Top 5 Broadband Plans for Families: TV plus Internet!
Choosing the right broadband plan depends on your family’s online habits. Source: Shutterstock
Just how much data does a family use?
It’s a tricky question, as no two families are exactly alike. First up, we’re all different people and have different uses for the internet. Some use it just for email and checking the news. Others use it to work from home, and maybe stream some TV. Sometimes you need to upload and download massive files – for work-related tasks, pro-am hobbies, study, and even just for fun.
So it’s really a multi-part question.
How does your family use the internet?
What elements matter most? And how much are you willing to spend?
Once you know the answer to these question, you can examine the most obvious question remaining.
Is your broadband plan up to the task?
To get to grips with this question, I polled my married friends who had children, as their internet usage patterns differ greatly from my own.
Here’s what I found.
Parents use broadband when dealing with a huge range of stuff. Work emails and tele-conferences. Organising holidays. Researching kitchen appliances. Listening to podcasts. Gaming. Legitimate, legal file-sharing. Staying up to date on social media. Blogging. Reading other people’s blogs. The list is endless.
Children use the internet in just as many ways. Socialising, gaming, researching school projects. Uploading vlogs and organising weekend activities.
However, generally speaking, there is one large factor that both adults and children have in common.
Families use the internet for entertainment.
TV shows and movies and music are streamed or downloaded. Games are purchased and played online.
So what does a family need?
Again it’s tough to say. But generally speaking, it comes down to five things – speed, latency, reliability, data, and cost.
So what does your family need from a broadband plan?
They need speed
This is how fast the data moves to or from your modem. This is a big deal when you have a house full of people streaming, downloading and generally trying to get what they want now. A slow connection means people are going to complain.
They need low latency
Latency is the measure of how fast your ISP responds to a request. In a family situation, this matters when you are trying to entertain. No one wants to spend ages waiting for a menu to load – they want to watch Frozen on Netflix. Again.
They need reliability
With a house full of people streaming TV, chatting with friends or downloading work documents, the last thing you need is a dropped connection. As the person in charge of deciding which internet package to go with, you’re the one they look to – or blame – when things go wrong. So it pays to seek out a stable connection from the start. From experience, reliability ranks as following: 1) ADSL 2) Cable 3) NBN.
They need data
And a decent amount too! From my survey, the minimum amount used by a family of four was 120 GB a month. At the top end, it was more than ten times this amount! However, most families got by on an average of about 500 – and rarely went over. In most cases, going over your data limit gets your data connection “shaped”. This restricts speeds to 256kbps or less. And trust me – this is not fast enough for the whole family.
They need a good price
As recently as the early 2000’s there were families paying $50 each month for 1 GB of dial-up internet. Why? Because they didn’t know better. Naturally, you want to provide your family the best broadband deal you can – without breaking the bank. So the price of your broadband package should be kept to a reasonable level for what you’re watching
The Top Five Broadband Deals For Families
As outlined above, we’re looking at fast, stable connections that feature 500 GB or more per month. We want decent latency. And we want them at a decent price – meaning bundles are okay! Right now, we’ll leave 4G and Wireless options alone – I want to focus on in-house installations. And who knows? Maybe we’ll do a review on them later?
#5 Telstra NBN Entertainment Bundle
Telstra has long been a staple for many families in the telecommunications market. And now when it comes to choosing broadband for the household, Telstra Broadband offers a very tempting bundle. For $99, you get home phone connection, and are hooked into the NBN with 500 GB each month. Plus you receive free Telstra TV box and two years of free Foxtel Now!
#4 Unlimited ADSL from Dodo
At this price, you won’t find anything better. Dodo’s unlimited data plan on ADSL is less than $30/month and comes with no setup fee and an NBN ready modem for when the speedy internet becomes available in your area.
#3 Mate Broadband Bundle
Mate provides value-for-money unlimited broadband plans, starting with unlimited NBN for as little as $59/month, or $68 when you bundle with a home phone. That’s unlimited data right there with no lock-in contracts. If you’ve got a large family, get Mate’s fastest NBN plan (100/60Mbps) for only $99/month to ensure uninterrupted browsing and streaming. Mate’s unlimited internet plans are some of the cheapest and most flexible in the market, making them perfect for families.
#2 iPrimus Unlimited ADSL
But what if your family turns out to be power users? Well, you’re going to need more data! This is where iPrimus delivers. You get unlimited data for under $70 a month, with low installation fees, and the option to BYO. A simple, uncomplicated plan. Which is sometimes just what the family needs.
#1 Mid Plan from Barefoot
This plan from Barefoot, available on the NBN, comes with unlimited data, no contracts, and no setup fees. Your family can use the internet in peace without worrying about usage. Plus, you get the 25/5 speed tier, which is considerably better than the standard 12/1 offer.