Friday, 3 Feb 2017 | 3 min read
How to Choose the Right NBN Speed for your Household
Written by John Reisinger, Chief Technology Officer
The National Broadband Network (NBN) provides faster than ever broadband speeds for businesses and households around Australia, and you might be one of many Australians thinking about signing up to the NBN as it continues its rollout throughout Australia. The NBN offers much faster speeds and capacity than even ADSL, but what are the speeds available and which one is right for you?
NBN speed tiers
The NBN is being offered in five speed tiers by nbn™, and these tiers are ranked by both speed and capacity. It’s important to note that speed and capacity can affect your user experience in various ways. Speed is concerned with how fast you can upload or download data, while capacity is related to how many users can comfortably use the network to conduct data-intensive activities such as HD video streaming or gaming.
There are major differences between each speed tier, so you’ll want to consider your usage and measure it against the speeds and capacity being offered. Remember, you might need to upgrade your hardware to take full advantage of the faster speeds.
Basic nbn™ – also referred to as nbn™ 12/1Mbps* – has been designated as being suitable for everyday residential use. This plan level is best for households that have just one device connected most of the time, and use the internet to do basic tasks such as light browsing, checking emails and social media. The speeds you’ll have on this plan are comparable to current ADSL2+ standards. .
Casual nbn™ – or nbn™ 25/10Mbps* – is recommended for moderate household use. This speed tier is suitable for video streaming, larger downloads and other heavy usage. This plan is also recommended if you have more than one device connected at the same time.
Everyday nbn™ – or nbn™ 50/20Mbps* – offers a faster upload rate ideal for households with multiple users performing bandwidth-intensive activities, such as video streaming. It features a typical evening speed of 50Mbps*.
Family nbn™ – also referred to as nbn™ Homefast – is suitable for heavy home use. With a typical evening speed of 99Mbps*, this super-fast 50Mbps plan will make streaming movies, gaming, and other heavy duty activities instantaneous and delay-free. This plan level is probably sufficient for most households, even if you have multiple users streaming video and other data-heavy content at the same time.
Power User nbn™
Power User nbn™ – also referred to as nbn™ Home Superfast – offers a typical evening speed of 248Mbps*. At these speeds, HD movies can be downloaded in minutes and gaming is virtually guaranteed to be delay-free.
Power House nbn™
Power House nbn™ is our fastest residential plan. Also known as nbn™ Home Ultrafast, this plan offers a typical evening speed of 600Mbps*. Perfect for the serious gamer or ultimate streamer, this plan will support heavy household usage with absolute ease.
Other factors to consider
Once you’ve decided on a plan, you should find a reliable internet service provider (ISP). Note that network speeds are theoretical maximum speeds, so a host of other factors can affect your specific connection. These include hardware used by your ISP, your own hardware and your Wi-Fi connection.
Retailers or ISPs
The NBN is a wholesaler, so households and workplaces won’t be accessing it through the NBN itself but through retailers. Once you’re ready to sign up for it, check that it’s available at your address and sign up with your retailer or service provider just as you would with any type of internet connection.
Tools to help choose a provider
When choosing an ISP, there are several tools to determine whether or not your ISP is a quality one. Use the Google Video Quality Report to access data on the average YouTube video performance over a 24-hour period. This tool enables you to see how consistent and quick your ISP’s speeds are.
Costs and bundles
As you’re reviewing plans, it’s a good idea to balance large setup costs against monthly contract costs. If you know you’ll be making use of optional extras such as VoIP services, keep an eye out for special offers. Some providers will offer great deals with free extras.
If the NBN’s available in your area, now is a great time to get to know what’s being offered in terms of speed and capacity so you can make the right choice. Start by working out what your household or place of work might need in terms of data. Understanding the five tiers of service being offered by retailers is important, but checking your ISP for service quality will also enable you to find a good deal.
Chief Technology Officer
John has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2001. He was a co-founder of Wideband Networks in 2003 and has held the role of Chief Technology Officer since 2008. John brings strong technical expertise and acumen to the role and ...See all articles
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