NBN 50 Plans: Everything you need to know

It can be tough choosing the right internet plan on the National Broadband Network (NBN). There’s a lot to learn and a lot of jargon to decipher, all involving different speeds and extras. There are four main speed tiers, but their capabilities all vary depending on what they’re useful for. The NBN 50 plan, also known as the ‘Standard Plus’ speed tier is now one of the most popular, but what exactly can you expect to get for your money? Find out what the NBN 50 plan does and what type of internet user it suits.

How fast is the NBN 50 plan?

The NBN 50 plan yields download speeds of up to 50Mbps (megabits per second) and 20Mbps upload. This speed tier has grown in popularity over the last year or so, and should ideally be a significant step up over your old ADSL connection.

  • 50Mbps is likely good enough for multiple streams, browsing, gaming and more.
  • Assuming your plan is operating at full capacity, your 20Mbps upload speed could see a 3-minute 1080p YouTube video be uploaded in less than 15 minutes.

Download speeds means things you download from the internet – loading webpages, streaming Netflix and more, while uploads denote the things you upload to the internet – pictures to Instagram, Facebook and videos to YouTube. We’ve covered the NBN 12 and long story short, Standard Plus is likely much more useable than its slower sibling. However, it’s only useable if you’re going to use it!

NBN 50 Plans & Providers

The good news is that on this speed tier there is a lot to choose from. Since NBN Co slashed wholesale rates for this speed tier back in late 2017, a lot of providers have started offering very competitive plans. There are a few data-capped deals floating around, but if you’re an intensive user, unlimited data can provide peace of mind – and it’s not too much more expensive.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard 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 a referral partner.

What can I use the NBN 50 for?

NBN 50 is good for large households or heavy internet users who need to stream and do more data-intensive activities than the average user, such as downloading files, uploading videos to YouTube and more. It is arguably the most utilitarian speed tier.

  • Assuming the speed tier is operating at full speed, you could potentially download a 1080p movie in as little as three minutes.

There are eight ‘bits’ in a ‘byte’, meaning 50Mbps is equal to about 6.25MB downloaded, assuming a 1080p movie file is around 1.1GB in size. However, in the real world, speeds can waver dramatically – especially in the peak times of 7pm to 11pm. Other factors such as servers, your router, congestion and more can come into play and hamper your top speed.

NBN 50 Evening Speeds Explained

If you’ve shopped around for an NBN plan recently, you may have noticed the advertising of ‘evening speeds’. Providers have generally moved away from advertising the top maximum speed and advertise more realistic speeds – ones you can expect in the peak periods of 7pm to 11pm. These hours are when more people are home using the internet, streaming, browsing and more.

Below are some popular providers and their typical advertised Standard Plus NBN 50 evening speeds.

Provider Evening Speed (Download)
AGL 38Mbps
Aussie Broadband 50Mbps
Belong 48Mbps
Dodo 50Mbps
Exetel 48Mbps
Flip 48Mbps
iiNet 50Mbps
Internode 50Mbps
iPrimus 50Mbps
Kogan 50Mbps
MyRepublic 50Mbps
Optus 50Mbps
Origin 40Mbps
Southern Phone 38Mbps
Superloop 50Mbps
Tangerine 50Mbps
Telstra 50Mbps
TPG 50Mbps
Vodafone 50Mbps

Source: Respective provider websites, correct as at June 2021

Note that these are advertised speeds, as per the providers’ websites. Your individual experience may vary, especially in peak periods of 7pm to 11pm.

Is the NBN 50 right for me?

The NBN 50 speed tier is arguably the most ‘useful’, as it provides a speed many users are comfortable with, without the price premium of something faster and without the constraints of slower tiers. This speed tier strikes a balance between value and performance, and has become the most popular speed tier as a result.

As useful as it is, it pays to look at your own use; if you’re in a small household or just an occasional internet browser without much use for streaming, you could get by with a cheaper and slower plan. Alternatively, if you’re a heavy data user, with a lot of intensive applications such as uploading videos, gaming, and downloading large files, chances are you want the next step up – just be prepared to pay for it.

NBN Co – Check Select Connect

In order to encourage users to find the best plan for them, NBN Co has released a campaign called ‘Check, Select, Connect’. Each step is as follows:

  • Check their internet usage habits as well as the number of devices connected in peak times (7pm to 11pm).
  • Select the right speed for their household’s needs with a retailer (ISP).
  • Connect the right Wi-Fi modem in the right place and contact the retailer for further setup advice.

This campaign was designed in order to get customers to think before they purchase a plan, in order to avoid regret down the track. With the rise of streaming and other data-heavy applications, it’s important to buy the right plan for your needs.

Other plans to consider

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

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (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 Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The table below shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (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.

Should I get an NBN 50 plan?

Choosing the right NBN plan can seem like a brain busting task, but it needn’t be. The first step is to consider your own needs – are you a streamer? Do you only need the internet for web browsing? Do you have a family addicted to their iPads and video games?

The NBN 50 (Standard Plus) tier is arguably the most popular because it strikes a good balance between price and performance. However, if you’re a light user, chances are you could get away with less. And if you’re known to download a lot and need the best out of your connection, stepping up to a faster plan may be required. In any case, the NBN 50 plan is a good middle ground, but consider your own needs first.

Compare NBN Providers

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