6 questions you need to ask when choosing a broadband provider

November 5th, 2019 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here.

In Australia, consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to broadband providers. Both large and small, there are a wealth of options available. The challenge lies in finding the right provider for your specific needs.

In the modern world, so much of our lives are housed online. We rely on streaming services for our entertainment. We work from home offices and connect to the office network remotely. We use the internet for research and school work. As we’ve become more reliant on the internet, we’ve also become more reliant on the speeds available, and we need to use more and more data each month.

In other words, finding the right internet provider is critical to your modern lifestyle, so it’s worth asking yourself a couple of basic questions before signing up.

Do I need the nbn™?

Before the National Broadband Network (nbn™), Australia’s internet infrastructure was highly fragmented and very much a case of the haves, and have nots. Those in the cities had access to multiple different types of high-speed technology, while those in the suburbs or rural areas had very limited choice indeed.

However, the nbn™ changed that. The rollout is now almost complete, and once it has been finalised, most Australians will have access to speeds ranging from 12Mbps through to 100Mbps and choose from a wide range of providers for that service.

It’s worth noting that once the nbn™ has been installed in an area, it does replace previous technology infrastructure, meaning that you will no longer have access to previous internet services, such as ADSL.

What do I need in terms of internet speed?

It really depends on how you’re going to use the internet. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can often offer any of the following plans: 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps or 100Mbps. For basic internet browsing, emails, or light work online, 12Mbps is likely sufficient. If you’re going to start streaming music and video, then 25Mbps would be better for a single user or couple. A family streaming music and video may need 50Mbps if you will all be online at once. 100Mbps services are designed for people who are expecting to be very heavy users of high-quality streaming (such as 4K resolution), or are heavily into games, with the large file sizes for downloads that are involved there. 100Mbps services will ensure that your game downloads are ready to play in a short time-frame.

What do I need in terms of data?

Again, this really depends on how you’re using the internet. If you’re a big fan of movies and games, then you’ll want as much data as you can get access to. Online shopping, reading the news, using social media and the like isn’t too intensive on data, however, and most basic plans take that into account with relatively small data allowances.

Very broadly speaking, the faster the internet service, the more data that you’ll probably want to access, because you’ll likely be using the internet for more data-intensive purposes.

What’s a good price for internet access?

Minimum and maximum costs go up as internet speeds increase, so a 12Mbps connection will be priced at the entry-level budget, while those on 100Mbps will be paying for the privilege.

Most people will want at least a 25Mbps connection, in order to enjoy the benefits of broadband for entertainment and lifestyle. At Aussie Broadband, you can get a 25Mbps plan with 100GB of data for just $55/month. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, you can get a 100Mbps connection with unlimited data for $99/month.

What does a contract involve?

Many internet providers will try and lock you into a contract with their plans. What might seem like a good deal for a 12, 24 or even 48-month contract stops being such a good deal when you need to move, only to realise that your internet service isn’t available in your new location, and exiting a contract early incurs a huge fee.

It’s always a good idea to sign up to month-to-month, no-contract plans where you can. This gives you the flexibility to change or modify your plan to suit your needs.

How do packages work?

Many internet plans come with additional benefits bundled. Two common examples are phone numbers and lines (so you can take landline phone calls) and entertainment bundles. These will naturally add to the cost of a plan, so don’t get them if they’re not beneficial to you. However, in most cases, the overall cost of the bundle will be less than purchasing each element separately, and there’s also the convenience of having it all in one bill to consider. Some ISPs don’t give the choice of a plan without these inclusions, so if you don’t want them, it might pay to shop around some more.

Choosing the right broadband provider for you

With the right broadband connection, you’ll work better and more efficiently, and have a host of entertainment to enjoy. Be sure to shop around, because not all ISPs offer equivalent levels of service, and finding the right one will save you a lot of frustration down the track.

Still can’t decide on which broadband provider is right for you? Go to our nbn™ plans page to check out our pricing, or start a Live Chat with a member of our all-Australian team to get your questions answered.