Internet Providers

Learning about your options for broadband in Australia.

Last updated on April 19th, 2022 at 02:32 pm by Thomas Perrotta

Internet Providers

Australians certainly aren’t short on options when it comes to internet service providers (or ISPs), with a wealth of options on the market to choose from. It’s important, therefore, to gain an understanding of these internet providers, how they work and the types of deals that they can offer you. Learn more about some of the best internet providers in the country and how to compare between them in this comprehensive guide to Australian ISPs.

Who are some of the best internet providers in Australia?

Telstra

Even if you know nothing about internet providers in Australia, there’s a fair chance that you would’ve heard about Telstra. Created in 1975 as Telecom Australia after previously being run by the Postmaster-General’s Office from 1901, Telstra are the largest telecommunications company in the country and a dominant force in the Australian market across several fronts. While they made their name offering networks for telephone access, the company has expanded to also offer broadband connections and mobile phone plans, as well as other products such as owning a 35% share of subscription TV service Foxtel.

In terms of the internet deals Telstra offers, they are one of a select few ISPs to provide plans for each of the six NBN speed tiers, as well as their array of non-NBN internet plans for those who prefer wireless connections. Whilst they aren’t known as a budget provider who specialises in cheap internet, the vastness of services they provide, including 24/7 customer support, is a big factor in their popularity with Australians.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: NBN 50 Standard Plus Speed + Unlimited Data
$80
50Mbps
Unlimited
No connection fee when you sign up online
Wireless: Telstra Upfront Data Plan Large
$85
4GX
400GB
  • 5G network access
  • No lock-in contract
  • Apple Music and live sport streaming data-free

Optus

Alongside Telstra, Optus is one of the two big guns of the Australian telecommunications market. Optus was actually designed to compete with what is now Telstra when it was bought by Optus Communications from the Australian Government in the 1990s, at which point it was known as AUSSAT. Since then, it has proved to be one of the most popular providers for Australians not only for telecommunications, but broadband also. It’s not limited to solely these services, with the purchase of streaming rights for soccer competitions such as the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup headlining its streaming service Optus Sport.

In terms of internet, Optus offers NBN, wireless and mobile broadband connections, and has a solid reputation for providing effective speeds. Like Telstra, its focus is not so much on providing the cheapest possible service to customers, but more so the fastest, most reliable internet for your home or business. Its customer service is also extensive, with around the clock support available for its users.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: Optus Internet Everyday – NBN
$75
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • Ultra Wi-Fi modem free when connected for 36 months
  • Free subscription to Optus
Wireless: 5G Internet Everyday
$75
5G
Unlimited

Free subscription to Optus Sport

TPG

Unlike Telstra and Optus, TPG became well known in Australia primarily as an internet service, although mobile services were part of the package. Founded in 1986, it’s now one of the largest ISPs in the country, helped by some of its subsidiaries such as iiNet and Internode. In 2020, TPG merged with Vodafone to bring both under the same umbrella of TPG Telecom Limited.

TPG has built its brand on offering high-performance internet plans at a reasonable cost. Its plans generally come with speeds close to peak capabilities and unlimited data at prices below those of the top premium internet providers. The four initial NBN speed tiers are the only ones offered by TPG, with no NBN 250 or 1000. They deal exclusively in fixed line connections, so wireless and mobile broadband plans won’t be available.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: NBN50 Unlimited Bundle
$69.99
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • No lock-in contract
  • $0 Pay As You Go calls

Dodo

Dodo is a specialist ISP operating out of Melbourne. Formed in 2001, it’s a newer service than the others listed thus far but has more than made up for any lost time by establishing itself as one of the leading cheap internet providers in Australia. More recently, Dodo has expanded its services to not only include cheap internet and mobile plans, but also utilities like gas and electricity, which can be bundled with internet to reduce their overall prices.

Dodo’s business model means that they only offer a limited number of plans, so in that respect they cannot compete with other internet providers. However, what this does mean is that customers can ensure that they’ll be accessing some of the best prices for their internet. While you might expect that these come at a lower speed as a result, this isn’t actually the case, as Dodo’s speeds are generally close to or at maximum capacity.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: NBN50 Unlimited Plan
$75
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • First month free
  • Able to be bundled with electricity or gas

SpinTel

Established in 1996, SpinTel is mixing it with the big boys on the internet provider scene with its fast, low-cost plans. It specialises in home internet, as well as providing users with some access to cheap mobile plans. It’s not a subsidiary of any other larger parent company, meaning that it’s able to conduct itself individually.

