Why your address matters
Before you work out what broadband plan is right for you, you’re going to need to know what internet connection is right for you; and this is more often than not determined by where you live. For example, it’s unlikely that your house would be compatible with an ADSL2+ connection as well as an NBN connection, as the NBN was designed to eventually phase out ADSL; as such, when an area has been fully upgraded to the NBN, the ADSL connections in that area are disconnected.
Who are the major internet service providers?
There are many different reputable Australian internet service providers (ISPs), and most of them will offer a wide range of deals for ADSL2+, Naked DSL, Home Wireless, Mobile Broadband, and NBN connections. Most providers will also offer you Unlimited Data plans, Bundle Plans, and No Contract Plans. There major internet service providers in Australia include Telstra, Optus, iiNet, iiPrimus, Dodo, Belong, TPG, MyRepublic, and Aussie Broadband.
What are Typical Evening Speeds?
Typical Evening Speed refers to the time frame between 7pm and 11pm, when Australian internet traffic is at its busiest, which can sometimes cause congestion; think of the Typical Evening Speed period as rush hour for your home broadband. Because of the likelihood that your broadband might face proverbial traffic jams during Typical Evening Speed times, internet service providers are expected to provide you with information estimating how fast their plans will be during the Typical Evening Speed bracket.
What is Mbps?
Mbps is how we measure upload and download speeds when referring to the internet. Mbps stands for Megabits Per Second. The higher the Mbps, the faster your internet will work. Mbps is distinct from MBps, which stands for Megabytes Per Second and is how we measure such things as file size.
What is ADSL?
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL is an older (and therefore slower) form of internet connection that transmits its data over the copper lines that were built to facilitate our old landline telephone network. ADSL was replaced by ADSL2 and ADSL2+, which are both faster than the original ADSL, but are still slower than alternate forms of home broadband, as they still use the copper lines to transmit their data. That said, ADSL2+ is still a viable home broadband option in areas where the NBN has not yet been fully rolled out - but you will need to be aware that once the NBN build has been completed, that all ADSL and ADSL2+ connections will be permanently switched off. You should be given at least 18 months notice before your cut off date, but it also pays to contact your ADSL provider to learn the specific disconnection date just in case that notice has slipped through the cracks. While some broadband providers will carry over an ADSL plan into an NBN plan, it’s advised that you still compare other NBN plans and providers, as you may find a deal that better suits you. You can compare ADSL2+ plans here.
What is Naked DSL?
Naked DSL is an internet connection that is an ADSL connection where the phone line has been deactivated, hence the “naked” part of the title. With a Naked DSL connection, you don’t need to pay for phone line rental, nor do you need to have a home telephone. Naked DSL is a great option if you want to get rid of the old house phone but continue enjoying home Wi-Fi. You can compare Naked DSL plans here.
What is Cable broadband?
Cable is a type of internet connection available in many major Australian cities, where the data is transmitted from the exchange via a dedicated cable which goes directly to your home. Cable uses the same type of coaxial that is used for cable TV, more commonly known in Australia as Pay TV. As such, you can generally sign up to a Pay TV subscription service as part of your broadband cable plan, but it is not required, and many Cable customers have the broadband without the Pay TV. Cable broadband is a good option if you want a broadband connection that can support a large data plan. You can compare Cable plans here.
What is the NBN?
The NBN - which stands for the National Broadband Network - is a major operation designed and implemented by the Australian Government with the aim to upgrade our country’s internet infrastructure. Rather than using the copper network to transmit data, the NBN uses a faster and more reliable fibre optic cable system. The NBN rollout is still underway with its estimated completion now pushed back to 2021. Due to a change in Australian Government which resulted in budget cuts, the NBN has had both a fairly shaky rollout and decidedly mixed reviews. While some customers have found their NBN connection to be a step sideways from their old ADSL connection, others have found that the NBN has a superior connectivity that has vastly improved their home broadband experience. The difference between good and bad NBN service is usually determined by the type of NBN connection, as well as the NBN plan and NBN service provider. While the NBN is built and maintained by a government body appropriately entitled the NBN Co, it is not them who sell you your NBN plans. The NBN is a wholesale data network operation that distributes the NBN service out to different internet service providers, who in turn offer different NBN plans to the public. These NBN plans will differ in cost, speed, and data amounts. You can compare NBN plans here.
How fast is the NBN?
NBN speeds vary; there is no set NBN speed, contrary to popular misconception. The speed of your NBN is typically determined by what kind of NBN connection you have, and what NBN speed tier you have chosen.
