Trying to figure out which NBN plan best suits your data and speed needs? Canstar Blue compares some of the biggest and most popular National Broadband Network (NBN) providers and their plans to help you decide, from the cheapest prices with basic inclusions to unlimited data with super-fast speeds.
In this Canstar Blue NBN Plans guide you’ll find everything you need to make a great decision on an outstanding NBN plan. Here’s what we cover.
Canstar Blue is designed to help Aussies choose the best NBN plan for their needs. Using our comparison table of Premium (NBN 100), Standard (NBN 50), Standard (NBN 25) and Basic (NBN 12) speeds makes it easy to compare between the best NBN plans in the market.
The following table 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
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 monthly cost, from 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.
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) 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 above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
Choosing the best NBN plan can be a bit daunting, especially considering the sheer number of providers and plans out there, and the confusing jargon and plan structure. Generally, you need to look out for the right combination of these three things:
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 speeds you can comfortably afford each month. In contrast, if you’re a heavy video streamer or a big online gamer, you may be happy to pay a little extra for a faster plan.
Finding the perfect plan involves a compromise between price and connection speed. Shopping around before you commit can help you to work out the best internet deals and cheapest NBN prices, but getting real value will come down to choosing the right speed tier for your needs.
Research from Canstar Blue has shown that not every user is aware of their current plan speed, which can cause issues if your connection isn’t fast enough to handle your household usage. Not everybody needs high speeds, but you do need a connection that’s fast enough for how you use the internet at home. On the other hand, if you’re on a plan with faster speeds than you actually need, you could save money by switching to a ‘slower’ plan.
Each household has different needs when it comes to internet connections. We have several guides to help:
The speed of your internet will be impacted by the type of connection you have. There are seven technology types used to connect homes to the NBN, and the option available to you will depend on where you live.
Here are the seven types of NBN connections:
Connects your home directly to the nearest NBN node via fibre optic cable, and is the fastest NBN connection type available.
Mostly used in apartment blocks, by connecting each apartment or unit via copper wiring to a central node in a building’s basement.
Uses your home’s existing copper wiring to connect to an NBN node in your area.
Similar to FTTN, but runs fibre optic cable to a distribution point outside your home, which is connected to your house via copper wiring.
Uses existing cable networks – the same used to deliver pay TV – to connect your home to the closest NBN node.
Uses transmission towers to broadcast a broadband connection to an antenna installed in your home. Mostly used in regional areas.
Beams an NBN network signal from the SkyMuster satellite to a dish installed on your home. Mostly used in regional areas.
Most homes will be connected by fibre or HFC, with properties in rural and regional areas more likely to use fixed wireless or satellite. The fastest speeds – such as NBN 250 and 1000 – are only available to households with FTTP or selected HFC connections. Homes with fixed wireless will generally get slower speeds.
It’s important to look at potential download speeds, but also each telco’s listed Typical Evening Speed. This is the average speed users will experience during peak periods (between 7pm – 11pm) and is generally the most accurate indicator of how fast your service will actually be. The speed tiers are:
Up to 1000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload – good for larger households with extremely high multimedia demands.
Up to 250 Mbps download, 25Mbps upload – good for larger households with extremely high multimedia demands.
Up to 100Mbps download, 40Mbps upload – good for larger households and bigger families.
Up to 100Mbps download, 20Mbps upload – good for larger households and bigger families.
Up to 50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload – good for families.
Up to 25Mbps download, 10Mbps upload – good for small households.
Up to 12Mbps download, 1Mbps upload – good for light users.
The additional Premium Evening Speed tier, which was introduced in early 2020 — the NBN 100/20 speed tier — is offered by some providers as a replacement to NBN 100/40, so keep this in mind. The only difference between these is the upload speed — 40Mbps or 20Mbps. For most home internet use, upload speed isn’t as important as download speed, however, if you tend to upload large files regularly and you’re looking at NBN 100 as the safest bet, you might find the 100/40 speed is more suitable for your needs.
