IPSTAR NBN broadband plans compared

IPSTAR services fixed-line broadband clients in cities and regional areas as well as providing fixed wireless and NBN satellite in rural areas.


IPSTAR has provided satellite-based Internet services to Australians for more than a decade, and since 2012, it has partnered with the National Broadband Network (NBN) to further improve Internet services for rural and regional Australia.

Fast forward to 2018 and IPSTAR provides NBN connectivity not just to rural and regional Australia, but to all Australians within the NBN footprint regardless of access technology. As you may expect, NBN satellite plans cost a little more than fixed wireless and fixed-line plans, but that doesn’t matter too much if satellite is your only option for connectivity.

IPSTAR's plans are many, so let’s step you through what its service offerings look like.

IPSTAR NBN plans

IPSTAR offers four main fixed-line and fixed wireless NBN plans, as follows:

  • Small 50GB for $35 a month
  • Medium 100GB for $40 a month
  • Large 300GB for $55 a month
  • X-Large 1,000GB for $70 a month

These plans are available on all speed tiers, with pricing for various speed options as follows:

  • NBN Basic speed (nbn12): prices as quoted
  • NBN Standard speed (nbn25): $10 extra per month
  • NBN Standard Plus speed (nbn50): $20 extra per month
  • NBN Premium speed (nbn100): $30 extra per month (fixed-line NBN only)

Across each of the four NBN fixed plans offered, there are three contract term options: a month-to-month contract, which comes with a $99 Activation Fee; a 12-month contract, which comes with a $50 Activation Fee and one month free; and a 24-month contract, which comes with a $50 Activation Fee and two months free.

Regardless of plan, customers must pay for a Wi-Fi modem router provided by IPSTAR. The choices differ depending on fixed-line or fixed wireless, as we've laid out below.

Fixed-line modem options:

  • $95 for a basic modem/router which is recommended for connections up to Standard Plus
  • $115 for a standard modem/router, suitable for all plans
  • $195 for an advanced modem/router, suitable for all plans and larger homes

Fixed wireless modem options:

  • $95 for a basic modem/router
  • $135 for a standard modem/router, suitable for smaller homes with 5-7 users
  • $185 for an advanced modem/router, suitable for medium homes with 7-10 users
  • $385 for a premium modem/router, suitable for larger homes, brick homes, or 10-15 users

IPSTAR NBN satellite plans

IPSTAR offers a range of six NBN satellite plans which are configured with two different speed options, making 12 total plan offerings. Each is available on monthly, 12-month and 24-month contract terms. This service offering is particularly complex, so we’ll break it down.

First, the speed options. For the prices quoted below, customers receive a Basic NBN connection (nbn12). For an extra $5 per month on top of the quoted plan prices, customers can receive a Standard NBN connection (nbn25).

Like most satellite plans, IPSTAR splits its data caps between peak times and off-peak times. Peak time is between the hours of 7am and 1am, while off-peak is from 1am to 7am.

Here are the six Basic-speed plans on offer:

  • Satellite 10, with 10GB peak data and 15GB off-peak data for $30 per month
  • Satellite 40, with 40GB peak data and 60GB off-peak data for $45 per month
  • Satellite 75, with 75GB peak data and 100GB off-peak data for $65 per month
  • Satellite 100, with 100GB peak data and 150GB off-peak data for $95 per month
  • Satellite 150, with 150GB peak data and 150GB off-peak data for $125 per month
  • Satellite 200, with 200GB peak data and 100GB off-peak data for $155 per month

Regardless of plan or speed chosen, each is available on a month-to-month, 12-month or 24-month contract, and there’s little difference between the terms: set-up is free across all options. The only difference is the router pricing, as the different models are slightly subsidised on the 12-month and 24-month plans.

IPSTAR currently offers four routers for bundling with its satellite plans:

  • $95 (or $60 on a 12/24-month contract) for a basic modem/router
  • $135 (or $90 on a 12/24-month contract) for a standard modem/router, suitable for smaller homes with 5-7 users
  • $185 (or $150 on a 12/24-month contract) for an advanced modem/router, suitable for medium homes with 7-10 users
  • $385 (or $350 on a 12/24-month contract) for a premium modem/router, suitable for larger homes, brick homes, or 10-15 users

Alternatively, you can bring your own router at no extra charge.

How does IPSTAR compare?

At the outset, it needs to be noted that IPSTAR’s plan offerings are quite complicated. Not only do they differ by NBN speed chosen, they also feature four different data inclusions for fixed customers and six different data inclusions for satellite customers. The requirement for customers to use an IPSTAR-provided modem router on fixed services adds an additional cost, whereas satellite customers can choose to BYO to save a bit of money.

