Planhacker: Unlimited ADSL2+ Broadband

If you're a heavy internet user, getting shaped at the end of the month can be a major nuisance, and no-one wants to pay a fortune for excess data. The solution is an unlimited broadband plan, but what choices do you have? Planhacker rounds up all the unlimited ADSL2+ deals.

Picture by John Moore/Getty Images

We've made the point before that unlimited download plans are relatively rare in the Australian market, and that seems unlikely to change in the future. So far, we haven't seen a single consumer NBN provider offer an unlimited download deal. Our Planhacker NBN listing shows that the highest total on offer is 1000GB. That gives you more than 30GB a day, which would satisfy a lot of people. That said, if you want unlimited, ADSL2+ is the only game in town right now.

In previous Planhacker roundups where we have looked at unlimited broadband, we have included slower ADSL1 plans as well. However, the consensus opinion of most readers is that these are pointless: the speeds are too slow to be useful, and often no faster than the shaping options available on ADSL2+ plans with a download limit. So for this listing, only ADSL2+ services have been included. (These often cost more in regional areas.)

Unlimited services invariably have an 'acceptable usage policy' designed to ensure people don't go utterly crazy with their connection. Some also have more specific restrictions, such as blocking torrent traffic (which will be what many people want the plans for). We've noted specific details for each provider under the table.

In the table below, we've listed all the ADSL2+ unlimited plans for home users we could find. For each, we've included their monthly cost, the standard setup fee (which could be lower if you are moving from an ISP that supports rapid transfer) and the total minimum cost over the lifetime of a contract. (For a 0-month contract, this generally equates to the setup fee plus one month’s access, though many providers charge an additional fee if you quit before 6 or 12 months.) We haven't included equipment charges, since many people will source their own routers. Where plans require you to sign up for a home phone line from the same provider, we've included that cost in the minimum monthly cost, and we've detailed naked plans where available, but we haven't included discounts offered if you bundle with other services.

You can sort and filter data in the table below by clicking on the column headers (so you can only look at short-contract plans or sort in order of total price, for instance).

Here are the specific details and quirks for each provider.

AuNix

The big disadvantage of the AuNix offer is that the unlimited access is "web only" -- a sneaky way of saying P2P/torrent services aren't supported. While there's no contract, you'll pay an additional $99 if you cancel in the first six months.

Australis

Australis (formerly Locall) blocks torrent traffic, which will put it out of contention for many people.

ClubTelco

ClubTelco pricing varies depending on whether you have access to its own exchange equipment (Local), are on a wholesale Telstra line in a city (Metro) or a wholesale Telstra line in country areas (Regional). There's no contract and no block on torrents. The site boasts "no setup fee", but there's a $50 annual membership fee which effectively serves the same role.

Dodo

Dodo's plan is extremely cheap, you can choose a no-contract option, and it offers one of the few naked DSL options (where you don't pay line rental). Some cautions are advised: torrent connections are shaped (though not blocked), and Dodo's service reputation remains variable. Regional customers pay substantially more and can't get naked services.

iPrimus

iPrimus non-naked option is $30 more than its naked option; given that, it's hard to imagine paying for the regular service. Its setup fees are also some of the highest listed here. On the upside, there's no blocking of P2P.

iSage

An identical product to AuNix, so see the comments for that provider above.

TPG

TPG's standalone unlimited option is $59.99; for an additional $10, you can get the naked DSL or phone line included option. Given that line rental will almost always cost you more than $10, the $59.99 plan doesn't make much sense. You can only access the service if TPG has equipment in your local exchange.

Realistically, it's a choice between Dodo, TPG and iPrimus, and comments suggest TPG is the most popular option amongst our readers.

Know of any other plans we've missed? Is an unlimited plan the only way for you to go? Tell us in the comments.

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


Comments

    Unlimited is a useless word where I am located. Have ADSL 2+ but speeds are 3Mbps or less, most of the time less. So can only use about 100GB if I am lucky. No wonder they are happy to provided Unlimited so cheap. Changed to Telstra Cable last week, with speeds of 80-100Mbps (worst case 30-60, but not often) and I can use my 500GB easily. Unlimited on cable would be useful but on ADSL 2+ not so (for me anyways).

      Hi Stacie,
      At 3mbps speeds, you can use 777Gb per month on my calculations, and that's being generous in that i've assumed the maximum download rate in kilobytes is 300 (in reality you should get more). So 300 * 3600 = 1,080,000kbytes / 1000 = 1,080Mb x 24 = 25,920 (or almost 26Gb a day) x 30 = 777,600 Mb.
      Or to put it another way, your percieved maximum of 100Gb can be used in 92 hours or just under 4 days (100,000,000 kilobytes / 300 kilobytes/sec = 333,333.3333 seconds / 60 = 5,555.55 minutes / 60 = 92.59259258 hours / 24 = 3.85 days (rounding it to 2 decimals)

      You're lucky, Stacie! (kidding)

      We're unlucky enough to live just 1km outside of the 'range' of the nearest exchange/tower.

      Our only 'option' was to sign up for a 24 month contract and pay the fluctuating, princely sum of anywhere between $62 and $69 a month for a miserable 5 gig of wireless broadband (Telstra).

      Coverage is dodgy, at best.

      As for service - the only way we can get their attention is to lodge complaints with the TIO, after which, Telstra drags their feet until the last minute, then contacts us to ask us the same questions all over again, hums and haws, then fades back into the distance, with nothing resolved - and so the 'dance' continues.

