How to switch Internet providers

Looking to change Internet providers? Here are 4 simple steps to make it easier.

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Sometimes your current Internet connection doesn't quite cut it and you want to switch to a new service provider. You might be looking to change from ADSL because the NBN has finally been rolled out in your area and you want to check it out, or beat the date your old service gets turned off. Maybe you already have the NBN but your service is super slow and you're sure it can't be improved by common fixes for slow connections.

Whatever the reason, swapping from one Internet service provider to another isn't nearly as big a deal as it seems, given the competitive nature of the market.

Before you leave your provider

Before you completely sever ties with your current provider, here are some things to watch out for:

    • Ongoing contracts. If you're on a long-term contract, there may be fees for breaking the contract ahead of time.
    • Early exit fees. Even if you're not on a contract, some providers will still charge you for leaving before a certain amount of time e.g. Vodafone will charge you for a modem if you don't stay with it for 36 months.
    • Check supported speeds. Not all NBN connections support all speed tiers. Make sure the set-up at your house allows for that new high-speed connection you've just purchased.

Switching between NBN providers

If you're already connected to the NBN, it's still not a bad decision to think about switching providers as there might be better deals or faster speeds available on the market. Here's how to the start the process:

1. Compare NBN plans

This is probably the hardest part of the entire process: figuring out what broadband plan you want. You'll have to pick a provider, choose a speed tier that suits you and settle on a single plan.

If you don't already know which plan or provider you want, you can check out our in-depth guide to picking an NBN plan and use our simple search engine to find the right plan for you.

2. Give your provider notice

While your new provider will handle the actual service switch, giving your current provider up to 30 days or so of notice will help ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Contacting it will also let you make sure that you've settled all outstanding accounts, bills or contracts, allowing for a clean break.

3. Get ready for service transfer

When switching, you don't need to worry about the actual Internet handover itself. However, if you have an email address with the old provider you should transfer all your data over to a service like Gmail or Microsoft Outlook.

In addition, if you have a phone number and you'd like to keep it, inform your new provider before your old service is cut off to make sure you don't lose it.

4. Check your hardware

For the most part, if you're switching between two NBN connections, you shouldn't need a new modem. Modems are rarely provider-specific and should work equally well whether you're with Telstra or TPG. Still, run your modem past your provider to see if there might be any issues.

One major exception to this is if you're switching to a higher speed tier, you may well get better connection speeds with a modem capable of faster signal processing.

How long should it take to get connected to my new provider?

You'll usually find it takes only a couple days to a week for your new provider to process your application and make the change. In most cases, the actual switch itself will take less than an hour. That means you'll have your connection back up and running with minimal downtime.

Ready to switch? Compare NBN plans below

If you're keen to get on a fresh NBN plan but don't know quite what you want, you can use our easy comparison table below to sort plans by provider, speed and monthly cost.

Switching from ADSL or cable to the NBN

It's a little trickier switching to the NBN from an existing ADSL or cable connection because of the change in connection technologies, but not much trickier. Here's how you do it:

1. Check whether the NBN is available in your area

You can find out using our NBN rollout map. If you're on ADSL, chances are your provider and NBN Co will have sent you notifications about when the NBN will be available. Once it's installed, you have 18 months to switch.

2. Decide whether you want to switch providers

If you're happy with your current provider, it'll generally upgrade you to the NBN automatically. For those who want to switch, you can either bail now or after your current contract expires, if you have one.

3. Choose and buy your NBN plan

Your new provider will let you know what's involved with the switch and handle all the technical parts for you.

4. Arrange installation

The provider your plan is with may send a technician to finalise your NBN connection. After this, hook up your new modem (your provider will recommend one with your plan unless you want to buy it separately) and you're good to go!

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LanaMay 14, 2019

    How I want to use a different internet provider with my iiNet modem but only has iiNet or sister companies in the set up wizard. How else do I configure please?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Lana,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      The set up wizard will not allow you to choose other providers aside from iiNet and its sister company. You may need to do manual configuration. You have to contact your incoming NBN provider to assist you with manual configuration of your iiNet modem that will match with their settings.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

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