Who Is Australia’s Best ISP?

Who Is Australia’s Best ISP?

For work and for play, an Internet connection is just about as essential these days as electricity or water, and that means that choosing the right Internet service provider (ISP) is vital. And that’s why one of the categories in our 2010 Best Of The Year Awards is for ISPs.

Picture by Eko

A great ISP has to perform well in several categories: good-value plans that don’t cost a fortune for a measly amount of data; useful extras such as unmetered content (iView FTW!) and gaming servers; and responsive customer service if things do go wrong. Which provider ticks all those boxes for you?

Share your ideas for possible nominees in the comments below (or head to our original awards post).


    • I signed up with iinet with the same thoughts in mind except paying the extra certainly didn’t get me anything in terms of a reliable service. I’m changing now.

  • iiNet for sure. Have been with them since they took over my account from Froggy back in the day of dial-up. Have only left them once for telstra cable but as soon as they got adsl2 up and running came crawling back and have learned my lesson not to leave them again.

    They protect their client’s right to privacy much so as to actually fight for it in court when others ISP’s put it in the too hard basket.
    And they constantly upgrade the plans data, and let you know.

  • I vote for TPG.
    I’m using a 130 gb naked adsl2+ (70 on 60 off) for 60 bucks a month.

    Haven’t had any problems at all for a while now, good speed, no dropouts, good data.

    overall a win I would say.

    Would prefer complete unlimited speeds that aren’t shaped between times though.!

    • Sultan, if you sign up a home phone with TPG you’ll get unlimited downloads for (all up) $60 a month. If you don’t make any phonecalls on the line it’s effectively the same as naked but you get the beauty of unlimited downloads.

      I’m moving soon so can’t sign up a new contract but definitely plan to do this soon!

  • I would say iinet would be up there. Good value for money, decent quota and freezone content, excellent customer service, and always a leader when it comes to bringing on new technology or passing on saving to customer.

  • iinet would have to be the winner!

    I have been a customer for over 10 years now and i think i have had 3 to 4 problems in that entire time!

    And even when i have had issues the support has been sooooo good that i have reached a resolution quickly and painlessly…

    I am one of those customers that is happy to pay a premium for great service quality

  • Amnet is the winner in WA. No uploads, great customer service, great plans, off peak all weekend.

    In fact recently they up’d my quota by 50% without me asking, just because they had redone their plans.

    Beat that Hel$tra and Optus.

    • We had a terrible experience with Amcom/Amnet. It took them forever to set up our service properly, they didn’t bill us for the whole time we were with them (they were supposed to bill us monthly) and when we finally cancelled out of frustration, they had the gall to ask us for the service cost in one lump sum, despite being in breach of contract.

      Fortunately we’re now with iinet; can’t fault them at all.

      • Based on the 2 weeks it took me to fix a line fault, which in the end I managed to get done by iinet in less than 24 hours, I’d disagree with you: Telstra still blows. And un-metered ABV iView? Yes please.

  • @Lifehacker: Can a differentiation please be made in between fixed and naked plans in the final analysis?

    I’m on a naked plan with Exetel and whilst some have had problems with customer service, on the rare occasions (maybe twice a year) where I’ve had to contact them, it’s been adequate (with faults generally fixed either immediately or within 24hrs) – especially when you consider that I’m only paying $43/month for 10gb peak/unlimited offpeak.

  • I’m agreeing with what most everyone else has said. Price-wise, I think TPG is one of the best, but they lack in customer service. iiNet when I was with them always provided great customer service, but they cost a little more than TPG.

  • TPG

    tpg is best value for money, 59.99 for unlimited great value for money, custom service i never talk to i use whirlpool
    they also update their plans like clockwork

    iinet is great alrounder as is internode which is expensive thou

  • Two years ago I would have said Internode without a doubt but they seem to sliding from amazing back down towards the rest with the most noteworthy thing being the move to charge uploads.

