Foxtel's two apps offer two very different viewing experiences. Let's break them down.
Foxtel has been upping the ante when it comes to on-demand video content. Foxtel GO and Foxtel Now are two new reasons to sign up, but which is right for you?
Before we get started, remember that Foxtel GO is included with any monthly subscription to the regular Foxtel service. Foxtel Now, meanwhile, is an extra paid service that can be used as an addition to, or instead of, a regular Foxtel service.
The real question is whether Foxtel Now is worth the investment for you as an existing customer, or not. We’re going to try to answer that question, and of course, show you how to get the most of your Foxtel GO service.
Comparison at a glance
- Standalone service: Does not require regular Foxtel subscription
- Wide device compatibility: Mobile, desktop, video game consoles, Foxtel Now box, Chromecast, smart TVs and more
- Price: Channel packs starting at $25 per month
- Installation/hardware fee: $0 installation with the option to purchase a Foxtel Now box for a one-off fee of $99
- Channels and packages: Foxtel Now allows you to add and remove packages every month so you're never locked-in to one package arrangement
- Cancellation: Foxtel Now has no cancellation fees
- Free trial: 10-day free trial
Foxtel GO (Foxtel app)
- Companion app: Requires a regular Foxtel subscription to use
- Limited device compatibility: Apple, Android, PC and Mac
- Price: Free app but it requires a regular Foxtel subscription
- Installation/hardware: Minimum $125 equipment fee and $100 standard installation fee for new residential customers on a month-to-month plan
- Channels and packages: Same channels included in your regular Foxtel subscription
- Cancellation: Cancellation fees apply if you're on a 12-month Foxtel subscription
- Free trial: No free trial for regular Foxtel subscription
What is Foxtel Now?
Foxtel Now is an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) streaming service designed to get Foxtel into the homes of people who aren’t convinced by lock-in contracts, installation fees or the need to buy extra hardware. Like other IPTV streaming services, you’ll need a fast, steady Internet connection and a big enough data allowance to make the most of your subscription.
The recommended minimum data speed is 3.0Mbps for standard definition (SD) video and 7.0Mbps for high definition (HD) video.
Subscriptions start at $25 per month for the Foxtel Essentials pack which includes both the Pop and Lifestyle channel packs. From there, you can personalise your subscription (similar to how "regular" Foxtel works) by adding other channel packs such as Sport or Drama.
You can watch Foxtel Now content on a variety of devices including Smart TVs, phones, tablets, PS4 video game consoles or almost any Internet-enabled device.
What's Foxtel GO?
Foxtel GO allows you to watch some of your subscribed content on the go through a free mobile app or on your computer via a web browser. It comes included with your regular Foxtel subscription, which means there's no need to sign up for anything else or to take out your card. Simply download the free app or head to the Foxtel website and sign in using your Foxtel account details.
Along with watching live content from channels you're subscribed to, you can catch up on content you've missed as well as a selection of on-demand shows that aren't broadcast live at all.
Value for money: Foxtel Now vs Foxtel GO
If you're an existing Foxtel subscriber, the value of Foxtel GO is hard to argue with since it's included in your subscription at no extra cost. For non-subscribers, it's a harder sell, as the minimum buy-in for the regular Foxtel service can be quite steep depending on the content you want to watch.
This is where Foxtel Now comes in. If you want to enjoy Foxtel content but don't want to deal with the hassles of installing a physical box, the commitment-free sign-up and ability to watch on a range of different devices makes it a compelling choice.
How much does Foxtel Now cost?
To get started with Foxtel Now, you need to sign up for the Foxtel Essentials bundle at a bare minimum. This will set you back $25 a month. From there, you can add on other channel packs like Drama, Sport and Movies starting from an additional $10 per month.
Be wary of Internet usage
Like all streaming services, Foxtel Now can chew through quite a bit of data if you like to binge. This is especially important when using Foxtel Now on a mobile device, but if you have a limited data plan at home or on your device, the cost of your subscription could be much more than you expect. Do yourself a favour and double-check your data allowance before you start to use the service. Excess data charges aren’t pretty.
|Foxtel Now||Foxtel GO|
|How many channels||Build your own with genre packs (similar to the way regular Foxtel subscription works).||It depends on your current Foxtel subscription – you will only be able to view channels you're already subscribed to.|
|Maximum number of devices||Five (two at once).||Three (two at once).|
|Monthly cost||Build your own genre bundle: Foxtel Essentials (Pop + Lifestyle) for $25 a month, additional packs starting at $10 extra per month.||Free with a regular Foxtel subscription.|
|Maximum video quality||HD for select live and on-demand content.||HD if you subscribe to the HD channel pack.|
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Foxtel Now is pretty easy to sign up for – it’s meant to be Foxtel’s no-strings-attached product. To sign up (both for the trial and for a full subscription) visit the Foxtel website and click "Get Foxtel Now". Click on "Start your 10-day trial" if you want to take it for a spin first, otherwise continue to the channel selection. You'll select your preferred genre packs during the sign-up process which will determine your monthly cost.
When you’ve finished registration, download the app, sign in and start watching.
Foxtel GO is simple to use and even simpler to sign up for. All you need is your Foxtel ID and password to get started. Simply download the app from the Foxtel website or visit the Foxtel website on your computer's web browser and enter in your details when prompted. You can register up to three devices at any one time and you can change your devices over once a month.
