Naked broadband. Sounds saucy, doesn’t it? Jump into the spa with a glass of wine and some chocolate-dipped strawberries and relax under the stars. Stop, it’s not that exciting. Though, it could be if you’re looking for a minimal-fuss traditional broadband alternative.
What is naked broadband?
Naked DSL, naked broadband, just broadband – what are all these telco companies trying to sell us now?! Naked broadband may sound a little risqué, but it’s a common industry term for what can actually be a really good deal for consumers.
A naked broadband plan is one that provides you with broadband internet and nothing more – no frills, no extras and no big, expensive bundles. They exist as an alternative to the common internet service provider practice of bundling home phone line rental with a broadband subscription. While these packages can offer good value, they’re only worth it if you actually use your home phone, and in an increasingly mobile world, many households have made their old landlines redundant.
Many providers these days also throw in things like unmetered Netflix subscriptions, TV set-top boxes, international calls and loads more. This can be good value if you like that stuff, but can end up costing a huge amount over a one or two-year contract. Many people long for the simplicity of a basic broadband plan, and this is where ‘naked’ internet plans come in. They’re generally cheaper and often more flexible, allowing you to use your broadband allowance in whatever way you see fit. So what are some of the big service providers currently offering?
What providers offer naked broadband?
There are a range of naked broadband providers out there. Nearly every broadband provider offers some form of naked broadband in Australia. We identify and break down naked broadband’s top three heavy hitters:
Australia’s biggest provider currently offers three broadband-only plans, consisting of $75 for 100GB each month, $95 for 500GB and $115 for 1000GB of data. All three plans can be had on a 24-month contract or month-to-month for the same price. They also include optional access to Telstra Air, the company’s national Wi-Fi hotspot network. Air is a nifty innovation that turns your home Wi-Fi network into a public one that can be accessed by other Air customers using their home broadband allowance. In return, you can do the same at thousands of other Wi-Fi spots around the country.
iiNet recently shed some more clothes to offer a more stripped-down naked broadband package. There are now three plans – all incredibly close in price, but what do they offer? Its cheapest plan is $59.99 per month, which gets you 250GB of data. Though they are really trying to get you to jump up $10 to the next package – $69.99 for unlimited naked broadband. This, you could say, is their ‘flagship’ product in the naked broadband lineup, and something which is sure to excite a lot of consumers.
Its next package is $79.99 a month, and is the same as the $69.99 package, but includes local and standard national calls using iiNet’s VoIP service. VoIP allows you to make calls over the internet, and is significantly cheaper than a traditional landline. This is because there is no line rental, and the unlimited data means you can virtually make all the calls you want. For an extra $10 a month, you can buy the International Calls package, which lets you call 20 different countries to their landlines.
The parent company of iiNet, TPG still offers a range of impressively good value plans in the Naked ADSL2+ category. Its naked broadband offerings include:
- 50GB – 25GB/25GB peak/off-peak – $49.99 a month
- 200GB – 100GB/100GB peak/off-peak – $59.99 a month
- 250GB – $69.99 a month
- Unlimited – $69.99 a month
All plans are either on a six or 18 month contract, and longer contracts have cheaper installation fees. All packages come with TPG’s IPTV service that lets you stream multiple TV channels unmetered over the internet.
On top of these ‘big 3’, there are several other smaller providers which also offer naked broadband plans, including local favourites Westnet, Internode and Dodo. All in all, there’s a wide range of broadband-only plans in the Australian market to suit your tastes and most budgets. It helps to look at a wide range of competitors in the market to see if there’s a provider that’s right for you.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of naked broadband?
Before jumping into a naked broadband deal, it’s important to weigh up your options and see whether naked broadband is right for you. Here are some pros and cons when looking at naked broadband:
|Generally cheaper than traditional phone + internet bundles||Can be more expensive per megabyte|
|Many offer unmetered streaming from TV services like Netflix||More limited choice than traditional phone + internet bundles|
|Many offer month-to-month contracts, making it great for renters or students||This flexibility means that you can often pay more month-to-month – you are paying for flexibility|
Is naked broadband good value?
There are a lot of things to consider when it comes down to deciding on if naked broadband is right for you or not. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before buying any broadband plan, but for naked broadband here are some extra questions you can ask yourself:
- What’s my housing situation? Am I settled or likely to move on in the next year? Renting or own home?
- Do I need a home phone, or is VoIP a good alternative?
- Is streaming quantity and quality important to me?
These are a few of the biggest questions to ask before deciding whether naked broadband is right for you. It’s a great alternative to traditional broadband plans, but whether naked broadband is right for you is something you’ll need to weigh up yourself.