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The cheapest NBN plans come in at around $30, which is cheaper than a few drinks at a pub these days. However, what do you get for your money? Often, the cheapest plans come with not a lot of data – barely enough for modern needs and families. However, if you’re a light user, you could benefit from providers such as:

  • TPG – 10GB for around $30.
  • SkyMesh – SkyMuster plans for under $40
  • Dodo – Plans for under $40
  • iiNet – SkyMuster plans for under $40

As Aussies moves to unlimited data, many of the cheapest data-capped plans here are on the SkyMuster NBN satellite network, servicing areas out in the bush. Another thing you will have to consider is the fact that these are usually on the slowest speed tier – NBN 12. This may be suitable for basic tasks, but unsuitable for larger homes and heavy streamers or online gamers. All in all, you will need to look past just the cheap price to see what you’re really purchasing.

Again, the cheapest plans here generally do not attract unlimited data, but you may not even need unlimited data. 25/5 is the second speed tier on the NBN, and is currently the most popular speed tier. Plans can be found for under $50, but most hover around the $60 mark. Notable providers include:

Most of these plans are available on both the fixed wireless and fixed line network, but once again you will have to keep an eye out for additional costs. While many plans here are cheap, they may feature expensive setup fees and/or lengthy contracts. Modems may also not come part of the package, which can be another cost you’ll have to bear.

NBN Co recently lowered the wholesale cost of this second-fastest speed tier to a few providers, and this means that savings are often passed onto you. Often this speed tier costs about the same as the 25/5 speed tier, making it a good option for those who otherwise would not have purchased a faster plan. Noteworthy providers include:

Kogan lays claim to one of the cheapest unlimited Tier 3 NBN plans on the market, but a number of other providers offer similar deals for only a $1 or so more. This speed tier is arguably the hottest out of the four, and unlimited data can be found for less than $60. Once again, however, keep an eye out for any setup fees, modem charges and other fees that can make or break a plan.

100/40Mbps – or Tier 4 NBN – is the top flight NBN tier available to most residents. Note that 100/40 is the maximum speed attainable and is not exactly a representation of what you can actually achieve. In any case, the cheapest plans tend to hover around the $60-$70 a month mark. Providers worth keeping an eye out for here are:

  • Spintel: Top tier plans for under $70
  • Buzz Telco: Cheap unlimited data plans
  • Exetel: Plans for under $70
  • Teleron: Top tier plans under $80, plus data-free streaming in some cases

While these plans are fast, you will have to consider how much data you need to enjoy those fast speeds. HD Netflix, for example, uses around 3-7GB an hour – on a 100GB plan it won’t take long to use up all your allowance! Also take into account setup fees, and modem costs, which can make or break a plan.

Unlimited data for both ADSL and NBN connections can be found for under $60 – yes $60. And it’s not that hard to find. Providers worth keeping an eye out for are:

All three feature unlimited data for under 60 big ones, and in some cases even offer faster NBN at this price. However, for the most part you will be stuck with NBN 12 or NBN 25, the former of which is usually only good for basic use or a smaller household. Once again, despite the cheap price, you may also be slugged for setup fees and the purchase of a modem.

No one likes being locked in, paying for something they either don’t use or are not happy with. This has given rise to internet plans with no lock-in contract, meaning you can leave at the end of the month with no penalty if you are unhappy. This can be especially useful if testing the waters of a new telco, or for renters who tend to move around a lot. Noteworthy providers include:

Despite the cheap prices on offer, there are several caveats to these offers. Often, for the convenience of no contracts, you may face hefty setup fees to the tune of $100 or more. Modems are often not included, and can cost over $100. Therefore, it pays to do your homework and look at providers with no contracts and no setup fees.

This is where the big players dominate. If internet is about more than just data and dollars, providers such as Optus, Vodafone and Telstra often thrown in extras such as Fetch TV, Foxtel, sport subscriptions and more.

  • From $80 Optus gives customers access to Fetch TV media players and channel packs, plus Optus Sport, which gives exclusive viewing to EPL soccer matches.
  • Vodafone is new to the NBN game, and from $80 includes Netflix in some cases, plus its own Vodafone TV box for an extra $5 per month.
  • For around $99 and up, Telstra often includes Foxtel Now packages, traditional Foxtel and Telstra TV media players.

These plans of course also come with unlimited data to get all the streaming you desire. You also usually get a faster NBN speed tier – often NBN 25 or better. All in all, you’ll likely be paying a bit extra for the privilege of bundling entertainment packs, so consider whether you will actually make use of this ‘free’ entertainment or not.

The best internet plan for you is the one that has the amount of data you crave, with a contract length you’re happy with and above all, a price you’re happy to pay. There are over 100 providers out there, and all you have to do is shop around for the next greatest deal.

  • Other considerations include whether a modem or router is included in the plan, how much the plan costs to setup and any other fees associated with the plan.
  • Also consider if entertainment bundles are worth it – you will likely pay extra, but it can still work out cheaper versus if you kept internet and entertainment separate.

All in all, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to internet. Before finding a plan, you will have to assess your own needs and your own budget. Happy shopping!

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