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Woman using laptop, amazed at internet speed

Fastest internet plans and providers in Australia

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For many households, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will be the source of the fastest internet plans you are likely to find. However, finding a fast plan and reliable provider can be a massive challenge.

Australia is a huge country geographically, with not a whole lot of people in it. Even though we are one of the most urbanised countries in the world, building the NBN and providing ‘fast’ internet in general has been no mean feat. In fact, it has been somewhat of a struggle, with providers having to compensate customers for slow speeds, and a whole range of customers ditching the NBN altogether and moving to alternative networks.

Read on to find out about the fastest internet in Australia and the fast internet providers, and how to pick the right plan for your needs.

NBN offers you might like

The following table shows a selection of sponsored unlimited data Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50), and Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Home Standard (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 50 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost (excluding discounts), from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Home Fast (NBN 100) Plans

The table below shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 100 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

What is the fastest internet in Australia?

The fastest internet in Australia can typically be found on the NBN, with high-speed internet plans clocking up to 1Gbps. 5G home internet can also offer fast internet to your home, but these speeds may be more unreliable and can depend on the 5G network connection and whether the plan has a speed cap in place.

Home Ultrafast (NBN 1000) plans

It’s possible to get gigabit-speed NBN in Australia, although it’s not available to everyone and is typically more expensive than plans on the other speed tiers. You’ll typically need to be on a Fibre to the Premises NBN connection to qualify, or live at one of the HFC connected homes capable of achieving ultra-fast speeds. However, NBN Co is rolling out a free NBN fibre upgrade program to eligable homes in order to connect more homes to fast internet plans.

Providers offering NBN 1000 to eligible customers include Aussie Broadband, Vodafone, iiNet, Kogan, iPrimus, Optus and Telstra. The expected typical peak-hour download speed will vary between providers, but some plans may reach up to 800-900Mbps during the evening peak.

The following tables show a selection of unlimited Home Ultrafast (NBN 1000) plans on Canstar Blue’s database listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Home Superfast (NBN 250) plans

As with NBN 1000, you’ll need to be on a FTTP or selected HFC connection in order to access NBN 250 fast internet plans, which come with a download speed of up to 250Mbps, and uploads to 25Mbps. Most major telcos now offer these plans, even if they don’t have NBN 1000 available. Typical evening speeds will vary between providers, but speeds are typically around the 200-250Mbps mark during the busy evening peak.

The following tables show a selection of unlimited Home Superfast (NBN 250) plans on Canstar Blue’s database listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Home Fast (NBN 100) plans

NBN 100 was previously the fastest speed available, but now hits that sweet spot between fast speeds and slightly more affordable prices compared to NBN 250 and NBN 1000. Like the faster speed tiers, access to NBN 100 speeds may be limited to certain NBN connection types.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Home Fast (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wide range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners. This list is not an endorsement of the speeds, which can be impacted by numerous variables.

Fast 5G internet plans

You may have heard about 5G with its fast speeds as the ‘NBN killer’ but at the moment, the 5G network doesn’t pose much of a threat to the NBN, as 5G coverage across Australia is still nowhere near as extensive. If you’re interested in 5G internet, you’ll need to check coverage in your area, as there’s no point in having a 5G-capable modem if you don’t have the network available to you.

Secondly, these 5G networks aren’t meant to replace the NBN network, but rather work as a supplement to fixed networks — if we relied more on the 5G mobile network for our internet needs than the fixed networks, it could cause some serious congestion problems. Customers who can’t access NBN in their area or have other problems with connecting to the NBN, might find these 5G internet options a better alternative.

5G home internet plans may also be speed-capped to 50Mbps or 100Mbps, depending on the plan or provider, so you may not actually experience speeds faster than what’s available on your NBN connection. However, if you’re considering 5G as an NBN alternative, you can find a range of plans using our internet comparison tool.

Want 5G at home? Compare 5G wireless internet plans for free.

Fast internet providers in Australia

With high-speed internet plans more widely available, for providers offering fast internet plans, looking at the evening evening speeds may be a way of differentiating between the providers. NBN plans will come with a typical evening speed listed so you have an idea of what sort of speeds you can expect your plan to reach between the busy hours of 7pm and 11pm.

While real-world performance will differ between households, using the typical evening speed as a guide can help you device which fast internet plans might suit your needs.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) releases a quarterly report tracking the evening speeds of some of Australia’s biggest and most popular NBN providers. These reports serve as a general guide so you have an idea what to expect with these NBN providers when it comes to real-world performance, with a higher percentage indicating a ‘better’ or ‘faster’ performance.

Here are the fast internet providers during the busy evening peak hours, according to the latest ACCC report published in March 2024 (with data recorded in the December 2023 quarter).

