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TPG NBN vs Optus NBN and Telstra NBN: Which one is best?

Three big-name providers go to war.

Optus Plus Everyday Fast nbn
Optus
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$79
/mo
Typical evening speeds
100Mbps
Upload speed
18Mbps
Regular price
$99/mo
nbn Home Fast Unlimited Plan
TPG
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$79.99
/mo
Typical evening speeds
90Mbps
Upload speed
17Mbps
Regular price
$89/mo
Telstra Upfront Internet Plan Premium
Telstra
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$100
/mo
Typical evening speeds
100Mbps
Upload speed
17Mbps
Regular price
$110/mo
Nathan Lawrence
Oct 05, 2023
Icon Time To Read9 min read

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Tossing up whether it's worth ditching one of Australia's big three telcos in favour of TPG? There are a few things you'll want to know before you pull the trigger.

While TPG, Optus and Telstra all offer a variety of mobile plans, there's a lot of detail to unpack when it comes to how the three providers tackle the thornier topic of NBN Internet.

Let's start with the basics. When picking a mobile phone plan in Australia, you’re effectively signing up to one of three networks, even if you don’t sign up with a network provider. That's not the case for the NBN, though. While there are provider networks that connect to the NBN, their importance isn’t necessarily as significant to the overall performance of NBN plans as it is with mobile providers.

With that in mind, let's start our comparison of TPG NBN and how it fares against Telstra NBN and Optus NBN by taking a look at the most popular internet plans from each of these three NBN providers.

TPG NBN vs Optus NBN vs Telstra NBN

It’s worth noting that all three big-name providers also offer NBN business plans, specifically tailored to small and medium-sized businesses. For the residential plans though, it really is a case of what you’re after.

There are viable reasons to consider all three, depending on whether you’re interested in low costs, fastest speeds or a mix of speed and value. If you want the greatest self-reported speeds available and perks aplenty, Telstra NBN makes the most sense. For a cheaper alternative that also comes with a preconfigured NBN-compatible modem and 4G backup as well as a lower chance of NBN outages, check out Optus. Meanwhile, TPG continues the trend it started from its ADSL days of offering competitively priced plans, albeit light on perks and not the fastest overall.

Check out the table below for a comparison between the big three in terms of key considerations.

Key metrics
Telstra NBN
Optus NBN
TPG NBN
NBN plansNBN 25
NBN 50
NBN 100 (FTTP, HFC, FTTC)
NBN 250 (FTTP, HFC)
NBN 1000 (FTTP, HFC)
NBN 50
NBN 100
NBN 250 (FTTP, HFC)
NBN 1000 (FTTP, HFC)
NBN 12
NBN 25
NBN 50
NBN 100
NBN 250 (FTTP, HFC)
NBN 1000 (FTTP, HFC)
Evening download speeds25Mbps
50Mbps
100Mbps
250Mbps
700Mbps
50Mbps
100Mbps
215Mbps
250Mbps
12Mbps
25Mbps
50Mbps
90Mbps
200Mbps
250Mbps
NBN modemTelstra Smart Modem Gen 2 (24 months)Optus Ultra WiFi modem (36 months)BYO
TP-Link Archer VR1600v (6-month contract)
Huawei HG658 (6-month contract)
Huawei HG659 (6-month contract)
Best forSpeed and perksMix of speed, price and perksLowest prices

TPG NBN vs Telstra NBN vs Optus NBN: Price

When it comes to internet plans, TPG has a slight edge on price. Its roster of NBN plans starts at $64 per month for an ultra-basic NBN12 connection. However, once you move up to the more modest NBN25 speed tier then it becomes something of a tie.

An NBN 25 plan will cost you $69.99 per month through and $70 per month through Optus. For what it's worth, the latter does boast faster upload speeds of around 8Mbps versus the 4Mbps found with TPG. Telstra sits in third place here with its NBN 25 plan set to rise from $80 per month to $85 per month from November 2023.

When it comes to NBN 50 plans, this pattern repeats. TPG NBN comes in at a thrifty $74.99 per month for this speed tier, which is right behind Optus' $75 per month and well ahead of Telstra's $95 per month (which will soon rise to $100 per month).

As for NBN 100 plans, it's a slightly different story. Here, Optus has the edge with its NBN100 plan coming in at $79 per month while TPG sits at $79.99 per month. As usual, Telstra is more expensive than either provider at $110 per month.

Optus extends that lead with its NBN 250 plan offering. If you take a look at the second-fastest NBN speed tier options available from the three providers in question, you'll quickly find that the Optus Everyday Superfast NBN plan is the cheapest option both with and without promo pricing. This plan comes in at $89 per month for the first six months. Past that point, you're looking at $119 per month.

In contrast, TPG's Home Superfast Unlimited Plan starts at $94.99 for the first six months before jumping up to $124.99 once the honeymoon is over. Typically, Telstra is even more expensive at $140 per month.