Unlike some other smaller internet providers, SpinTel is leading the way in terms of offering an extensive suite of NBN, home wireless and mobile broadband deals at basement prices. Part of their business model is taking advantage of heavy initial discounts in the opening six months of their plans as a means of drawing in new customers. Additionally, they were one of the first internet providers in Australia outside of the larger providers to offer home wireless broadband on the 5G network.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: NBN Unlimited Plus
$64.95
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • $59/month for the first six months
  • Bundle options with mobile phone plans
Wireless: 500GB Wireless Internet
$69.95
4G
500GB
  • $59.95/month for the first six months
  • No additional setup fee

Tangerine

Tangerine, or Tangerine Telecom, perhaps isn’t as well known as some of the other providers in this list, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’re not worth considering. Operating out of South Melbourne, Tangerine is one of Australia’s leading NBN providers in terms of both price and speed, offering high-power plans at very affordable prices. In this respect, they’re like SpinTel, as their balance between cheap and effective plans has made them an attractive choice for Australians and tech review sites alike.

Unlike other providers, though, Tangerine focuses almost solely on NBN plans when it comes to their products. Mobile plans aside, their attention is fairly and squarely fixed on the NBN, and they offer plans for NBN 25, NBN 50, NBN 100 and NBN 250. These are often amongst the cheapest available options on the market for each type, so you’ll probably receive value for money.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: XL Speed Boost
$69.90
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • $54.90/month for the first six months
  • No contract or setup fees

Belong

Another internet provider specialising in a small number of cheap plans, Belong is actually a subsidiary of Telstra. Despite this, though, Belong does bring a slightly unique service to the table in terms of their internet service. Rather than selecting from individual plans, their website allows users to “build” their own NBN plans by selecting their desired speed and whether they wish to buy a contract. This adds a layer of individuality to each customer’s experience, giving them the sense of a personalised internet plan to suit their needs.

In a similar way to Dodo, Belong only offers three types of NBN plan: Starter, Standard Plus and Premium. Sim-only mobile plans are also offered by Belong, which can benefit from an $80 mobile credit when a broadband plan is purchased. However, it’s important to note that the offered speeds under these plans are lower than other internet providers, with Starter and Standard Plus both falling under the NBN 50 connection at 30Mbps and 40Mbps respectively, while Premium comes in at 80Mbps.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: NBN Standard Plus
$65
40Mbps
Unlimited
  • First month free
  • $80 mobile credit

MATE

The first thing you’ll notice when visiting the MATE front page is how Australian it is, as they’re keen to let you know that they’re Australian owned and operated. Having been founded in 2015, they’re by far the youngest ISP in this list, but they’re making waves in the national market. As with most smaller specialist lenders, MATE have centred their approach around a select few internet and mobile plans. Where they start to differ is their one-month, risk-free guarantee, whereby you’ll be refunded if you’re not happy with your internet service inside the first month.

MATE offers five NBN speed tier plans, with NBN 1000 the only exception. Like Belong, users should be aware of the slightly reduced speeds in peak hours, such as 42Mbps on their Best Mates NBN 50/20 plan. They also offer limited mobile plans that can be bundled with NBN offers.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: Best Mates NBN 50/20
$69
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • One-month risk-free guarantee
  • No setup or plan change fees

Aussie Broadband

Like MATE, Aussie Broadband is a relatively new provider on the Australian market and is focused on ensuring the best possible service and customer satisfaction. Founded in 2008 in Morwell, Victoria, Aussie Broadband boasts an array of awards for its customer service, including three Product Review Awards for Internet Service Providers and two ACOMM Awards for Commitment to Customer Service, all in the space of three years.

