Review of iiNet broadband plans

iiNet has cemented itself as one of Australia’s leading home broadband service providers, with a solid reputation built on clever marketing and generally good customer support. But are its internet plans still up to scratch in this increasingly competitive telco world? Following its takeover by TPG, iiNet has become part of the second-largest telco in Australia – behind Telstra of course. However, iiNet is still its own company, offering its own broadband plans

There were some concerns following TPG’s takeover of iiNet that customers would be potentially worse off, or that the same great customer service would be lost. However, much of that remains unfounded. iiNet still offers a strong range of internet plans that have many Australians hooked. The question is: Could you find better value elsewhere? We’ll aim to answer that in this review.

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What broadband services does iiNet offer?

iiNet has a large range of broadband plans, including:

  • Over 10 ADSL2+ plans from $59.99 a month
  • 3 Naked DSL plans from $59.99 a month
  • Over 20 NBN plans from $39.99 a month

Unlike some other internet providers which charge you at higher rates if you exceed your limit, iiNet throttles your data and speeds so you don’t overspend. You can choose to buy one of five data packs, ranging from $10 for 10GB up to $80 for 200GB.

iiNet’s main products are its Naked DSL plans, which don’t include home phone line rental, and ADSL2+ bundles which do. iiNet also offers NBN plans in available areas, plus cable broadband to homes in Geelong, Mildura and Ballarat. So in the interest of the whole of Australia, let’s see what’s in the range of iiNet’s various DSL and NBN plans compare.

iINet ADSL Bundles

These ADSL bundles are interesting in that iiNet offers something for a wide variety of people in a wide variety of areas. Now, iiNet offers ‘off net’ broadband plans. What does this mean? Previously, if you were in a rural area not covered by iiNet/TPG infrastructure then tough luck. Now iiNet offers ‘off net’ plans that use the Telstra Wholesale Network – offering the biggest network in the country.

Perhaps the greatest benefit with these plans is that they available on a no contract basis, meaning you can leave after your first month. This is great for renters or people always on the hunt for a better deal, but keep in mind the upfront fees that somewhat discourage you from moving on at least for a while.

Plans under $80

There are five such plans in this price bracket, with a couple of off net plans also available, which are:

  • 100GB for $69.99 a month
  • 200GB for $79.99 a month

With off net plans, you generally cannot expect unlimited data at this price, however for regular ADSL plans you can. iiNet’s cheapest unlimited plan here comes in at just under $80 a month. While off net plans seem expensive, you cannot deny the value of having decent internet in rural areas. Nevertheless, people living in areas with regular ADSL available do tend to get a better deal.

Plans over $80

Plans over $80 are much the same as ones under $80, except they include extra bundling options like national phone calls to landlines and mobiles. So while you will be paying more overall, you might find that bundling offers better value than if you opted for internet only, and decided to pay as you go (PAYG) for phone calls. Overall, off net plans tend to be more expensive but evidently the cost of infrastructure increases the more remote you go!

iiNet Naked DSL plans

iiNet’s Naked DSL internet plans are as simple as they come – ADSL broadband with a VoIP Netphone rather than a standard home phone line. There are three Naked DSL plans from iiNet to choose from – the first two offer PAYG call rates on your Netphone, whilst the most expensive plan includes unlimited national and mobile calls. You can also option your plan with an international call pack for $10 per month.

You can subscribe to any plan on either a monthly or 24 month basis – the latter gives you a cheaper activation fee and the option of a free Wi-Fi modem. If you’re going to be sticking around for a while, it makes sense to forego the upfront fee and sign up to a longer contract. And limitless data is generally only about $10 extra per month, so if your household is always on Netflix or streaming then it makes sense to buy some peace of mind.

iiNet NBN Plans

iiNet NBN plans are available from about $40 a month, and this will get you 60GB on a satellite plan. For regular old fibre users, the cheapest plan comes in at about $60 a month for 250GB of data on the slowest speed tier. iiNet does not offer any ‘NBN 50’ plans – the second fastest speed tier. For a more in-depth look, let’s break it down by speed tiers:

NBN 12:

