In the digital era, there are few things more annoying than a file that won’t download. Or won’t download fast enough. From app updates through to game purchases – waiting sucks. You can see it. You can click it. Maybe the download even starts. But until it finishes – assuming it ever does – you’re left wanting something that’s officially out of reach. It is perhaps the most frustrating feeling in the modern world. And it means one thing — You’re going to need better broadband.
Of course, 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 might be streaming a lot of music and TV shows, or downloading movies regularly. There might also be are a fair few ebooks, not to mention a game or two – some Triple-A titles, some from indie developers. Steam sales – they get you every time.
Which daily downloads use the most data?
|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|
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.
You need a reasonable amount of data
Perhaps most obviously, you need a good amount of data. How much 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 meter stick at “25 minutes” for an hour. And if it is, maybe you’d also like to consider branching out into the competitive fields of 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
And of course, there’s the price. Having unlimited data on a high-speed connection is meaningless if it means you can’t afford groceries anymore.
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.
Trust Mate for stress-free downloads
Unlimited data? Check. On a fast connection? Check. New telco Mate Broadband gives a great deal with a range of NBN and ADSL2+ plans that meet these needs. They make this list because all their plans are uncapped. Also, their speed tiers aren’t to be sneezed at. A good pick would be the $75/month Best Mates NBN plan, which offers a 50mbps connection (standard evening speed of 30-50mbps). If that’s not fast enough for you, then their Soul Mates NBN plan gets you typical evening speeds of between 60-100Mbps for $99/month. All their plans are month-to-month with no contract and no plan-change fees. If the NBN isn’t in your area (and you have an active phone line on the Telstra network) then Mate offers their City Mates ADSL plan starting at $49/month or their Country Mates plan for $59/month.
Got a need for speed? Go for Aussie Broadband
Recognised as having the best NBN speeds in the country, Aussie Broadband is one to go to if what you’re after is unparalleled and uninterrupted speed. Say you’re using your internet connection mostly for work and then a bit of streaming and downloads, you’ll definitely want a provider that gives you amazing speed even during the crucial peak hours. If you’re looking for steady speed and unlimited data, then Aussie’s Everyday plan is a solid choice. This gives you unlimited data on the NBN25 speed tier, which proves to be perfect for light to medium streaming and other typical internet usage activities such as checking/sending emails, light downloads, and so on.
Get Unlimited NBN with Australia’s Best NBN Speeds
Stream faster with a high quality NBN connection and get your Fetch TV with Aussie Broadband. Bundles start at $65/month!
bundles, plans & prices
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On a budget? Get Tangerine’s affordable plans!
How do you feel about getting a 14-day free trial and $10 off for the first 6 months? Tangerine offers one heck of a deal with their NBN plans that starts off with a 14-day free trial, and then proceeds to give you $10 off for the first 6 months of your subscription. If you’re on a budget and just need just the right level of speed, then their Basic Speed plan will already do. You can get the plan for just $49.90/month for the first 6 months, after which, you’ll pay $59.90/month moving forward — and which is still considered a steal for unlimited NBN anyway.
Need entertainment? You want Telstra
A standard in the Australian telco space, Telstra’s consumer broadband packs are packed with value. Our pick is the $99 Unlimited + Streaming plan, which as the name suggests offers unlimited data. This plan is on the NBN 50 speed tier, offering typical evening speeds of 46Mbps. The plan offers a couple of other goodies as well — a free Telstra Smart Modem, a free Telstra TV, and 24 months free subscription to Foxtel Now. This all comes on a 24-month contract. If contracts aren’t your thing, Telstra also offers a 100GB data plan on the NBN 25 speed for $69/month. This doesn’t include the Telstra TV, Telstra Smart Modem or the Foxtel Now subscription though, but it’s good for people who just want the data.
Foxtel Now Free for 24 months
Free Foxtel Now for 24 months +
Telstra TV on the Unlimited
Broadband + Streaming Bundle
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Need a remote connection? Try Southern Phone
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? Because these Southern Phone broadband plans go above and beyond to get you connected. Their NBN “Skymuster” satellite plan. The Satellite XX-Large plan on the Standard speed costs $100 a month and gives you 300GB of data on a 25/5 NBN 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, Souther Phone’s Turbo NBN plans can get you unlimited data on a 50/20 speed tier for just $70/month. This includes a free WiFi modem. For ADSL connections, Southern Phone’s ADSL Large plan will deliver 1000GB and a free WiFi modem for $70/month.
Make Sure to Shop Around for the Best Deals!
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 perform a comparison. Make sure you shop around. Write down any features or perks you find, along with the basics. And feel free to give the providers on your list a quick call — they want your business, after all, so they may be prepared to throw in a bonus to sweeten the deal!
And of course, feel free to ask anything you like in the comments below!