Australian households are gobbling up data like never before, leading to internet service providers responding to our demands with standard unlimited data offerings on almost all broadband plans. But not all unlimited internet plans are as good as they sound.
In this report, Canstar Blue looks at some of the best value unlimited broadband plans on offer, depending on which type of fixed line connection you have – be it ADSL2+, Naked DSL, cable or NBN. But before we go into detail, it’s important to say that unlimited data might not be for everyone.
A great many households could comfortably get by with just 500GB of data or less each month. But it’s all about understanding your data usage, and finding an appropriate internet plan that best matches your needs. If you’re not going to need an endless supply of data, then why pay for it?
However, if you regularly find yourself hitting your data limit month after month, then it might be time to consider going unlimited. In addition to ensuring you always have data, unlimited broadband plans also get rid of the pesky speed throttling that you may have experienced when going over your limit. So, where can you find the best value unlimited data plans in Australia?
Cheapest Unlimited NBN Internet Plans
The National Broadband Network is available in an increasing number of areas. You’ll find unlimited data plans at all NBN speed tiers, so the cheapest deals will most likely come at the entry level; you’ll have to consider if it’s better ‘value’ to pay a little more and get faster max speeds.
At these low prices, you’ll also have to consider hefty set-up fees and whether you’d like to add on a VoIP calling pack (which usually isn’t included). Calling packs are usually priced at $10 or so per month. However, with NBN you rarely have to contend with line rental, so you can opt for straight broadband if you don’t require a home phone.
Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) with unlimited data
NBN 100 – also known as Premium Evening Speed – is the mac daddy of NBN plans, with advertised speeds of up to 100Mbps. This is most ideal for heavy broadband users who desire the most from their ISP, as well as bigger households with multiple heavier users. Premium plans have become surprisingly competitive, thanks to the introduction of challenger ISPs such as MyRepublic, although most pricing falls between $80 and $100 per month.
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) 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.
Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) with unlimited data
With download speeds up to 50Mbps, and uploads up to 20Mbps, streaming and online gaming are a breeze on NBN 50 plans. Some of the cheapest plans available are from providers such as Exetel, and Tangerine, with Vodafone and Telstra also offering NBN 50 speeds.
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.
Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) with unlimited data
As maximum speeds fall, so too do the prices (generally speaking). Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) is the first ‘Superfast’ speed tier as designated by NBN Co, unlimited plans are available for under $70. With NBN 25, you can expect maximum speeds of around 25Mbps, which is usually more than adequate for HD Netflix and other streaming services (but could still get slowed down in peak periods).
With the wholesale NBN price changes in December 2017, many providers have moved away from this speed tier. With that said, if you’re looking to save a buck or two, it may be worthwhile opting for a plan that isn’t exactly the cheapest, but one that has cheaper set-up fees and no lock-in contracts.
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.
Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) with unlimited data
Some of the cheapest NBN 12 plans cost less than $60 a month, but the maximum speed you can achieve is 12Mbps, which isn’t likely to be fast enough for most families. Particularly in regards to peak times, Basic Evening Speed plans suit light users, and aren’t ideal for multiple streams. Nevertheless, some of the cheapest providers in this space are TeleChoice and, again, TPG.
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) 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 ADSL2+ Plans
Exetel’s unlimited ADSL2+ is one of the cheapest unlimited data plans available, with a price of $54.99 (plus a $20 upfront fee on 12-month contract). This includes line rental; a month-to-month version is also available, but attracts a $79 upfront fee.
Dodo also offers a competitively priced ADSL plan, with unlimited data and line rental for $60 per month on a 24-month contract. This includes a compatible modem and no additional setup costs.
- After Dodo, keep an eye out for providers like AusBBS, Belong and Barefoot Telecom. While the cheapest providers generally offer something offer under $50 a month, keep in mind that they often come with hefty set-up fees.
- However, in Barefoot’s example, you’re paying a little more per month but there are no set-up fees, and no fees to change your plan, but you will need to source your own home phone line.
You also need to consider the fact that many don’t include line rental or home phone calls, which purchasing separately could cost an extra $20-$30 a month or thereabouts. In this case it may be worth finding a provider that charges more per month at face-value but includes a home phone line.
It’s perhaps no surprise that the cheapest providers without line rental are among the cheapest providers that include line rental. However, you can see below that these plans commonly cost $30 more, which is the cost burden of having an active home phone line.
- For this extra price you also often don’t get any calls included – for this you can look at paying an extra $10. In this area, Dodo and AusBBS are once again some of the cheapest, but also keep an eye out for SpinTel and TPG.