This is the slowest speed tier on the NBN, in which you’ll get 12Mbps download, and 1Mbps upload. For regular fibre users, the cheapest unlimited plan comes in at about $70 a month – only $10 dearer than the 250GB plan! For satellite users, there are no unlimited plans, but you will get 120GB from about $80 a month. It’s also promising to see that fixed wireless is available at comparable prices to fibre plans – fixed wireless being basically a 4G internet delivery to your home. Here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer:

NBN 25:

Generally, for a speed boost to 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload, you’ll have to pay anywhere from $5 to $15 a month extra for the privilege. You can get 60GB of satellite data goodness for just $45, while unlimited data on a fibre connection will come in at about $80 a month. Fixed wireless is also available from about $80 as well.

NBN 100:

This is the fastest speed tier on the NBN, affording 100Mbps download speeds, and 40Mbps upload. There are no wireless plans on this speed tier, so you are relegated to fibre plans differing in price based on what calling inclusions you prefer. Prices start at around $100 a month.

How does iiNet internet compare to other providers?

iiNet’s plans strike a balance between low-cost, limited plans and more expensive unlimited plans. The company faces stiff competition at both ends of the market. In terms of entry level plans, there are several small providers offering similar or greater amounts of data for comparable prices. Let’s get a more in-depth look below.

iiNet ADSL Plans Compared

  • Unlimited data for $79.99 a month

Off net plans are a little hard to compare, as it varies greatly on location, and the fact that not all providers offer such a service. Generally though, limitless data on an ADSL connection stacks up pretty well among the competition. However, there are a number of smaller service providers all offering unlimited data for less than $50, including Dodo, Inspired, AusBBS and Barefoot. Of course, it pays to have a look at what’s available in your area, but it doesn’t hurt to have a sniff around for a better deal.

iiNet Naked DSL Plans Compared

Naked DSL internet comes a little dearer than a lot of regular ADSL plans. You won’t be paying for line rental, but iiNet tends to not charge for line rental anyway. Nevertheless, iiNet is among the most competitive providers in this segment. That said, MyRepublic undercuts a lot of the competition by about $10 a month, which makes it the leader for unlimited data and good times with no line rental. Also keep an eye out for iiNet subsidiary Internode, as well as its bigger brother TPG.

iiNet NBN Plans Compared

iiNet’s plans compare differently based on what NBN speed tier you decide on, keeping in mind that iiNet does not offer any NBN 50 plans.

NBN 12 Plans Compared

  • Unlimited data for about $70 a month

Expect other providers to offer unlimited data for less than $60 a month here. All providers differ based on line rental inclusions, set-up fees and how they account for data used. While iiNet is generally competitive, expect other providers such as SpinTel and Exetel as well as AusBBS and Inspired to all offer comparable plans at less than $60 a month.

NBN 25 Plans Compared

  • Unlimited data for about $80 a month

iiNet’s speed boost plans bring much the same story as most of its other plans. This is the fact that smaller providers offer unlimited data for less money. Here, you can expect several providers to deliver unlimited data for less than $70 a month. Of course, it pays to check what upfront fees there are – if any – and whether you’ll be tied into a contract. Providers to look out for are familiar faces AusBBS and Inspired, as well as Tangerine Telecom and Motion Telecom.

iiNet NBN 100 Plans Compared

  • Unlimited data from about $100 a month

At the fastest speed tier, you can expect some higher prices to boot. With iiNet cracking nearly triple figures for its cheapest plan, it falls behind again to some smaller providers. Upstart MyRepublic undercuts the competition by quite a margin, with top speeds with unlimited data for less than $60 a month. You can include some VoIP phone inclusions for about $10 extra – still placing it ahead of other competition such as AusBBS, Motion and Activ8Me.

Should ii choose iiNet?

iiNet remains an excellent choice for home broadband. Its large range of plans and supported internet technologies means that wherever you are and whatever your budget, iiNet has a plan for you at a competitive price – often beating out the big guys like Telstra and Optus. However, more on the radar is a range of small providers offering lots of data for cheap prices. These smaller providers frequently beat out iiNet in terms of price, but its generally reliable service and wide-ranging network still makes iiNet a safe bet.

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