What NBN Speed Do I Need?

It’s crucial to know which NBN speed tiers are available so you can determine which is the best for your needs.

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, updated on September 20th, 2023       

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Wondering what NBN speed suits your needs best? The National Broadband Network (NBN) offers various speed tiers to cater to different online activities and household sizes, so understanding these speeds is crucial to helping you ensure your internet service matches your requirements.

You can discover the details of different NBN plans and find out which one aligns with your online demands in Savvy’s helpful guide. We'll walk you through the available NBN speed tiers and break down who may be suited to each option. Explore the intricacies of NBN speed right here with us today!

What NBN speed tiers are available in Australia?

The NBN comes in six different speed tiers:

  1. NBN 12 (12Mbps download, 1Mbps upload)
  2. NBN 25 (25Mbps download, 5Mbps upload)
  3. NBN 50 (50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload)
  4. NBN 100 (100Mbps download 20Mbps or 40Mbps upload)
  5. NBN 250 (250Mbps download, 25Mbps upload)
  6. NBN 1000 (1000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload)

The first four speed tiers are widely available around Australia across all connection types, but NBN 250 and 1000 are both limited to homes and businesses with either a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection.

What NBN speed do I need?

The best speed tier for you will depend on your needs as an individual, family or business, with each coming with its own advantages for different people. Here’s a breakdown of each tier to help you determine which one you need:

NBN 12 (Basic I Speed)

NBN 12 is the lowest-power NBN speed tier available. It's primarily suitable for fundamental internet tasks like web browsing, checking emails and occasional standard definition (SD) video streaming.

This may make it a suitable choice for light users or one-person households with minimal online activity. If you primarily use your internet plan for basic communication and light online browsing, you may decide this speed tier can provide a cost-effective solution.

NBN 25 (Basic II Speed)

NBN 25 is designed to cater to light to moderate internet users and small households of one to two people. It can enable web browsing, email communication, SD video streaming and can support essential work-from-home needs.

Because of their similar price point, NBN 25 plans serve a similar function to NBN 12 and are more popular as a result. For individuals who engage in more frequent online activities like streaming or small families with light internet needs, NBN 25 may be the plan for you.

NBN 50 (Standard Speed)

By far the most popular NBN plan around the country, NBN 50 offers the clearest balance between performance and affordability. It can be useful for larger households with multiple users who engage in simultaneous online activities or smaller households with higher data demands.

This speed tier can enable HD video streaming, online gaming with lower latency and efficient file downloads and uploads, as well as accommodate more demanding work tasks. If your household has several members streaming, gaming and working remotely but still have an eye on your budget, an NBN 50 plan could be the right call.

NBN 100 (Fast Speed)

The fastest widely available NBN tier, NBN 100 is designed for heavier internet users and households with extensive online demands, as well as small businesses with multiple employees online at once. If you have a non-FTTP or HFC connection, this is the speediest fixed line internet on offer.

NBN 100 can support 4K video streaming, online gaming with low latency, large file transfers and multiple device connections. It's the go-to choice for those who require a robust and responsive internet connection, especially in households with multiple users engaging in data-intensive activities.

NBN 250 (Superfast Speed)

One of the two new additions to the original four NBN speed tiers, NBN 250 is tailored for power users, small to medium businesses and those who demand super-fast internet speeds. However, as mentioned, only FTTP and HFC connections support these speeds.

This speed tier can offer 4K streaming, large-scale data uploads and downloads and high-performance online gaming without interruptions. Users who rely on bandwidth-intensive applications or require swift data transfer can benefit from the exceptionally high speed of NBN 250.

NBN 1000 (Ultrafast Speed)

The highest possible speed available on the NBN, NBN 1000 is geared towards tech enthusiasts and medium to large businesses with the most demanding connectivity needs. It can provide lightning-fast speeds suitable for 8K video streaming, professional-grade online gaming and data-intensive tasks like video conferencing and large-scale file sharing.

If you need entirely optimised speed and reliability, NBN 1000 delivers unparalleled performance compared to any other speed tier on the Network, making it ideal for advanced users and enterprises.

Frequently asked questions about NBN speeds

How do I check my NBN speed?

You can check your NBN speed by running an internet speed test. There are many online speed tests available, such as through various internet provider websites. Simply start the test and it’ll measure your download and upload speeds, giving you an idea of the current NBN speed you’re receiving.

Why am I not receiving the speed advertised on my NBN plan?

Several factors can affect your NBN speed, including network congestion, the quality of your modem or router, Wi-Fi interference and the provider you choose. Additionally, on certain connections such as Fibre to the Node, the use of copper cables to link you to the NBN means that the more copper used in the connection, the more your speed may degrade. It's essential to ensure your equipment is up to date and that you're subscribed to a speed tier which meets your needs.

Why are NBN evening speeds important?

Evening speeds represent the internet's performance during peak usage hours, typically between 7pm and 11pm. These hours can affect streaming, gaming and other online activities. Because of this, when comparing NBN plans, look for the evening speed quoted by different providers, as this is likely to be the speed you’ll receive when using the internet at peak hours.

How do I compare NBN plans?

To compare NBN plans effectively, consider the following factors:

  • Speeds and evening speeds
  • Cost
  • Contract terms
  • Data allowance (although most NBN plans have unlimited data)
  • Related fees
  • Additional features
  • Bundling options
Can I switch to a different NBN speed tier whenever I like?

Yes – if you have an NBN plan with no contract, you can generally switch to a different NBN speed tier at any time, but it might depend on your service provider's policies. If you’ve signed up for a plan on a lock-in contract, you may be charged break fees for switching to a new plan before the end of your term. Even if you have a month-to-month flexible contract, you may be required to pay the full price of your free modem if you cancel within a set period, such as 24 months.

What speed do I need for streaming platforms like Netflix?

Netflix recommends download speeds of 25Mbps for streaming 4K content, but you can use as little as 3Mbps to stream SD movies and TV. If streaming is a priority, you could also look for plans which come with a free Netflix subscription.

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Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.