Both the NBN 1000 and NBN 250 speeds are not widely available, with only a small selection of providers currently offering these tiers. Another thing to consider if you’re looking at the faster speed tiers (even NBN 100) is they often require a certain internet connection type and may only be available in certain suburbs.
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 per month (depending on your telco), making the decision to upgrade may pay off down the line – resulting in an overall better performance.
At Canstar Blue, we have an expert methodology to identify the best value NBN plans available right now, based on a combination of price and features.
Here are the top 8 best value NBN plans on our database as of July 2021. These plans include unlimited data on NBN 50 speeds.
|#1||Flip||Family BYO, $54/month (for the first 6 months, then $64.90/month|
|#2||Tangerine||XL Speed Boost BYO Modem, $54.90/month (for the first 6 months, then $69.90/month)|
|#3||Superloop||Unlimited Standard Plus 50/20, $59.95/month (for the first 6 months, then $69.95/month)|
|#4||Exetel||NBN 50 Unlimited, $50/month (for the first 6 months, then $79/month)|
|#5||SpinTel||Unlimited Plus BYO, $64.95/month|
|#6||TPG||NBN 50 SL Bundle, $69.99/month|
|#7||Belong||Unlimited Standard Plus, $65/month (for the first 6 months, then $70/month)|
|#8||Kogan||Silver Unlimited BYO, $63.90/month (for the first 6 months, then $71.90/month)|
See here for our NBN value rank methodology. One offer per provider shown.
You can also use our internet plan comparison tool to see NBN plans from a wide range of providers. Here, you will see products ranked by value with a score between 0 and 10.
If you’re just looking for the lowest monthly cost, the cheapest NBN plans are usually found on the entry-level NBN 12 speed tier, also known as Home Basic or Basic Evening Speed. Depending on your provider, you may be offered either unlimited data or a capped monthly data allowance on these plans, making them a worthwhile option for low-level internet users who don’t use their connection for data-intensive activity such as streaming, downloading, or social media.
NBN plan prices begin at the $30 per month mark for limited data, with unlimited NBN 12 plans usually averaging around $45-$50 monthly (not including discounts or introductory offers). However, if you do want a faster plan or a cheaper deal, you can score new customer discounts when you sign up at the right time: many provider will offer $10 or $15 off monthly plan costs for your first six or 12 months when you switch from a competing ISP. Keep an eye out for offers when you’re comparing plans, as these specials can save you $100 or more per year in plan costs.
If you’re looking for the cheapest NBN plans on offer, below are the top 5 cheapest NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database as of July 2021. These prices exclude discounts or promos, and are all offered on the NBN 12 speed tier.
|Ranking||Provider||NBN 12 Plan|
|#1||TPG||10GB NBN 12 Bundle, $29.99/mth|
|#2||Flip||Unlimited Value 12 Plan, $49.90/mth|
|#3||SpinTel||100GB Entry BYO, $49.95/mth|
|#4||TPG||100GB NBN 12 Bundle, $49.99/mth|
|#5||Internode||100GB NBN 12 BYO, $49.99/mth|
Every year at Canstar Blue, we release our annual customer satisfaction ratings for NBN providers. Providers are ranked by speed and reliability, customer service, value for money, ease of setup, bill and cost clarity, and overall satisfaction.
Want to compare plans from the top 5 best NBN providers as rated by Australian consumers? Here’s a look at NBN plans with NBN 50 speeds.
|Ranking||Provider||NBN 50 Plan|
|#1||Aussie Broadband||Unlimited Everyday plan, $79/mth|
|#2||Westnet||NBN 50 Unlimited Plan, $74.99/mth|
|#3||Internode||NBN Gold Unlimited, $59.99/mth for 6 months ($79.99/mth ongoing)|
|#4||Belong||NBN Standard Plus, $65/mth for 12 months ($70/mth ongoing)|
|#5||TPG||NBN50 SL, $69.99/mth|
Source: Canstar Blue NBN customer satisfaction survey, July 2020. Sample size: 4,489.
