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What NBN speed tier do I need?

There's no one size fits all approach to NBN speeds, and that's why there's a variety of speed tiers available for casual to heavy internet users.

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.

What are the NBN speeds in Australia?

There are 6 NBN speed tiers available in Australia. We've listed them down from slowest to fastest:

  • NBN 12 (Home Basic I): Up to 12Mbps download, 1Mbps upload
  • NBN 25 (Home Basic II): Up to 25Mbps download, 5Mbps upload
  • NBN 50 (Home Standard): Up to 50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload
  • NBN 100 (Home Fast): Up to 100Mbps download, 40Mbps upload
  • NBN 250 (Home Superfast): Up to 250Mbps download, 25Mbps upload
  • NBN 1000 (Home Ultrafast): Up to 1000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload

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.

What is a good NBN speed?

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 tierPoor NBN speedsAverage NBN speedsGood NBN speeds
NBN 12 (Home Basic I)0–8Mbps9–10Mbps11–12Mbps
NBN 25 (Home Basic II)0–15Mbps15–22Mbps22–25Mbps
NBN 50 (Home Standard)0–30Mbps30–40Mbps40–50Mbps
NBN 100 (Home Fast)0–60Mbps60–85Mbps85–100Mbps
NBN 250 (Home Superfast)0–110Mbps110–150Mbps150–250Mbps
NBN 1000 (Home Ultrafast)0–250Mbps250–500Mbps500–1,000Mbps

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.

What about upload speeds?

While it's standard practice for NBN providers to advertise a typical download speed, there are no standards around upload speeds.

Some of the major providers like Telstra and Optus will specify a typical upload speed, whereas others leave it open to the default maximum available defined by the speed tier.

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.

  • Good to know: NBN 100 plans come in 2 flavours of upload speeds – 20Mbps or 40Mbps, with the difference being around $10 per month.

Finder survey: Are different generations of Australians confident about their NBN speed choice?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
Yes40.91%37.79%41.61%34.32%41.08%42.11%25.88%
Not sure13.64%19.77%10.56%14.2%10.27%8.42%3.53%
No6.82%5.81%7.45%11.24%11.89%8.95%7.06%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

NBN 12 speed tier – Best for casual users

1 user icon
  • Maximum download speeds: 12Mbps
  • Maximum upload speeds: 1Mbps
  • Household size: 1

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.

NBN 25 speed tier – Best for small households

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2 user icon
  • Maximum download speeds: 25Mbps
  • Maximum upload speeds: 5Mbps
  • Household size: 1–2 people

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 speed tier - Best for most Australians

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3 user icon
  • Maximum download speeds: 50Mbps
  • Maximum upload speeds: 20Mbps
  • Household size: 2–3 people

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.

Spintel's NBN 50 plan won the 2022 Finder Award as the Best NBN Plan for Everyday Use.

NBN 100 speed tier – Best for larger households

4 user icon
  • Maximum download speeds: 100Mbps
  • Maximum upload speeds: 40Mbps
  • Household size: 4+ people

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.

NBN 250 speed tier – Best for heavy users

6 user icon
  • Maximum download speeds: 250Mbps
  • Maximum upload speeds: 25Mbps
  • Household size: 5+ people

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.

  • Keep in mind: NBN 250 is only available at premises with FTTP or select HFC connections. You'll be able to confirm your availability before you sign up.

NBN 1000 speed tier – Fastest speed available in Australia

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multiple user icon
  • Maximum download speeds: 1,000Mbps
  • Maximum upload speeds: 50Mbps
  • Household size: 5+ people

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.

  • Keep in mind: NBN 1000 is only available at premises with an FTTP connection or some HFC NBN connections. You'll be able to confirm your availability before you sign up.

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