- The NBN continues its rollout all across Australia.
- The NBN service is typically faster and more reliable if you have the right plan.
- We all use the internet differently, so the best plan for others may not be the best plan for you.
The NBN is an upgrade to Australia’s existing phone and Internet infrastructure. The NBN Co prides itself on being faster, more reliable, accessible to 93% of Australian households, affordable, easier to say than ADSL2+ and will take us all further into the 21st Century. However, trying to decide on what the right NBN plan for you is can be a little daunting, especially if you're not particularly familar with how it all breaks down. Thankfully, it's not too confusing if you have a little help.
There are four speed tiers on the NBN network. Some providers offer all of the speed tiers to customers, and some only have a few. The speeds are expressed in terms of how fast your downloads will be during the peak period in the evening (7pm-11pm). Here are the speeds you can get and what they're usually called:
Basic evening speed: No minimum
Standard evening speed: Minimum 15 Mbp
Standard plus evening speed: Minimum 30 Mbps
Premium evening speed: Minimum 60 Mbps
You will sometimes see the speeds depicted with numbers with a forward slash through them, such as "Standard Speed: 25/5Mbps". This referes to the download and upload speeds; for example, the "25" part refers to 25Mbps of download speed, and the "5" refers to 5Mbps of upload speed. Download and upload speeds can be vastly different simply because they are vastly different functions. Upload speed is what you need for sending files to/over the internet, such as sizable email attachment or a Dropbox folder. Download speed is what you need for taking files down from the internet, such as a downloadable PDF or TV show.
Mbps stands for "megabits per second", and it's how we measure download/upload speed. A megabit is equal to one million bits. Transmissions across computer networks and very commonly measured in Mbps, and it is how we measure broadband speed. The higher the Mbps, the quicker your internet will work. It is a completely different thing to MBps.
SO WHAT SPEED DO I NEED?
It very much depends on what you use the internet for...
0.5 Mbps - 1 Mbps is typically all you need for revieving and sending emails and general web surfing and social media browsing.
3 Mbps - 5 Mbps is approximately what you need for watching videos, including streaming services such as Netflix, Stan or Foxtel, or for playing online games of standard quality streams.
5 Mbps - 8 Mbps will get you by if you wish to stream those videos in High Definition.
8 Mbps - 10 Mbps is what you'll need if you’re playing an an online multiplayer game, as they will often require a bit more Mbps for smooth gameplay, especially if want to ensure that the game doesn't lag, and that no other internet usage in the house is slowed down while you're playing.
25 Mbps is what NBN Co recommends if you wish to watch something is Ultra High Definition, such as a sports match in 4KTV.
It's good to remember that it is easier to increase your speed than it is to decrease.
And when you're choosing your provider and plan should definitely be aware of NBN's bare minimum requirements; the Australian Government's Statement of Expectations dictates that the NBN network must deliver a minium peak wholesale download speed of 25 megabits per second (also known by its street name "Mbps") to all premises and at least 50 Mbps to at least 90% of all fixed-line services.
But if you're too time-poor to navigate that kind of thing yourself, don't hesitate to punch in your basic details here and help us help you... no cost, no catch!
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