Here is a look at what’s on offer from some of the most popular NBN providers. Click a link to jump to the provider of your choice, or scroll through to check out what they have to offer:
Superloop offers a simple range of month-to-month deals without any extras such as call packs or entertainment bundles. Plans are available on NBN 25, 50 and 100 (both 100/20 and 100/40) speeds, and even on the superfast NBN 250 and 1000 speed tiers.
While you can’t pick up any extras, Superloop positions itself as a straightforward provider offering the basics at some decent price points. Superloop is also a provider known for offering discounts to new customers, so keep an eye out for what is on offer.
Telstra boasts a simple mix of bundles to pick from, based on varying data allowances. The first step is to decide what speed tier you need, and then you can start to consider add-on extras such as Telstra TV (which gives you access to Netflix and Stan) and Foxtel. NBN 250 and 1000 are also available from Telstra as an add-on to premium NBN 100 plans with compatible connection types.
When you’re thinking about signing up to a Telstra 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, a $300-odd NBN Co New Development fee may also apply.
Aussie Broadband is a generally known as a consistent and reliable provider when it comes to speeds and performance, winning our 2019 and 2020 Most Satisfied Customers rating for NBN Providers. It tends to rank quite well for typical evening speed listed by the ACCC in its Measuring Broadband reports, however it is yet to top one of these reports.
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, these deals are flexible and bill-shock free. Aussie Broadband offers every high speed tier, including NBN 75, 250 and 1000.
Optus previously revamped its broadband offerings, with a more streamlined approach allowing customers to more easily navigate their options and choose a bundle that’s right for them, with unlimited data the default. Optus is working hard to battle for its image as a premier provider, while still offering competitive prices. Optus offers the following:
Dodo has a reputation for providing fairly cheap and cheerful home internet. Opting for a simplified approach to an often-confusing product, Dodo’s offers all come with unlimited data. There are three speed tiers on offer – NBN 25, 50 and 100 – and customers can enjoy the flexibility of month-to-month plans with no contract.
Plans do incur a $60 setup fee, but you will get an included modem that’s yours to keep even if you cancel. You can also add extras such as call packs and Fetch TV, and save $10 per month if you bundle your broadband with Dodo’s energy products. However, if you’re looking for a basic speed option, you may want to shop around.
TPG faces increased competition from the likes of iiNet, Dodo and Optus, but it remains very competitive. TPG offers its plans across four speed tiers, all of which come the telco’s Digital Voice Service and the option to include a modem.
All of the above are available with no lock-in contract, or as a six-month deal, with the option to include a high-speed WiFi modem ($10 P&H fee). The difference is that, if you sign up on the month-to-month plan with a modem included, you’ll need to pay a $99.95 set-up fee, however TPG will waive this fee if you BYO modem.
Internode is a direct subsidiary of its bigger brother, iiNet. It was one of the originators of ADSL2+ internet, and is now a very popular NBN provider. Internode offers unlimited Basic (NBN 12) Standard (NBN 25), Standard Plus (NBN 50) and Platinum (NBN 100) speed tiers, as well as extra-fast NBN 250 and NBN 1000 to eligible customers.
The range of data and speed options available through Internode makes it a great way to create a customised 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, with 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 only $5 extra per month, and call packs from an additional $10 monthly.
Once you’ve set your parameters over price, speed and you’ve checked your connection type, finding the right NBN plan can still be complicated. Some additional considerations to choosing the best NBN plan for you might include how much data you need, the contract type and any additional features you’re interested in, and all within your budget. Keep in mind that unlimited data is usually standard from most providers, and the speed tier you choose will have the biggest impact on the price you will pay.
Choosing a month-to-month or ‘no lock-in contract’ plan could increase the monthly cost slightly compared with a one or two-year contract, however it’s more common for providers to include upfront setup fees and possibly modem costs when going month-to-month. However, many providers now only offer month-to-month plans, but might provide some incentive, such as covering your modem cost or a monthly discount, to encourage you to stick around for a while.
