A decade after it was first announced and the NBN rollout has been declared complete, so the vast majority of Australians now have access to the National Broadband Network in some form.
Here, we’ll drill down on the best NBN plans currently on offer, whether you’re looking for the most affordable option, the highest speeds or the best overall value. Click the links below to jump ahead to the speed you’re after:
Current NBN deals
We’ve detailed our plan recommendations below, but before we get into that, we want to highlight some great deals that are currently available on NBN plans:
Best NBN plans
Best NBN 50 plan
The best option for most users
Best NBN 100 plan
Our top choice for multi-user households and those who want a bit more speed
The NBN 100 category is quite a contested space at the moment, and a few plans caught our attention. Ultimately though, we’re going with Tangerine. This deal will set you up with a speedy NBN 100 plan for AU$74.90 each month with unlimited data. As with many NBN plans, the reduced rate will go up after the first six months, so you’ll pay AU$89.90 after the first half-year. It comes with a very decent typical evening speed of 83Mbps.
Total minimum cost is AU$74.90View Deal
Before rushing to sign up to a high-speed NBN 250 or NBN 1000 plan, there are a couple of caveats you should be aware of. These tiers are only available on two types of NBN connection – fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC).
With NBN 1000 plans, while all FTTP connections can sign up for 1000Mbps, that speed will only work with a select subset of HFC installations – estimated to be roughly 7% of the total.
Best NBN 250 plan
If you need ludicrous download speeds, this one’s a goer
This NBN 250 plan from Tangerine is our overall choice because it’s relatively affordable and promises to deliver a typical evening speed of 205Mbps – a significant jump over NBN 100 plans. With the initial discount, you’ll be paying AU$109.90p/m for your first six months before it reverts to the usual AU$119.90 cost. The plan is only available on FTTP and some HFC connections, so check your address on the website before signing up.
Total minimum cost is AU$109.90View Deal
Best NBN 1000 plan
The fastest you can get, but only available in select locations
Aussie Broadband was the first in the market to offer NBN 1000 to residential addresses, but that didn’t stop the telco from offering an incredibly competitive plan. For download speeds of up to 1Gbps and upload speeds approaching 50Mbps, you’ll pay just AU$149 a month. Aussie has rightly cautioned potential customers that it’s yet to determine definitive numbers on peak evening speeds, though it’s put forward 215Mbps as its baseline, so you’ll at the very least get that.
Total minimum cost is AU$149View Deal
Best NBN plans: major telcos
If you’re looking for an NBN plan from one of Australia’s three major providers, these are our plan recommendations:
Best Telstra NBN plan
With Telstra’s NBN 50 plan, you can expect unlimited data with typical evening speeds of 50Mbps, which should be enough for the average household looking to stream in HD, and enjoy smooth and responsive gaming. New Telstra customers will have their connection fee waived if they sign-up online, and if you stick with the service for 24 months, you won’t have to pay for the Telstra Smart Modem either (usually AU$216).
Total minimum cost over 24 months is AU$2,160
Best Optus NBN plan
If you’re looking to go with a trusted telco, but are hoping for a competitive price, then this NBN 50 plan from Optus offers value for money. For AU$75 a month, you’ll get unlimited data and typical speeds of 45Mbps during the busy evening period. Optus Sport is also included as standard, and the telco’s modem comes with 4G backup. Optus is waiving the AU$99 start-up fee, and if you stick with Optus over 36 months, you won’t have to pay for the modem (usually AU$252).
Total minimum cost is AU$327View Deal
Best TPG NBN plan
TPG is a favourite for delivering solid, reliable speeds at a bargain price. The ISP typically ranks well in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) quarterly report, delivering typical evening speeds of 48Mbps. If you sign up for six months, TPG will waive the usual AU$99 setup fee. However, note that a AU$10 modem delivery fee applies. While this plan is much cheaper than what’s on offer from the big telcos, be mindful that you could face a contract payout fee of up to AU$350 if you decide to leave early.
Total minimum cost over 6 months is AU$429.94View Deal
More NBN deals
- Want to see other broadband options? You can use our broadband plan finder to compare a huge range of Australian NBN, broadband and cable plans!
NBN connection types: what you need to know
Australia’s NBN was first proposed as a high-speed network of fibre-optic cable that would reach every home in the country. Following a change in government, that’s not what we’ve ended up with, with the final rollout combining a mix of old and new technologies.
While the NBN is made up of a multi-technology mix, it’s important to know that you don’t have a choice in what technology is available to you. Different connection types have been built in different areas, so it’s entirely dependent on where you live. Below, we lay out the connection types across the network, and what they mean.
FTTP is a fibre-optic line that runs directly to your home, and therefore is the best type of connection you can have. It requires a device to be installed in your home, and is what was originally intended for every household in Australia when the NBN was first announced.
An FTTB connection is most commonly used for connecting apartment blocks and similar buildings to the NBN. In this instance, a fibre-optic line runs to the building’s communications room, and existing technology such as copper wiring is used to connect each apartment from there.
Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC)
An HFC connection uses existing pay TV (Foxtel) or cable network as the final connection to households. The HFC line will run from your home to the nearest available fibre node.
FTTC is when the fibre-optic cable extends a little closer to your home by connecting to a distribution unit located outside on the street. From there, it uses the copper phone line to run the last leg into your home.
The majority of Australian households – around 4.7 million – are using FTTN technology. This connection type uses existing copper phone wire to make the final connection to the home from a central node in your neighbourhood. The distance of your home to the node will affect the average speeds you can reach, so if your home is more than 700m from the node, it’s not advisable to choose an NBN 100 plan.
Fixed Wireless connections are used to reach regional and remote areas. Homes in these areas will access the NBN from a transmission tower through an antenna installed on their roof.
Sky Muster satellite
The NBN’s Sky Muster satellite technology is also used to reach regional and remote communities. It requires a satellite dish to be installed on the premises, to which the NBN is received through satellite.
Other factors to consider
It’s important to note these recommendations do not take into consideration other factors which could make certain deals a better option for you. For instance, do you already have a Telstra or Optus mobile plan and home phone line? If so, sometimes combining them with their respective NBN plans could save you some money.
When applying for a new NBN deal, make sure you’re not already signed up to a contract you can’t get out of – most contracts are on 12 or 18 month terms, so it’s important to contact your current provider before committing to anything else.
Another thing worth noting is some services may not be available in your area. If a particular deal seems good to you, head over to the provider’s website to find out if it’s available at your address.