NBN Evening Speeds Compared: Where to find the fastest typical speeds

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The NBN has the potential to seriously jump-start your broadband, but it’s important to make sure you’re on the right speed option for your needs. If your NBN speed tier isn’t fast enough to handle your home’s daily broadband usage, you’ll find yourself disappointed with your NBN performance and reliability. On the other hand, you may be paying more than you need to for ultra-fast speeds, and could save hundreds annually by switching to a lower-tier plan.

But between the available NBN speed tiers, and the jargon used to describe each option, it can be hard to figure out which plan is your best match. To pick the right NBN plan and provider, you’ll need to look at not only the speed tiers available, but also the Typical Evening Speed listed by your potential new telco.

If you’re deciding on the best NBN option for your home, you may be confused by the different speed tiers and plan types on offer. In this guide, we’ll look at how NBN speeds work, why Typical Evening Speeds are so important, and list some of the fastest NBN providers for each speed option.

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NBN speeds: key points

  • There are four wholesale NBN speed tiers available.
  • Not every internet service provider will sell each NBN speed tier.
  • Speed tier names refer to the maximum possible download speed on that plan (e.g. an NBN 50 plan will never be faster than 50Mbps). However, real-world NBN speeds tend to be lower than the maximum speeds advertised.
  • The ‘Typical Evening Speed’ advertised by telcos is a much better indicator of the likely speeds you’ll experience on a plan.
  • The type of NBN connection you have will also impact your speed, but this is largely out of customer control. 

NBN Evening Speeds Compared

Before we look at ‘Typical’ speeds, it’s important to get an understanding of how NBN speeds are marketed and sold. NBN Co. divides its speeds into four categories: NBN 12, NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 (also called Basic, Standard, Standard Plus and Premium Evening Speed). These numbers simply refer to the maximum possible download speeds achievable on each tier, measured in Megabits per second (Mbps).

Access to these tiers is then sold to customers by internet service providers (such as Telstra, iiNet, or TPG). You can choose which speed tier you’d prefer when signing up to an NBN plan, but not every service provider will offer every speed. For example, Telstra offers NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 speeds, but NBN 12 isn’t currently available. In comparison, iiNet provides NBN 12, NBN 50 and NBN 100 connections, but doesn’t sell NBN 25 service.

Below are the four speed tiers available to retail NBN customers, in order of speed and price. The faster your plan, the more you should expect to pay, but keep in mind that actual prices will vary depending on your telco.

Basic Evening Speeds (NBN 12) Compared

  • Downloads: Up to 12Mbps
  • Uploads: Up to Mbps 
  • Maximum speed of 12Mbps during peak hours

This is the entry-level NBN speed tier, offering a maximum download speed of 12Mbps and uploads of 1Mbps. Also known as NBN 12, Basic plans are ideal for light-to-average users, or single-person households; if you’re looking for a family plan, or want to stream in high definition, this tier isn’t for you.

Which telco has the fastest NBN 12 evening speed?

Below is a list of the fastest advertised typical evening speeds for NBN 12 from the most prominent providers. Note that these typical speeds are subject to change, as the providers regularly review their performance and update expected speeds.

NBN Provider Typical Evening Speed for NBN 12
Dodo 11Mbps
iPrimus 11Mbps
TPG 10Mbps
Internode 10Mbps
iiNet 9.9Mbps

Source: Respective retailers, February 2019.

As you can see, several providers currently get very close to the maximum potential speed of NBN 12.

Standard Evening Speeds (NBN 25) Compared

  • Downloads: Up to 25Mbps
  • Uploads: Up to 5Mbps 
  • Minimum speed of 15Mbps during peak hours

If you want something a little faster than basic NBN, the Standard speed tier offers downloads of up to 25Mbps, and uploads of 5Mbps. While this speed is more than fast enough for streaming video, if you’re in a multi-user household – or want to watch in high definition on more than one device – it may not quite cut it during busy periods. Standard plans may, however, be suitable for singles, couples, or people with average usage needs.

Which telco has the fastest NBN 25 evening speed?

Below is a list of the fastest advertised typical evening speeds for NBN 25 from the most prominent providers. Note that these typical speeds are subject to change, as the providers regularly review their performance and update expected speeds.

NBN Provider Typical Evening Speed for NBN 25
Vodafone 23Mbps
Flip 21.92Mbps
Tangerine 21Mbps
Telstra 20Mbps
Sumo 20Mbps
Start Broadband 18Mbps

Source: Respective retailers, February 2019.

As you can see, Vodafone currently leads the way of the compared brands for NBN 25 speeds. But many are falling some way short of the maximum potential speed.

Standard Plus Evening Speeds (NBN 50) Compared

  • Downloads: Up to 50Mbps
  • Uploads: Up to 20Mbps 
  • Minimum speed of 30Mbps during peak hours

For most families, gamers, and Netflix addicts, this is the ‘just right’ speed tier, providing a maximum download speed of 50Mbps, and uploads up to 20Mbps. The second-fastest NBN option should provide congestion-free, HD video streaming, and allow multiple devices to be used at once without compromising speed. It’s also an ideal NBN choice for anyone who works from home.

