Are you trying to figure out which NBN plan best suits your data and speed needs? Canstar Blue has compiled a comparison of the biggest and best National Broadband Network (NBN) providers and their plans to help you decide, from the cheapest with the most basic speeds to unlimited deals with lightning-fast downloads. If you’re in a hurry, check out our ‘key takeouts’ from each NBN provider and you’ll be better-informed about your broadband options.
Before we go into details about the NBN plans and providers we’ve compared, it’s important to understand the difference between the data download speeds you can pay for, to help you put the prices of these plans into perspective. It’s also a good idea if you check the details of your existing broadband plan, to give you a good idea of what download speed you think you will need – and what is going to represent good value for money for you. But first, here is a quick comparison of plans.
NBN Deals – quick glance
This page lists NBN plans from Australia’s biggest providers, but if you’re in a hurry and just want to see a quick selection of deals, we’ve got some top picks below. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited data NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest, all on the NBN 50 speed tier. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
Compare NBN Plans
Top NBN Plans
Below is a look at what the top NBN providers are offering. Hit a link to jump to your favourite telco, or scroll through and wait for a good deal to catch your eye:
Telstra NBN Plans
Telstra boasts a simple mix of NBN bundles to pick from, based on varying data allowances. The first step is to decide how much data you think you will need (100GB, 200GB, or unlimited), and then you can start to consider add-on extras such as Telstra TV (which gives you access to Netflix and Stan) and Foxtel.
- Telstra’s base NBN speed on unlimited plans is Standard Plus Evening Speed (up to 50Mbps), with speed boosts available from an extra $30 a month.
- Speed boosts appear to be on a month-to-month basis, so you can sample Premium speeds without worrying about being locked-in for too long.
- Data allowances vary from 100GB up to unlimited data.
- Month-to-month plans feature a $216 modem fee, but this is free when you connect for 24 months.
- Unlimited data starts at $90 per month.
- New connections incur a $99 setup fee.
When you’re thinking about signing up to a Telstra NBN plan, look carefully at the potential start-up costs. Telstra says an additional fee of $240 may apply if you require a professional installation. And if you’re in a new development and not already connected to the NBN, a $300-odd NBN Co New Development Charge may also apply.
Telstra NBN key takeouts:
- Impressive entertainment options available (Telstra TV, Foxtel), plus included national calls on all plans.
- Upgrades to premium NBN 100 speed available for eligible customers.
- No lock-in contracts, but setup costs may apply.
iiNet NBN Plans
iiNet was taken over by the TPG Group in late 2015, but maintains its own identity and broadband plans. It has a solid reputation for good customer service, but iiNet is about more than just friendly voices when you pick up the phone, as its NBN packages will attest. There are a total of seven plans, and each includes iiNet’s Netphone (VoIP) service.
- There are two plan data options: 500GB or ‘Liimitless’ data – starting at $59.99 and $69.99 per month respectively.
- Speed boosts are then available: NBN 50 costs an extra $10 each month, and NBN 100 another $10 again. Note that all plans on these tiers come with unlimited data.
The cheapest Premium 100Mbps plan is priced at $99.99, and includes unlimited data. After that you, could pay out $109.99 or $119.99 depending on your call packs preferences. Fetch entertainment bundles are also available from an extra $5 a month, but on six-month plans are often included at no extra cost.
These iiNet plans are available with no lock-in contract, or over six months. However, the former will mean you need to pay extra if you buy a pre-configured modem.
iiNet NBN key takeouts:
- Cheap Fetch entertainment options.
- Good choice of plans for heavy data users, and those with a need for speed.
- VoIP services are available. You can also add the international VoIP pack for an extra $10 per month.
Vodafone NBN Plans
Vodafone is the last of the ‘Big 3’ mobile carriers – after Optus and Telstra – to offer NBN plans, but has some downright competitive NBN deals. All plans come with unlimited data, and prices start at $59 a month.
- There are three speed tiers available: NBN 25, 50 and 100. The fastest plans start at $89 per month for new connections.
- All plans come with no lock-in contract by default, but users will pay $180 upfront for the modem.
- The modem comes with 4G backup, and is reduced to $0 over 36 months through monthly credits to your account of $5.
Vodafone is also backed by its 4G network, with all routers coming with in-built 4G backup just in case the NBN service is down for whatever reason. Vodafone also backs its plans with a 30-day network satisfaction guarantee, meaning you can leave your contract if you’re not happy. Aside from this, Vodafone also offers big bonuses such as bonus mobile data, free Netflix and other goodies from time to time.
