5 things to do before choosing an internet plan

How much data you need is an important question when it comes to choosing an internet plan. This is an easy way to calculate the answer.

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Whether you are looking to change internet providers or connecting for the first time there are a number of considerations before you decide on a plan. When the internet plays such a large role in our day to day lives, ensuring you have the right fit for purpose is paramount.

How much does home internet cost?

Before you begin, it is important to decide how much you are willing to spend on your internet plan per month. The cost of your internet plan can vary between $20 and $200 and you’ll need to decide what fits into your budget.

At this point also consider that once connected, you will likely want internet services like video and music streaming services that also attract a monthly fee. Finally, set some budget aside for a modem and router to ensure you have connectivity wherever you need it in the home. This may be included in some internet plans but not all of them.

Could you save on your internet plan?

How much data do I need?

Even after you select the speed at which you browse the internet, you’re usually then presented with a choice of data allowances.

This decision also comes back to your estimated usage of particular internet services to help you decide. If you join online meetings often with multiple participants then data usage can average to 2GB per hour. Streaming video services consume 3GB for an hour on average while online gaming will consume around 300MB per hour.

If you look at your average day and multiply it by 30 then you should have a rough idea as to your requirements.

For most Australians, 500GB per month is sufficient however internet plans usually present an Unlimited option for $10 more. For peace of mind, you might simply opt for Unlimited but money can be saved by starting your plan lower and upgrading if required. It is harder to downgrade internet plans from a contract perspective.

Which internet connection type is best?

Many people assume signing up for an internet plan means joining the NBN. While this might be the best option, it is worth looking at whether 5G is a better option. If you’re a mobile worker or if NBN is not ideal in your area, 5G is an excellent option and can be competitive on price. For those in regional Australia, Starlink or satellite internet might be the best internet offering. If all options are available, you need to compare price, data allowance and speed to pick the best for you.

What data speed do I need for home internet

When looking at internet plans, most are categorised in speed tiers. Deciding on the correct speed is critical to a good online experience. While many will select the fastest option, you may be overspending for your needs. To help decide, consider how many people are going to be using the internet at one time and also what types of activities you’ll be doing online. A video streaming service at high-definition requires 5Mbps to work sufficiently while an online meeting service requires 4Mbps for a stable connection. If you have gamers in the household then 25Mbps is required for adequate online play. When you consider what will be occurring on your home network at any given time, it should help you understand what speed requirements suit you best.

Find a better suited internet plan

Best provider for home internet

With all of your requirements decided, you will find the same plans available at most providers. There will be a difference in price each month from various providers but it’s important to look at what inclusions are on offer that might normally add a cost to you.

Some internet providers will include a Wi-Fi Router, which could save you around $300 on purchasing one yourself.

Other providers will also offer free TV streaming services such as sport, or a 4G backup and even the option of cybersecurity benefits to prevent malicious attacks. If you are already a NBN user, have all of this in place and are simply looking for a better deal then look for options that provide just the connection fee without the extras.

Lastly, when shopping around for internet plans on the NBN remember that no single internet provider owns the network. This means that you can cancel and change to another provider during a cup of coffee with little fuss. While the big brands provide services beyond just the NBN, smaller NBN resellers are razor focused on delivering a great internet experience and could provide more competitive pricing also.

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