Cheap and quality don’t always go together. In most cases you’re right to assume that you need to pay more to get a better product or service. In the case of the NBN, this could mean picking between price and performance. But in the words of the adorable Old El Paso girl, “por que no los dos?”
Sure, in some cases the fastest NBN plans will cost you a little more, but there are still plenty of providers who’ll offer zippy speeds without breaking the bank. So, we’re going to look at these.
Cheap and fast NBN 100 plans
Superloop not only has the fastest NBN 100 plan of any major provider, but also one of the more affordable thanks to a discount. You’ll pay $79.95 per month for your first six months, and $89.95 per month thereafter.
Superloop’s reported typical evening speeds of 90Mbps, $89.95 per month is still reasonable given there are countless providers with slower speeds who charge more. Of course, if that’s a bit too much, Superloop’s plans are contract-free so you can leave when the discount runs out.
Tangerine is another solid pick, and its also offering a promotional discount. You’ll pay $74.90 per month for your first six months, and then $89.90 per month thereafter. Tangerine reports respectable typical evening speeds of 83Mbps and has a 14-day risk-free trial available. This plan is entirely contract-free and has no early exit fees either.
If you’d prefer to avoid promotional discounts, Mate has an NBN 100 plan for a flat $79 per month with typical evening speeds of 83Mbps. You can save another $10 per month by bundling with one of MATE’s SIM-only plans, powered by the Telstra network. These start at $20 per month with 5GB, but $25 per month with 15GB is a much more sensible option.
Vodafone also reports decent evening speeds, measuring in at 84Mbps during peak hours. While the plan is a bit pricey – $85 per month for your first six months, and $95 per month thereafter – you can save by bundling with additional Vodafone services.
If you’re a Vodafone mobile customer, you’re eligible for discounts on your NBN if you also go with Vodafone. Vodafone will knock 5 per cent off your total monthly bill for every service you have on your account after the first, up to a maximum discount of 20 per cent if you have five services.
With two mobile services on your Vodafone NBN account, the price of your NBN service effectively drops to $85.50 per month after your discount runs out.
Cheap and fast NBN 50 plans
If you’d prefer to save a little more cash and go for an NBN 50 plan, stablemates iiNet and TPG report some of the best evening speeds at pretty reasonable prices.
TPG is the cheaper of the pair, charging $69.99 per month for an NBN 50 plan with typical evening speeds of 46Mbps. You’ll either have to commit to an 18-month term or pay $129.95 in upfront fees, however.
iiNet offers ever so slightly faster evening speeds – 46.7Mbps – but charges $74.99 per month – $5 more. This plan is contract-free, however. If you’re not willing to sign a contract with TPG, iiNet’s plan works out to be better value. You’d have to last 26 months with iiNet before the higher plan fee adds more to your total spend than TPG’s upfront fees.
If you’d prefer to spend less, Tangerine has one of the cheapest no-contract cheapest no-contract NBN 50 plans around right now and reports typical evening speeds of 42Mbps. You’ll pay $59.90 per month for your first six months, and then $69.90 per month thereafter. It is worth being aware that when your discount runs out, you’re paying just as much as you would on TPG. Of course, you can leave at any time since the plan is contract-free.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.