The NBN… set and forget, right? Wrong!
NBN speeds are a double-edged sword.
As our internet needs and usage goes up and up (thanks Netflix), we need to make sure we have an internet speed that’s fast enough to handle what we throw at it.
But at the same time, with so many options and providers vying for our attention, we don’t want to throw money at a super high speed that we don’t really need.
So how do you find the one that’s right for you and your family?
Let’s have a look at each NBN speed tier and who they’re best suited for.
NBN 12 plans
Good for: broke uni students living by themselves
NBN 12 plans are not really plans that are recommended.
Sure, they tend to be the cheapest of the lot, but the real price you pay is slow internet speeds.
If you live by yourself and only want the internet to say, watch a flick on Disney+ and maybe scroll through your Instagram feed at the same time, NBN 12 plans can manage that – just.
But if you have more than one person in your home and therefore multiple people trying to use the NBN at the same time, it’s going to struggle.
NBN 25 plans
Good for: smaller households conscious of cost
NBN 25 plans are good for households of two who have small to moderate internet usage.
Social media browsing, working from home, chilling to a movie – all these things are accessible on an NBN 25 plan for a couple.
If you’re an avid gamer though, or often download large files, that’s when you might start to find an NBN 25 might not cut it.
NBN 50 plans
Good for: Most households of 3-4
An NBN 50 plan is a good mix of affordable and speed, and most households of 3-4 people with medium use, or 2-3 avid internet users, will find an NBN 50 perfectly suitable for their needs.
What makes it even more affordable is if you’re happy to keep an eye out for discounts every 6 months or so – it’s easier to switch NBN plans than you think, and most don’t have any lock-in contracts.
It’s a little effort, for a decent reward.
NBN 100 plans
Good for: avid internet users, larger households
If you’re a household with 3+ people all trying to use the internet at the same time for things like playing online games, watching movies or browsing online, then you’ll probably find an NBN 100 plan is the one you need.
NBN speeds are impacted by how many people are connected at the same time, so if you’re a device-heavy household that’s constantly connected – consider an NBN 100 plan.
NBN 250 plans
Good for: big downloaders, small businesses
For the average household, speeds greater than 100Mbps (ie, an NBN 100 plan) are not necessary.
Unless you have a household of 5+ who all insist on downloading big files at the exact same time – or you run a small business from home and need a more powerful internet connection to stay online, chances are you don’t need an NBN 250 plan.
Which is good, because not everyone can access these faster speeds, anyway.
You’ll need to be either on a Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) or Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) connection to access these speeds.
NBN 1000 plans
Good for: anyone who wants to fastest of everything
Like with NBN 250 plans, you’ll only be able to access an NBN 1000 plan if you have an FTTP or HFC connection, and even then, not every HFC household can connect to this speed tier.
This is the fastest NBN speed tier, but for the average Aussie, it’s not necessary.
Kate Reynolds is Digital Content Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s mobile and internet comparison site.