- Optus even comes to the game with a cheap $65 plan that is worth a look into.
Once again, keep an eye out for set-up costs, modem fees and other costs that can balloon out the cost of your first month.
Unlimited Naked DSL plans
Feel stripped-bare and free your inhibitions with a naked broadband plan. If you don’t need or want an active phone landline, then naked DSL plans are a good option as line rental fees do not apply. So no pesky phone bundle and often a month to month contract – what could be more flexible than that?!
- Often naked internet appeals to renters or students who like the flexibility without being tied down to a plan for two years. However, overall costs can still be higher on a monthly basis.
- The cheapest naked DSL plans come in at just under $70 a month with
Overall it’s a pretty tight race, with providers reluctant to offer anything much cheaper than $70 a month. With these prices you can expect popular providers like TPG, iiNet and Internode to crop up.
While these ADSL plans all seem similar, you have to consider if you want to BYO modem, or have one provided. Service providers like to jack up upfront costs if you don’t supply your own. If you want ultimate flexibility, then choosing a plan with a lower upfront cost may prove beneficial.
Unlimited Cable Internet Plans
Cable broadband can reach the pinnacle of speed available currently in Australia. With maximum download speeds of up to 100Mbps, these plans are only available from Optus and Telstra. They are the two foremost providers in Australia after all, which have provided all the groundwork for other providers. Only the former offers unlimited plans starting from $60 per month. For a bit extra, you can get an entertainment package that includes Yes TV by Fetch, which is a great home entertainment and streaming service.
Telstra’s cable internet plans do come with unlimited data, the cheapest of which costs $99 but comes with the bonus of Telstra TV, through which you can watch Netflix and Stan. You can also add Foxtel for an additional cost, with some plans including it at no extra cost. Ultimately, there’s little competition in this category, and it’s relatively tit-for-tat between Optus and Telstra. While Telstra plans have less data, Telstra TV and Foxtel are an attractive bonus for those of us who like streaming – and we suspect many do.
The Final Word on Unlimited Data Broadband Plans
Regardless of which type of broadband you’re looking for, once you’ve narrowed down a few plans that tickle your fancy, it’s worth diving into the small print to make sure that you know exactly what you’re going to be getting for your money.
- As we’ve seen, costs can increase significantly if you don’t have the required hardware for your new plan, or simply because some providers charge higher set-up fees.
- Any monthly savings could be largely negated if you have to pay $100 or more just to get the data rolling in the first place.
Overall, there’s a lot to consider before deciding on an unlimited data internet plan, and cheapest doesn’t always equal ‘best’. It pays to do your research and compare every possible option. This isn’t just dollars and cents – the right provider could leave you much happier when it comes to all things internet.
Featured Unlimited Data Broadband Plans
|Telco||NBN Plan||NBN Speed||Monthly Cost||Contract Term|
|Flip||Value 12||NBN 12||$49.90||No contract|
|TeleChoice||Basic||NBN 12||$54.95||No contract|
|TPG||NBN12 SL||NBN 12||$59.99||18 months|
|Southern Phone||Unlimited Basic||NBN 12||$60||No contract|
|Tangerine||Speed Boost||NBN 25||$54.90||No contract|
|Vodafone||Unlimited NBN||NBN 25||$59||No contract|
|TeleChoice||Standard||NBN 25||$59.95||No contract|
|Tangerine||XL Speed Boost||NBN 50||$59.90||No contract|
|Belong||NBN Standard Plus||NBN 50||$65||No contract|
|MyRepublic||Unlimited Essential Plan||NBN 50||$69||No contract|
|Vodafone||Essentials + NBN||NBN 50||$69||No contract|
|Flip||Family 50||NBN 50||$69.90||No contract|
|Aussie Broadband||Unlimited Everyday||NBN 50||$79||No contract|
|Telstra||Unlimited||NBN 50||$90||No contract|
|Tangerine||XXL Speed Boost||NBN 100||$79.90||No contract|
|Vodafone||Premium NBN||NBN 100||$89||No contract|
|TeleChoice||Max||NBN 100||$89.95||No contract|
|TPG||NBN100 SL||NBN 100||$89.99||18 months|
|MyRepublic||Unlimited Premium Promo Flexi Plan||NBN 100||$94.95||No contract|
|Belong||NBN Premium||NBN 100||$95||No contract|
|Aussie Broadband||Unlimited Power User||NBN 100||$99||No contract|
|Start Broadband||As Fast As It Gets||NBN 100||$99||24 months|
|Telstra||Unlimited + speed boost||NBN 100||$119||24 months|