Vodafone NBN key takeouts:
- Competitive NBN plans with no lock-in contracts.
- 4G network backup on all plans.
- Exciting periodic bonuses available.
TPG NBN Plans
TPG faces increased competition from the likes of iiNet, Dodo and Optus, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer great plans. TPG breaks its NBN plans into three different categories – NBN 12, NBN 50 and NBN 100 – all of which come with a Wi-Fi modem and are bundled with the telco’s Digital Voice Service. Each category includes three plan options based on data allowance or call inclusions.
- Basic Plans: TPG NBN 12 plans all come with a maximum download speed of 12Mbps. The cheapest deal at $29.99 comes with just 10GB of data, while the cheapest unlimited plan will cost $59.99. In between you can get 100GB of data for $49.99.
- Standard Plus Plans: TPG NBN 50 plans come with a maximum download speed of 50Mbps. The standard configuration comes with unlimited data. The cheapest of these Standard Plus plans is the $69.99 package which brings local, national, mobile and international calls at PAYG rates. You can then add a voice pack for $10 a month.
- Premium Plans: TPG’s NBN 100 plans are for serious internet users, bringing a maximum download speed of 100Mbps. You’ll pay a minimum of $89.99, while an extra $20 will get you unlimited calls, plus unlimited calls to 11 countries and 500 minutes to India.
All plans are available with no lock-in contract, or as an 18-month deal. The difference is that if you want the flexibility of leaving any time you like, you’ll need to pay a $99.95 set-up fee. TPG is also fast building its own FTTB (fibre to the basement) network set to rival the NBN itself, so watch this space.
TPG NBN key takeouts:
- Easy to navigate product range.
- No-contract options available.
- Low data and basic speed options for those who want them.
Internode NBN Plans
Internode is a direct subsidiary of its bigger brother, iiNet, and other provider included in this guide. Internode was one of the originators of ADSL2+ internet, and now features as a top telco for NBN, as well as home phone and mobile services. Internode offers unlimited Standard NBN 25, Standard Plus NBN 50 and Platinum NBN 100 speed tiers (labelled ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ ‘Gold’, and ‘Platinum’ respectively).
The range of data and speed options available through Internode makes it a great way to create a customised, mix-and-match NBN plan, with unlimited data beginning at $69.99 per month for NBN 25. If you’re looking for something faster, NBN 50 is available from $79.99 per month, and NBN 100 from $99.99, and all options can be purchased on a monthly basis or on a six-month contract. Like iiNet, Internode users can also bundle in a Fetch entertainment pack from $5 extra per month, and call packs from an additional $10 monthly.
Internode NBN key takeouts:
- A variety of speed, data, and contract options.
- Plenty of add-on extras, such as calls and Fetch TV.
- Part of the iiNet family.
MyRepublic NBN Plans
MyRepublic has created a lot of buzz and since its introduction to the Aussie market in 2016 it has amassed a strong following thanks to its cheap prices and no-fuss plans on offer. While you won’t get the ‘cheapest of the cheap’ prices with MyRepublic, it does offer tantalising plans – all with unlimited data.
This telco has decided to focus on NBN plans at the NBN 50 and NBN 100 speed tiers, with unlimited data on all plans. There are three different plan types available on both speed tiers — no lock-in, 12 month contract and a 12-month BYO modem option. Both the month-to-month and standard 12-month plans are the same monthly price, but locking in for 12 months will allow you to add on a standard NBN modem for $1 (plus postage) — the no lock-in plan requires you to pay full price for the modem. The BYO option will save you a few dollars across both speed tiers, but you’ll need to ensure your modem is NBN compatible. There are also two gamer-specific plans on NBN 100 speeds with perks and optimised services included with the aim to create a great experience for online gamers.
Home phone packs are available as add ons, with a $0 connection offering access to Aussie landline numbers only. You’ll need to pay extra to access calls to Australian mobile and international numbers. There are optional modems available on all plans and while the 12-month contracts are several dollars more than the flexi plans, the advantage to a contract is that if you want to add on a standard modem, it will cost you $1 (plus postage), while you’ll be paying $69 (plus postage) on the flexi plan.
MyRepublic NBN key takeouts:
- Some of the cheapest unlimited NBN 100 plans out there.
- Choice of NBN 50 or NBN 100 speeds.
- Cheap no lock-in contract or 12-month plans.
Aussie Broadband NBN Plans
Aussie Broadband frequently tops speed tests for its fast, industry-leading NBN. Its premium NBN 100 plan lists a typical evening speed of 90Mbps; currently, this is faster than typical evening speeds cited by Telstra, Optus, iiNet, and TPG.
