Exetel NBN Review: The Best Unlimited NBN Standard Plus Plan

Does Exetel really offer the best unlimited NBN? We give you the lowdown.
Exetel NBN Review
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Contract-free data option for high-usage customers
Great value on NBN Standard Plus
Generous introductory offers
Ranks low for download speed in ACCC and Netflix reports
Recent Updates: More than a year
Since July 2019, Exetel stopped offering a variety of cheaper, low-data NBN plans in favour of its three unlimited NBN plans (NBN 25, 50 and 100) for personal and business use. Learn the nitty gritty about Exetel's range of unlimited NBN plans in our updated review below.

Exetel NBN offers a wide range of nbn50 and nbn100 plans for residential and business customers that compete with some of the best plans on the market.

The internet service provider (ISP) entered the Australian telecommunications scene in 2004 with a unique proposition for broadband users: unlimited off-peak downloads. This decision was made in a bid to manage user bandwidth by encouraging heavier downloads outside of the network’s busier hours.

These days, we’re swimming in unlimited data plans so on-peak/off-peak times don’t factor into pricing and data allocation as much.

While Exetel NBN offerings are fairly on par for the course, it does offer some fantastic introductory offers with no lock-in contract and the best unlimited NBN Standard Plus plan on the market. To get a better idea of how Exetel lives up to the competition, check out more of the best NBN plans in Australia.

The best unlimited Standard Plus NBN plan

If you’re not looking to stream Netflix in 4K, upload large videos, or live stream Fortnite on YouTube, you probably don’t need to fork out for Exetel nbn100 – Unlimited for $99 per month. Still, the NBN’s promise of speedier, sturdier broadband is appealing no matter what you’re using it for and Exetel offers the best value on its $69 per month mid-tier nbn50 – Unlimited Standard Plus option.

Is Exetel NBN any good?

How fast is Exetel NBN? 

Exetel NBN download speed

Out of the 8 providers tracked by the ACCC, Exetel ranks 3rd for download speeds in busy hours and 4th for download speeds in the busiest hour for the network according to the ACCC’s latest Broadband performance data at the time of writing. During busy hours, download speeds averaged at 84.8% of the provider’s maximum advertised speeds. During the network’s busiest hour, Exetel delivered 80.7% of its maximum speed on average.

The providers that consistently scored lower for download speeds during busy and busiest hours were Dodo/iPrimus, Aussie Broadband, iiNet and Telstra (including data for areas unable to achieve the maximum plan speeds).

Exetel NBN upload speed

Exetel performed second highest compared to all others provider for upload speeds during the network’s busy hours, delivering, on average, 87.5% of its maximum upload speed.

Is this too good to be true?

Despite Exetel’s claim that its NBN offering is optimised for streaming, it actual ranks quite low on Netflix’s ISP speed index. Exetel places 7th on the leaderboard below Telstra, Optus, iiNet, TPG and Aussie Broadband. It’s the third-lowest ranking NBN provider, beating only MyRepublic and Dodo/iPrimus.

So, in reality, it appears Exetel’s performance isn’t so great when it comes to delivering the maximum speeds it promises.

See what else we’ve got to say about newcomer Superloop’s fast NBN plans and Telstra’s full-featured NBN plans.

The lowdown on Exetel

If you’re not too fussed about speed and streaming, Exetel offers some great value on its unlimited NBN Standard Plus plans for personal and business use. All of Exetel’s NBN plans are month-to-month so you don’t have to worry about being locked into a 18-month commitment you’re unsure about. You’ll also receive a modem as your upfront setup fee, which is a bonus $79 save (though if you cancel your plan within 6 months, you’ll have to pay a $79 modem fee). 

Exetel also runs a consumer-friendly speed check service for FTTB, FTTN and FTTC customers. After Exetel connects you, someone will follow up with a line speed check post-activation. If your speed doesn’t match what you paid for, Exetel will downgrade the plan and refund the price difference. If you’re not getting the speed you’re paying for, Australian consumer law protects you from having to pay out the rest of your contract anyway.

Still, it’s nice to see a provider proactive about only charging you for the speeds you can get at your property.

Exetel NBN plans

Is Exetel’s NBN 100 plan for you?

If you’ve got a large household all wanting to hog the net during peak hours, Exetel’s nbn100 – Unlimited no-contract plan might satisfy your large data needs. Out of all its NBN plans, Exetel’s nbn100 – Unlimited is by far the most popular and offers the most value in its premium speed category. 

