Australia's Best NBN Plans, Ranked By Speed [Updated]

Fastest NBN plans in AustraliaImage: iStock

When it comes to the NBN, we know that plans and providers are not all equal. Despite standard speed tiers, in-home performance can vary a lot, especially during the evening peak times.

Every ISP is technically reselling access to the same network, but the way in which providers like Telstra and TPG buy capacity from NBN Co means there can be variance in the speeds you’ll get from one provider to another. This is most noticeable during busy periods, like at night when everyone is trying to binge Netflix at the same time.

If your entire neighbourhood wants to binge the new season of Queer Eye and there’s not enough bandwidth to go around, you end up with a digital traffic jam. Even if you’re paying for what may seem like the fastest NBN plan around.

Thanks to the ACCC, NBN providers are revealing what kind of speeds you can realistically expect to get during busy hours - not just the NBN speed tier your plan is based on. The good news is that some are doing a great job of delivering the speeds that their customers are paying for, and we'd like to call them out.

TPG's fastest NBN plans

TPG has managed to take the lead when it comes to peak hour NBN performance, claiming evening speeds of 88.1Mbps on NBN 100 plans. As it stands, that's the fastest speed any provider is disclosing right now. In addition, the ACCC has named TPG the fastest NBN provider in its Measuring Broadband report for four quarters in a row.

TPG also reports evening speeds of 42.6Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 11Mbps on NBN 12 plans.

Aussie Broadband's fastest NBN plans

If you're not familiar with Aussie Broadband, now is the time to check it out. Aussie Broadband is one of the few NBN providers that really seems to pride itself on doing a great job. This includes not offering NBN 12 plans, which we all know are the curse of Australian internet.

Aussie Broadband says its customers rarely encounter congestion - even during peak times - and to prove it, published bandwidth graphs that show how much capacity it has purchased on the network versus how much capacity its customers are using. Aussie Broadband is the only major telco to provide this much transparency around its NBN performance to date.

Aussie Broadband reports evening speeds of 86Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 43Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 22Mbps on NBN 25 plans.

Vodafone's fastest NBN plans

Vodafone is new to the NBN game, but already seems to be doing a great job at delivering on speed. The standout is its NBN 50 plan, for which the company reports typical evening speeds of 45Mbps. That's pretty much the fastest evening speed for an NBN 50 plan.

In addition, Vodafone says NBN 100 customers will get evening speeds of 83Mbps, and NBN 25 customers will get evening speeds of 23Mbps.

If you're an existing Vodafone mobile customer, you can save between 5% and 20% on a Vodafone NBN plan by bundling it with your existing service.

Tangerine Telecom's fastest NBN plans

Tangerine Telecom is a young NBN provider that's been making waves lately thanks to strong promotional offers and a 14-day risk free trial on its plans. Better yet, the company reports pretty decent evening speeds: 83Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 42Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 21Mbps on NBN 25 plans.

MyRepublic's fastest NBN plans

MyRepublic only sells NBN 100 plans right now, and they're not bad at all. The telco says customers experience typical evening speeds of 83Mbps.

Exetel's fastest NBN plans

Like Vodafone, Tangerine, and MyRepublic, Exetel reports its NBN 100 plans have a typical evening speed of 83Mbps. NBN 50 evening speeds are also pretty similar, coming in at 43Mbps.

Telstra's fastest NBN plans

Telstra reports fairly standard typical evening speeds - 80Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 40Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 20Mbps on NBN 25 plans - but that's not all there is to the Big T NBN story. In addition to typical speeds, Telstra also provides average evening speeds, based on the performance of 90% of its NBN customers.

While Telstra hasn't provided new measurements for a while, in April it said its NBN 100 customers were getting average evening speeds of 91.57Mbps, NBN 50 customers were getting 46.3Mbps, and NBN 25 customers were getting 23.44Mbps. These average speeds put Telstra ahead of the competition, which you'd hope to be the case given the company's premium pricing.

Telstra's average speed reports exclude Fixed Wireless NBN customers, and all fixed line customers with a limited maximum line speed thanks to shitty copper.

Optus' fastest NBN plans

Much like Telstra, Optus' evening speeds seem pretty no frills at first: 80Mbps on NBN 100 plans, and 40Mbps on NBN 50 plans. But just like Big T, Optus also provides average peak evening speed information too.

Optus' latest numbers come from June, claiming that NBN 100 customers were getting average evening speeds of 87.8Mbps and NBN 50 customers were getting 46.2Mbps. These speeds are calculated over a two-week period based on the experiences of a "representative" group of customers.

As with Telstra, these average speeds put Optus pretty close to the front of the pack, at least when compared to the typical speeds reported by the rest of the industry.

iiNet's fastest NBN plans

TPG stablemate iiNet's evening speeds aren't quite as fast on top NBN speed tiers, but they're still more than respectable across the board. iiNet reports evening speeds of 77.4Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 42.6Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 10.3Mbps on NBN 12 plans.