Customers may also appreciate Aussie Broadband’s range of plan add-ons and options, commitment to customer service, and simple, no lock-in plan structure. With no set-up or exit fees on month-to-month plans, no data overage charges, and the option to bring your own modem, the company’s NBN plans are flexible and bill-shock free.
Aussie Broadband NBN key takeouts:
- One of the highest-rated NBN providers in speed tests.
- No surprise fees, even on month-to-month plans.
- Australian customer service.
Belong NBN Plans
Belong offers three NBN speed options, all with unlimited monthly data. Starter plans are priced from $55 per month and offer speeds up to 30Mbps; Standard Plus (NBN 50) plans begin at $65 per month; and Premium (NBN 100) plans are available from $90 per month. Customers have the option of going month-to-month on all plans, or signing a 12-month contract for Standard Plus and Starter speeds. If you do decide to skip the contract, you’ll pay an extra $5 per month for both Starter and Standard Plus plans.
Customers who sign up for 12 months will receive an included WiFi modem ($60 on month-to-month plans), and all plans come with $0 standard activation. New NBN customers are also entitled to a free Belong mobile SIM, which comes pre-loaded with $80 of free mobile credit. You can activate your Belong mobile service on any unlocked phone via the Belong smartphone app.
Belong NBN key takeouts:
- $5 monthly discount when you sign a 12-month contract.
- Plans come with $80 free Belong Mobile credit.
- Premium (NBN 100) speed available.
Dodo NBN Plans
Dodo has a reputation for providing cheap and cheerful home broadband, and its NBN plans are no exception. Opting for a simplified approach to an often-confusing product, Dodo allows customers to select from unlimited data or 101GB per month. There are two speed tiers on offer – NBN 25 and NBN 50, named Turbo and Supercharged respectively – and customers can choose from going contract-free, or signing up for 12 or 24 months (and enjoying waived modem and setup fees).
With month-to-month modem and fees totalling over $200, Dodo customers can save by committing to a longer-term contract. However, if you are looking for a basic NBN 12 plan – or for premium NBN 100 speeds – you may want to shop around.
Dodo NBN key takeouts:
- A mix of plans that are easily tailored to your data and speed requirements.
- The option of month-to-month, 12-month, or 24-month contracts.
- Good balance of additional call extras for reasonable prices.
Optus NBN Plans
Optus recently revamped its broadband plans, with a more streamlined approach allowing customers to more easily navigate their options and choose a bundle that’s right for them – and the headline is that all its NBN offerings now come with unlimited data. Optus is working hard to battle for its image as a premier provider, while still offering competitive prices. The short and skinny is as follows:
- Two base NBN plans: An everyday unlimited internet plan starting from $70 per month, or an ‘Entertainment’ plan costing $90 per month for NBN 50 with a Fetch set top box and entertainment pack included, along with Optus Sport.
- Two contract options: Month-to-month, attracting a $200 set-up fee, or 24 months, with a $99 set-up cost.
- Speed boost: Boost your plan to NBN 100 from $30 extra per month.
The most exciting plan seems to be the $90 one, which crams a lot of extra stuff in for that $20 premium. Optus Sport ordinarily costs an extra $14.99 per month, while Fetch packs start at $6 a month; factor in included unlimited calls to Australian landlines and mobiles, and you’ve got a great all-round package deal.
Optus NBN key takeouts:
- Probably cheaper than you’d think.
- Great entertainment options if you want them.
- Fairly simple product range to select from, add-on speed boosts.
The NBN is available to retail customers on four different speed tiers, which ultimately dictate how fast your internet will be (and how much you will pay).
Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)
- Downloads of up to 12Mbps/uploads of up to 1Mbps
- Good for small households and light users
Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25)
- Downloads of up to 25Mbps/uploads of up to 5Mbps
- Good for streaming and households of 2-3 people
Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
- Downloads of up to 50Mbps/uploads of up to 20Mbps
- Good for HD streaming, heavier use and online gaming
Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
- Downloads of up to 100Mbps/uploads of up to 40Mbps
- Good for ultra-HD streaming and gaming, big households, and data-intensive use
When visiting various Internet Service Provider (ISP) websites, you might realise that you have to do some digging to find out how fast you can go for your money. So, this is what you can expect with the NBN.
The higher the speed tier, the faster your internet should be, with an emphasis on ‘should’. While the speeds listed above are theoretical and achievable, speeds in reality may change based on numerous factors, such as demand during peak periods, where you live, and even the weather. The technology through which your NBN service is delivered will also have an impact.
