How much data do you need?
We all spend a portion of our time online, but we don't all use the same apps and services. Figuring out whether you need an unlimited data NBN plan means thinking about the sorts of things you do online at home, and calculating how much data this requires each month.
To make things simple, we've tested different online services at WhistleOut and estimated which types of plans are best suited for you, depending on the online activities you use.
Data usage for popular online activities
Below we've got a quick overview of what kind of internet plans are best for popular online activities. These recommendations are based on using just one of these apps or services, so if you're using more than one regularly, consider opting for a larger allowance.
= Good to go
= Need more data
We've taken this table from our detailed guide to data usage. Click here if you'd like more detail about how much data each online service uses.
When do you get the NBN?
The question everyone wants an answer for. Currently, NBN plans to connect all homes by 2021. Between now and then, the rollout will add several million homes each year, so if you don’t have the NBN now, you should find you are within 12 months of being connected.
To know for sure, run an address search in the WhistleOut search engine. Our search bring in information from a number of sources, including NBN itself, so we can identify when your connection will arrive. Then, sign up for notifications about the NBN at your address, and we’ll email you when we learn something new.
Click here to see our up-to-date NBN Rollout Map.
How do I get access to the NBN?
Once the NBN is available in your area you can contact an NBN internet service provider.
While many will choose one of the most popular service providers, like Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, there are actually over 150 to choose from. Some of these smaller, lesser known providers offer excellent value — especially if you want a basic internet plan without extra likePay TV. Take a look at these providers before making up your mind.
Make sure you take a look at what’s available by using the WhistleOut search engine. Use the search filters to look for plans that meet your needs. Make sure you don’t pay for features you’ll never use.
Top NBN Providers
How much does the NBN cost?
Generally, NBN internet plan prices are comparable to existing ADSL services. As an NBN customer, you have a choice of which speed you want to connect. The decision will impact the price, but the cheapest NBN plans tend to cost as much as ADSL2+ plans, and will offer a pretty comparable service.
Will you need a new modem when connecting to the NBN?
It depends on how old your current modem is. To be NBN-ready, a modem needs to have a VDSL port on the back, and many newer modems have this. Without it, you will need to invest in new hardware. All service providers have modems for sale, but you also have the option to BYO modem to a new plan. If you are concerned about performance, this could be a good idea. Modems bundled with NBN plans tend to be cheap models, so performance (especially WiFi performance) can suffer.
What are the different NBN technologies?
One of the primary advantages of the National Broadband Network will be the massive increase in the speed at which people can upload and download material online. Whereas existing ADSL internet is delivered via your phone line, the new high speed internet will be delivered via new fibre optic cables. Depending on where you live, the NBN will come to you in one of the follow ways:
Fibre to the Premises:
NBN runs fibre optic cable all the way up to your house and install a new connection box in your home. Once installed, you just connect your new NBN-ready modem to the connection box and you're good to go.
Fibre to the Node:
NBN runs fibre optic cable to a cabinet (or node) on the street, somewhere near your home. From the node, the existing telephone lines connect your house to the NBN. This means that you connect your modem to the phone socket on the wall, exactly as you do now. Most homes will be connected using Fibre to the Node technology.
Fibre to the Curb:
NBN will run fibre optic cable to a distribution box installed in the footpath outside your home, and then you and several of your neighbours will connect to this point using the existing phone lines.
Fibre to the Basement:
For people living in high-rise apartments. Fibre optic cable is run into a central hub in the basement of the building, and then all of the individual apartments connect to the hub using the copper telephone lines already installed in the building.
Similar to mobile phone networks, Fixed Wireless connects home to the NBN over the airwaves. The NBN builds large antennas pointing towards towards, and installs smaller antennas on the side of your house. Maximum download speeds via Fixed Wireless are 50Mbps, however certain factors, like your distance from the antenna, may limit the real-world speeds deliverable.
Satellite (Sky Muster):
Homes in remote areas will connect to the NBN via the Sky Muster satellites currently spinning around the globe. You'll have a receiver installed on your room to send and receive the bits and bytes. The top speed on NBN Satellite is 25Mbps.
What are the different NBN speeds?
NBN speed tiers:
There are four speed tiers that NBN customers choose from when connection to the network, either for the first time, or when they switch to a new service provider. Each connection speed tier offers something different as is suited to different kinds of households.
As a general rule, the more people who live in a household, the faster the NBN speed you need. If you are buying NBN for a business, consider the speed of uploading too. Faster uploads help with sharing business documents and backing up important data.
- NBN 100: 100Mbps download / 40 Mbps upload
- NBN 50: 50Mbps download / 20 Mbps upload
- NBN 25: 25Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload
- NBN 12: 12Mbps download / 1 Mbps upload
Our comparisons show the maximum download and upload speeds that can be achieved through each type of broadband connection. There is no guarantee that this maximum speed will actually be achieved by every user. There are a number of external factors that may contribute to the actual achieved speed, including:
- The user's hardware, software, and system configuration.
- The number of simultaneous users per single connection.
- The type of content being accessed and downloaded.
- The source of content being accessed and downloaded.
- The method of connection - fixed or wireless.
Choose an NBN Plan by speed
Want more information about the NBN?
WhistleOut NBN Essentials
NBN Plans: Editor's Picks