Internode's fastest NBN plans

Trusty old Internode. For the longest time, the name Internode has been synonymous with quality internet, and its average NBN evening speeds confirm that it is still an internet provider worthy of a closer look.

Internode reports the industry's second best NBN 50 evening speeds, coming in at 44.4Mbps. However, its NBN 100 evening speeds aren't quite up to scratch, coming in at 75.1Mbps.

Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.

Note: This article has been completely rewritten to reflect the most recent NBN plans.

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    What about 1 Gb plans for where they're available? I know they're out there, but its not easy to find them.

    And yes, I know its not something most will be able to get, but some of us did with NBN Lotto, and have it as an option.

      I didn't think there were any RSPs selling them. NBN said there was no demand. As I understand, the plans are available from NBN to the RSPs but none have decided to sell them.

        They exist, its just hard to find any info. MyRepublic were offering them here in Wollongong around the middle of last year. Problem isn't with NBN providing it, FttP has been able to deliver those speeds (and more) for years, its with ISP's buying the bandwidth and offering it as a product.

        Which has a few problems that make it more understandable, mainly around the cost of buying that bandwidth. Its not cheap, but MyRepublics plan was around $130/month from memory.

        As for there not being any demand, that's kind of like saying theres no demand for 100 Mbps because less people are connecting to that speed. Which ignores that most people getting NBN now, and connecting to it, have 50 Mbps as their highest speed, so CANT connect at 100 Mbps...

        Its a self serving argument justifying why FttN was rolled out, no more. And completely ignores that we'll need those speeds in the near future - what happens then?

          True dat. I'd go with gigabit if I hadn't moved from a FttP address to a FttN one. And don't even get me started on how many tickets/complaints/TIO escalations it took to get that to the giddy heights of 70Mbps.
          NBN's disadvantaged this country for generations to come with it's short-sighted approach. Makes me angry.

            I'd narrow it down to FttN disadvantaging this country, not NBN. Get rid of FttN, the rest works in one way or another.

            All the other options are either straight up replaceable, or upgradable. HFC will need to go eventually, but DOCSIS 3.1 can push it back a few years. FttC makes the upgrade cost relatively low, to the point the homeowner can absorb it. FttN cant be upgraded, so needs to basically be ripped up and replaced by FttP. Its the only option.

            And that's not going to happen for a generation at least.

            So looking at all the techs involved with NBN, the issue narrows down to just FttN. Thankfully, while they wont admit it out loud, they seem to realise this, and are pushing FttC where they can. Shame the damage has been done.

              Current NBN FttP is GPON (shared TDM technology) so effectively crippled

        How do they determine whether there's demand if it's not even an option? I, for one, would strongly consider a gigabit connection if it was available.

        Node1 has gigabit plans if you live close enough to the Perth CBD.

    Is it just me or are other readers never seeing the interactive tables despite waiting hours for them to load? Have tried with Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi, Edge on a PC with Windows 7, Windows 10 and on a Surface, Mac Book Air and an iPad but nothing, zip, nada, zilch!!

    No mention of iPrimus? I'm on their unlimited 100 plan for $109 and it regularly gets into the high 90's for speed.

    I'm with TPG50, always getting 45 Mbs, so a happy customer.

    working for a small ISP currently, you need to make sure when going for an NBN plan, their contention ratio. There is no point getting a 100mbps plan when they will only provide a very small pipe for your data. These low ratios are normally found on unlimited/cheap plans.

    Also stay away from residential and move to business as they normally provide better customer service and speeds.

    The old saying goes, you pay for what you get.

      Could you explain what or how you can find “their connection ratio” please.

        Contention ratio - not connection ratio. IE how contended is the link (many people / houses sharing the same link

    I’m with AussieBB, and pretty much get the speed I am paying for.
    Their data plans are a bit miserly.

    These sort of articles are misleading, the speed is mostly reliant on your distance to exchanges and nodes, we have FTTN on Telstra and get 95% of the max speed possible because we are only 300m from the node. I know that our carrier would make no difference to that speed.

    Aussie Broadband deliver what they promise - consistent speeds at all times, and really good support. Switched from TPG when I got the NBN, and am very happy with them.

      Aussie Broadband deliver what they promise - consistent speeds at all timesTo be fair, that's a sample size of one. They'll be a fair number of their customers hampered by issues (some outside to ABB's control) that will be having a torrid time. For example, shitty internal wiring will be shitty internal wiring no matter who the RSP is.

        Make that two.

        I switched from Internode, who gave me adsl1 speeds, even though I was paying for adsl2.
        I saw no reason to trust them with my NBN connection.

        When researching, I found nothing bad about Aussie Broadband, which is why I choose them.

        The only negative thing I have to say is that their data is miserly.

        Last edited 01/07/18 2:05 pm

          agree - also with ABB, I pay for 50 get 40-46Mbps. pretty happy with that

    Been with Telstra Business since our exchange got NBN about six months ago. And at the risk of sounding like some corporate shill, I can't fault them. We get 80-84MBs during the evening and 35Mbs up. Fall-back 4G stick is incredibly useful and they've always been great with phone support.

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