    I am with TPG now as they could offer ADSL2+ at my regional location but every month now without fail I get shaped. I know my usage hasn’t changed since I was with ‘node. That said the shaping is not too drastic so they are definitely up there for consideration

  • Internode. obviously. what other ISP is being innovative & continuously building on their international network. Its not so much about uptime (altho Internode has an awesome record on that too) its more the company is going to be around forever, whilst its pushing on Telstra to allow DSL2+ to ppl once trapped on ADSL. Wifi deployment (SA basically atm but still development).. argh, too much positive to write, fingers are giving up…

  • I’ve been with internode a couple of years now and the couple of times I have had an issue (Ok, I changed my login password & forgot to update the modem. 😛 ) I’ve gotten on to somone in Adelaide & not fobbed off to an overseas call center. Also they don’t count uploads on their extreme plans & have unmetered steam & iview which is quite excellent.

      • Definitely not TPG. We had no problems with them originally – Customer service was good, if you were patient and the connection was fine BUT NOW after a year the connection is shocking, it drops out all the time and I have to reset the modem constantly. Cheep but no good really.

  • Internode all the way for me. Expensive, yes, but they have provided me with almost everything I’ve needed in a broadband service when no other ISP could come through for a lower price – stability, great customer service (when needed) and awesome features (and as soon as I move to one of the new SOHO Reach plans, I’ll have everything I’ve ever wanted – a static IP and unlimited uploads). The only thing I can complain about is speed, but since Telstra refuses to lend out high-speed equipment for my exchange to anybody, I know it’s not their fault.

  • My votes on Internode. Fantastic customer service and I have to say probably the best offered of unmetered content. iview which is now the only telvision i watch if you can even call it watching tv anymore. as far as i know the countries only unmetered steam server, definately ftw! and some great game servers. their pricing is generally a tad higher but are still excellent and i’m extremely happy with all the recent updates to their plans.

    • Thanks everyone for the suggestions and comments, and keep them coming. Just noting again that the actual voting won’t be for a coupe of weeks — we’re pulling in nominations here.

  • I’m going to have to go for Bigpond. Been with them 8 years and I have never had a problem as a result of their service. Their plans now are a good mix of speed and bandwidth and if you have home/mobile phone you get a discount. Plus they have GameArena and Steam mirrors and tons of other unmetered stuff. However the bigpond website is the worst thing in the universe.

  • Internode FTW… Expensive then others but they have outstanding customer service, unlimited content and uploads and no on/off peak allowences. I been with internode 2 years now and not a single glitch.

  • Internode.
    Have been using them since ADSL started being available in Sydney.
    Great support when I need it other wise it just works and every now and then the plan price goes down, speed & GB quota go up.

    Have happily recommended and set them up for my family and friends and have not been let down.

  • I use to belong to the cult of the ‘node but I’ve been blown away by Exetel since switching to them earlier this year. Insanely cheap ($78 for adsl2+ 200gb/120gb via telstra) and both times i spoke to their helpdesk they were incredibly quick at solving my problems, which were both caused by me not them 🙂

    It’s going to take something special to get me to move away.

  • Internode. Based on stability (only 1 glitch in the past 5 years), customer service (I believe it is the best in the ISP industry, comparing to Telstra, TPG and Optus, I can’t speak for others), and content offered. Unlimited premium usenet = awesome =]

  • Just got iinet naked ADSL2+VOIP, $60 per month connection a couple of months ago. We have been happy so far. Looking at the comments, it looks like we made a good decision. The whirlpool website came in handy, though.

  • Internode.

    Awesome customer service and:

    About 70% of web sites I surf are international and with Internode I got consistently better speeds to those sites than any other ISP I have used.

    It looks like Node always made sure they have paid for sufficient international pipe capacity.

  • For me, Internode without a doubt. Not the cheapest, but in this case, you definitely get what you pay for. Awesome ISP with a big focus on their customers (an advantage of not being publicly listed) and constantly innovating (IPv6 being a very good example).

