NBN 12 is the entry level offer for NBN plans, providing a practical solution for people who are looking for a reliable internet connection without spending too much. Learn how NBN 12 can suit your needs in this guide and compare other NBN speeds.
Is NBN 12Mbps the right speed for me?
The speeds you can expect from this plan are about what you would generally get with an older ADSL2+ plan. With this plan, you might not notice a large difference between NBN and your older ADSL connection. NBN 12 plans are the second most popular speed choice behind NBN 25, with 29% of customers choosing NBN 12.
This cheap option might be suitable for the following situations:
- Single-person households where there won’t be several people using the Internet at the same time.
- Homes without any video streaming, or where video streaming is generally only done on one device at a time in qualities no higher than 720p.
- Households where everyone is completely satisfied with their Internet speeds prior to the NBN, even during peak times.
- Someone who only wants the cheapest NBN plan available and doesn’t mind slower Internet.
Will I get 12Mbps all the time?
Generally, 12Mbps will be the maximum speed you’ll get on this plan, but your Internet speeds can depend on a wide range of factors.
Depending on the factors at play in your area, an NBN 12 plan might be ideal because you won’t be able to get significantly higher speeds even with a faster plan, although you might want to upgrade in order to consistently get speeds of 12Mbps or more.
Factors to consider include the following:
- Congestion. During peak times, typically in the evenings, your Internet speed will slow down as more people are using the network in your area. If your previous Internet plan tended to slow to a crawl during these periods, then an NBN 12 plan might as well, and it may be worth considering an NBN 25 plan for better results around the clock.
- Number of people in your home. Your NBN plan is for the entire household to share. So with two people online at once, that’s only 6Mbps each. One person can take up the full 12Mbps quite easily, so if there are several people online all at once, you might find yourself getting substantially slower speeds.
- Wi-Fi interference. Walls and floors can block wireless signals and slow down your Internet speed or lead to interrupted connections. If you’re already at the limits of your 12Mbps plan, then this might quickly become frustrating. Signal extenders or simply moving your wireless router closer to the devices you are using can help. If it’s still not enough, then a faster plan might be necessary.
External factors beyond your control can also affect connection speeds. For example, if your building has old, corroding copper wiring, then this might impact your Internet speed. However, this is more likely to cause issues with higher-speed plans.
What's the difference between upload and download speeds?
Download speeds are how quickly you can get at data that’s out there on the Internet, such as when you open an email. Upload speeds are how quickly you can send data out, such as when you send an email.
When you look at NBN speed tiers, you will often see two different numbers. The first number is the upload speed and the second number is the download speed. NBN 12 plans, for example, will often be written as 12/1Mbps, indicating a download speed of 12Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps.
It’s important to consider the limitations of these upload speeds because NBN 12 plans will generally always be restricted to 1Mbps uploads. This is generally adequate but might still be inhibiting for the following activities:
- Sending videos or high-quality photos over the Internet
- Uploading videos to social media or elsewhere on the Internet
- Some online gaming applications
- Automatically backing up data to cloud storage
This limitation will often render these plans unsuitable for those who work from home or have small businesses. If it gets in the way, then you may want to consider a faster plan even if you don’t necessarily need quicker downloads.
What are my alternatives?
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Most popular NBN speeds in Australia
In the third-quarter results for 2017, the nbn has revealed that 52% of customers have chosen the 25/5Mbps connection speed (25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload) making it the most popular speed tier. This was followed by 12/1Mbps with 29%, 100/40Mbps with 14%, 50/40Mbps with 4% and 25/10Mbps with 1%.
Do I need to get new hardware to receive NBN 12?
If this is your first time switching to an NBN plan, then you will most likely need to get some new hardware. If you’re switching from another NBN plan, then the hardware you used for that is likely to meet your needs.
There are two main pieces of hardware to think about:
- Your modem. This is the hardware that translates the NBN connection into a usable form. It needs to have dual ADSL and NBN capability, so if you’re using a pre-NBN modem then you will likely need a new one. Your NBN provider will generally be able to arrange this as well as provide modem troubleshooting and support.
- Your router. This is the hardware that sends the Internet around your premises. It is not essential to upgrade it for the NBN, but you might want to anyway in order to get closer to the maximum speeds of 12Mbps. NBN 12 is largely equivalent to many ADSL plans, so a router that was adequate for that may be able to continue working well for this NBN speed tier.