Netflix has only been available in Australia for a little over two years, but it's clear we're in love; almost 7.6 million of us are getting our stream on. That's over a third of population.
Of course, streaming is one of the most data intensive things you can do online, so it's important to consider what broadband provider you're with and what plan is best for you.
If you're not careful, Netflix can make a serious dent in your monthly data allowance. But if you pick the right plan, you can binge endlessly without having to keep one eye on your broadband bill.
How much data will you use?
Before we get into the plans, it's important to know just how much data Netflix uses.
Netflix has three quality settings for when you're streaming in your web browser, on your smart TV, or on your game console.
- Low: 300MB per hour
- Medium: 700MB per hour
- High: 3GB per hour for HD, 7GB per hour for 4K
If you haven't adjusted these, there's a good chance that your quality is set to auto, which means you're streaming at the highest quality possible based on your device and internet connection. The many Australians will find Netflix opts for a HD stream.
If you're streaming on high (or auto), watching a season of your favourite show on Netflix (13 episodes) could use as much as 39GB. If you're streaming on a regular basis, we tend to recommend plans with at least 500GB as a minimum to ensure you've still got enough data left for everything else you want to do online.
The speediest ISPs, according to Netflix
Netflix compiles a monthly report on how local ISPs perform when streaming, and the average speed of the connection during prime time streaming hours.
This list is updated regularly, and the top six providers for September 2017 are as follows:
- Dodo / iPrimus
It is however worth noting that Netflix says these ISPs now all average within 0.3Mbps of one another. And since the leaderboard is based on averages, performance for each ISP will vary from location to location, especially depending on what technology you're using to get online.
Here are a few plans with unlimited data (or 1TB from Telstra, who doesn't offer unlimited plans) from these providers:
Other providers with unlimited plans
While Netflix's speed index can be a useful, it leaves out all of Australia's smaller ISPs. Here are even more unlimited plans to consider from some of the best, up and coming names in Australia's rapidly expanding internet market. The first table has ADSL2+ plans, while the second is NBN 25 plans.
The fastest plans for Netflix
Netflix needs a lot of data, but fortunately, speed requirements aren't out of this world. 5Mbps is recommended for high definition, while 25Mbps is optimal if you're after 4K. For comparison, the fastest NBN plans available in Australia promise speeds of up to 100Mbps.
While that's plenty of overhead, a NBN 100 plan does mean you'll hopefully have plenty of wiggle room in the event of congestion, and that everyone else on your network will be able to use the internet without affecting the quality of your stream.
Here are a couple of NBN 100 plans with unlimited data.
Unmetered Netflix Plans
Unmetered is industry jargon for when a provider doesn't count data used by a specific service against your monthly allowance. For example, Telstra mobile customers can stream tunes through Apple Music without using any of their data.
While Optus, Internode, and iiNet have previously offered data-free access to Netflix, all three of these providers have axed this promotion. This, in part, can be attributed to the rising popularity of unlimited broadband plans.