In this guide, you will find:
What speed do I need?
When signing up for an NBN plan you will have a choice of speed tiers: 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 250Mbps, or 1000Mbps download speeds.
Best for: People living alone or for couples.
The first tier which advertises download speeds of 12Mbps is designed as a match for older ADSL2+ speeds. 12Mbps plans are the cheapest available and is the current bare minimum - certainly not fast enough for streaming high definition videos.
Best for: Watching TV/general Internet browsing
This Tier 2 connection provides 25Mbps, which is a good amount of bandwidth for smaller households who have standard internet usage.
Best for: Larger families who want to stream from more than one device
This speed connection is one of the most common connections available. 50Mbps speeds are great for families who may want to stream music and movies all at the same time on their own devices at home without a suffering download speed.
Best for: Gamers, busy Internet users, those who work from home.
One of the fastest speeds available today and the best way to future-proof your connection is a plan in this speed tier. This speed option is best for large families or share homes that will be able to make use of the capacity of this connection speed.
It is also a fantastic choice for businesses, as these connections offer between 17-40Mbps upload speeds, fantastic for backing up business systems or sharing large files with colleagues.
Best for: Businesses, heavy gamers, multiple devices
This connection speed is for the home that has multiple devices streaming video and gaming all at once. This plan also provides a good amount of bandwidth for businesses that want to make use of cloud-based storage.
Best for: Up/downloading large files, running a home office, streaming multiple high-definition videos
Finally, we have the top tier option with 1000Mbps download speeds. If you are looking to future-proof your home or business and have the budget for it, then this is the speed tier you want. This connection can provide up to 100Mbps upload speeds which is great for uploading large files or backing up your system to the cloud.
With this amount of bandwidth, 1000Mbps connections are perfect for running a home office and streaming high-definition video content all at once without any noticeable drop in connection speeds or quality.
NBN speed tiers
The NBN network offers a range of speed options, from NBN 12 to NBN 1000, depending on your provider. These speeds are usually represented as numbers with a slash, like "Standard Speed: 25/5Mbps," where "25" is the download speed, and "5" is the upload speed.
Download speed is for getting files from the Internet, while upload speed is for sending files, like email attachments or sharing folders on Dropbox.
What is "Mbps"?
Mbps stands for "megabits per second," a way to measure your Internet speed. It's the standard for network and broadband speed. More Mbps means faster Internet.
For example, with 50Mbps, you can download a song in just six seconds, while with 10Mbps, it takes 28 seconds. So, higher Mbps means quicker downloads.
What are typical evening speeds?
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) defines 'typical evening speed' as the average speed you can anticipate during the busy 7pm-11pm period.
For instance, if an NBN plan advertises 'up to 100Mbps typical evening speeds,' that means it offers an average speed in that range during evening peak hours. NBN Co provides four wholesale speed tiers: NBN 12, 25, 50, and 100, with maximum download speeds of 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps, and 100Mbps, respectively.
However, your actual NBN speed depends on various factors, with one key factor being the type of NBN technology your connection employs. Here's a breakdown of different NBN technologies and the typical maximum speeds.
What is the fastest speed tier?
The fastest NBN speed tier is, you guessed it, NBN 1000 - but most households tend to go to NBN 100 with businesses using up to NBN 1000.
NBN 100 has a maximum download speed of 100Mbps, so if you want to future-proof your home or office Internet connection, this is your tier.
Of course, you don't need to go all the way to NBN 100 if you don't want or need to. The beauty of the NBN is that you can pick and choose the speed tier that's right for you and your needs. Just because it's the fastest doesn't mean it's right for everyone.
Service providers offering NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans
Much as we all want to get our hands on NBN 250 or NBN 1000 plans, there are only a number of service providers offering these deals at the moment.
NBN 250 plans
NBN 250 plans are tailor-made for households with four or more members, ensuring seamless online experiences for everyone, whether it's gaming, streaming, or working simultaneously.
Dubbed "Superfast" by NBN Co, this tier offers unlimited downloads at speeds of up to 250Mbps. It's worth noting that while many providers offer NBN 250 plans, not all can maintain this speed during peak hours from 7-11pm. Notable exceptions to this rule include Telstra and Aussie Broadband, ensuring consistent high-speed performance.
NBN 1000 plans
NBN 1000 plans offer Australia's fastest Internet, often called "ultrafast" or "gigabit" Internet with speeds up to 1,000Mbps. However, in practice, most providers don't deliver this speed during busy evenings.
Telstra comes closest with 700Mbps, while others like Aussie Broadband, Optus, and Superloop promise 600Mbps in the evenings.
Compare NBN plans at Compare Broadband
NBN speeds can be confusing. Visit our comparison page to find the right plan from various providers. Enter your address, and we'll do the rest.
Not sure about your NBN technology? Head to our NBN plans page to check. You can also call us at 1300 736 813 for help.