    As a runner up I’d say iiNet. A very good ISP, just without quite as much customer focus and innovation as Internode (but still quite good).

  • Mynetfone. good service, easy to deal with, good prices and plans. Only down point is their 2 lower plans suck compared to the higher ones. Cheap accessible ISP for a poor uni student like me!

    iinet as with all the above never had an issue with them but sadly can no longer afford their prices.

  • I’ve had excellent experience with Internode, who have no problem whatsoever with my unorthodox home network and experimentation. In fact they’ve offered advice in an attempt to assist me with an OpenBSD issue, albeit the advice was related to Windows but it was enough for me to “aha” it.

    They’re a bit more expensive, but Internode does have good infrastructure and international backhaul.

  • I have been with Exetel for some years on a NO Contract arrangement, 1500/256 $49 /mth 6GB Pk/15GB offPk service at Horsley, then they forced me to change plan by putting an extra $10/mth fee to stay on existing plan – OR move to their new 6 month contract term on a T8-PAYU 8192/384 service costing $42 with No Data allowance – and charged at $1/GB. As I only use about 2 to 5 GB/mth, this ended up being less than or sometimes equal to my original cost. I also had to pay my Telstra Home phone line separate at $20/mth for phone and Exetel ADSL1 service run over it. Contract is due to expire soon and I note TPG have just released a new ADSL2+ with Home Phone Rental Included Plan for $49.99 with 15GBPk/15GB OffPk Data & home line Rental Included with 6 month contract min & NO minimum Monthly call spend.

    This TPG plan sure appears to be the cheapest out there at present & I am soon to change over to it, as I dont have a problem with 6mth contract, but wont go any longer term, as here is a good example of how ISP charges can change so rapidly, often to a better deal and being stuck on longer contracts is obviously not easy to just drop out of unless you are willing to pay their early cancellation fees.

  • Further info regarding the TPG comment above – see http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1491532 for details of their newly offered ADSL2+ plans or the TPG site at http://www.tpg.com.au/products_services/adsl2plus_pricing.php?/pricing/homephone

    This info I just noted later was posted by Karen C at TPG on 20 Jul 2010, so that appears to be over 10 months ago. Will have to check things out more I see …..YEP its still current …at 16 June 2011. Best you take a peek n see this on the TPG site. G

  • I have been with TPG for 1 year and have had nothing but problems dropouts and massivly slow speeds after 5pm at night rendering the service unusable. They blame the telsta exchange. What gets me is how they can continue to sell a product and take your money in areas where they know their product does not work.
    I am swapping as we speak and will be logging a complaint to the ombudsman !!

  • I too have been with TPG. At first we thought the deal was pretty good but it is true that you get what you pay. The Internet is getting slower and slower even though we don’t download things. We also experience lots of drop outs. But I’m definatly going to change in a few months time. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  • Been with Internode for nearly 14 years now, and have had ONE DROP OUT – that’s right, ONE – in all that time. When I rang the customer service centre – located in Adelaide CBD, not south-east Asia/India – and speaking to someone who didn’t put on the dodgy American-Engrish accent, was told to check my inbox for the notice that got sent out the week prior warning of the dropout as they swapped over to their own infrastructure in my area, it all made sense.
    Sure, they’re a bit pricey compared to most of the “service providers” out there, but hell, I’ll gladly put up with handing over another 10-ish bucks a month for the lack of hassle I get for that.
    Failpond and Floptus? Pfft, jokes. And bad ones at that.
    ‘Nuff Said.

  • The Bird from DODO is very intelligent, The bird makes me horny, The bird dances like a sexy beast!, its makes the internet go 100miles, its feathers remind me of the rainbow song, The best thing is when Calebs at my how he takes up all the internet, Hes so fat i have register a new internet company everytime he comes over :(. Telsta Telstra fucking telstra i hate paul gallen hes like caleb but takes up all me net dont use dodo its bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dodo is at its best when your 100ks away ! RAPE

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