If you’re only sharing a home with 2 to 3 people, you probably can still stream video content fine on a NBN Standard plan. In this case, Exetel’s nbn25 – Unlimited option is probably not your best option. It’s definitely not the cheapest option on the market with some sweet promos on offer from Tangerine while Vodafone continues to be a value for money option that also provides good customer support.

Check out some of the best unlimited NBN 25 plans:

For those with larger families, it could be worth it to opt for NBN Standard Plus in your household. While Exetel’s nbn100 – Unlimited plan gives you decent bang for your buck, we can’t say the same for its nbn50 option with Superloop, Tangerine and Vodafone in the lead with its plans ranging from the $59.90 to $78.95 mark. 

Here are some of the best unlimited plans for NBN 50:

See more Exetel NBN plans:

How to set up Exetel NBN modem

On its 12-month plans, Exetel will cover the $59 charge for a ZTE AC1600 Dual Band VDSL/ADSL modem (but you still pay $20 shipping). Otherwise, you can pay $59 + $20 shipping upfront if you opt for a month-to-month plan.

The Exetel NBN ZTE modem comes pre-configured for voice calls and internet usage so all you need to do is plug it in and connect your devices once your address is connected to Exetel NBN.

On the back of the modem, you will find the name of the modem’s WiFi signal and the default password. You can change your modem’s password by accessing your WiFi’s firmware and settings via your browser.

If you’re still having trouble connecting to your modem (or you’re bringing your own), try giving it a power cycle before calling Exetel’s technical support team on 13 39 38.

Should I sign up to Exetel ADSL or NBN?

Well, that depends, is your address NBN-ready? First step is to check your address on the NBN rollout map. If your address lands in the promised land of purple, congratulations, you’re ready to connect to the NBN. The rollout map will also tell you what technology is used at the location you’ve provided.

If you’re ready to connect, NBN will be your only fixed line option. If you’re still in a big patch of muddy brown, the NBN rollout has commenced in your area but is not yet available. If your address is represented by any other colour at all, then best of luck to you, building hasn’t even commenced in your area.

If your address is in one of the latter, outside of everything the light touches, you can likely still sign up to ADSL.

Failing that, a solid Wireless Broadband (4G/LTE) could be your best bet.

Info Box icon

What is Exemail?

Exemail is Exetel’s email service for broadband customers. Exetel offers select ADSL and Mobile Broadband customers 10 to 30 free Exemail POP3/SMTP email addresses when they sign up. These email addresses have a low data limit on storage and spam filtering will cost you extra.

Why anyone would want one is beyond us but Exetel still advertises 30 free email addresses as a selling point on its ADSL plans. Haven’t these people heard of Gmail?

How to switch existing Exetel ADSL to NBN

Once your address is NBN-ready, you will have roughly 18 months to switch from ADSL. If you already signed a 12-month contract for Exetel ADSL, you’ll be encouraged to switch to NBN free of charge as soon as possible. Exetel will no doubt contact you directly, but if not, give the sales team a call on 13 39 38 and let them know that the NBN build in your area has been completed.

This will all be done from the other end of a tech support call but you may require a new VDSL2 modem to take advantage of the NBN. If you took the previously mentioned Exetel ZTE modem with your ADSL contract, you already have the equipment required.

If you’re a month to month customer, you’re not obliged to sign up with Exetel when the time comes to upgrade. We’d recommend checking which NBN providers service your area before making a decision.

How do I cancel Exetel NBN?

If you’ve got jack of Exetel or simply aren’t eligible for Exetel NBN/internet at your new address, cancelling is pretty straightforward. Just email one of the following email addresses from your account-nominated email address and request to cancel:

  • residentialsales@exetel.com.au
  • residentialsupport@exetel.com.au

Otherwise, you can give Exetel a buzz on 13 39 38 and talk to somebody over the phone. Exetel is one of the better providers when it comes to managing phone support expectations. Over on the Exetel website, you will find a live estimate of waiting time and the number of people in the queue in front of you.

  • blight

    These guys are a classic, quoting low prices up front and then stinging you for backend charges. They are attempting to whack me with a penalty fee of 25% of the monthly internet service charge following a failure of their payment system. I have raised a dispute and they have cut off my service. I have paid all of my monthly service fees and have no service. Really?

    There are so many Internet service providers these days, so I recommend you choose one that looks after you like a genuinely valuable customer, rather than penalising you for their own failure.

    Stay away or suffer 🙂