Planhacker: Complete Australian Naked DSL Guide

Planhacker: Complete Australian Naked DSL Guide

Planhacker: Complete Australian Naked DSL Guide Naked DSL saves you paying for line rental on a home phone you probably never use. Find the best deal with our comprehensive roundup of naked DSL options.

Note: This is an archival version of this guide: for the most up-to-date version, click here

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The idea of naked DSL is pretty simple: if the main reason because you have a phone line connected is to get broadband, then paying a monthly landline rental fee is a waste of money. A naked plan gets you out of that conundrum, offering a broadband connection (invariably ADSL2+) without any phone service at all. (Most providers also offer a VOIP service if you do want to make cheap landline calls, but we haven’t included those below, presuming that you’re just as likely to use your mobile in this instance.)

No matter who you choose for a naked service, one inevitable inconvenience is that you’ll have a period of inactivity — anywhere from five days to a month — where there’s no service at all while your old line is decommissioned and the new one set up. Yes, even though the same physical cables are involved, bureaucracy can take that long. Try scheduling a switch for when you’re away from home, or consider prepaid broadband.

We’ve offered a detailed guide on issues you should consider if you want to get a naked DSL plan before. Presuming you’re not planning on using the landline at all, your major consideration will be how much data the plan provides and when you can use it.

Many of the plans listed below divide downloads into peak and off-peak usage (the off-peak period varies, but typically runs through the hours when most Australians are asleep, a strategy designed to increase effective network usage. If your main use for downloads is to access torrents, then you can easily schedule downloads to only occur during those hours. Even if a plan says ‘unlimited’ for downloads, there’ll be a fair use provision intended to stop truly excessive usage. A handful of plans count uploads as well as downloads when calculating your usage; we’ve noted this where relevant.

For each provider, we’ve listed how much their monthly plans cost, what peak and off-peak data is available, how much they charge for setup (which tends to vary according to contract length), and what they do once you’ve exceeded your quota. Most providers will ‘shape’ your connection, making it slower but leaving it running, but some immediately charge excess fees. Shaping definitely saves you money, but can be frustrating when your connection slows at the end of the month. (Some providers will let you purchase extra full-speed data blocks if this happens.)

In keeping with our focus on bargain-minded users, we haven’t included prices for equipment; every provider will sell you a modem/router assuming you don’t already have one. All services listed are ADSL2+. We’ve covered every provider we’re aware of, but not all providers will service everywhere in Australia. As ever, we’d advise against actually choosing Dodo given its appalling reputation for customer service.

Click on the table graphic below for a full-sized version:

Planhacker: Complete Australian Naked DSL Guide

If you want to drill into the details of individual plans, check the links below:

Know of a naked DSL plan we’ve missed? Got your own trick for getting good naked DSL value? Tell us in the comments.

Lifehacker’s weekly Planhacker column rounds up the best communication deals.


  • Isn’t the connection speed a fairly important factor as well? I know it varies depending on where you are, your line, etc. but most plans have a maximum speed which most will reach.

  • Just remember, a cheap price means nothing if your service doesn’t work half the time; if you spend half your life on the phone with the ISP’s help desk; or if the service doesn’t perform to spec.

    I switched from TPG to Internode a year ago and Internode leaves TPG for dead in every way: customer service, service reliability, speed, consistency–you name it. I wouldn’t go back if they PAID me. INTERNODE ROCKS.

  • GAH!! MAJOR NAKED DSL PITFALL!!! If you want to change your service provider.. first you must connect a new telstra line (temporary connection) $225… then you gotta pay connection fee for your new ISP.. i went to churn from iiNet Naked to TPG Naked.. was gonna cost me like 400-500… when it advertised TPG Free Churn!!

    not to mention the wait time for first the telstra line to be connected.. then the wait time for the telstra line to be disconnected for the naked dsl line to be reconnected.. was gonna be like 2-3 weeks without internet…

    it’s a curse.. it’s a curse curse curse… i wish i never touched naked DSL!!! with regular ADSL2+ you can switch ISP at a whim… pretty much for free… but don’t you even think of trying to change ISP with naked DSL… For some ridiculously stupid reason you cannot connect to a new NDSL connection with an existing NDSL line.. you have to go through the utter stupidity of connecting a regular phone line and disconnecting it again!! I want my 250GB TPG plan darnit!!!

  • That was really useful… makes me all the more pleased that I’m getting good value (+ reliability) from Internode. On top of the naked plan price I also get $10 of NodePhone VoIP calls for $0.

  • Before you even bother to start comparing plans, you should first check if any of your nearby neighbours have naked adsl2, or do some research on the net. If you see or hear the words “pair gain” or “rim” don’t even bother.

    • As a customer of Iinet and been on the end of some disgustingly bad service, I’d have to stringently disagree that their service is good.

      I notice whenever I call up for any reason they only survey me afterwards if the call has been positive in tone for them – must skew their results a little 😉

  • Okay, based on my personal experience and those of my friends and colleagues we have noticed a few things.
    Optus always provides a great value for money service with great customer service.
    Iinet is just as good.
    Telstra is overpriced and their customer service is awful, but their speeds are fastest.
    TPG is the best value for money option in a long term situation.

    I have used TPG since they offered naked dsl 3 years ago and I still haven’t had to use their call center yet, Touch wood!

  • that table is incorrect.

    iinet give a free setup on a 24 month contract if you rent the modem at 9.95/month. Normal setup is $150 it is only $195 for the home 1, both of those are no contract prices.

    gaspah you only have to connect a telsta line beforehand with TPG, iinet can connect an order on an inactive line. TPG is only good value if you know what you are doing and you don’t ever have to call their help desk.

  • I’ve been looking at getting Naked DSL at home because I don’t have an active phone line.

    Living in share houses means you move fairly regularly so you don’t want a 24 month contract that you have to pay a fee everytime you move.

    Likewise you don’t want to pay a $150 setup fee + $50-$250 to get the line activated. Plus ~$100 to get the equipment.

    This basically means until I can simply buy the equipment and connect, I cannot afford broadband.

  • I am with SuperNerd. Really daggy name but I am super impressed with the Service, and bang for buck.
    I pay $84.95 for 150Gb (split on and off-peak plus free usage to a bunch of australian hosted sites ie iView, Yahoo7, etc), shaped to 256kb!
    I get an average speed of 5Mb, and up to 11-12Mb on a good day.
    All depends on the number of users using in the area.
    Have been with them for about 8 months, and cant fault them.
    Highly Recommended!

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