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Best NBN providers in Australia
These providers are your best options for fast, affordable broadband in 2022.
Here at Reviews.org, we’re constantly keeping track of the best NBN providers (and NBN plans) in Australia. Our product team monitors the comings and goings of the Australian broadband market with eagle-eyed precision and feeds that data back to us, the editorial team, to help build out our recommendations.
In this guide, you will find our ranking of the best NBN providers in Australia. We give each provider a score out of five stars, based on 24 considerations for value, customer service, speed (including the latest ACCC results), and perks and features. You can scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on how we rate NBN providers but without further ado, here are our top picks for the best NBN providers in Australia.
- : Mate
- : Spintel
- : Exetel
- : Telstra
- : Aussie Broadband
- : Telstra
- : Vodafone
- : Spintel
We'll get into the nitty-gritty of each provider below. But before we dig into the details, here’s a quick look at how each provider’s NBN50 plans compare to one another.
By comparing like-for-like, you should have a sense of what the landscape looks like when it comes to the most popular tier of NBN plans among Australia's most prominent internet providers.
Best value NBN provider
Plenty of providers (such as Tangerine) offer regular limited-time deals and discounts on their plans. These discounts typically last between 6 and 12 months before your monthly bill reverts to full price. Mate is no stranger to a good deal or discount either but where it beats every other provider is in its regular pricing structure.
If you’re not interested in switching every six months, Mate Broadband is our top pick for thebest ongoing value. Its Fast NBN 100 plan comes in at a generous $79 per month, and its Standard NBN 50 at a tidy $69 per month.
Mate’s combination of great value, and top-tier customer service makes it our top pick as the best NBN provider in Australia.
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Next best value NBN provider
Next up for best value is Spintel. Not only does Spintel's promotional pricing give it the title of cheapest NBN provider on the WhistleOut engine, but even once that promotional pricing comes to an end, it's still one of the cheapest - even cheaper than our top overall value pick, Mate, above.
Of course, you sacrifice a little in terms of customer service, but Spintel still has a very respectable reputation and makes a solid choice for the budget-conscious.
Fastest NBN Provider (ACCC)*
*Accurate as of 21 March 2022
The ACCC broadband speed test program tracks the real-world performance of select Australian ISPs. It’s not the be-all and end-all comparison for provider performance, but it’s a reliable indicator of what speeds you can expect.
As of March 2022, Exetel has stolen the top spot away from Optus when it comes to the ACCC’s tests for download speeds during busy evening hours (7 to 11pm), averaging 103.8% of its advertised maximum speeds.
Next Fastest NBN Provider (ACCC)*
*Accurate as of 21 March 2022
Optus has proven to be a strong performer in the ACCC tests, delivering 100% of its advertised maximum typical evening speeds. It's a similar story for typical evening speeds during the busiest hour for congestion, closely trailing Exetel at 99%.
Best self-reported NBN speeds
Australia's coverage king, Telstra, has long led the Australian mobile network race, but the NBN market has been a more level playing field. But Telstra's premium price tag is still somewhat justified in the broadband space, thanks to its fast self-reported speeds, perks, and bundle options.
Though most NBN providers' typical evening speeds are now matching (or exceeding) their advertised speed tiers of 12, 25, 50 and 100Mbps, where Telstra really shines is at the top-end with NBN250 and NBN1000 plans. At the time of writing, Telstra is the only provider offering full 250Mbps speeds on Superfast plans, and the highest speed Ultrafast plans at 700Mbps.
Next best self-reported NBN speeds
Not only is Aussie Broadband one of the highest-rated internet providers for customer service (see below), but they're also one of the fastest. Its Superfast NBN 250 and Ultrafast NBN 1000 plans are only just behind Telstra's in terms of reported typical evening speeds.
Best NBN provider for customer service
Aussie Broadband's reputation precedes it. Look at any user review website in Australia, and you'll see that Aussie has the most positive customer feedback out of every Australian telco. That's down to a few factors. Firstly, it's built out a robust customer support network in a relatively short period, offering responsive social channels, usage monitoring apps, live chat services, and more. Beyond that, Aussie Broadband is just a refreshingly transparent telco, that offers live and up-to-date information on its outages, and regular CVC availability updates.
Next best NBN provider for customer service
Next to Aussie, the next most beloved Australian broadband provider is Mate Communicate. The equally ocker NBN provider is similarly well-received across every user review channel, but more importantly, it offers some no-nonsense pro-consumer benefits, like a 30-day money-back guarantee after signing on, and a cracking response time from its customer care team.
Best NBN provider for perks and features
Telstra has decades of experience under its belt, and there are perks and benefits that can only be offered by a provider with its infrastructure level.
Telstra plans come at a premium price, but splashing out will get you access to cheap movie tickets through Event Cinemas, rewards through Telstra Plus, and the option to bundle TV services like Telstra TV and Foxtel with your NBN plan.
