engin broadband plans

How does Australia's leading Internet phone provider stack up in the highly-competitive broadband market?

What is engin?

Founded in 1994, engin is an Australian telecommunications provider that delivers phone and Internet services both through its own network and through wholesale services supplied by other larger telcos. Unlike your run-of-the-mill provider, engin has set its focus firmly on Internet telephony, and in 2004, it became the first telco to provide Voice over IP (VoIP) services to the general Australian public rather than just established corporations.

These days, engin is Australia's leading VoIP provider, but that's not all it offers. NBN, ADSL and mobile broadband plans are all available through the telco, with ADSL and phone services delivered over Telstra's existing infrastructure, mobile broadband services delivered over the Optus Mobile network and fibre connections supplied by nbn co.

engin NBN plans

engin keeps its NBN options fairly basic, offering just three different plans available exclusively on 24-month contracts. Internet speeds and data caps are fixed for each plan, with no option for speed boosts or increased allowances. Instead, you'll need to pick the pre-configured plan that best matches your data needs. Also, you won't get any phone service with engin's NBN plans.

NameSpeedMonthly dataPrice
engin Broadband NBN Lite 50GB 24 MonthUp to 12/1Mbps (NBN tier 1)50GB$49.95/month
engin Broadband NBN Standard 100GB 24 MonthUp to 50/20Mbps (NBN tier 3)100GB$79.95/month
engin Broadband NBN Ultra 400GB 24 MonthUp to 100/40Mbps (NBN tier 4)400GB$99.95/month

On the plus side, engin doesn't charge any excess usage fees if you go over your monthly download limit. Instead, the company will slow your speed to 64kbps until the end of your current billing cycle.

Because engin only offers NBN plans on 24-month contracts, you'll want to keep in mind that cancelling your service before the two years are up will incur a potentially hefty early termination charge. Unlike many other providers, engin doesn't subsidise the unpaid costs on your contract if you cancel early, charging you a fee equal to your monthly bill multiplied by the number of months left on your contract.

engin ADSL plans

Though it's soon to be superseded by the NBN, engin still offers plans delivered across Telstra's ADSL network. These plans are slightly more flexible than the telco's NBN plans, with the option to purchase additional data blocks if you use up all your monthly data as well as an unlimited plan for avoiding data caps altogether. Like the NBN plans, though, no phone service is included.

engin's ADSL plans are available on both 24-month and month-to-month contracts, with the latter allowing you to cancel your contract at any time without penalty. You do have to pay $5 extra a month for a month-to-month contract, though.

NameSpeedMonthly dataPrice
engin Broadband ADSL2 Lite 10GB 1 MonthUp to 20/1Mbps10GB$35/month
engin Broadband ADSL2 Lite 10GB 24 MonthUp to 20/1Mbps10GB$30/month
engin Broadband ADSL2 Ultra 50GB 1 MonthUp to 20/1Mbps50GB$45/month
engin Broadband ADSL2 Ultra 50GB 24 MonthUp to 20/1Mbps50GB$40/month
engin Broadband ADSL2 Extreme Unlimited 1 MonthUp to 20/1MbpsUnlimited$55/month
engin Broadband ADSL2 Extreme Unlimited 24 MonthUp to 20/1MbpsUnlimited$50/month

On a 24-month contract, engin's ADSL plans come bundled with a free wireless modem and do not have any set-up fees. Month-to-month contracts, on the other hand, do not include a modem and incur a $39 set-up fee if you're transferring an existing ADSL service, or a $99 fee if you need a new ADSL connection entirely.

Cancelling your engin's 24-month ADSL plan early is significantly less costly than cancelling its NBN plans. If you cancel early, you will need to pay an early termination charge of $99 if you cancel within the first 12 months and a $65 charge any time after that.

engin VoIP plans

You can combine both engin's NBN and ADSL plans with the telco's core VoIP plans to supply both your phone and Internet needs. The VoIP service is offered on a separate contract, with options for both 12-month and month-to-month terms. All three tiers of VoIP service come with unlimited local and national calls as well as unlimited calls to other engin customers.

NameIncluded callsCost
VoIP Super Saver
  • Unlimited local and national calls
  • 15c/min Australian mobile calls
VoIP Mobile Saver
  • Unlimited local and national calls
  • 400 minutes to Australian mobiles
VoIP Extreme Saver
  • Unlimited local, national and Australian mobile calls

While both the 12-month and month-to-month contracts cost the same, signing up for a 12-month contract gets you a free VoIP box for connecting a regular phone handset to your modem. However, cancelling a 12-month contract before the full year is up will cost you an early termination charge of $50.

