An advanced guide to unlimited nbn™ plans

March 28th, 2020 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here.

Netflix adds dozens of hours of high-quality television to stream every month; the gamer in the household wants to download the next big game, only to find that the game’s file size is close to 100GB; or your home office is tapped into the company cloud 24/7 and automatically downloading new files. It’s a simple reality that our thirst for data has never been greater. With the internet being such a core part of how we work and play, Australians are showing continued interest in unlimited data plans.

What is an “unlimited” plan, and is it really unlimited?

An unlimited data plan simply means that there are no data limits to your internet connection. Say you’ve got a 100GB data plan – if you go over that 100GB in a month, then you’ll either be “shaped”, meaning that your internet speed will drop dramatically for the remainder of the month until your limit resets, or you’ll be charged a premium to gain some extra data.

An unlimited plan, meanwhile, means that you can continue using the Internet, and doing anything that you want on it, no matter how much data you end up using. In the past you’ve needed to be careful, as ISPs would offer an “unlimited” plan, but would drop the speeds after a certain threshold of data. The ACCC put a stop to that, though. In certain extreme cases you may still fall afoul of your ISP for excessive data use, but that would have to do more with fraudulent use of your connection and a breach of the ISP’s fair use policy.

Why are unlimited plans a great choice for customers?

Peace of mind is a big one! Knowing that you can flick on the TV and Netflix without first having to check that you’ll be left with enough data to keep an eye on your email for the rest of the month is a big benefit to having an unlimited plan. Furthermore, not needing to worry about how much data your children are using when on YouTube or doing classwork online is great. With more classwork than ever being done online the last thing you want is for your child to be left temporarily out of the loop by going over your data cap for the month.

More people than ever are working from home. With video conferencing, VoIP, and other cloud services, a home office can be very data intensive, and the only way that management will be on board with it is if they have assurances that the Internet connection will be reliable.

What to look for in an unlimited nbn™ plan?

All unlimited plans offer unlimited data, but that doesn’t mean that all unlimited plans are equal in quality. There’s a couple of other factors that you need to consider:

1. Internet speed

It doesn’t matter how much data you’re given, if you’re running a 12Mbps nbn™ connection – the slowest “tier” available, you’re still going to struggle to get the most out of your streaming services and gaming devices. Downloads will take longer and streaming services will often not work, particularly if there are more than a couple of people in the household using the Internet at the same time. We recommend a 25Mbps connection at minimum, which will provide adequate speeds for most home applications. If you need a really fast connection, then 100Mbps is the fastest available, and that will let you download even the biggest files quickly.

2. Evening speeds

If an ISP doesn’t purchase enough bandwidth from nbn™ ( read more about the process here), then evening speeds, when more people are looking to use the Internet at home, will drop (and can drop quite dramatically). As above, this will have the effect of limiting what you can do on the internet, until people start logging off and your speeds return to normal.

Aussie Broadband is consistently rated among the top ISPs for nbn™ evening speeds in all categories, from 25Mbps through to 100Mbps. Furthermore, Aussie Broadband is a regular winner of “best ISPs in Australia” awards, thanks to their ability to offer a consistently high service level to Australians. Sign up for quality nbn™ services with Aussie Broadband here.