Don't count TPG out just yet though. This provider managed to regain some ground when it came to its NBN 1000 plans. On this front, it has a lead on both Optus and Telstra. The TPG Home Ultrafast Unlimited plan will cost you $114.99 per month for the first six months before the price goes up to $144.99. By comparison, Optus is more expensive both upfront and in the long run with the Optus Everyday Ultrafast NBN plan starting at $119.99 per month for the first six months and then $149.99 per month for every month after that.

Telstra does not sell a straight-up NBN 1000 plan, but you can pair its NBN 100 plan with a high-speed Add On that accomplishes the same service for an extra $70 per month. This works out to be $180 per month, which is well above both TPG and Optus.

If you want to get a sense of how the three compare when it comes to price, check out the daily updating list below for a snapshot of the most cheap NBN plans from Telstra, Optus and TPG.

TPG NBN vs Telstra NBN vs Optus NBN: Speed

The table below should give you a sense of how TPG, Telstra and Optus rate when it comes to typical evening download speeds.

NBN12
NBN25
NBN50
NBN100
NBN250
NBN1000
TPG12Mbps25Mbps50Mbps90Mbps210Mbps450Mbps
Telstra12Mbps25Mbps50Mbps100Mbps250Mbps700Mbps
Optus12Mbps25Mbps50Mbps100Mbps240Mbps600Mbps

As you can see, there's not a huge amount of difference when it comes to the cheaper speed tiers. However, the gap between TPG and the likes of Optus and Telstra is a lot more noticable when it comes to NBN 250 and especially those ultra-expensive NBN 1000 plans.

Telstra, Optus, TPG speed test

All this talk of speed. It would be great to have a way to test whether your Telstra, Optus or TPG NBN is up to speed. Well, you can! Use the handy tool below to perform a Telstra NBN, Optus NBN or TPG NBN speed test (it also works on any other type of internet connection).

Just click or tap on ‘Start Speed Test’ to see your download speeds. Optionally, tap or click on ‘Show More Info’ to test latency and upload speeds.

TPG NBN vs Telstra NBN vs Optus NBN Features

As usual, features are the one front where Telstra looms large. Signing up for an NBN plan with the Big T might cost you more but there are a fair few perks for doing so. That list includes two months of Binge, three months of Telstra device security and four months of Spotify Premium.

Optus is in a similar boat. Signing up for one of its NBN plans gets you a discounted rate on Optus Sport and the ability to save on your subscriptions using SubHub. Some of this provider's NBN plans even come with free Netflix.

TPG's thriftiness on this front may bite into its appeal for some. There aren't really any extras to speak of here beyond the usual modem (if you don't opt to BYO) and home phone bundles.

TPG NBN vs Telstra NBN vs Optus NBN Bundles

If you bundle together a TPG mobile and internet plan under the same account, you can save up to $10 off the former. The only catch here is that those monthly savings don't kick in until after the discount that you get for signing up in the first place expires.

In addition, the exact size of the discount you get for bundling with TPG varies depending on the plan. Typically, you'll save more each month with the more expensive mobile plans.

In contrast and aside from the convenience of having everything in one place, there are currently no savings to be had from bundling either an Optus mobile plan or Telstra mobile with either provider's respective NBN offerings. For more information, check our guide to the best mobile and internet bundles.

Telstra NBN overview

As with its mobile plans, Telstra NBN plans come with a premium price tag. That extra price does include some pretty neat perks. Namely, some best-in-class self-reported typical evening download speeds, a landline phone service and a preconfigured p0. Admittedly, those perks also come with disclaimers, which include Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB), Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) and Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) homes needing to connect before their speeds can be confirmed.

The included phone service neatly bundles unlimited standard calls to local, national and Australian mobile numbers. Meanwhile, the third-generation Telstra Smart Modem includes 4G backup (restricted to 25/2Mbps speeds), but you do have to stay connected for 24 months before you’re free of a hardware exit fee (alternatively, pay $200 outright or $8.30 a month over two years).

In terms of perks, Telstra customers can tap into the Telstra Air network in Australia or Fon hotspots when overseas, but speeds weren’t particularly flash in my tests. Other perks include the Telstra Plus membership program for entertainment perks, Telstra Broadband Protect antivirus security at no additional cost, and a 30-day NBN satisfaction guarantee if you want to cancel and get your money back for faults that can’t be fixed.

Telstra NBN plans

Telstra sells NBN plans on five NBN speed tiers, all of which come with unlimited data:

  • NBN 25 (NBN Basic II)
  • NBN 50 (NBN Standard)
  • NBN 100 (NBN Fast)
  • NBN 250 (NBN Superfast)
  • NBN 1000 (NBN Ultrafast)

In terms of typical evening download speeds, Telstra self-reported 25Mbps for its NBN 25 plans, 50Mbps for NBN 50, 100Mbps for NBN 100, 250Mbps for NBN 250 and 700Mbps for NBN 1000 plans. Note that only Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) homes and some Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) homes can sign up to NBN 250 plans with Telstra, while all FTTP addresses and HFC abodes can sign up to Telstra NBN 1000 plans. Similarly, Telstra’s NBN 100 plans are only available to FTTP, HFC and FTTC homes.

