What you need to know
- Households can choose between 6 different NBN speed tiers.
- This will determine the maximum speed you can receive on your plan.
- Majority of Australians are signed up to NBN 50, which suits a household of 2–3 people.
There are 6 NBN speed tiers available in Australia. We've listed them down from slowest to fastest:
This means that if you're signed up to an NBN 50 plan, you can expect maximum download and upload speeds of 50Mbps and 20Mbps.
You will also notice NBN providers will display typical evening speeds. These indicate what download speeds to expect during the busiest hours of the day (7-11pm) when most people are online at the same time.
Typical evening speeds will vary between providers. However, you will always find that several of them do offer the fastest typical evening speeds available such as 50Mbps on an NBN 50 plan.
While the NBN speed tiers determine the maximum download and upload speeds you can get, you might not experience those speeds in reality.
On NBN plans, providers will list a typical evening speed. That's the speed you're more likely to receive based on the average speed for users of that tier between the busiest hours of the day, 7–11pm.
You can run a free internet speed test and see how your speed compares to these benchmarks:
|NBN speed tier||Poor NBN speeds||Average NBN speeds||Good NBN speeds|
|NBN 12 (Home Basic I)||0–8Mbps||9–10Mbps||11–12Mbps|
|NBN 25 (Home Basic II)||0–15Mbps||15–22Mbps||22–25Mbps|
|NBN 50 (Home Standard)||0–30Mbps||30–40Mbps||40–50Mbps|
|NBN 100 (Home Fast)||0–60Mbps||60–85Mbps||85–100Mbps|
|NBN 250 (Home Superfast)||0–110Mbps||110–150Mbps||150–250Mbps|
|NBN 1000 (Home Ultrafast)||0–250Mbps||250–500Mbps||500–1,000Mbps|
If you find that your speed sits under the "poor NBN speeds" section, it might be time for you to switch to a better plan that offers faster typical evening speeds.
If your speed seems to be going alright (either "average" or "good" NBN speeds for your tier), but you're still not happy with your NBN speed, you may want to consider moving up a speed tier for even faster speeds.
While it's standard practice for NBN providers to advertise a typical download speed, there are no standards around upload speeds.
If you're someone who works from home, a good upload speed will be around 20–40Mbps to ensure video calls are running smoothly. This would correlate to getting an NBN 50 or NBN 100 plan.
NBN 12 is good for basic internet activities like sending and receiving emails, browsing the web and some social media. You won't find NBN 12 offered by all providers because most people need faster speeds.
If you're an infrequent user, Flip has a cheap NBN 12 plan including a discount for seniors.
With NBN 25, you'll be able to conduct basic internet activities including standard and HD video streaming (e.g. YouTube, Netflix).
NBN 25 plans are available for less than $50 a month for the first 6 months
NBN 50 is the most popular speed tier and is great for medium to heavy internet use like HD video streaming, gaming or working from home where you're doing lots of video conferencing.
If you're a family of 4 or a household with lots of people using the internet simultaneously, you might want to look at an NBN 100 plan. On an NBN 100 plan you can conduct simultaneous video streaming, gaming and other online activities without losing too much bandwidth.
NBN 100 plans typically come with a 20Mbps upload speed, but can offer a maximum of 40Mbps depending on the provider.
If you're in a larger household then an NBN 250 plan might be the way to go. An NBN 250 plan will let you run multiple 4K streams at once and download very large files with multiple users online at the same time.
You'll be able to find an NBN 250 plan for less than $100 a month but you might notice typical evening speeds offered are closer to 200Mbps than 250Mbps on these plans.
The ultimate NBN speed tier, NBN 1000 can handle a ton of simultaneous activity at once. That means all the downloads, Ultra HD stream and gaming you want.
Prices start at $100 a month for typical evening speeds of 350Mbps and can go as high as $180 a month for 700Mbps.
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