Looking for an alternative to the big names in NBN? Do the likes of Telstra, TPG, and Optus get you down? Aussie Broadband and Superloop are two newer providers you should be considering. But which one provides the best bang for buck?
While there are differences between the two, they share a few excellent traits: high peak hour speeds, local support, and contract-free plans with no setup fees. Here's a look at how they compare.
After years of waiting, my home has finally been connected to Australia's halfbaked NBN. Our street was connected with hybrid fibre-coaxial and I'm now enjoying internet speeds our American friends took for granted in the nineties. As I had to change internet providers, it was a good time to test the latest home networking products available.
Who are they?
Both Aussie Broadband and Superloop are newer NBN suppliers. Aussie Broadband has been around for longer, and made a name for itself thanks to a combination of consistently high evening speeds and local support.
Superloop has only been selling NBN plans for a little over a year, but has been in the business of providing wholesale telecommunications services to other providers for almost half a decade. As such, Superloop owns a lot of the infrastructure that other telcos typically rent.
Both Aussie Broadband and Superloop have connectivity at all 121 NBN Points of Interconnect. This means they have full control over their network and capacity.
Both Aussie Broadband and Superloop are in the top tier of NBN providers when it comes to evening speeds, but Superloop has a slight edge.
|NBN 100||NBN 50||NBN 25|
As you can see from the above table, Superloop is a hair faster on paper. However, this may not make a huge difference in the real world. I've tested NBN 100 plans with Superloop and Aussie Broadband (on a Fibre-to-the-Building connection) and both providers were consistently providing download speeds over 90Mbps.
Both Superloop and Aussie Broadband back up their speed claims with bandwidth graphs. These show how much capacity the telcos have purchased on their network, versus how much capacity its customers are using.
Aussie Broadband / Superloop NBN 50 plans
When it comes to NBN 50 plans, Superloop is (very) slightly cheaper than equivalent plans on Aussie Broadband. Aussie Broadband's NBN 50 plans start at $75 per month whereas Superloop begins at $73.95. However, their unlimited plans are virtually identical in terms of pricing - $79 versus $78.95.
Both Superloop and Aussie Broadband NBN 50 plans are free from contracts and setup fees.
Australia is a vast brown land with some of the world's worst fixed-line internet speeds. But a recent study has shown some areas of Australia are noticeably worse than others and it's the small cities that are shining. Here are the average Mbps speeds of each state capital, ranked.
Aussie Broadband / Superloop NBN 100 plans
Superloop has two different types of NBN 100 plans. The cheaper 500GB and unlimited data plans have slower upload speeds of 20Mbps (NBN 100 / 20). Typical NBN 100 plans have upload speeds of 40Mbps (NBN 100 / 40).
Aussie Broadband also offers a choice between NBN 100 / 40 and 100 / 20 plans.
Once again, Superloop works out to be cheaper than Aussie Broadband, but only by a fraction. There's almost no difference in terms of price, as long as you’re comparing like-for-like plans.
Both Aussie Broadband and Superloop offer local support, but Aussie Broadband is open for longer hours.
If you want to call Aussie, you can do so between 8am and midnight, every single day other than Christmas and Good Friday. Superloop's support hours are 8am to 10.30pm on weekdays, 10am to 6pm on weekends, and 10am to 4pm on public holidays.
From personal experience, I've found support staff on both telcos incredibly helpful. Wait times were shorter on Aussie Broadband, but I've not made enough calls to either telco to say that this is always the case.
Not convinced by either provider? Here's a look at some of the other NBN 100 plans on the market:
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.
As Lifehacker editors we write about stuff we like and think you'll like too. Lifehacker often has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.