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NBN speeds explained

Sick of signing up to a fast plan and never getting good NBN speeds? Find out how to choose the best speed for you.

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Following guidelines released by the ACCC in 2017, you'll now see the term "typical evening speed" on every page discussing the NBN. In this guide, we'll explain exactly what this term means in relation to the NBN and how you can use it to find the right plan for you.

Keep in mind that how fast your connection is in practice varies from provider to provider, even if your physical connection to the NBN stays the same.

Disclaimer: Typical evening speeds only apply to fixed line NBN services (those delivered with fibre and cable technologies). NBN fixed wireless is more prone to speed variability and external factors that affect connectivity.

What are NBN speed tiers?

There are four different speed tiers offered by the NBN:

NBN speed tierMaximum download speedMaximum upload speed
NBN Basic12 Mbps1 Mbps
NBN Standard25 Mbps5 Mbps
NBN Standard Plus50 Mbps20 Mbps
NBN Premium100 Mbps40 Mbps

While it's great to know what the maximum speeds offered by the NBN are, it's unrealistic to think that you'll actually be getting that speed when you sign up for an NBN plan. This is where typical evening speeds come in, as these are the speed you'll most likely be receiving from your chosen NBN provider.

What are typical evening NBN speeds?

Typical evening speeds are what you get during a "typical evening" period when you have the most people online simultaneously, defined as 7pm to 11pm. The typical evening speed for a plan is simply how fast your connection will be on average during this period.

The reason typical evening speeds are slower than the theoretical maximums offered by the NBN speed tier is that the more people you have online, the more traffic you have in the NBN's cables causing network congestion, similar to car traffic on a road. Your connection's performance during this period of peak congestion is the best measure of its typical speed.

Which NBN speed is right for me?

Which NBN speed is good for you depends on what you're planning to use it for. As a general rule, the more people using the network all at once and the more demanding the activities involved (e.g. HD video streaming, downloading large files), the higher the speed tier you'll require.

We've put together a basic rundown of the four NBN speed tiers, their typical evening speeds and who they're for below. We've focused on the typical evening speed from a sample plan, since that's the most realistic indication as to what speed you'll actually be getting.

step-4-switching-nbn

Basic (NBN 12)

Typical evening speed on sample plan: 10.8Mbps (Internode NBN Fibre Bronze)

Who it's for: Individuals. Basic Internet use like emails, social media and web browsing.

step-4-switching-nbn

Standard (NBN 25)

Typical evening speed on sample plan: 21Mbps (Tangerine NBN Standard)

Who it's for: Small household. Light Internet use including standard video streaming (e.g. YouTube) and gaming.

step-4-switching-nbn

Standard Plus (NBN 50)

Typical evening speed on sample plan: 43.7Mbps (iiNet NBN50 Liimitless)

Who it's for: Four or more people. Medium to heavy Internet use like HD video streaming, simultaneous gaming or just lots of people online at once.

step-4-switching-nbn

Premium (NBN 100)

Typical evening speed on sample plan: 83Mbps (Kogan NBN Gold Unlimited)

Who it's for: Four or more heavy Internet users or a small business. Lots of gaming, UHD video streaming, everyone logged on at the same time.

Who's the fastest NBN provider?

If you're looking for the fastest NBN provider, the easiest way to do this is to compare their typical evening speeds. While we've given some examples of provider plans and their typical evening speeds in the table above, those are by no means the fastest ones on offer. Picking the right NBN plan is a balance of speed and monthly cost, but some providers just have better performance than others, even for the same price. This is mostly due to how well that provider handles congestion on its network.

You can sort the below list of providers and their typical evening speeds to find the fastest in each tier by clicking on the relevant heading to sort by speed. We've left out the Basic speed tier as we're assuming you'll be looking at Standard and above tiers for speed.

ProvidersStandardStandard+Premium
Activ8me43.50 Mbps82.56 Mbps
10mates24.00 Mbps47.00 Mbps94.00 Mbps
Southern Phone19.00 Mbps38.00 Mbps76.00 Mbps
Aussie Broadband22.00 Mbps43.00 Mbps86.00 Mbps
Start Broadband23.00 Mbps45.00 Mbps80.00 Mbps
Kogan23.00 Mbps43.00 Mbps83.00 Mbps
Vodafone21.00 Mbps42.00 Mbps82.00 Mbps
Foxtel Broadband45.40 Mbps
Internode19.30 Mbps43.50 Mbps79.30 Mbps
Superloop22.20 Mbps44.40 Mbps90.00 Mbps
Inspired Broadband20.40 Mbps40.90 Mbps81.80 Mbps
Tomi Broadband20.91 Mbps43.60 Mbps80.00 Mbps
Flip21.00 Mbps43.00 Mbps82.00 Mbps
Exetel20.00 Mbps40.00 Mbps77.00 Mbps
TPG45.60 Mbps85.60 Mbps
iiNet20.40 Mbps43.50 Mbps80.60 Mbps
Harbour ISP42.20 Mbps82.70 Mbps
Tangerine21.00 Mbps42.00 Mbps83.00 Mbps
Dodo20.00 Mbps40.00 Mbps80.00 Mbps
Optus Mbps Mbps
Telstra20.00 Mbps44.00 Mbps88.00 Mbps
SpinTel21.00 Mbps40.00 Mbps80.00 Mbps
Australia Broadband20.00 Mbps40.00 Mbps80.00 Mbps
Bendigo Telco40.00 Mbps
Belong30.00 Mbps40.00 Mbps80.00 Mbps
iPrimus40.00 Mbps
Barefoot Telecom42.00 Mbps83.00 Mbps
Mate Communicate42.00 Mbps83.00 Mbps
Clear Broadband17.00 Mbps35.00 Mbps70.00 Mbps
MyRepublic43.00 Mbps83.00 Mbps

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BillDecember 31, 2019

    We want to be able to use two PCs for word processing and watch movies on SBS and iView and maybe Netflix between 7pm and 11pm. How much data would we need?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiJanuary 4, 2020Staff

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well.

      If you’re watching a live stream, SBS On Demand may use as much as 1.2MB per hour. Serious streamers should opt for a plan with at least 500GB per month, but if you’re exclusively watching SBS On Demand, you could easily get away with a smaller allowance.ABC recommends a minimum Internet speed of 1.5Mbps for best results and provides the following guide for how much data iView typically uses: A 60-minute program will consume up to 300MB of data on-demand and 360MB when live streamed.

      For watching Netflix, you would need about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video. This means you would need around 17-20 MB per day. You can multiply that amount for how much you are watching TV for 30 days and you would know how much data you would need all in all.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

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