Compare Foxtel packages:
Ease of use: Foxtel Now vs Foxtel GO
Both Foxtel GO and Foxtel Now have been praised for their user-friendly interfaces. Both have also been criticised for buffering issues and connection problems. It's vital to remember that, as with any other IPTV or streaming service, the quality of your connection is vital to your viewing experience. A bad connection will mean a bad service.
If you’re having problems, try out these places for tips and ideas for how to improve the service, or to see other users’ experiences in comparison to your own:
- There is an active Foxtel troubleshoot community available via the Foxtel website. The forum covers common problems and fixes.
- Whirlpool forums are also a good place to go for advice.
- Foxtel’s customer helpline (131 999) is available 9am to 7pm AEST, Monday to Friday.
Want to take your Internet TV for a spin before you sign up? We hear you. Unfortunately, since Foxtel GO requires a regular Foxtel subscription, there are currently no trial options available. Foxtel Now, on the other hand, offers a commitment-free 10-day trial for new customers.
|Foxtel Now||Foxtel GO|
|Free trial?||Yes, a 10-day free trial is available||Not available|
While Foxtel GO comes as a free inclusion with your Foxtel subscription, not all channels are supported live. Remember that a lot of the channels that aren’t available "live" on Foxtel GO are available through the "catch-up" feature.
With Foxtel Now, you will only have access to the channels you subscribe to.
|Channels||Foxtel Now||Foxtel GO|
|111 Greats||Available||Catch-up only|
|The Lifestyle Channel||Available||Live/catch-up|
|Fox Sports||Available||Live only|
|The Disney Channel||Available||Live/catch-up|
Availability: Foxtel Now vs Foxtel GO
To get the most out of both Foxtel Now and Foxtel GO (and to avoid unnecessary data costs) you'll want to make sure you have a sufficiently large monthly data allowance. Streaming video eats up a lot of data and if you’re on a limited plan, you may find yourself spending much more than you want at the end of the month. You will also need a stable Internet connection to avoid common streaming annoyances such as buffering for long periods.
If you think you need to upgrade your data plan, or switch to a different ISP, do your research first to find the best provider.
|What you’ll need||Foxtel Now||Foxtel GO|
|Connection speed||Minimum 3.0Mbps.||Minimum 3.0Mbps.|
|Data allowance||Depends on your usage, but unlimited is best if you plan to watch a lot.||Depends on your usage, but unlimited is best if you plan to watch a lot.|
|Devices||Internet-enabled device (Smart TV, PS4, smartphone, etc).||Mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.) or PC/Mac.|
|A Foxtel account||Build your own standalone Now account or add it to your Foxtel subscription.||Free with a regular Foxtel subscription.|
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One caveat with Foxtel Now is that, unlike many other streaming services, its catalogue changes on a week-to-week basis and most TV series are only streamed two or three episodes at a time. Content will occasionally disappear from services like hayu, Prime Video, Stan and Netflix, but it's typically nowhere near as often as Foxtel Now.
To see how Foxtel Now stacks up against other Aussie streaming services, check out the table below:
Device compatibility: Foxtel Now vs Foxtel GO
It’s no good signing up for a new service or spending time getting familiar with it if you’re not absolutely sure it will be compatible with the devices you use.
You can register a maximum of five devices at once with a Foxtel Now account and have two of them streaming at the same time.
You can register a maximum of three devices with a Foxtel GO account and have two of them running at once.
|Device supported||Foxtel Now||Foxtel GO|
|iPad||2 or above (iOS 6)||2 or above (iOS 6)|
|iPhone||4 or above (iOS 6)||4 or above (iOS 6)|
|iPod||5 or above (iOS 6)||5 or above (iOS 6)|
|Samsung Galaxy||S3, S4, S5, Note 2, Note 3, Note 4 Edge (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)||S3, S4, S5, Note 2, Note 3, Note 4 Edge (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)|
|Samsung Galaxy tablets||Note 10.1, Tab2 10.1, Tab3 7", Tab3 8", Tab3 10.1, Tab Pro 10.1, Tab Pro 8.4, Tab S, Tab 4, Note 10.1 (2014), Note 4 or Note 8" (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)||Note 10.1, Tab2 10.1, Tab3 7", Tab3 8", Tab3 10.1, Tab Pro 10.1, Tab Pro 8.4, Tab S, Tab 4, Note 10.1 (2014), Note 4 or Note 8" (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)|
|LG G3||(Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)||(Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)|
|HTC One||M9, M9 (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)||M9, M9 (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)|
|Sony Xperia||Z1, Z2 Phone or Z2 Tablet, Xperia C3, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z3 Tablet (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)||Z1, Z2 Phone or Z2 Tablet, Xperia C3, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z3 Tablet (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)|
|Google Nexus||Nexus 5, Nexus 9 (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)||Nexus 5, Nexus 9 (Jellybean 4.1–Lollipop 5.1)|
|Mac OSX||10.6, 10.7 (Snow Leopard and Lion) with Safari version 5 or above||10.6, 10.7 (Snow Leopard and Lion)|
|PC||XP Service Pack 2 or higher (Internet Explorer 8 or above)||XP Service Pack 2 or higher (Internet Explorer 8 or above)|
|Samsung smart TVs and Blu-ray players||All models of 2012–2014 TVs, any Smart Hub enabled 2012–2013 model Blu-ray Player/home theatre system||n/a|
|LG smart TV||Select 2013 models||n/a|
|Sony smart TVs||2014 models||n/a|
|Xbox||XBOX ONE and XBOX 360||n/a|
|Sony Playstation||PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4||n/a|
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