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Telstra NBN plans review
There’s a high price of entry but that cost nets you great features and support, as well as a seriously fast NBN provider.
Sure, Telstra NBN is expensive, but when you factor this price beside other essential NBN considerations, like speed and plan features, Telstra is still among the best choices for your next NBN service. On top of this, the Telstra Smart Modem is a smart addition to the service that only a few providers can offer.
Find out how we score NBN providers.
Telstra NBN value for money
If you’re looking for competitively priced NBN plans, the chances are good that Telstra won’t be near the top of that list. To put that into context, the cheapest Telstra NBN plan you can buy is the Standard Speed + Unlimited Data (NBN) plan. It costs $80 a month for Basic II (maximum 25Mbps download) speeds with unlimited monthly data and, admittedly, fantastic 25Mbps typical evening download speeds.
For comparison, at the time of updating, Spintel’s NBN Unlimited Standard plan costs $49 a month for the first six months for unlimited data on a Basic II connection with great 25Mbps typical evening download speeds. Even at its regular price, this Spintel plan is noticeably cheaper at $59.95 per month.
It’s a similar story with Telstra’s NBN Standard (maximum 50Mbps download) plan, which costs $95 a month. At its cheapest, you can find NBN Standard for around $54 at promotional pricing, and about $65 outside of promotional deals.
What you’re really paying for with Telstra, though, is fantastic speeds. Instead of having to give disclaimers about how the internet’s busy period (between 7pm and 11pm nightly) impacts download speeds, Telstra provides enough bandwidth to ensure that your download speeds at any time of the day are aligned with your speed tier. This means NBN 25 has 25Mbps download speeds with Telstra, and that’s also true for NBN 50 and NBN 100.
Telstra’s NBN Superfast plan (maximum 250Mbps download) has now peaked at 250Mbps typical evening speeds, while Telstra’s NBN Ultrafast plan (maximum 1000Mbps download) promises average speeds of 700Mbps during busy hours.
See Telstra's full range of NBN plans below.
If you’re curious to see how Telstra compares to other speedy NBN providers, below is a list of NBN Fast providers organised by self-reported typical evening download speeds. Even though this list updates daily, you should expect to see Telstra close to the top.
NBN providers self-report the typical evening download speeds you can expect when using their service. Providers get in strife with the ACCC if they misrepresent these averages. These speeds are represented in megabits per second (Mbps) and tend to be below the maximum potential download speed of a plan (with the exception of Telstra). The closer those self-reported download speeds are to the maximum speed potential of a plan, the higher our score for speed.
Telstra NBN features and perks
There’s a trend with NBN plans that seemingly dictates they don’t have a whole lot in the way of perks and features. Telstra bucks that trend.
While all Telstra NBN plans are no-contract offerings, stay connected for 24 months and the provided Telstra Smart Modem (which has 4G backup) is yours to keep. If you bail early, though, you’re up for the remainder of the cost for what’s otherwise a $216 outright purchase.
Telstra Air lets you connect to free WiFi data at more than one million hotspots around the nation; they’re not particularly speedy, but free data is free data if you’re in a pinch. As for your home internet, Telstra Broadband Protect guards against online threats for any devices connected to your local network. There’s also the option to bolster this security by installing the similarly free Anti-Virus Plus Security software on your devices. This anti-virus software can be installed on up to six devices and supports Windows, Mac and selected Android gizmos.
Additionally, Telstra Plus offers discounted purchases for entertainment items, plus you earn points for every dollar spent, which can then be redeemed on the Telstra Plus Rewards Store. Sign up online to dodge the usual $99 connection fee, and Telstra is also bundling three months of Binge Standard for anyone who signs up before 18 January 2021.
All Telstra NBN plans include a home phone service, which bundles unlimited standard calls to Australian numbers (local, national and mobile). Finally, Telstra also offers entertainment bundling options, which includes Telstra TV, Xbox All Access, Foxtel Sports, and Foxtel Movies.
Below you’ll see a list of providers, including Telstra, that offer pay-TV bundles.
Telstra NBN customer support and satisfaction
No matter how you like your support, Telstra has you covered. You can find support at your own pace by using customer forums or an online chat service. Ping Telstra on Facebook and Twitter, and you can safely expect a speedy reply. If you opt for the 500GB plan, you can monitor your usage via the Telstra website login or on the Telstra app. And if chatting on the phone is more your speed, Telstra offers that support option, too.
In terms of customer satisfaction, user-generated review sites such as Trustpilot and Product Review both have below-two-star averages from customer ratings. Google reviews fare better, at closer to four stars, but the overall average is still quite low. Aussie Broadband, Internode, Mate and Tangerine are the four big provider names to beat when it comes to customer satisfaction scores on these types of review sites, all of which enjoy averages above four stars.
How to sign up for Telstra NBN
It’s incredibly easy to sign up for a Telstra NBN plan, assuming you have the requisite broadband technology. While all fixed-line NBN users shouldn’t have an issue signing up for Telstra’s Basic II and Standard plans, NBN Fast is only sold to FTTP, HFC and FTTC users, while Superfast and Ultrafast require either FTTP or a compatible HFC connection.
Find the Telstra NBN plan you like from the list below, then click on the corresponding ‘Go’ button. From here, enter your address to see which Telstra NBN plans and bundles are available to you. If necessary, create a Telstra account, then select whether you’d like to self-install your Telstra Smart Modem or whether you’d prefer a professional installation ($240 one-off fee). Add your entertainment bolt-ons or other extras, then keep following the prompts to complete sign-up.
Telstra Smart Modem
In general, the modem-routers you are sent by a new NBN provider tend to be piles of junk. Especially if you choose a no-frills provider, you should expect a no-frills modem in the mail. The problem is that this leads to bigger problems down the track. Crumby modems tend to have poorer WiFi signal strength and may be prone to service dropouts. What you might think is a poor NBN service may actually be just a lousy modem-router.
Telstra NBN customers needn't worry though, as the Telstra technician who knocks on the door will come with a Telstra Smart Modem in hand (if you don't opt for self-installation). This modem has all of the features we expect to see in a modern modem-router: 4x4 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, four gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 port, etc.
But what makes the Telstra Smart Modem stand out from the pack is the SIM card inside it. Whenever you can't connect to the NBN, either before you are connected or during outages, the modem falls back on a 4G mobile connection. It isn't designed to be super fast (6Mbps download speeds) but it is enough to keep you online.