Telstra is also one of Australia's only providers offering peace-of-mind connectivity with its 4G backup modem, the Telstra Smart Modem Gen 3 as well ad dedicated business plans for small to medium businesses.
Next best NBN provider for perks and features
Similarly, Optus's longevity allows it to offer perks and features that resemble those available to Telstra customers. Optus NBN customers will pay a little extra every month. Still, that premium will get you access to perks such as cheap Hoyts cinema tickets, an Optus Sport subscription for football fans, access to OS Fitness (a fitness app subscription valued at $14.99 per month), and the option to bundle Fetch TV hardware and channel packs.
Optus also offers an NBN modem with 4G backup, the Optus Ultra WiFi Modem, and the option to bundle accessories like portable Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and smartwatches on your one bill.
To its credit, Optus also offers two of the best account management apps, with the My Optus app for iOS and Android, and the Optus @Home app, which allows you to run remote speed tests and monitor your home internet speed even when you're out of the house.
Best NBN provider for gaming (lowest latency)
Superloop NBN and MyRepublic may be more heavily marketed towards gamers, but based on the ACCC data, Vodafone is the best option, reporting the lowest latency/ping. Call of Duty and Apex Legends players know that a superfast internet connection is only half the battle. High ping can be the millisecond's difference between winning and losing a match.
According to the ACCC's broadband speed test program, Vodafone has had the lowest ping on average in December 2021, measuring just 8.8ms.
Next best NBN provider for gaming (lowest latency)
Aussie Broadband adds yet another feather to its cap, reporting the second-lowest latency behind Vodafone at 9.6ms according to the most recent ACCC data.
To be fair to the other providers on this list, ping will only become a problem beyond 50ms or so. Still, lower is always better, and these providers have managed to maintain it below 10ms on average.
Most popular NBN provider
Despite only the latter appearing on our list of recommendations thus far, Tangerine and Spintel are consistently the most popular NBN providers in our engine. That's because both providers consistently offer limited-time deals and discounts on their plans that bring than monthly cost down lower than most other providers.
Spintel and Tangerine's race for the best bargain in broadband means they are consistently neck-and-neck for the top position as the most popular NBN provider on our site, but this month, Spintel's discount (up to $14.95 per month off, depending on speed tier) has put it in the lead.
These deals typically last for the first 6 months of the customer's tenancy with Spintel, but the beauty of month-to-month NBN plans is that you can switch providers and plans every month without paying any cancellation fees. So if you arrive at the end of your Spintel promotion and realise there's a better deal out there, switching couldn't be easier.
What NBN speed is best for you?
If you're not tech-savvy, choosing the right NBN speed tier can be a bit confusing and overwhelming. The best place to start is by asking yourself a few questions.
- How many people are in your household?
- What kind of video content are you going to be streaming?
- Do you need a faster upload speed?
As was the case with internet connections before the rollout of the NBN, the number of people using a single connection can have a pretty dramatic influence on the quality of the experience. The more people in your home, the faster a connection needs to be to keep up. Smaller families might be able to get away with an NBN25 or NBN50 connection, but larger ones will want to go for NBN100 or above.
The kind of content you're streaming is also something to keep in mind when deciding on an NBN speed tier. If you have a shiny new 4K TV and want to watch Netflix in as high a resolution as possible, you'll need an NBN50 or faster connection to do so.
Finally, there's the question of upload speeds. Although upload speeds are generally less flashy than download speeds, they can be vital for gamers who need to keep lag to a minimum or those who want to livestream their own video content via YouTube or Twitch.
How to switch NBN providers;
Whatever your reason for looking to switch, there are a few things you'll want to do before you ditch your current NBN provider for a new one.
The first step here is to find a new provider that better suits your needs. If you've got any specific grievances or shortcomings with your current NBN provider, that's usually the best place to start. If your Exetel connection is too slow, start looking at providers that boast better speeds. If customer service is your pain point, start looking for providers that have a better reputation.
Next up, you'll want to take a closer look at your current provider and assess whether or not any hidden costs might come into play. If there are, don't worry too much. Just move your timeline for switching accordingly.
The last step here is the most simple of the three. Simply sign up with your new provider, and then make sure to cancel your account with your old one.
Are there alternatives to the NBN?
In 2022, leaving the NBN behind and embracing an NBN alternative is a little more mainstream than it was in the past. Although 5G connectivity remains the exception rather than the rule for many, those that do have coverage might be able to get away with a high-speed home wireless connection via the Telstra, Vodafone or Optus 5G networks rather than a fixed NBN line.
While a working 5G-based broadband connection is going to offer the best speeds when compared to the NBN, a 4G-powered broadband connection might also work for those with more modest needs when it comes to data and speeds.