Which is the best broadband plan for me?

Looking for the best value broadband plan with enough data and fast speeds? Compare Broadband is a one-stop shop where you can work out what you need and who offers it at the cheapest price.

Step One: Work out your data needs

We have a data calculation tool on our site that can help you work out how much data you will need a month. We also have an article listing how much data is needed for popular applications on the web, such as streaming TV programs and downloading music.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) advertise their plans in terms of Gigabytes (GB) per month. When looking at plans, make sure you are getting enough data in the peak times, as many plans are split into on-peak times and off-peak times.

Step Two: Decide on your home phone needs

Many people find it cheaper to bundle their home phone service with a broadband plan. Alternatively, you may be able to ditch the landline altogether and switch to Naked DSL, or go mobile with a Mobile Broadband connection.

An important tip when searching for plans is Naked broadband still requires a landline. If your landline has never been activated, it might be cheaper to go for a home phone and broadband bundle, even if you never pick up the phone to make a call.

If you decide to look at Mobile Broadband plans, which means the internet signal is sent over the mobile phone network rather than through the copper phone lines, bear in mind that your connection will be slower and typically include less data than ADSL. However, you will be able to take your internet connection wherever you can find a signal.

Step Three: Call some providers

If you have decided on a broadband plan, the next step is to find out if it is actually available in your area before undertaking any more research. Generally, those living in metro areas will be spoiled for choice, while those in regional areas may have more limited options.

When you call a provider, remember that some of the things they will tell you will apply to other providers and some won't. For example, if one provider says there is no ADSL2+ available in your area, that doesn't necessarily mean it is not available from someone else.

On the other hand, if a provider looks up your address and tells you there is an infrastructure problem on your line, this is going to cause problems wherever you go. Keep asking questions until you have determined the nature of the problem, as you may be able to get an ADSL1 connection instead. In this case, you can come back to Compare Broadband and search for the best ADSL1 plan.

Some of the most popular providers on our website are:

Optus: 1300 137 897
TPG: 1300 106 571
iiNet: 1300 106 571
Dodo: 1300 136 793
iPrimus: 1300 137 794

Don't forget to ask for special offers, as sometimes ISPs will throw in a free or discounted modem for new customers.

Step Four: Technology

If it is a new connection, or you are signing up for a home phone plan, a technician may need to visit your home to ensure your home phone line is connected up to the street. However, you will not receive a visit from anyone to set up your modem or router for you.

If you already have a modem and want to use it with your new provider, you will need to ensure it is the right type. It doesn't matter what brand you have, as long as you are using an ADSL2+ compatible modem on an ADSL2+ connection, or a cable modem on a cable connection. You will have to reconfigure your modem to your new ISP's settings but this is a simple job and manageable for even the biggest technophobes.

On the other hand, if you decide to buy a new modem from your provider, your ISP will ensure that the modem arrives at your door pre-programmed, so all you will need to do is plug it in. Some ISPs will also offer discounts on their modems, especially if you are prepared to sign up to a longer contract.

Before you commit to a modem, you need to decide if you want a wired or wireless model. Wired modems are cheaper but you must use a wire to connect your devices, limiting where you can use your computer. Wireless modems are more expensive, but you can connect all your devices wirelessly throughout the house and even in the back yard.

Step Five: Still confused?

There are a lot of broadband terms being thrown around, and if you are getting overwhelmed trying to find the right plan, give us a call here at Compare Broadband on 1300 106 571. We're independent so we can give you unbiased advice on any of the plans and providers featured on our website.