Finding the Best Satellite NBN Plans
- Which Providers Offer Satellite NBN?
- How Fast is Satellite NBN?
- What is The Cost of Satellite NBN?
As we’ve mentioned several times in the past, the National Broadband Network’s products are divided into three different categories. First is the fixed-line connection that uses fibre optic cables and other technologies in connecting households to the network. Second is the wireless NBN connection, and the third is the satellite NBN connection, which uses either a radio tower or satellite dish to establish a connection between the network and the subscriber.
While data is transmitted through fibre optics buried underground in fixed-line connections, data travels over the air in wireless and satellite connections. Wireless and satellite internet are also typically used in rural areas where it is more difficult to layout groundwork and wide-spanning infrastructure is more ideal.
If you are residing in an area where a satellite NBN connection is the better option, you might want to go over this list of the best satellite NBN plans available in the market.
Best Satellite NBN Plan (50B): SkyMesh
SkyMesh is the top pick among experts and subscribers when it comes to a satellite NBN plan. In particular, its NBN-SB-65-125 Sky Muster™ plan has the approval of many. The bundle costs only $54.95 per month and comes with a monthly data allocation of 190GB.
Although the network does not include a modem in the plan, it does offer free standard installation. Setup, and activation to customers. You are also free to change your plan inclusions however you wish, plus there’s a $10 discount if you bundle it with a home phone.
Runners-up: iiNet and Activ8me
If you prefer other service providers than SkyMesh, iiNet and Activ8me also offer viable satellite NBN plans that are worth considering.
Among these three options, iiNet is arguably the most well-known across the country. For customers interested in applying for satellite NBN plans, the network has the NBN Satellite 150 Standard plan. It costs $44.99 per month and includes 150GB of data.
It’s a Bring Your Own Modem type of subscription and is on a month-to-month basis. Subscribers also become eligible for the $0 installation fee and 24/7 technical support.
Activ8me, meanwhile, has the Sky Muster 150GB Sonic plan that sets you back by $39.95 per month. It’s cheaper than iiNet’s offer for the same 150GB of monthly data, but you are only entitled to 15GB during peak hours and 135GB during off-peak hours, compared to iiNet’s 30GB and 120GB, respectively. Activ8me also includes free standard installation and setup, as well as a no lock-in contract.
Best Satellite NBN Plan (200GB): iiNet
If you need data allocation beyond a monthly 190GB, there are also plans that offer at least 200GB of data to subscribers. Among these, iiNet has the best offer with its NBN Satellite 250 Standard plan. The bundle costs $64.99 a month and offers 250GB of data (60GB during peak hours and 190GB off-peak).
It’s a no-contract term and you can use your own modem for the connection. Subscribers also benefit from iiNet’s 24/7 technical support and $0 installation fee.
Runners-up: SkyMesh and Activ8me
In case your data consumption still goes past the 250GB data allowed by the iiNet plan, you can go with the SkyMesh Sky Muster™ Plus 300GB plan. It offers the same inclusions as iiNet — free installation, setup, and plan changes.
But more than that, you can also enjoy the brand’s Unmetered Content, Unshaped Network Traffic, and above standard Burst Speeds. That is if you are willing to pay $199.95 per month.
If that’s too hefty a price for you, Activ8me has the Sky Muster 250GB Sonic plan for $94.95 per month. The allocation is the same as iiNet’s at 60GB during peak hours and 190GB off-peak. You can also have the free standard installation and setup.
The company is locally owned and operated, with a customer support staff that’s also based in Australia, in case that’s one factor you consider when choosing a service provider.
Best Satellite NBN Plan (Basic Speed): Activ8me
For the best satellite NBN plan offering basic internet speeds, the league leaders are the same three companies, although this time Activ8me has the edge over SkyMesh and iiNet.
Activ8me’s Sky Muster 150GB Standard plan lets you enjoy 150GB of data on a monthly basis (15GB of peak data and 135GB off-peak data) for only $34.95 a month. The service includes free standard installation and setup, Australian customer support, and a no-contract term.