What are the different NBN connection types?
As the NBN is a multi-technology mix, it means there are several different kinds of NBN connections that are composed of different technologies. Some of these NBN connections are found to be less reliable than others, but unfortunately, you do not get to decide what manner of NBN connection your home is given; this is a choice made by the NBN Co, and is based on the location of your home - this unpopular policy is known colloquially referred to as the NBN Lottery. However, if your NBN connection type is found wanting, you can usually counter its lacklustre performance by opting for an NBN deal with more data or a higher speed tier. The different kinds of NBN connections found around Australia are Fixed Wireless, Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Node (FTTP), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), and Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC).
What are the different NBN speed tiers?
There are four different NBN speed tiers that you can choose from when you are signing up to an NBN package. The NBN speed tiers differ in both speed and cost.
- NBN 12 - also referred to as Basic Evening Speed, is the lowest (and therefore the cheapest) of the speed tiers. NBN 12 plans will offer you a maximum download speed of 12Mbps.
- NBN 25 - also referred to as Standard Evening Speed, is the NBN tier up, and offers a maximum download speed of 25Mbps.
- NBN 50 - also referred to as Standard Plus Evening Speed, is the second fastest NBN tier, offering a maximum download speed of 50Mbps.
- NBN 100 - also known as Premium Evening Speed, is the fastest (and consequently, the most expensive) of the NBN speed tiers, and can offer a maximum download speed of 100Mbps.
How do I know if I have the NBN?
You can learn if and when your home has the NBN by entering your address into our free NBN rollout map. The map will tell you if your home has been upgraded to the NBN; and if it has not, the map will tell you when you can expect your NBN upgrade. The map will also tell you what kind of NBN connection type has been allocated to your area. Be sure to enter your full and accurate address for best results.
What are Mobile Broadband plans?
Mobile Broadband is a form of home broadband powered by mobile phone towers; it can be used anywhere where there is a strong mobile phone signal. Mobile Broadband technology does not require a fixed line connection, which means you can access it outside of your home, unlike most other kinds of home Wi-Fi connections. You can compare Mobile Broadband plans here.
What is Home Wireless?
Home Wireless a home broadband connection that is powered by 4G cellular technology, and 5G cellular technology where 5G coverage is available. Home Wireless modems use phone networks to connect to the internet remotely and can provide around 200GB for as little as $40 a month, depending on the provider and the plan. Home Wireless differs from Mobile Broadband technology, as Home Wireless broadband utilises a router and is specifically designed to be an alternative to old fixed line internet connection types. You can compare Home Wireless plans here.
What is 5G?
5G is the emerging cellular network technology that offers broadband access both on the phone and in the home. It is the next evolutionary step after the old 4G network, hence the name 5G which stands for “5th Generation”. At its quickest, the 5G network will give you a download speed of 20GB per second, and can transmit and receive data at the same time while supporting up to 1,000 HD movies being streamed simultaneously. The 5G rollout is underway, with 5G towers being constructed around Australia, with some already completed and offering early 5G coverage to select Australian suburbs. You can learn more about 5G here.
What is a Lock In Contract?
A Lock in Contract is the term used to describe any contract signed between a broadband customer and an internet service provider. These contracts typically last between 12 and 24 months. It is often possible to break a contract, though in doing so you will almost always incur a termination fee. The benefit to Lock In Contract plans is that the internet service providers will offer the customer enticing perks for signing to them, ie. they will often reduce or waive connection fees, and will often throw in a new modem for free, depending on the plan. Because of this, No Lock In Contract plans can sometimes be cheaper than No Contract plans in the long run; but if you do not wish to be committed to a 12-24 month contract, you are probably better off considering a No Contract Plan.
What is a No Contract Plan?
A No Contract Plan is so named because it offers you a home broadband deal without having to commit to a 12 month or 24 month contract. A No Contract plan gives you the freedom and flexibility to change plans and/or providers at the end of each month, which is a handy option if you or your budget moves around a bit, or if you simply like to try before you buy. No Contract Plans are also referred to as Month to Month Plans, Month by Month Plans, No Lock In Plans, and One Month Plans. You can compare No Contract Plans here.
Compare Plans and Providers with Compare Broadband
Compare Broadband is an internet comparison company that provides a free service to all Australian homes. We’re independently rated 5 stars by our customers with a Trust Pilot score of 4.8 out of 5 based on over 1,800 reviews, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with one of our broadband consultants today for some fast, free, and friendly advice. For your free broadband consultation, call 1300 106 571.