When I get home after work, I love to throw on some Netflix or an online game to unwind. The problem is, so does everyone else.
Well, it’s only a problem if your NBN provider doesn’t have enough capacity to handle all the binge-watching going on in your neighbourhood. If everyone is trying to stream at once and there’s not enough bandwidth to go around, you end up with a digital traffic jam. Even if you’re paying for the fastest speeds around.
This is because an 'NBN 100' plan on one provider, say Telstra, won't be identical to an NBN 100 plan on another provider, like Optus - even though they might seem like identical products. The way NBN providers buy capacity from NBN Co means there can be quite a bit of variance in peak hour speeds from one provider to another. But thanks to the ACCC, NBN providers are now revealing what kind of speeds you can realistically expect to get with them, not just the NBN speed tier the plan is based on.
To help you find an NBN plan that consistently delivers the speeds you’re paying for, we've done the leg-work and put together a list of the fastest NBN 100 and NBN 50 plans, based on the evening speeds providers have disclosed.
The providers with some of fastest advertised "typical evening speeds" for their NBN 100 plans are as follows:
- Telstra: Typical evening speed of 91.55Mbps
- Aussie Broadband: Typical evening speed of 90Mbps
- Vodafone: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- Exetel: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- MyRepublic: Typical evening speed of 83Mbps
- Optus: Typical evening speed of 81.6Mbps
- Belong: Typical evening speed of 80Mbps
And here's what you’ll pay for an unlimited data NBN 100 plan from one of these providers:
Telstra doesn't sell any NBN 100 plans, so we’ve included a separate table with its NBN 50 plans instead. To get NBN 100 speeds on Telstra, you’ll need to sign-up for one of these plans and pay an extra $30 per month for a speed boost.
If you are keen to go with Telstra, it’s waiving the usual $240 setup fee on month-to-month plans until February 25.
The NBN providers with some of the fastest advertised "typical evening speeds" for their NBN 50 plans are as follows:
- Dodo: Typical evening speed of 47Mbps
- Telstra: Typical evening speed of 46.23Mbp
- Optus: Typical evening speed of 45.4Mbps
- Aussie Broadband: Typical evening speed of 45Mbps
- Vodafone: Typical evening speed of 45Mbps
- Flip TV: Typical evening speed of 43.27Mbps
- MyRepublic: Typical evening speed of 43Mbps
- Exetel: Typical evening speed of 43Mbps
And here's what you’ll pay for an unlimited data NBN 50 plan from one of these providers:
When it comes to plans with high evening speeds, pricing is now quite similar. You’re typically looking at around $90 to $100 per month for an unlimited NBN 100 plan, or $70 to $80 per month for an unlimited NBN 50 plan.
Telstra is the main exception to this, but you’ll always pay a little more on Telstra.
On the other end of the pricing spectrum, MyRepublic is worth calling out, thanks to a promo that saves you $10 per month for your first 12 months on an NBN 100 plan. If you take advantage of the promo, you’ll pay $79.95 per month for your first year with the telco ($89.95 per month thereafter).
Otherwise, the major differences between high speed NBN plans now tend to revolve around setup fees and contract length. If you want no-commitment NBN, Aussie Broadband and Vodafone are both excellent choices.
If you’re okay with signing a year-long contract, Exetel’s NBN 50 plan can save you a decent chunk of change. Billed at $59.99 per month, it’s $10 cheaper than most of the other high evening speed NBN plans.
And if you’re just after the fastest speeds possible, Telstra and Aussie Broadband are the zippiest NBN providers based on typical NBN 100 speeds during peak hours. By a decent margin, at that.
As always, it's important to note that "typical evening speeds" disclosed by NBN providers are just an indication of the speeds you can reasonably expect during peak hours. There are many other factors that can affect what speeds you're able to get. These include the technology you're using to connect to the NBN, the hardware in your home, and abnormally high usage in your area.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website. He's now had far too many phone plan related dreams.