Some providers also offer NBN bundles, often with entertainment extras. Entertainment bundles are often more expensive, so consider whether this is something you will use, and whether it’s really worth the extra cost for your household.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want, you should review a range of providers. Keep in mind that while there are the big internet companies which have a large portion of market share, there are around 200 providers in total. Looking at offers from a range of telcos, both the big and small names, will help you to find the best solution for your home. At Canstar Blue, our internet comparison tool is free to use and can help you to find and compare a range of plans from some of Australia’s top NBN providers.
In this, report we’ve reviewed plans from 10 major service providers, but it’s important to know that there are numerous other telcos out there, all desperate to get you connected. Here are some not covered in this review:
This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Telco Editor, Tara Donnelly. Having spent over seven years writing for and editing telco-focused websites, she’s an expert in all things phone & internet, including how to find the right deal for your family. She loves to highlight the next best products and deals, while also flagging the things you need to be aware of. Tara also acts as a spokesperson for Canstar Blue.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a fixed line and wireless internet network that is now available to the majority of Australian homes and businesses. Operated by NBN Co, the network uses fibre, fixed wireless and satellite connections to replace the existing copper wire networks used in ADSL, and offers faster download and upload speeds that are better suited to how we use the internet today.
If your home is NBN-ready, you can buy an NBN plan from an internet service provider (that’s telcos such as Telstra, Optus, or TPG). Although NBN Co owns and manages the NBN, it doesn’t sell directly to consumers; instead, you’ll need to buy a plan through an ISP, but this means you can shop around to find the best deal.
To check if you’re eligible to connect, you can enter your address at NBN Co’s website, or with your prospective ISP/NBN provider at sign-up. There are dozens of providers who sell NBN plans to residential customers, and multiple speed tiers available – so comparing NBN plans before you commit is a great way to find the best price and speed for your home.
The good news is that a standard NBN installation is free, with all costs covered by NBN Co. However, there is an exception if you’re in a new development area, and you may be required to pay a New Development Fee of up to $300; however, you’ll be informed if this applies to you before your order is finalised.
If you’ve scheduled an installation time but need to cancel, you may incur a cancellation fee depending on your telco and the amount of notice you give. You should also keep in mind that while installation is generally free, you may be required to pay activation or setup fees to your NBN provider, or pay upfront modem costs if you need to buy hardware.
If this is the first time NBN has been connected at your address, it’s likely that an NBN technician will be required to install and activate your service. Your NBN provider will advise you at sign-up if this applies to your home, and arrange a time for your installation to be completed (so you won’t need to contact NBN Co directly to make an appointment).
You’ll need an NBN-compatible modem to connect, so if you’re using an older piece of hardware you’ll most likely need to upgrade. The exact type of modem you need may depend on the technology used to supply NBN to your home, but your NBN provider can advise you what kind of modem/router is suitable for your plan at sign-up (and often supply it to you directly, either included in your plan price or as an additional purchase).
If you’re looking for a faster, more reliable broadband plan that is ‘future-proofed’ (rather than relying on old copper networks), a move to the NBN is probably your best bet. Despite the NBN’s initial teething problems, most customers are generally happy with their service and speed post-NBN rollout, and the huge range of plans on offer make it easier than ever to find an option to complement your needs and budget.
Of course, experiences will vary, which is why you may want to compare providers across independent metrics (such as Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers – NBN Providers ratings) before committing to a plan.
Depending on your location, you may be eligible for NBN alternatives, including home wireless broadband and mobile broadband, non-NBN fibre and cable networks, or even the new Starlink satellite service.
Home wireless broadband and mobile broadband both use the same cellular networks as your mobile phones, so you’ll connect to the internet via 4G, 3G or – where available – 5G.
Private fibre networks include providers such as OptiComm, or specialised plans offered by ISPs including TPG and iiNet. These plans use fibre optic cables to deliver broadband to your home, similar to the NBN, but networks are privately owned and don’t use NBN infrastructure. Unlike the NBN, these plans aren’t available Australia-wide, and tend to be offered in newly developed areas or apartment buildings.
Starlink is a newly-launched satellite broadband service that is currently offered in beta mode to select regional areas of NBN and VIC. This is more of an alternative to NB’s Sky Muster satellite than to fixed-line internet, and is designed to connect homes in rural locations.