Review of Westnet Broadband Plans
Westnet’s acquisition by iiNet in 2008 saw the merger of two seemingly like-minded service providers, with a similar focus on great service and consumer advocacy. Today, following iiNet’s takeover by TPG, Westnet remains an independent brand, offering either ADSL2+ or Naked DSL connections, as well as plans on the National Broadband Network (NBN). Canstar Blue has reviewed Westnet’s broadband plans across all connection types to see where you could find the best deal.
What ADSL plans does Westnet offer?
Westnet’s broadband offerings pretty much mirror those of iiNet, so no matter which company you go with, you’re likely to get good value. There are seven ADSL plans in total, comprising of:
- 4 ADSL2+ plans from $59.99 to $89.99 a month
- 3 Naked DSL plans from $59.99 to $79.99 a month
Westnet’s ADSL plans
Westnet’s most popular plans are its ADSL2+ broadband plans, taken up by over 800,000 subscribers nationally. ADSL speeds offer fast broadband at reasonable prices, with the option of included home phone line rental. There are two data-capped plans, with 250GB costing $59.99 a month, and you can double your data for only $10 more. Westnet’s unlimited plans are priced $79.99 and $89.99 a month. The only difference is that the dearer plan includes location and standard national calls, as well as calls to mobile phones. So for those still looking for a home phone set-up, Westnet comes to the party with some attractive plans.
The ADSL2+ plans also come with a couple of extras if you so wish. You can add on an international call pack for $10 per month. This covers 20 different countries, including all the favourites like the US, New Zealand, the UK and many European and Asian countries. Westnet also has two ways to ‘buy-in’ to the broadband plan:
- No lock-in contract: Commands a $79.95 activation fee and you are to either buy iiNet’s TG789 modem, or supply your own
- 24 month contract: No activation fee and included Wi-Fi modem for free
It’s evident that Westnet is trying to get you to commit, and if you are willing to, you’ll save a few bucks.
Westnet’s Naked DSL bundles
Westnet’s naked DSL plans couldn’t be simpler – a big compliment for a plan range which is now just a plain old internet connection. Westnet offers three plans, with the cheapest coming in at $59.95 a month for 250GB data. The two unlimited plans come in at $69.99 and $79.99. The only difference between these two is that with the dearer plan you’ll get included local and national calls to landlines and mobiles. You can again add an international call pack on for $10 extra a month.
Like the ADSL2+ bundles, Westnet offers better value if you’re willing to commit to a 24 month contract:
- No lock-in contract: $99.95 activation fee, $89 iiNet modem, or BYO modem
- 24-month contract $79.95 activation fee, included modem or BYO
Does Westnet offer NBN?
Yes – Westnet offers seven NBN plans, from $59.99 at the most basic, to $119.99 a month for top tier speeds and data.
- Tier 1 Plans: 250GB – $59.99 a month / Unlimited – $69.99 a month
- Tier 2 Plans: Unlimited data from $79.99 a month
- Tier 5 Plans: Unlimited data from $99.99 a month
Choosing what NBN speed Tier to go with is an important decision as it affects your broadband speed! So, while you might be attracted by the low price of Tier 1 plans, you’ll have to ask yourself if a 12Mbps download speed is worth it. For only a little extra per month, you can jump into a Tier 2 plan that offers 25Mbps download speeds. If you’re willing to splash out more, Tier 5 speeds will afford you a massive 100Mbps download speed instead. So for heavy broadband users requiring the best performance, you may find it worth your money to go for a Tier 5 plan from Westnet.
Tier 1 plans from Westnet are pretty easy to follow. You simply pay $10 more a month for unlimited data. Tier 2 plans differ a little in that you’ll pay $10 extra a month for included calls to mobile phones. The regular plan only includes landlines as part of the deal. Both Tier 2 plans have unlimited data.
Tier 5 plans from Westnet are much the same scenario. All have unlimited data, but the $99.95 plans has ‘pay as you go’ (PAYG) calling. $10 extra a month will get you landline calls, and $10 again will get you calls to mobile phones. Given that many of us simply use our mobile phone – and not landlines anymore – you may find it best value to get the $99.95 plan.
As usual, Westnet also offers a $10 international calling pack. The NBN contracts are also much the same as the ADSL 2+plans above.
- You’ll pay a $79.95 activation fee for no lock-in contract, and you’ll have to front for an iiNet $89 modem or BYO
- You’ll pay nothing upfront on the 24-month contract; no activation fee and you’ll get a free modem
How does Westnet compare to other broadband providers?
Westnet compares pretty well across the board, including with its parent companies iiNet and TPG. As mentioned earlier, Westnet is owned by iiNet (iiNet is then owned by TPG) and you’ll find their plans to be exactly the same. However, they may differ in availability to your home, so it pays to check. Either way, you are not losing out by going with one or the other.
ADSL2+ Plans Compared
TPG, iiNet, Westnet and Internode are all pretty much one and the same here, with similar prices for similar data inclusions. The cheapest price is $59.95 for 250GB. However, this falls behind the likes of Dodo, Inspired Broadband, AusBBS (soon to be Amaysim) and Barefoot. In fact, Dodo is perhaps the cheapest unlimited ADSL provider in Australia.
One important thing to note, however, is that the TPG/iiNet group is one of the best ISPs for streaming services, consistently topping the charts for the best Netflix speeds. In this instance it may be well worth spending a little extra to ensure better streaming/Netflix performance.
Naked DSL Plans Compared
If you want to go naked, then Westnet compares pretty well against the competition, especially for its unlimited plans. iiNet, Internode and MyNetFone are all the same price, while newcomer MyRepublic undercuts them by $10. The same faces also show themselves in the data-capped/250GB plans.
NBN Plans Compared
NBN plans are a little trickier to compare as there are things like speed Tiers and data to consider as well as all-out price. For Tier 1 plans, Westnet starts at $59.99 a month for 250GB. For the price, there are a lot of other providers out there offering unlimited data. Keep an eye out for the likes of SpinTel, Exetel as well as AusBBS and Inspired.
Westnet’s Tier 2 plans are all unlimited and they start from $79.99 per month. Once again, however, Westnet is beaten out by the likes of AusBBS, Barefoot and Inspired, with Tangerine also coming on board to all offer unlimited Tier 2 plans for less than $70 a month.
Westnet’s cheapest Tier 5 NBN plan comes in at $99.99 per month. If you’re after unadulterated speeds and data with no confusing home phone bundles, it seems like an attractive offer. However, once again, Westnet is trumped by smaller companies offering cheaper prices. Here, upstart MyRepublic trounces them all by offering unlimited data with top speeds for less than $60 a month. In the running here are AusBBS, Activ8Me and Exetel, all at around the $90/month range.
Is Westnet broadband worth the money?
Westnet is a pretty attractive provider with the backing afforded by iiNet and TPG. These providers consistently rate as some of the best for Netflix and streaming speed. However, away from that and comparing Westnet to other providers reveals that there are cheaper deals to be found on a monthly basis that offer the same or more data. Although there is more to it than that, you’ll have to determine things like:
- Installation costs
- Activation fees
- After sales service
Unfortunately, for the most part you won’t come to realise how a broadband provider is right for you until you’ve already committed to a few months. This is why opting for a no-contract option might be better for those unsure – you’ll likely incur higher activation fees, but you’ll get the flexibility to move around. This is the case with Westnet and its no-contract options. All in all, with Westnet drawing much of its current customer service and plan structure from the award-winning setup of iiNet, you can’t really go wrong. It doesn’t hurt to have a look at other providers though.