Generally, the faster you go, the more you will need to pay. It’s worth noting, however, that NBN 12 is not actually considered ‘superfast’ internet as it’s comparable with most standard ADSL2+ connections. Instead, NBN 25 is said to be the first superfast speed tier. Now, let’s assess what some of the biggest NBN providers are offering.
The Top NBN Providers as Rated by ACCC
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) releases its findings into the performances of NBN providers about once every quarter. The consumer watchdog in its reports uses real-world tests and other benchmarking criteria to determine what popular provider most consistently hits its maximum speeds. Recently it reviewed the following NBN providers, calculating the average download performances during busy hours (7pm to 11pm):
- TPG performed at 86.7% of its maximum plan speed
- Optus performed at 85.5% of its maximum plan speed
- Aussie Broadband performed at 85.3% of its maximum plan speed
- MyRepublic performed at 84.8% of its maximum plan speed
- iiNet performed at 84.2% of its maximum plan speed
- Telstra performed at 83.1% of its maximum plan speed
- Exetel performed at 82.8% of its maximum plan speed
- Dodo & Primus performed at 80.4% of its maximum plan speed
While there are a variety of factors at play, TPG could be considered a reliable and fast performer, with the big guys not far behind it.
What makes a good NBN plan?
Generally, a good NBN plan relies on the right combination of three elements:
Every Aussie household wants a reliable connection that won’t drop out or slow down, but the right price and speed may vary between families and individuals. If you’re on a tighter budget, you may be limited in terms of the maximum speed you can comfortably afford each month. In contrast, if you’re a heavy downloader, you may be happy to pay a little extra for a faster plan.
Finding the perfect-fit NBN plan for yourself or your family often consists of a compromise between price and connection speed. Comparing broadband plans before you commit can help you suss out the best deals and cheapest prices, but getting real value will often come down to choosing the correct NBN speed tier.
Recent research from Canstar Blue has shown that not every NBN user is aware of their current plan speed, which can cause issues if your connection isn’t fast enough to handle your household usage.
When comparing NBN options, it’s important to look not just at the potential download speeds, but also each telco’s listed Typical Evening Speed for plan tiers. This is the average speed users on a plan will experience during peak periods (between 7pm – 11pm), and is generally the most accurate indicator of how fast your plan will actually be. Once again, these tiers are listed below.
- Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12): 12/1 Mbps download/upload
- Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25): 25/5 Mbps download/upload
- Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50): 50/20 Mbps download/upload
- Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100): 100/40 Mbps: download/upload
If you’re torn between two speed tiers, it may be safest to pick the faster option (assuming it fits within your budget). With price differences between speeds still averaging at around $10 each month (depending on your telco), making the decision to upgrade may pay off down the line – resulting in an overall better performance from your NBN plan.
What does the best NBN plan look like?
The ‘best’ NBN plan for you will depend on factors such as how much data you need, what speed tier you’d prefer, and any additional features you’re interested in, not to mention your budget. Just for fun, here is an example of what the best NBN plan might include, based on the factors discussed:
NBN Standard Plus speed (NBN 50)
No contract term
TV package included
$69.99 per month
Keep in mind that unlimited data pretty much comes at standard these days, and the speed tier you choose will have the biggest impact on the price you will pay. Going with a no contract plan may also increase the monthly cost slightly compared with a one or two-year contract. Also, not all providers bundle in a TV pack, so this is very much a point of personal preference.
Other NBN providers
In this report we have reviewed the NBN plans of 10 major service providers, but it’s important to know that there are numerous other telcos out there all desperate to get you connected. You can learn about more of them in our article named: The best NBN providers you’ve never heard of, or browse through selected NBN providers below.
- Bendigo Telco
- Southern Phone
- Start Broadband
Best NBN plans from each provider
Cheapest Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans
The below table features all Standard Evening Evening Speed (NBN 25) plans featured in this article, in price order.
|Internode||NBN Silver Unlimited||
Cheapest Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans
The below table features all Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans featured in this article, in price order.
|Internode||NBN Gold Unlimited||
||$59.99 (promo price)|
|Belong||Unlimited Standard Plus||
|Dodo||Unlimited Plan – Supercharged||
|Optus||70 Bundle Plan||
|iiNet||NBN 50 Liimitless||
Cheapest Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans
The below table features all Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans featured in this article, in price order.
||$69 (promo price)|
|MyRepublic||Unlimited Premium Promo Flexi||
||$89.95 (promo price)|
|Aussie Broadband||Power User||
|iiNet||NBN 100 Liimitless||
|Internode||NBN Platinum Unlimited||
|Optus||70 Bundle Plan + speed boost||