Wouldn't it be great if you could try an NBN plan before you buy it? It turns out you can. 30-day free trials are everywhere these days, but they haven't quite made their way to the world of telco. This is a bit of a shame when it comes to the NBN; while all providers are technically reselling access to the same network, they're far from equal.
A lot of variables go into delivering an NBN service with consistently high speeds, so taking up a new plan can feel like a bit of a gamble. No one wants to be stuck with an underperforming internet connection.
While you can't quite get a "try before you buy" or 30-day free trial on your NBN connection, Telstra and Vodafone both offer 30-day satisfaction guarantees. If you're not happy with your connection, you can leave within the first 30 days - no matter what contract you’ve signed.
Better yet, if you do decide to leave, both Telstra and Vodafone will both refund your first monthly bill, hardware costs, and standard setup fees (excluding the NBN new development fee, if applicable). Telstra will even let you keep your modem, but Vodafone will need any hardware back within 10 days of cancelling your service.
In both cases, it's worth noting that the 30-day satisfaction guarantee only applies to new customers. Belong Internet customers are also exempt from Telstra's offer.
Here's Telstra's range of NBN plans:
Telstra is still very much a premium internet provider, but there are a few deals worth pointing out. The $99 per month “Broadband + Streaming Bundle” includes a Telstra TV and 24-months of access to the basic Foxtel Now starter pack, valued at $25 per month. In addition, all new Telstra internet plans currently include a bonus Google Home Mini.
It's also worth noting that Telstra doesn't sell any NBN 100 plans, so you'll need to pay an extra $30 per month if you want to upgrade to the fastest NBN tier.
And here's Vodafone's range of NBN plans:
Vodafone’s NBN offering is a little more no frills, but existing postpaid mobile customers are currently eligible for a discount. If you sign up to either the Essential+ or Premium plan before November 20 and add it to the same account as your Vodafone mobile plan, you’ll get $10 off your monthly bill.
And if you're not interested in going with Telstra or Vodafone, you could consider a contract-free NBN provider with no setup costs. While these providers don't offer the same kind of 30-day satisfaction guarantee, you can leave at any time without paying any cancellation fees. All you'll have really lost is one month of service fees.
Most ISPs can include a modem with your plan, but some force you to buy it. For the sake of simplicity, we've only included providers where your modem purchase is optional, so that there's truly zero upfront costs. These plans are ordered by price, with the cheapest up top.
Contract-free NBN 50 plans with no setup fees and unlimited data
Contract-free NBN 100 plans with no setup fees and unlimited data
Alex Choros is Associate Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website. He's now had far too many phone plan related dreams.