We all know by now that internet access is as essential to a household as electricity or water. For many of us, it keeps us entertained, informed, in touch with family and friends, and makes our lives a whole lot easier (thanks online shopping!). Just like with any of your household bills, the right internet plan needs to fit into your budget, so you might be on the lookout for the best deal.
Canstar Blue research shows that in 2020, the average internet bill for homes with NBN connections is $69 per month. If you’re paying less than that per month, that’s great news. Cheap NBN plans won’t suit every household, but there are still some great deals around no matter what you’re after. If you signed up to an NBN plan without much thought on the price, or perhaps you didn’t compare plans at the time, you could be paying more each month than you need to.
Am I paying too much for my NBN?
Prices for NBN can vary greatly. The cheapest plan can be as little as under $30, while the most expensive plans can reach close to $150 per month. However, there is a big catch – the cheapest plans are usually on the slowest NBN speed tiers (NBN 12 or NBN 25) while the most expensive plans are usually on the fastest speed tiers (NBN 100, NBN 250 and NBN 1000). Generally, there are three factors that determine how much you’ll pay for NBN:
- Data inclusions — the cheapest plans may include a limited amount of data, anywhere from 10GB to 500GB per month
- Speed tier — the cheapest plans are usually on the slowest NBN speeds, while the most expensive are on the faster speeds
- Bundled extras — entertainment add ons and other extras (phone, modem, etc) cost more, whether that’s as an upfront cost or an additional monthly cost on your bill
Determining which speed tier is best suited for your household usage might give you a clearer picture on whether you’re paying too much for your NBN. For example, the average family with two adults and a couple of kids might find NBN 50 is a good speed tier, especially for video streaming and high internet usage. Plans on this speed tier can be as little as $65 and up to around $90 on average, and even up to as much as $120 — that’s a huge $55 difference in cost per month, and up to $660 difference in a year.
How much money can you save by switching internet plans?
There might be an obvious saving if you switch from the most expensive plan to the cheapest, however the majority of NBN plans tend to have a much smaller price difference. NBN 50 plans can be as little as $65, but there are a huge range of NBN 50 plans from different providers around that $70-$80 price range. Even the smallest savings can make a difference. Switching from one plan to another with a $5 price difference will save $60 a year, while bigger jumps like $10, will save you $120 per year.
Another great way to save on your NBN plan is to look at what deals are on offer from providers. It’s not uncommon for plans to include discounts on the first month or longer, with monthly savings commonly around $5-$10. For example Tangerine and Kogan both offer discounts on monthly plan fees for the first six months, as does Internode and Vodafone, among others. Some providers might only offer this as a limited deal, while others like Tangerine have this as an ongoing offer.
For example, if you’re looking at NBN 25 plans, the top price is usually around $70 per month. Swapping to Tangerine’s $59.90 NBN 25 deal with the $10 discount, could save you about $120 in your first six months, and over $180 in a year.
The following table includes how much you could save over 12 months with a range of current NBN offers if you were to switch from a $90 NBN 50 plan.
|Provider + plan||Monthly cost||Discount offer||Savings over 12 months|
|Tangerine NBN 50 plan||$69.90||$10 discount ($59.90 per month) for first 6 months ($69.90 ongoing)||$301.20|
|Kogan NBN 50 plan||$71.90||$8 discount ($63.90 per month) for first 6 months ($71.90 ongoing)||$265.20|
|Vodafone NBN 50 plan||$75||$10 discount ($65 per month) for first 6 months ($75 ongoing)||$240|
|Internode NBN 50 plan (6 month plan only)||$79.99||$20 discount ($59.99 per month) for first 6 months ($79.99 ongoing)||$240.12|
Last updated September 2020
Of course, the catch with these deals is that you’ll usually need to sign up for a contract, such as a full year. Some providers might offer the discount as credit that is taken off after you’ve stuck with the provider for a certain length of time. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of all discounts before signing up to make sure you know what you’re getting into and any obligations you might have. Plus, keep an eye out for cancellation fees, or other fees and tricks if you choose to ditch the plan after your discount is up.
Top NBN plans to help you save
For the average Aussie household, NBN 25 and NBN 50 are the most popular speed tiers, as these speeds suit moderate to high internet usage, multi-person households, and can accommodate popular activities such as video streaming. NBN 50 is also one of the most widely-available speed tiers, with the majority of providers offering plans at this level. Let’s take a look at some NBN 25 and NBN 50 plans that might be worth making the switch to.
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, 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 a referral partner.
Unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
Are the cheapest NBN plans the best plans?
Price isn’t always the biggest factor when choosing an NBN plan. For example, for two years in a row Aussie Broadband has been rated the best for overall satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customer NBN Provider ratings. This provider gets high marks from customers in areas such as customer service and speed and reliability, however its NBN 50 plan is priced at $79. While you might pay a little more for a plan with Aussie Broadband, customers are generally happy with the telco, proving that cost isn’t always everything.
If you’re looking at switching NBN providers, consider what is important to you for an NBN plan. Maybe your top three preferences are price, customer service and access to entertainment bundles. Or, perhaps your top priority is a fast speed, so you’d be best looking at providers which offer the top speed tiers (including NBN 250 and NBN 1000) and comparing speed ratings from the ACCC speed report. Some providers also offer bonuses and bundled inclusions that aren’t available from every provider. If you like the sound of this extra value, this could be worth the extra cost for you. After all, everyone is different.
Whichever direction you choose to go, whether it’s the cheapest price, or a provider that offers what you’re looking for, it’s always helpful to compare NBN plans from a range of providers. Hopefully you’ll then be able to find the best plan for your needs.