In the digital era, there are very few things more annoying than a file that downloads slowly – or that won’t download at all. From app updates through to movie streaming or downloads, it’s the same story – waiting sucks. It is one of the more frustrating feelings in the modern world. And it means one thing — You’re going to need a better broadband plan.
Which broadband plan is best for you?
It depends on what kind of files you’re trying to download. On a professional front, you might be downloading a lot of PDFs, white papers, technical briefs, and video presentations. On a personal front, you could be streaming music and TV shows, or downloading movies regularly. There might also be a need for downloading ebooks, not to mention a game or two. So which broadband providers and plans best suit your needs? Based on our research, below is a list of providers we recommend:
What do my download habits mean for my broadband plan?
As you can see, no two people are going to have the exact same download habits, nor the same budget. So it’s important to have a firm grasp of how your download habits will impact on your broadband needs.
|File Type||File Sizes||Frequency of download||Monthly average|
|Game (various file types, zipped)||13,000-50,000 MB||Once every few months||20 GB|
|Movie (MP4, 1.5 hours, 1080p)||10,000-20,000 MB||Once a fortnight||30 GB|
|TV show (MP4, 30 min, 720p)||200-300 MB||A few times a week||1 GB|
|Music file (MP3, 5 min, 128 kbps)||4-12 MB||Weekly||2.5 GB|
|ebook/white paper (PDF)||2-4 MB||Daily||0.25 GB|
You need a reasonable amount of data
Perhaps most obviously, you need a good amount of data. How much data depends on your usage. From the table above, we can calculate that this usage accounts for 50-60 GB each month. That’s an average and doesn’t include the data used up by daily browsing, Skype calls or watching streaming TV services. And if you have more than one person in the house, you have to contend with their habits as well. So that’s at least 100GB a month for two people.
You need reliability
As mentioned in the post on broadband for singles, it pays to avoid unstable connections. That’s why it’s best to steer clear of ADSL when the exchange is more than 2k away – the signal slows and can drop quite frequently. The NBN eliminates this hassle, and cable is a good choice as long as it is available.
You need speed
It’s no fun watching a file download stick at “25 minutes” for an hour. And if it is, maybe you’d also like to consider branching out into other competitive and exciting fields like watching paint dry or grass grow? So your connection speed – how fast the data moves from the exchange to your modem and vice versa – matters. You don’t have the time to wait around for files to load. It’s dead time.
You need low latency
This isn’t as important as speed and stability, but it’s still a big deal. Latency refers to the responsiveness of the connection – how quickly the server responds to my request. This matters most when dealing with Skype or VoIP calls, or if you’re gaming online.
You need value for money
Another important consideration is the price. Having unlimited data on a high-speed connection is meaningless if it means you can’t afford groceries anymore – and internet shopping isn’t so fun when you can’t afford to order anything.
The Top Five Broadband Deals For Everyday Downloads
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll be focusing on broadband plans (rather than bundles) that feature unlimited downloads, preferably on the NBN.
Telstra Broadband + Free BINGE & Foxtel Now
A standard in the Australian telco space, Telstra’s consumer broadband packs are packed with value. Our pick is the $99 Unlimited + Telstra TV plan, which as the name suggests offers unlimited data – and of course Telstra TV. This plan is on the NBN 50 speed tier, offering typical evening speeds of 44Mbps. The plan offers a couple of other goodies as well — including a Telstra Smart Modem, and Telstra TV 3. Better yet, you’ll also get a phone line with unlimited calls to national and mobile numbers. The good news is you’re no longer required to sign up for 24 months.
You can opt for a month-to-month plan, you just need to pay out your modem and Telstra TV in case you leave before 24 months. If you don’t have a need for unlimited data, Telstra also offers a 500GB data plan on the NBN 25 speed for $75/month. You can also bundle the 500GB plan with Telstra TV for $84/month and also comes with the same perks as the $99 plan.
Best part of this offer is how you can sign up to Telstra’s unlimited broadband plans with waived $99 connection fee. Fan of all things streaming? Then Telstra is your best bet as it’s currently Australia’s #1 NBN provider for Netflix streaming. It also throws in all channel packs of Foxtel Now free for one month and up to 3 months of streaming on BINGE!
Last audited 14 September 2020
Southern Phone Broadband
If you live in a regional area, getting the speed you need to manage daily downloads can be tough. Southern Phone is a downright champion in this space, with satellite NBN broadband plans that offer real value. Why? These Southern Phone broadband plans go above and beyond to get you connected with their NBN “Skymuster Plus” satellite plan. The Satellite Small plan costs $70 a month and gives you 100GB of data on the 25/5Mbps speed tier. You will need to supply your own WiFi modem (or buy one for a one-off $99 cost) but the satellite dish and installation is all done at no cost to you. If you don’t need satellite, you can get you unlimited NBN data on the 25/5Mbps speed tier for only $65/month.
Last audited 09 September 2020
Unlimited data? Check. On a fast connection? Check. Telco provider MyRepublic gives a great deal with a range of NBN plans that meet these needs. They make this list because $89/month on a monthly contract (BYO modem) already buys you unlimited data on the NBN100/20 speed tier plus a home phone connection. Just add $1 to include a pre-configured modem, although this locks you into a 12-month contract. For ultra-speed plans, MyRepublic recently introduced their new Unlimited Home Superfast 250/25Mbps plans for $109/month. This plan delivers up to 150Mbps typical evening speed! Lower-tier speed unlimited plans are also available with NBN50 and NBN25 priced at $69 and $59 per month, respectively.
Last audited 09 September 2020
activ8me offers one heck of a deal with its NBN and Sky Muster plans that start off with having the option to choose the kind of plan that’s right for you. If you’re on a budget and just need just the right level of speed, then their Standard Speed unlimited NBN plan will already do. You can get the plan for $69.95/month, which is a steal for unlimited NBN. As one of the largest Sky Muster satellite broadband providers in Australia, activ8me also offers satellite NBN plans that can be easily regarded as valuable. You can get connected from only $34.95/month for 150GB (15GB peak and 135GB off peak) data or go all the way to the highest-end plan at $89.95/month for 250GB (90 peak and 160GB off peak) data. You can upgrade your speed with the Sky Muster Plus plans for an extra fee.
Last audited 07 September 2020
Going for a broadband plan that delivers uncapped data is a no-brainer when it comes to everyday downloading. Luckily, iPrimus offers unlimited data plans that don’t break the bank. Starting from $70/month, you get unlimited data on the NBN25 speed plan. Better yet, go for the telco’s fastest speed plan providing typical evening speed of up to 82Mbps for only $90/month. You can choose to sign up for a no lock-in contract plan. The only caveat is the upfront costs of $99 (setup & modem); that will be waived if you lock it in for 12 months.
Last audited 15 September 2020
Choose the plan best suited to you
It makes sense that there would be a lot of competition when it comes to Internet plans for everyday downloads. But it can take a bit of legwork to find the deals that fit your usage and your budget.
The best way to make sure you’re getting a plan that gives you what you want is to call each of the providers. Write down any features or perks you find, along with the basics. Don’t forget to ask for the best possible deal as more often than not, they will be prepared to throw in a bonus to sweeten the deal!