What sets them apart is their “build your own NBN” service, which allow customers to choose from eight speed tiers (consisting of the original six NBN speed tiers along with a 75/20 and an additional Homefast option at 99Mbps) and three data caps (100GB, 500GB and unlimited data). As so many others do, Aussie Broadband also offer phone bundles with their NBN plans. With the amount of choice afforded to you as a consumer, you’ll undoubtedly be able to mix and match to find an internet plan to suit your needs.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: 50/20 Unlimited – Everyday NBN
$79
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • No lock-in contract
  • No upfront fees

Aussie Broadband

Like MATE, Aussie Broadband is a relatively new provider on the Australian market and is focused on ensuring the best possible service and customer satisfaction. Founded in 2008 in Morwell, Victoria, Aussie Broadband boasts an array of awards for its customer service, including three Product Review Awards for Internet Service Providers and two ACOMM Awards for Commitment to Customer Service, all in the space of three years.

What sets them apart is their “build your own NBN” service, which allow customers to choose from eight speed tiers (consisting of the original six NBN speed tiers along with a 75/20 and an additional Homefast option at 99Mbps) and three data caps (100GB, 500GB and unlimited data). As so many others do, Aussie Broadband also offer phone bundles with their NBN plans. With the amount of choice afforded to you as a consumer, you’ll undoubtedly be able to mix and match to find an internet plan to suit your needs.

Best standard internet plans Price/month Speed Data Features
Fixed line: NBN Standard Plus Plan
$69
50Mbps
Unlimited
  • No lock-in contract
  • HD streaming

Top tips for comparing the best internet providers

Compare with Savvy

The best place to compare top internet providers and plans is Savvy. With our comprehensive comparison tools, you’ll be able to find the right plan to suit your needs by comparing between options in the areas that matter to you most.

Make sure you get a good price

Perhaps the easiest way to compare between the best internet providers is to look at their respective price ranges. It’s important to not pay more for your service than you need to, so looking at some of the cheaper options that can deliver on speed and data are almost always going to be the best.

Consider data allowance

While every ISP will offer unlimited data on their NBN plans, you might not wish to commit to that great an allowance. If that’s the case, the easy fix is to search for ISPs who offer internet plans with data caps, which will usually be either 100GB, 200GB or 500GB.

Check for the right speed tier

As you can see from the listed internet providers above, not all of them will offer every speed tier on the NBN. If you have a specific one that you’re looking for, whether that be for your home or business, you should prioritise providers who offer them.

Look at the connection type (for NBN plans)

Not all connection types can hit the speeds advertised on an NBN plan, so it’s important to be aware of which connection you’ll be receiving. For example, FTTB is more powerful than FTTN, which makes use of copper cables that can compromise speed capacities.

Frequently asked questions about internet providers

Which provider offers the cheapest internet plan?

Internet plan prices change regularly, but you can guarantee that the cheapest prices will be for plans with slower speeds and minimal data. A combination of these is offered by TPG, whose NBN 12, 10GB-cap plan costs just $29.99 per month. This plan would only suit users who access the internet sparingly at best over the span of a month, however.

Should I compare customer service between internet providers?

Absolutely – because most people aren’t technical wizzes or are capable of fixing connection issues on our own, it’s important for internet providers to offer adequate customer service to ensure your problems can be solved. There are providers who offer 24/7 support services, while others may only be limited to 9-5 on weekdays. If you value this highly, familiarise yourself with different providers’ support channels.

Are there any internet providers who offer ADSL plans?

Yes – of the providers listed above, Dodo, TPG, MATE and Telstra all offer ADSL internet plans. The primary benefit that these connections present, while greatly reduced in terms of speed capability, is that they’re much cheaper than NBN connections. However, once you’re connected to the NBN, you won’t be able to reconnect to the ADSL network.

Which internet providers offer the best home wireless internet connections?

SpinTel’s $69.95 home wireless internet plan, which offers 4G internet and 500GB of data, is seen as one of the best on the market. However, you’ll be able to find quality connections of this nature with Optus, Exetel, Southern Phone and others.

Which internet providers offer the best mobile broadband connections?

You’re likely to find that internet providers who also specialise in phone plans can offer the highest quality mobile broadband plans. Some of these may include Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, amaysim and more.

Do subsidiary internet providers offer the same deals as their parent companies?

Not always – while they’re unlikely to offer unique products, there is usually a point of difference between subsidiary internet providers and those who own them. For instance, the type of products and service at Belong is slightly different to what you’d experience with Telstra, and the same goes for TPG, iiNet and Internode.