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What is an ISP?

ISPs – short for Internet Service Providers – are your go-to retailer for signing up to NBN and broadband plans. These companies are a port of call for home internet queries, problems and solutions, although there is a lot of confusion about what an ISP actually does. In this article, we’ll be going through all the ISP information that you should know about.

What is an ISP?

An ISP is an Internet Service Provider, and is responsible for servicing your home or portable device with an internet connection, be it NBN, ADSL or wireless broadband. Usually, you would pay your Internet Service Provider on a monthly basis for access to the internet, either in your home or in a portable capacity. Typically an Internet Service Provider would be your go-to if you have any issues with your internet, such as slow speeds or dropouts.

Here are some of Australia’s most popular Internet Service Providers, although there are more to choose from. Use our free internet comparison tool to find the right provider for you.

What does an ISP do?

ISPs provide your home or portable device with an internet connection, although can also offer bundles including call packs, entertainment packages and more, depending on what extras are available. Being able to access websites on the internet, including your emails and social media, is the responsibility of the ISP, along with the service providers of those online tools themselves, such as Google (for Gmail users) and Facebook.

Keep in mind that NBN Co is not an ISP, and is rather the operator of the larger Australian network. The NBN sells access to ISPs like Telstra, Optus and Aussie Broadband, and is solely responsible for the infrastructure of the network. Any problems that aren’t to do with network infrastructure typically fall on your ISP.

NBN Providers & Plans

Looking for a new NBN provider or plan to make the most of your ISP? Check out some of the providers and plans available in the table below. The table contains affiliate links.

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.

What is the best ISP in Australia?

The best ISP in Australia isn’t something you can pin down to a single provider, so make sure you shop around for the provider that’s right for you.

There’s a few things you should keep your eye on in particular: costs, speeds and inclusions. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll find the right plan in no time.

Costs: The price you pay is key to most plans out there. Make sure you’re not spending too much on a plan, but at the same time, make sure the cost you pay is reasonable, considering the speeds and inclusions on offer.

Speeds: If you’re just after an internet connection for casual use, most internet providers will offer you a low speed capable of basic use. If you’re wanting to do more high-speed things, like 4K-streaming and online gaming, look around for a high speed internet plan.

Inclusions: Some NBN providers offer bundled-in inclusions, like Fetch TV boxes, phone lines and static IP addresses. These will cost more than just a bare-bones broadband plan, although some customers might be interested in the extras. Conversely, some customers will be happy to keep things simple, and would rather have lower costs than perks like streaming.

Flexibility: Although most providers offer widely flexible plans that you can usually leave at any time, contract terms are something that you should keep your eye out for when searching for an ISP. Often, ISPs will offer you a modem-router on a contract, giving it to you for free if you stay signed up for 12 to 24 months. While this isn’t necessarily a contract on the NBN plan itself, it is very much a contract – and if you break the contract, you could be up for extra costs.

The above four points should be on your radar when looking for an NBN provider, but a good resource to keep in mind is Canstar Blue’s Customer Satisfaction Ratings for NBN providers. Every year, Canstar Blue asks hundreds of Aussie consumers about their internet providers and how they would rate their experience on a number of different criteria. You can use this to gauge if an included internet provider is right for your home – just keep in mind not all providers have results tallied on the Satisfaction Rating page of our website.

What ISP should I sign up with?

Sign up with an ISP that has all the perks that you expect from an internet provider. Finding the right one could mean good savings, high speeds or included bundles, but it all comes back to what you want from your internet plan. You’ll find a range of NBN providers below that are worth considering.

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

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.

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 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.

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 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.

Unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) Plans

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.

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