Do you want the fastest internet speed around, but don’t want to pay top dollar for it? No problem! Canstar Blue has compiled a comparison of the cheapest NBN plans on offer.
Now, the first thing to make clear is that super-fast NBN speeds usually come with a hefty amount of data – unlimited in many cases – and this will be reflected by the price you pay. However, if you really do your homework, you’ll be able to find some great-value NBN plans that strike a good balance between speed and data allowance. And fortunately for you, we’ve done the hard work for you.
Before we go into detail, it’s important to understand the difference between the five NBN speed tiers available because they are directly linked to price.
- Tier 1: 12 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload
- Tier 2: 25 Mbps download, 5 Mbps upload
- Tier 3: 25 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload
- Tier 4: 50 Mbps download, 20 Mbps upload
- Tier 5: 100 Mbps download, 40 Mbps upload
As you’ll find, many NBN plans offered by the big service providers will give you the option of upgrading your speed tier for an extra monthly cost. So let’s take a look at the cheapest NBN plans on offer:
Tier 1 plans
NBN Tier 1 speeds may not be a great deal faster than what you’re used to with an ADSL2+ connection, but they should certainly meet the basic internet needs of most households, and you’ll easily be able to bag a bargain.
Just one Tier 1 plan comes in at under $30 – Dodo’s Lite Plan which includes a very modest 10GBs of data. But if you want to stretch your broadband budget to $40 per month, then you will find other Tier 1 speed plans with a far greater amount of data to chew through. For example, Tellnet will give you 30GBs, SpinTel 40GBs and Activ8me 50GBs. However, you could get as much as 100GBs with Exetel. If you want unlimited data at Tier 1 speed, you’ll need to spend upwards of $50 – by which time you should probably consider a higher speed tier.
Tier 2 plans
As we mentioned earlier, most NBN plans can be upgraded to a higher speed tier for an extra cost, and that means Dodo also comes in cheapest for Tier 2 plans, with its $39.90 deal ($10 on top of the most basic offer). However, you still only get 10GBs of data for your money, meaning you might find better value elsewhere. Tellnet, Activ8me and Exetel remain competitive at Tier 2 level – all with plans at just under $50. And again Exetel boasts the highest download quota of the three with 100GB.
However, if Tier 2 speeds are for you, chances are you will need to start thinking about a whole lot more data. For unlimited, you will find good offers from the likes of MyNetFone, AusBBS, Exetel and Dodo once again – all for under $70.
Tier 4 plans
When it comes to Tier 4 plans, the cheapest deals start at around the $60 mark, but of course these plans will come with a very modest amount of data. AusBBS, Activ8me and SpinTel all offer under 50GBs at this price point. At around $70 you’ll find plans with a whole lot more data, but if it’s unlimited you want then you’ll be getting very close to $90. At this price Activ8me, Barefoot, NetCube and Mate will all give you that super-quick Tier 4 attention.
Tier 5 plans
So what about the best of the best – incredibly quick Tier 5 broadband? The cheapest Tier 5 plan you will find comes from Exetel, and like all plans at this level, it comes with UNLIMITED data. At $89 per month, it will take some beating if you’re a serious internet-user with a need for speed.
Increase the budget a little further, to just shy of $100, and you’ll find a few other service providers with the same dream ticket of unlimited Tier 5 data – Dodo, MyNetFone, TPG, Activ8me and NetCube.
As we’ve seen, NBN plans can be incredibly cheap, but you must pay close attention to the data allowances they come with – because they could fall way short of your expectations and you’ll be left paying a high price for additional downloads.
Also be wary of start-up costs. Some of the plans featured above come on monthly terms, but others will only be available on one or two-year plans. Signing up to a no-contract plan is likely to result in upfront costs of $200 or more, whereas you should get away with no start-up fees if you agree to a lengthy deal. Some offers will also include a modem, which will add further costs.
It’s easy to get carried away when you spot a bargain, but consider the long-game and your future data needs – which for most households are only going to increase. For instance, as internet video moves to high definition and ultra-high definition formats, data demands will grow. Additionally, the number of connected devices (known collectively as the Internet of Things) is growing, and this will in turn create increased data demands for homes. Therefore, you may well want to allow for a little bit of extra data usage when signing on for a plan.