If you plan on calling friends and family overseas, engin offers an international call pack for $10 extra a month that gets you unlimited calls to landlines in the following 15 countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Spain (not including the Canary Islands), South Africa, the UK, the USA and Vietnam

How does engin compare?

engin may be Australia's top VoIP provider, but its broadband offerings are sadly quite lacking when compared with the best on the market.

engin Lite NBN plans compared

engin's NBN Lite plan stays true to its name, offering only 50GB of data a month at the slowest NBN speed of 12/1Mbps – a speed roughly on par with current ADSL connections. At $49.95 a month, this places engin far behind the similar 50GB offering from SpinTel, priced at a mere $44.95. SpinTel's plan even comes with a VoIP phone service bundled in at no extra cost.

Not only that, but providers like amaysim and Mate Communicate offer unlimited NBN plans at the same speed for a comparable, if not cheaper, monthly cost. All three alternatives are also available on no-lock-in contracts, giving you the freedom to cancel at any time without suffering the steep early termination fee engin charges. Next to these options, engin's Lite NBN plan is a hard one to recommend.

NameSpeedInclusionsContract durationPriceMore info
engin Broadband NBN Lite 50GB 24 MonthUp to 12/1Mbps (NBN tier 1)50GB monthly data24 months$49.95/monthMore info
Amaysim NBN Basic Unlimited $60 12/1 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 12/1Mbps (NBN tier 1)Unlimited monthly data1 month$45/monthMore info
Spintel NBN Entry Bundle 12/1 Mbps 100GB 1 MonthUp to 12/1Mbps (NBN tier 1)50GB monthly data + PAYG home phone1 month$44.95/monthMore info
Mate Communicate NBN Good Mates $59 12/1 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 12/1Mbps (NBN tier 1)Unlimited monthly data1 month$49/monthMore info

engin Standard NBN plans compared

engin's Standard NBN plan doesn't fare much better than its Lite offering when compared with others on the market. Not only can you get twice as much monthly data at the same speed for significantly less per month with Teleron, you can go all in with SpinTel and get unlimited data plus a pay-as-you-go VoIP phone service and still save money compared to engin's plan. And once again, all these alternatives come with the added benefit of month-to-month contracts, while engin locks you in for the full 24 months.

NameSpeedInclusionsContract durationPriceMore info
engin Broadband NBN Standard 100GB 24 MonthUp to 50/20Mbps (NBN tier 3)100GB monthly data24 months$79.95/monthMore info
Teleron NBN Regular Gold 200GB 50/20 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 50/20Mbps (NBN tier 3)200GB monthly data1 month$64.50/monthMore info
Start Broadband NBN Bundle Everyday 100GB 50/20 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 50/20Mbps (NBN tier 3)100GB monthly data1 month$65/monthMore info
Up to 50/20Mbps (NBN tier 3)Unlimited monthly data + PAYG calls1 month/monthMore info

engin Ultra NBN plans compared

Unfortunately, engin's Ultra NBN plan performs much the same against the competition as the rest of its plans. At the 100/40Mbps speed tier, few providers institute monthly data caps, which already puts engin behind the pack. Against the likes of TPG's Superfast SL Voice Unlimited plan, which comes with its own pay-as-you-go VoIP phone service, a no-lock-in month-to-month contract and a cost that is $10 less per month, engin's plan is a tough sell.

NameSpeedInclusionsContract durationPriceMore info
engin Broadband NBN Ultra 400GB 24 MonthUp to 100/40Mbps (NBN tier 4)400GB monthly data24 months$99.95/monthMore info
TPG NBN Superfast Unlimited 100/40 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 100/40Mbps (NBN tier 4)Unlimited monthly data, PAYG calls1 month$89.99/monthMore info
MyNetFone NBN Unlimited 100/40 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 100/40Mbps (NBN tier 4)Unlimited monthly data1 month$89.99/monthMore info
Amaysim NBN Premium Unlimited 100/40 Mbps 1 MonthUp to 100/40Mbps (NBN tier 4)Unlimited monthly data1 month$90/monthMore info

Why should you consider engin for your broadband?

Given the number of better-value broadband plans on the market, engin doesn't make the best case for itself. That said, engin has established itself as the go-to VoIP phone service provider within Australia, and if you want to sign up for one of its VoIP plans, bundling it with one of engin's broadband plans at the same time can be more convenient than signing up with a separate telco for your broadband and having to keep track of two different monthly bills.

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