  1. Exetel: 101.8%
  2. Telstra: 101.7%
  3. Optus: 101.4%
  4. Dodo & iPrimus: 100.2%
  5. Launtel: 99.1%
  6. TPG: 99.0%
  7. iiNet: 98.9%
  8. Superloop: 98.6%
  9. Leaptel: 98.4%
  10. Aussie Broadband: 98.3%
  11. Vodafone: 96.3%

Essentially, this means that out of the biggest Australian providers, Exetel  was technically rated ‘the best’ as its plans were more likely to achieve their maximum performance speeds. Previously, Launtel, Exetel, TPG and Optus had each held the top spot for several consecutive reports, demonstrating that performance could change month to month. While the ACCC report is a helpful guide to see which fast internet providers might deliver the fastest NBN speeds, keep in mind that there are still many variables that impact speeds and it is not a determinant for what your experience will be. 

What’s the best internet for streaming?

Netflix regularly rates how fast popular Australian broadband providers perform in its streaming speed tests. Optus frequently ranks as the best provider for Netflix out of the six main providers tested, usually ahead of iiNet, while Telstra has improved in recent times.

  • Netflix recommends a minimum speed of 0.5Mbps for standard streaming and much faster for HD streaming.
  • HD streaming requires much more bandwidth and a higher download speed.

Luckily, most broadband connections in Australia can feasibly cover this requirement. However, congestion and other factors can easily wreak havoc on your Netflix enjoyment.

How can I get fast internet in my home?

There are a number of things you can do to improve your internet speed without changing your plan per se, but Australians are generally experiencing faster internet speeds than ever before, with big potential for the future. However, pretty much the most foolproof way is to get an NBN plan on the fastest speed tier if it’s available to your home.

Keep in mind that choosing a plan on a fast NBN speed tier, whether that’s NBN 100, NBN 250 or NBN 1000, will typically be rather expensive. These plans can cost around $100 or more each month, although you can find cheaper NBN 100 plans and discounts on plan fees from time to time.

Are there ways that I can make my NBN faster?

If you’re experiencing slow NBN speeds, and you want to improve it, there are a couple of things that you can do:

  • Disconnect any unused devices from the WiFi
  • Upgrade your NBN plan to a faster speed tier (if possible)
  • Upgrade your modem or buy a WiFi extender/booster
  • Check on the NBN Co website whether your home is eligible for a free technology upgrade
  • Check out the NBN Technology Choice Program, which allows households to pay to upgrade their connection type, although this can be very costly 

It might be accurate to say that your NBN speed is partly out of your hands, given that it depends on the connection type available, and the coverage offered in your area. However, by choosing the right provider and NBN speed plan for your needs, you should still be able to achieve the download speeds you need. If not, you can try some of the methods above to try and improve your connection.

What is the fastest NBN technology?

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is generally considered to be the fastest type of NBN in Australia as it involves a fibre-optic cable running directly to your property, as opposed to also utilising existing infrastructure such as copper wiring to complete the journey to your home. 

After FTTP, Fibre to the Building (FTTB), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connections should deliver the next best and more reliable speeds. 

Unfortunately, households do not get a choice in which type of NBN connection they get, as it is decided by the National Broadband Network – making it something of a postcode lottery.

What if I don’t have fibre NBN?

While fibre NBN customers typically have the best chance to get high-speed internet, other users shouldn’t be completely dismayed.

  • NBN Fixed Wireless customers can still get up to 75Mbps download speeds.
  • SkyMuster customers can still achieve download speeds of around 25Mbps in peak hours, but new trial plans offer potential ‘burst’ speeds of up to 100Mbps.
  • ADSL2+ customers can get speeds download speeds up to 24Mbps.
  • Cable customers can get anywhere from up to 30Mbps, all the way up to 100Mbps.

While it doesn’t seem so long ago that Australians were used to hearing the beeps and boops of dial-up internet, it’s evident we’ve come a long way in regards to internet speeds. Remember: 1 megabit is equal to about 0.125 megabytes, so multiply your theoretical top speed by that amount and that is feasibly how much you could download in one second.

However, keep in mind is that top speeds are a maximum only. Many users report that their internet is much slower than the advertised speed, and as mentioned earlier, there are several factors that can be at fault here. While it makes sense to optimise your internet speed where possible, at the end of the day there are things like congestion that are out of your control that can affect speeds.

The issue of advertised speeds falling short of expectations has become a serious issue, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigating service providers to ensure the most accurate performance information is reported before customers sign up to new plans.

Should I get fast internet?

Fast internet relies on countless factors to achieve optimum speeds, so taking a stab in the dark and changing providers on the same connection may not result in the improved performance you crave. However, if your current plan has been rather lackluster for a long time – and at all times of the day – then it could make sense to test the waters and switch providers.

Arguably the best and easiest way to get faster internet will be to wait until the NBN comes to your house, and upgrade to the fastest Typical Evening Speed option available at your location.

If you’re already on the NBN, you might be surprised to know that a faster speed tier may not be all that much more expensive – or that your current plan may not be delivering the speeds you expected.

The NBN is typically offers the fastest internet in Australia and is the best hope for reliable, wide-reaching and ‘fast’ internet. But unless you have the right connection type or can upgrade your fibre connection, it can pay to make the best of what you currently have and shop around for a better deal.

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Tara Donnelly
Utilities Editor
Tara Donnelly is an internet and mobile expert - sectors she’s spent a decade covering - and also oversees energy and consumer technology content. She holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Canberra and has shared her expertise on national media including 9 News, 7 News, Sunrise and the ABC.

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