthly price only lasts for six months. After that, it'll jump to $69.90. That's still a competitive price for unlimited data on NBN 50, but it's not the cheapest, so it could be worth doing some provider-hopping once those six months are up to find the best deal.

Keen to see how Tangerine's offering stacks up against the other most popular NBN 50 plans? See how it compares below.

What is the best value and cheapest NBN 50 plan?

SpinTel Unlimited NBN Plus

The battle for the cheapest NBN 50 plan is a bit of a complicated one. Belong technically offers cheaper plans (starting from $55 per month), you only get 30Mbps and you're locked into a 12-month contract. There is a slightly expensive (though still cheap) contract-free version, but again, it's capped at a measly 30Mbps.

For the cheapest NBN 50 plan that actually offers evening speeds up to 50Mps and doesn't lock you into a contract, look no further than SpinTel Unlimited NBN Plus. Though Tangerine's $54.90 promo price is cheaper than SpinTel's promo price of $59, Tangerine reverts to $69.90 while SpinTel increases to just $64.95. It might not sound like a large difference, but SpinTel still comes in cheaper overall, saving you more than $60 over a 24-month period.

If you're not fussed about long-term savings or top speeds and simply want what's cheapest right now, take a look at the cheapest NBN 50 plans below.

ACCC NBN 50 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. It's also important to note that not every ISP's performance is tracked by the ACCC, including our two top NBN 50 picks Tangerine and SpinTel.

Provider
Download - busy hours
Download - busiest hour
Upload - busy hours
Netflix ISP Speed Index

TPG

98.7%

96.9%

86.3%

3.6 Mbps

Optus

98.7%

97.2%

83.9%

3.6 Mbps

Telstra

97.1%

94.0%

83.4%

3.6 Mbps

Aussie Broadband

96.3%

94.0%

81.9%

3.4 Mbps

iiNet

95.7%

93.9%

83.3%

3.6 Mbps

MyRepublic

95.7%

88.3%

86.7%

3.6 Mbps

Superloop

95.3%

86.9%

86.4%

N/A

Vodafone

93.7%

89.7%

86.7%

3.6 Mbps

Exetel

89.9%

88.0%

90.1%

3.5 Mbps

Dodo & iPrimus

85.0%

80.6%

86.0%

3.6 Mbps

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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