Some people like the finer things in life: Lambos and lobster, Gucci and foie gras. This article is not for those people.
This is a call for all of the bargain hunters who know that you don’t need to pay a premium to have a fast, reliable internet connection. It’s also for those of you who aren’t afraid to take a punt on the newer service providers who tend to offer the best prices.
The tables are separated by the different speed tiers, and I’ve put the faster speeds first. Personally, I think most people should consider an NBN 50 plan; it’s currently the happy medium between price and performance. And I’ve left NBN 12 plans at the end because anyone who actually wants to use the internet should give these a miss.
Cheapest NBN 100 plans
The secret to finding a bargain is to see if you can live without unlimited data. The plans with under 100GB would be a challenge for most households, but I’d argue that a lot of us could get by with a 200GB plan. You could at least test the theory and increase the data in your plan later if you need to.
Based on what we know about the average peak hour speeds of the providers listed, Aussie Broadband is reporting the fastest speeds, followed by Internode and Exetel.
Cheapest NBN 50 plans
Thanks to NBNco’s discounted NBN 50 wholesale pricing, Standard Plus plans are the most discounted, and the pricing is generally the most aggressive.
It’s hard to tell the group in this apart. All of the plans are pretty similar, no-frills options. Most of these are no-contract plans, so you can take a look and switch later if you don’t like the service. The guys at Mate Communicate are worth a look, according to their score on Product Review.
Cheapest NBN 25 plans
Poor NBN 25 plans: the redheaded stepchildren of the NBN family. The flow-on effect from NBNco making NBN 50 plans cheaper is that NBN 25 plans now look far less attractive. That said, the Standard speed tier is fast enough for everyday web use, so if you find a bargain it is worth a closer look.
Cheapest NBN 12 plans
As I said above, you should skip NBN 12 plans and scroll back up to the faster tiers, unless you have basic internet needs. We ran a survey a few months ago and NBN 12 users were the most dissatisfied NBN customers by a wide margin. Do yourself a favour and take another look at those NBN 50 plans.
When it comes to the NBN, we know that plans and providers are not all equal. Despite standard speed tiers, the performance in our homes varies quite a bit, especially during the evening peak times.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.