Which telco has the fastest NBN 50 evening speed?

Below is a list of the fastest advertised typical evening speeds for NBN 25 from the most prominent providers. Note that these typical speeds are subject to change, as the providers regularly review their performance and update expected speeds.

NBN Provider Typical Evening Speed for NBN 50
iPrimus 47Mbps
Vodafone 45Mbps
Internode 43.6Mbps
Exetel 43Mbps
MyRepublic 43Mbps
TPG 42.7Mbps
iiiNet 42.7Mbps
Telstra 42.7Mbps
Optus 42.7Mbps

Source: Respective retailers, February 2019.

We’re talking serious download speeds now and iPrimus is currently the telco to beat based on typical evening performance for NBN 50 plans, going very close to the maximum potential.

Premium Evening Speeds (NBN 100) Compared

  • Downloads: Up to 100Mbps
  • Uploads: Up to 40Mbps
  • Minimum speed of 60Mbps during peak hours

The fastest, priciest NBN option, Premium offers potential download speeds of up to 100Mbps (and uploads of 40Mbps), and is the best option for big households and heavy users who want lag-free and congestion-proof gaming, streaming, and downloading. If you rely heavily on fast internet for work or leisure, want to watch video in 4K where available, and aren’t afraid to pay a little extra each month, a Premium plan will ensure you get the most from your NBN connection.

Which telco has the fastest NBN 100 evening speed?

Below is a list of the fastest advertised typical evening speeds for NBN 25 from the most prominent providers. Note that these typical speeds are subject to change, as the providers regularly review their performance and update expected speeds.

NBN Provider Typical Evening Speed for NBN 100
MyRepublic 83Mbps
Vodafone 83Mbps
Exetel 83Mbps
Telstra 80Mbps
Belong 80Mbps
Optus 80Mbps
iiNet 78.5Mbps
Internode 72.7Mbps
TPG 71.4Mbps

Source: Respective retailers, February 2019.

NBN 100 is the best fixed-line internet users in Australia can get and unfortunately most brands are falling some way short of the maximum potential speed. Nevertheless these speeds are fairly impressive if they are reliable and consistent.

Typical Evening Speeds: The speeds you can trust?

‘Typical Evening Speeds’ have become a standard advertising and plan information inclusion for NBN providers, and are the best way to predict how fast your service will be during busy evening periods.

When a telco provides a Typical Evening speed for an NBN plan, it’s referring to the average speed attained by customers during peak hours of between 7pm and 11pm. These speeds still aren’t guaranteed, but provide a real-world figure as to what a provider’s plan is capable of in everyday conditions. Most NBN providers now list Typical Evening Speeds for each plan tier, and usually update these statistics monthly.

Below are the Typical Evening Speeds currently listed by the most popular Australian NBN providers across all of their speed tiers. Numbers are correct as of February 2019.

Provider NBN Speed Tier Typical Evening Speed
Dodo Basic (NBN 12) 11Mbps
Standard (NBN 25) 24Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 47Mbps
Exetel
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 43Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 83Mbps
iiNet Basic (NBN 12) 9.9Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 42.7Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 78.5Mbps
Internode Basic (NBN 12) 10.0Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 43.6Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 72.7Mbps
iPrimus Basic (NBN 12) 11Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 47Mbps
MyRepublic Standard Plus (NBN 50) 43Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 83Mbps
Optus Standard Plus (NBN 50) 40Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 80Mbps
Telstra Standard (NBN 25) 20Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 40Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 80Mbps
TPG Basic (NBN 12) 10.0Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 42.7Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 71.4Mbps
Vodafone Standard (NBN 25) 23Mbps
Standard Plus (NBN 50) 43Mbps
Premium (NBN 100) 83Mbps

Other NBN speed factors

Even if you’ve picked the best speed option to keep your house happy, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually experience the typical speeds described by your telco. Factors that can affect your connection speed include network congestion (e.g. the number of people using the network at once), the equipment and hardware you use to connect, and where the server you’re trying to connect to is located.

Your NBN connection type can also impact your broadband speed. There’s a reason Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections are considered the gold standard technology type used in the NBN rollout, as these replace the existing copper telephone cable and offer the fastest potential download and upload speeds. If you’re lucky enough to have a FTTP connection, your home is directly connected to a telephone exchange via fibre optic cable, so you’re more likely to experience the best speeds available for your plan and location.

Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) connections are more common, and mean your home is connected to a nearby node via your older copper wires, then that node is connected to an exchange with optic fibre. The further away your home is from your neighbourhood node (or the node in your building, for FTTB plans), the slower your possible maximum speed may be.

Potential speeds will also vary between other NBN connection types, such as Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), HFC cable, and fixed wireless. You can’t choose which technology type will be available at your location – that’s entirely up to NBN Co. – but you can discuss with your intended broadband provider which plan will work best with your property’s connection.

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