Disclaimers aside, Telstra’s NBN plans rank among the fastest in the country up to NBN 100, and they are the fastest for NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans. You can see all of Telstra’s NBN plans below, including any Telstra NBN deals that may be running:

Optus NBN overview

Optus occupies a similar space in the NBN space as it does in the world of mobile plans, closely competing with Telstra by offering cheaper plans albeit with similar inclusions (for the most part). You don’t just get an NBN plan with Optus; instead, Optus NBN plans include unlimited data, a discounted rate on Optus Sport and OS Fitness, as well as an Optus Ultra WiFi modem. Optus has the same FTTB, FTTC, and FTTN disclaimer as Telstra, stating that speeds for even its cheapest plan will be confirmed post-connection.

Like Telstra, Optus plans come with a landline phone service, but this is a PAYG phone service that costs $10 a month extra to add unlimited calls to standard Australian numbers (including mobile). Additionally, you can pay an extra $10 to add unlimited standard landline calls to 25 selected dialling destinations with mobile calls to seven countries. The Optus Ultra WiFi Modem has 4G backup, capped at 25/2Mbps, and it’s yours to keep without paying a hardware exit fee if you stick with Optus for 36 months.

Optus NBN plans

Unless you know where to look, Optus shuns the two slowest NBN speed tiers and kicks things off at the most popular speed tier in Australia:

  • NBN 50 (NBN Standard)
  • NBN 100 (NBN Fast)
  • NBN 250 (NBN Superfast)
  • NBN 1000 (NBN Ultrafast)

For the first three speed tiers, Optus is a fast provider, self-reporting 50Mbps for its NBN 50 plans, 100Mbps for NBN 100 and 240Mbps for its NBN 250 plans. Things don't slow down when it comes to its NBN 1000 plans, thanks to 600Mbps self-reported typical evening download speeds.

Check out all of the Optus NBN plans from our database below:

TPG NBN overview

These days, Telstra and Optus stick to unlimited-data NBN plans. TPG is no different in that respect. However, this provider takes a no-perks approach to its NBN plans to keep costs down.

While you do have to bring your own NBN-compatible modem with most TPG NBN plans, you can also buy a modem-router outright from the provider: either a TP-Link Archer VR1600v, Huawei HG658 or Huawei HG659. None of these modem routers has 4G backup. Alternatively, commit to a six-month plan and TPG will throw in the modem router for no extra cost.

TPG NBN plans

TPG offers NBN plans on all six mainstream NBN speed tiers:

  • NBN 12 (NBN Basic I)
  • NBN 25 (NBN Basic II)
  • NBN 50 (NBN Standard)
  • NBN 100 (NBN Fast)
  • NBN 250 (NBN Superfast)
  • NBN 1000 (NBN Ultrafast)

Self-reported download speeds start off in a great place with parity between max potential speed and self-reported speeds: 12Mbps for NBN 12, 25Mbps for NBN 25 and 50Mbps for NBN 50. That’s where the parity party ends, though, with a decent 90Mbps for NBN 100 plans, okay 210Mbps for NBN 250 and a conservative 450Mbps for NBN 1000. Familiar disclaimers return, too, with NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans only available to FTTP homes and HFC areas.

The list below has a daily updating round-up of all TPG NBN plans, sorted by price:

TPG NBN, Optus NBN and Telstra NBN vs other NBN providers

While the focus of this article is Telstra, Optus or TPG NBN plans, there's no real reason to restrict your search for a new internet provider to these three options. If the recent winners of our regular round-up of the best NBN plans are any indication, there are plenty of other options out there.

For starters, Spintel is a competitively priced NBN provider that regularly offers promotional pricing and is a great provider to consider for plans up to NBN 100. The same is true of Tangerine, plus you can also find competitive pricing and decent speeds from the likes of Superloop, Dodo NBN, Belong and Southern Phone.

To prove the point, have a look at the daily updating list of plans from our comparison engine, which starts with bare-bolts NBN 12 plans:

And here’s how NBN 25 plans look in terms of price:

Expect to see many other provider names outside of the big three in front of the most cheap NBN 50 plans below:

Below is a daily updating snapshot of NBN 100 plans from our database:

Expect tighter competition for NBN 250 plans, especially given the speed advantages of providers like Telstra:

Finally, given there isn’t a massive number of NBN providers selling NBN 1000 plans, you should expect to see Telstra, Optus and TPG in the daily updating list of plans below:

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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