Looking for a new internet service provider (ISP)? We use real-world performance to find the best NBN providers for you.
Our scores, based on data from the ACCC's NBN provider performance program, will show you the full list from volunteer triallists. Below is a shortlist of the best NBN plans available right now, ranked by how they measure up to their claimed plan speeds.
We rank fixed-line fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the premises (FTTP) and cable (HFC) NBN plans on whether they're meeting their claimed speed based on the ACCC's broadband monitoring results.
If your NBN connection technology isn't represented here (such as FTTC, fixed wireless or Sky Muster satellite), that's because the range of volunteers on the ACCC's program doesn't provide enough data on that NBN technology for us to confidently rank providers against each other.
For additional results, head to our full coverage of the ACCC's broadband provider performance program.
These are the best scorers from the most recent data. We leave out any scores lower than 80%. Any tied results for each reporting period are represented by identical numbers in the first column.
Where there are fewer than three results, this is because the ACCC's data is limited for that plan type.
Each plan also indicates its upload speed, such as 100/20, where 100 is the maximum wholesale download speed (megabits per second) and 20 is the upload speed.
Fibre to the Node (FTTN)
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
Why we've partnered with WhistleOut
We've partnered with search engine WhistleOut to help you find and buy the right plan for you. The 'Search Providers' button above will take you to their site. While we make money if you buy through WhistleOut, this doesn't influence our rankings. 100% of the money we make goes straight back into our nonprofit mission.
If you aren't sure what technology you have, visit NBN Co's website to find out what connection type is available at your premises.
The points below describe the three fixed-line NBN technologies we have ACCC measuring data for: FTTP, FTTN and HFC.
We hope to add fibre to the curb, fixed wireless and satellite plans to this list as the ACCC expands its monitoring program
Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
- Outside your premises: Fibre cable to a street cabinet, then more fibre to your house.
- Inside your premises: Usually one box installed on the outside of your house, two side-by-side wall-mounted boxes inside.
- Socket: Ethernet (doesn't use the old phone wall sockets in your house).
Fibre to the node (FTTN)
- Outside your premises: Fibre to a street cabinet, then pre-existing copper lines to your house. The longer the copper portion of the connection, the less fast and reliable your connection may be. Copper is less effective for data transfer than fibre optic, and pre-existing copper cabling might be in bad shape, leading to further signal loss or unreliability. NBN Co is usually responsible for the copper cabling on public land.
- Inside your premises: Looks similar to an ADSL modem inside your house. You're responsible for the copper cabling within your premises.
- Socket: Uses your home's pre-existing phone wall sockets. The socket might be upgraded by an NBN technician during or after installation, but don't count on it.
- Outside your premises: Fibre to an HFC node near your premises, then coaxial cabling the rest of the way, like cable TV or a pre-NBN cable internet connection.
- Inside your premises: Needs a pre-existing coaxial cable (for the above) in your premises or a new installation if necessary. If you have Foxtel, the installing NBN technician should provide you with a signal splitter so that your NBN and cable TV connections connect to the same wall port. Don't use this splitter if you don't have a cable TV connection or need it for other purposes, as it can reportedly cause signal stability problems in some instances.
- Socket: The inside box is not wall mounted and doesn't connect to old phone wall sockets. You'll need to connect a separate router to this box, either supplied by your provider or by yourself, to connect multiple devices and create a Wi-Fi network.
NBN speed tiers
On this page, we only rank two NBN speed tiers: Home Standard (50Mbps download maximum) and Home Fast (100Mbps download maximum). The names of plans from your provider may differ.
We only report on these two speed tiers because the ACCC's broadband monitoring program doesn't provide enough data on other tiers for us to rank products against each other.
Below is the full list of fixed-line NBN speed tiers.
|NBN wholesale speed tiers||Speed tier description||Previously called|
|Home Basic 1||Less than 12Mbps download speeds in typical busy times.||NBN 12|
|Home Basic 2||At least 15Mbps download speeds during typical busy times, up to 25Mbps.||NBN 25|
|Home Standard||At least 30Mbps download speeds during typical busy times, up to 50Mbps.||NBN 50|
|Home Fast||At least 60Mbps download speeds during typical busy times, up to 100Mbps for FTTP and HFC. Between 25Mbps and 100Mbps for FTTC, FTTN and FTTB.||NBN 100|
|Home Superfast||At least 150Mbps download speeds during typical busy times, up to 250Mbps.||N/A|
|Home Ultrafast||From 500Mbps to close to 1Gbps.||N/A|
Where once these tiers included indications of upload speeds, NBN now offers more options to providers. For example, some Home Fast plans might have wholesale upload speeds up to 40Mbps (100/40), while others max out at 20Mbps (100/20).
Theoretically, the second option should be cheaper, but make sure you keep an eye out for advertised speeds to make sure they suit your needs.
You'll also only be eligible for certain plans if your connection meets the requirements.
What's the fastest NBN speed you can buy?
Here's a general indication of the maximum speed a provider might consider selling to you, depending on your connection type.
- Fibre to the node (FTTN) – Home Fast, but some providers won't go above Home Standard without testing your connection first, or at all.
- Fibre to the building (FTTB) – Home Fast.
- Fibre to the curb (FTTC) – Home Fast, but NBN Co hopes to increase it to Home Superfast or Ultrafast soon.
- Fibre to the premises (FTTP) – Home Ultrafast.
- Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) – Home Ultrafast, but NBN Co states no more than 750Mbps sustained download speeds for HFC, with short bursts of up to nearly 1Gbps.
NBN plans have two factors to consider: speed/bandwidth, which is measure in megabits per second (Mbps), and the amount of data you can download, measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB).
To get an idea of how much speed you need, think of how many devices in your house use the internet at the same time. If it's just one or two screens streaming Netflix, then you could get by with a 50/20 (Home Standard) or possibly even a 25/10 (Home Basic 2) plan.
If you have multiple users, such as households with large families or share houses, you may need a 100/40 or 100/20 plan (Home Fast).
Upload bandwidth is an important consideration for some people. If you or others in your home rely on cloud storage for large files or upload a lot of media, then 20Mbps is an advisable starting point, such as with a Home Standard or Home Fast plan.
CHOICE tip: It's usually easier to increase your plan's speed than decrease it once you've signed up, so it might be a good idea to start low and go up if you need it. Check with a service representative before you sign up if you'll incur additional fees for this. That, or sign up to a no-contract plan, which should let you change your cap on a monthly basis as needed.
Your current provider should offer a way to check your monthly download amounts online. Look over the last few months to get an idea of your maximum data usage per month.
Our advice? Go with something a little higher than your current usage, as it may fluctuate or increase over time, but you don't necessarily need a 500GB or unlimited plan, even though these are fast becoming the norm.
If you're not on a contract...
If you're not on a contract, changing providers should be as easy as contacting your new provider and signing up to an NBN plan. You can do this online, by phone, or sometimes instore, depending on what provider you're signing up to.
Your new NBN provider will contact your old one and make the switch. Your old plan will be cancelled at the end of your current billing month and your new plan will start around the same time.
There may be some overlap in billing periods between the two providers, but you should be notified of the date your new billing period will start. There are often additional charges when signing up to a new provider, such as an activation fee or hardware costs.
If you're on a contract...
If you're still within the term of a broadband contract, you'll need to ask your current provider what the cancellation process is. You may have to pay out all or part of your current contract and you may need to pay a termination fee.
Aside from this, it's the same process as for those who are off contract.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.