      Try watching a 5 minute youtube video in our area - it takes 3 hours. If that doesn't stretch the limits of your patience, nothing will.

      TPG were dishonest from the start, promising the moon and not delivering so much as a pebble - the TIO had to step in to send them packing. Even after that, they still - unbelievably - tried to debit my bank account for a non-existent service I hadn't had in 3 months!

      My point is, I want to know why suburban counterparts can enjoy 500 gig to unlimited broadband for anywhere from $40 a month down to $24 a month, while ISP's deem that we 'country bumkins' are all simpletons and therefore only 'need' a miserable 5 gig a month, at almost twice the price, with far less reliability.

      Is this not the 21st century?

      I'm fed up with being ripped off. Who the hell said Ned Kelly's dead? He's bloody well not! He's alive and well in the ISP industry!

    I have always been happy with Exetel. I'm on an old unlimited plan with them that I won't change, but their current $55 (fair use) unlimited plan includes line rental as well.

    Just be careful with TPG - if there are ANY problems during installation, or a fault on the line, you will have unbelievable problems trying to get them to resolve the issue. I went 3 months being charged and having no connection.

      Same here, it wasn't there issue as we were in an old building and the copper had degraded.

      They did eventually resolve the issue by throttling the speed on their end. But I still went for 3 months without net. They did compensate me to a certain degree.

      On the other hand my other 3 connections have been flawless, and their service has always been good (even though sometimes the phone helpline people have very strong accents that are difficult to understand, but I work with them).

      Ugh, I am going through this right now and I am seriously ready to strangle someone. Maybe I will try iprimus instead.

      This is correct. 1 month of no connection, but still got charged. Made a day or two (in hours) worth of phone calls/waiting to try getting a problem fixed.

    Only issue with all these offers is, is there enough room on the mux for your connection to be able to get these packages!

    been with ClubTelco for over a year and have done over 1TB on several months and never had a issue

    I'm on Dodo and torrent all the time. I haven't noticed any shaping on the unlimited plan I've had for the past few months. I jumped a 200GB plan to unlimited and noticed a tripling in speeds on my torrents in particular.

    I was with Dodo years ago, and wouldn't go back for any amount of money. Been with TPG for a while, never had a problem with either customer service or connection speed.

    On iPrimus for a couple of years, more than happy.

    Im with ClubTelco and would definatly recommend them. I was a little skeptical at first. Id never heard of the company, and whirlpool has mixed reviews but as a regional customer, it kind of boils down to CT or Dodo. Cheap plans, full line speed, transparent and honest staff (so far) and no contract. Couldnt be happier.

    TPG.. its ok. Hell.. its not bad.

    IWith my router chewing through 300GB+ per month of data, I am finding the need to upgrade, because they all break in about 6 months. I think perhaps I need to invest in a commercial grade one!!

    Even if I get the NBN I might keep TPG's unlimited as a backup if they dont offer it.

    I have TPG and like the service very much, speed is ok, bad only when I have to call them - haven't for couple years... so if you have stable connection, no problem there.

    I have a Soul Line ($30/mo) plus Unlimited ADSL+, wanted to get rid of the Soul Line, however TPG cannot predict the days to make the move, which would cause definitely a big head ache ;)

    Joined with club telco after internode a few months ago, never looked back was sceptical too, seemed too good of a deal but its been great

    Probably worth noting that that offer from TPG isn't available outside areas where Optus do not have their own cable in the ground.. For example where I am I can only get over priced "regional" ADSL2+ from them, if I lived just up the road in Palm Beach (QLD) I would be able to get that deal since Optus run their own phone lines in that area.

    Im with dodo. Setup was a painful experience but now I'm connected have a download speed of 2.6mbps @ 23mbit line speed. Most months I will get to 1.5TB but due to not knowing what else to get can't seem to break the 2TB mark

    I am on Dodo and am quite happy, I haven't noticed any shaping on torrents at all. Their customer service has improved a lot in the last few years as well.

    I'm with Eftel, which is ClubTelco's parent company. 50$ for unlimited, that includes phone rental as well. I live in their local zone and am happy with their service. Would recommend them definitely.

    Would be nice if your spreadsheet showed which dslams each provider is connected to. As it stands most of these providers can't service my area, but its hard to figure out which do and which don't

      I think that's more detail than we could realistically provide (and conversely, having picked a potentially appealing plan, it's easy in most cases to check if the provider will offer it via the site links).

    I agree with Dave - should be able to plug in phone number & address and see who services your area with the various connection types. So far I have checked 6 providers, who either do not service my area, or who have forced me to make a formal enquiry & am still awaiting their response.

    I'm with dodo. Having noticed torrent shaping. They didn't give me the option of naked internet and I asked explicitly for it. They made me get a land line and rent the line from telstra :( But at least I am now on a internet plan that I don't have to worry about a quota. Internet should not be like that. Apart from the occasional drop in service (which is only once every 10 hours or so and lasts for a minute or two) I am extremely happy with my service. I think its better then my unlimited plan when I was living in america.

    Hi there, I've tried to be with Dodo. I live in Coogee NSW so not exactly remote... they've now taken over 2 months to provide me with ADSL2+. They blame Telstra for not fixing the line but I called Telstra and they told me it's been connected for the past 10 days. Dodo are so useless with troubleshooting my issue I have to go with a new internet provider and get Telstra to provide the land line directly. They're now telling me that they're going to charge me for 2 months of internet useage and keep my $119 deposit! Don't go with Dodo, they're a bunch of idiots

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