In comparison, many other NBN providers offer unlimited data plans (IPSTAR does not), and their service offerings are also significantly easier to understand. Providers like amaysim and Vodafone offer just a handful of plans to consider compared to IPSTAR’s 16 fixed services and 12 satellite plans.

That said, if you require satellite NBN, most providers adopt a similarly complex plan structure.


How do IPSTAR’s fixed-line and fixed wireless NBN plans compare?

Starting at the most basic offering, IPSTAR's 50GB plan is something of an outlier. Few providers offer such small NBN plans, and if your monthly usage is only going to involve reading/writing emails and other basic tasks, it's worth considering. Most other providers don’t offer NBN plans any cheaper than this.


For 300GB, IPSTAR charges $55 per month at Basic NBN speeds, but for just $5 extra you can get unlimited data from a number of competitors including amaysim, Mate Communicate and Barefoot. In fact, once you’re paying this amount, purchasing a capped plan stops making sense and you’re better off going with an unlimited plan elsewhere.


With unlimited plans already available at the same price as IPSTAR's 300GB plan, its more expensive 1,000GB plan is even further behind the competition. There are more than a hundred competing plans offering unlimited data for less than $70 per month, plus many competitors allow you to bring your own modem/router for added savings.

IPSTAR's plans don't fare much better at higher speed tiers, either, as you can see when comparing the premium it charges for faster NBN plans against competing providers:

IPSTAR Mate Communicate TPG Tangerine Flip TV Barefoot
Standard $10 extra N/A N/A N/A $10 extra N/A
Standard Plus $20 extra $10 extra $10 extra $15 extra $30 extra $10 extra
Premium $30 extra $40 extra $30 extra N/A N/A $40 extra

How do IPSTAR’s satellite NBN plans compare?

There are far fewer NBN satellite providers than there are fixed-line and fixed wireless providers, significantly reducing the competition IPSTAR is up against.

Starting at the budget end, IPSTAR's offer of 10GB of peak data for $30 per month ranks right at the top of the cheapest NBN satellite services on the market. However, for just a few extra dollars, you can get significantly more data from providers like Clear Broadband and Reachnet.


For 40GB of peak data, IPSTAR is again about the cheapest option out there, plus you get heaps of data to use off-peak too. Activ8me’s equivalent plan offers slightly more data at virtually the same price, though, as does Clear’s.


At the higher data usage tiers, IPSTAR is priced at or close to the competition. This is true at both the 150GB and 200GB (peak data) tiers; however, the difference in price comes down to a few dollars a month only.

Why should you consider IPSTAR?

While the vast majority of IPSTAR’s NBN satellite plans are competitive, the difference between providers is often less than a couple of dollars a month. Rather than focus on cost, then, it's worth considering what your typical data usage looks like. Do you use most of your data at night during peak times, or are you able to schedule your large downloads for the off-peak period? If you can, you can potentially save quite a bit of money each month by downloading your Netflix shows during off-peak periods to watch later (for example). For this kind of user, IPSTAR is quite competitive indeed.

However, if you’re looking for a fixed-line or fixed wireless NBN connection, quite frankly you’ll find better offerings from other providers. While IPSTAR prices competitively for satellite users, fixed customers will find unlimited data plans elsewhere, sometimes at a faster speed tier, for the same price as IPSTAR charges for a lower data inclusion.

The only IPSTAR plans which come out ahead in pricing are the very low data inclusions. This means that if you’re a very casual Internet user and only need a connection to check your emails occasionally or read the news, IPSTAR can be a very cheap way to get online. Anything more than casual use, though, and you’re better off elsewhere.


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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DeanOctober 19, 2017

    hi, I had satellite NBN with someone else but went back to mobile broadband because of cost issues but your 300gb plan looks goo. I still have all the satellite gear here , can it be reused? not that it matters much as its free install anyway, but would make things easy..

    • Default Gravatar
      GruOctober 20, 2017

      Hello Dean,

      Thank you for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.
      While we do not represent IPSTAR or any of the companies featured on our pages, we can provide you with general advice and guide you in making an informed decision.

      For you question, the satellite gear may still be reused but it would still depend on IPSTAR if you would be better of with new gear.
      It may in fact make the installation simpler if you go with new gear. If you want to gain more clarification on this and if you would really want to use your existing satellite gear, you may contact IPSTAR directly.

      Hope this helped.

      Cheers.
      Gru

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