If you’re lucky to avail of Activ8me’s existing offer, there is a 3-month trial of PlayOn Cloud without extra charges.
Runners-up: SkyMesh and iiNet
Say your location has a hard time picking up reception from Activ8me, your other options include SkyMesh and iiNet.
SkyMesh has the NBN-SA-20-140 Sky Muster™ plan for $39.95 a month. It comes with 160GB of data (20GB anytime data and 140GB off-peak data), as well as free standard installation, setup, and activation.
If you choose to stick with the network for longer than a month, you can avail of the unlimited plan changes at no extra costs. And if you bundle the satellite plan with your home phone, you can also score $10 off your total monthly bill.
Of course, there is also iiNet’s NBN Satellite 150 Basic plan, which costs $34.99 per month. A no lock-in contract with the network gets you 150GB of monthly data (30GB during peak hours and 120GB off-peak), free standard installation, and 24/7 technical support.
Other Providers Offering Satellite NBN Plans
iiNet, SkyMesh, and Activ8me may be the three most popular service providers in Australia right now, but there are also a few more networks offering satellite NBN plans to consumers. These are IPSTAR, Southern Phone, and Westnet, all of which have decent plans and deals available to those who might be having trouble with the signal strengths and speeds of the three leading telcos.
IPSTAR has the NBN Satellite 40, which includes a monthly data allocation of 100GB (40GB peak data + 60GB off-peak data) for $57 per month. It’s a no lock-in contract that also includes a $0 standard installation.
This company is known for providing internet access to over 100,000 Australian households in the remote parts of the country for 12 years now. Other than the no-contract term it offers to customers, IPSTAR also boasts of its 30-day trial that allows customers to discontinue their subscription if they’re not happy with the service.
Another service provider that’s worthy of your time is Southern Phone, which is known for its Satellite Medium plan. The bundle costs $130 per month for 200GB of monthly data (100GB peak data + 100GB off-peak data). Discounts are offered when you pair the plan with your home phone, although their customer support is only available from 8 am to 8 pm.
Westnet, meanwhile, has the NBN Satellite 250GB Standard plan for $64.99 per month. It comes with 250GB of data on a no-contract term. The network is powered by TPG, which gives you an idea of the quality of service it provides and how reliable the connection can be in your location.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Satellite NBN connection
Is Satellite NBN fast?
Internet speed is always the main concern of subscribers regardless if they have a satellite, wireless, or fixed-line connection. In the case of satellite NBN connections, customers have two options: Sky Muster and Sky Muster Plus plans.
Both types use the same speeds, which may be affected by congestion, especially during peak hours. But on average, off-peak hours between 1 am and 7 am can yield download speeds of 24 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 5 Mbit/s. Of course, there are other factors that may affect your internet speed such as exhaustion of your allowable data.
Can I sign up for a Sky Muster Satellite NBN plan?
If you reside in the regional parts of Australia and are among the 3% (400,000 households) that NBN previously identified to be eligible for a satellite connection, then you will be given an option to sign up for the Sky Muster plan once the NBN rollout is completed in your area.
How long does it take to install and activate my Satellite NBN plan?
This largely depends on your location and the service provider you chose to sign up with. For its part, NBN tries to get a customer connected to the network within 20 days upon application. But if you are located in an isolated area, this could take up to 35 business days. It gets longer for customers whose houses or office spaces are only accessible by sea or water. If this is the case for you, expect your connection to be set up and activated in 90 business days.
Do I need a special type of equipment for the Satellite NBN connection?
Yes. As with other types of NBN connections, you will need NBN-provided equipment to complete your setup. For a satellite NBN plan, a satellite dish will have to be placed on your roof or the side of your house, depending on which area picks up the reception better.
Aside from the satellite dish, your chosen telco will likely provide you with an NBN-ready modem with your plan. Be sure to let your service provider know if you need a new modem so they can give you a more accurate quotation for your monthly bill.