Ready to jump into the endlessly entertaining world of Netflix? Before you dive in you should really consider which broadband provider you should use, and which plan is best for you.
Netflix uses a lot of data. So much so that it is estimated to account for over one third of all broadband traffic in the US. That's all very impressive, and great news for Netflix, but it is also a warning that Netflix could make a serious dent in the amount of data is used in your home.
Happily, there are some alternatives that can save you a bunch of money and let you enjoy Netflix without keeping one eye on your broadband bill.
How much data will you use?
Before we get into the plans, it's important to familiarise you with just how much data watching Netflix will use.
There are four tiers of streaming quality and each uses a significantly different amount of data per hour.
- Ultra HD = 7GB per hour
- High Definition (HD) = 3GB per hour
- Standard Definition (SD) = 700MB (0.7GB) per hour
- Low Quality = 300MB (0.3GB) per hour
Netflix will automatically select which quality it will stream based on the speed of your connection. Most users will find it opts for an HD or SD stream on their home broadband connection. For families using a standard 50GB per month plan, just 10-hours of HD streaming will burn through over half of their monthly allowance.
If you'd like to read more about the specifics of what to expect, or the kinds of broadband speed you'll need, check out our Netflix broadband usage guide.
It can be hard to judge the best ISPs based on speed simply by asking around. Everyone has a slightly different opinion about their internet service, and it can be hard to get a straight answer. Luckily, Netflix takes some of the guesswork out of this by providing a list of the best ISPs accessing Netflix videos, and the average speed of the connection.
This list is updated regularly, and the top 6 ISPs for September, 2016 are ranked like this:
Here are a few plans with unlimited data (or close) from these suppliers:
Other providers with unlimited data plans
The Netflix speed index, while handy, does leave a lot of smaller ISPs out of contention, and there are plenty of great value offers from a number of these competitors.
Here are even more unlimited plans to consider from some of the best, up and coming names in Australia's growing internet market.
Netflix on Fetch TV
One of the easiest ways to watch Netflix on your Flat-screen TV is to get your hands on a Fetch TV set-top box. Fetch TV comes with a Netflix app pre-installed, so you can leave your laptop turned off and browse the Netflix library from your couch.
You can get a Fetch TV box directly from the company, but there are also a number of providers who offer Fetch TV as part of a Broadband Bundle, including Optus, iiNet and Dodo.
By far, our favourite option here is Optus, and it's new Entertainment Bundles are definitely the way to go.
Unmetered Netflix Plans
Unmetered Data is industry jargon for when a provider chooses a specific service and doesn't count data from that service towards your monthly bill. For example, Telstra Bigpond customers don't pay for downloads when using Foxtel.
Currently, only ISP Internode includes unmetered Netflix streaming and only in Easy ASDSL Bundle plans, and a number of specific Fibre service plans (not general NBN plans). Of course, if you choose a plan with unlimited data, like those listed above, then you don't need to worry about unmetered data anyway.
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