How to choose the right internet speed when you connect broadband
When you move house, it’s becoming more and more common that having access to a reliable and fast internet connection is a deal breaker for the new home you choose, especially if you regularly work from home or if you are an enthusiastic online gamer.
But when you consider a new internet plan, it’s important to keep in mind that faster isn’t always better. For a lot of people, the highest speeds, offered by the most expensive plans, simply aren’t necessary and could be akin to pouring your money down the drain.
This page will explore the perfect internet speed for your home, so when you are moving broadband you can find the perfect, affordable internet plan.
On this page:
- What is internet speed?
- Choosing speed by internet activity
- Choosing speed by household size
- What can affect internet speed?
- Compare NBN plans and 5G options
What is internet speed?
Understanding the importance of internet speed will arm you with the knowledge you need to choose the right plan.
There are two sides to speed: download speed and upload speed. Each one plays a different role.
- What is download speed?
Download speed is the volume of data that your device can receive during a certain period of time. The download speed affects how quickly a webpage can load, how long it takes to download files and the quality at which you can stream content.
If you’ve ever had to wait while your Netflix movie buffers, that’s the result of your download speed being too slow for that activity.
- What is upload speed?
The exact opposite of download, upload speed refers to the volume of data your device can send during a certain period of time. Upload speeds affect activities such as sending work files, online gaming and video calls.
Both speeds are usually measured in megabytes per second (Mbps) i.e. the number of megabytes that can be sent or received in a second. For very slow speeds you might encounter kilobytes per second (Kbps) or for very fast speeds you could see gigabytes per second (Gbps).
You can learn more about internet speed and how to test the speeds in your home here: Test Your Broadband Speed.
Choosing speed by internet activity
As you might expect, broadband plans with higher speeds are more expensive, so it’s important to know the speeds you need in your house so you don’t get tempted to pay for a superfast plan that will cost you more without delivering you anything extra.
Some of the speeds needed for common internet activities are listed below – you might be surprised to find out how little speed you actually need.
Choosing speed by household size
As well as the type of activities you use your internet for, the number of people logging on at the same time affects the speed you need. If you have only very low speeds, then connecting to several devices at once will impact your online experience.
To determine the internet speed that is right for your household, you need to consider both the types of activities and the number of users that will be accessing your connection concurrently.
What can affect internet speed?
Unfortunately, even if you sign up for a high-speed plan, you won’t always be able to access those speeds.
There are several factors that might be causing your internet to slow down.
- 5G vs NBN
5G currently offers the fastest speed, with most plans claiming uncapped maximum speeds and a typical evening speed of 225Mbps.
On the other hand, most NBN plans offer a typical evening speed of 50Mbs, with some of the fastest plans claiming 1000Mbps and over. The type of NBN connection you have available at your home will also affect the speed.
You can learn more about the difference between 5G and NBN, to help you make an informed choice, here: 5G vs NBN – Which One Is Right For Me?
- Network congestion, latency and lag
When a large number of people access the network at the same time, such as during peak hours, this is called network congestion. It can result in latency and lag, which cause slow speeds. There are other factors that can also lead to latency and lag, including satellite connections and low bandwidth. You can read more about it here.
- Signal strength
The signal in your home could be weak for a number of reasons, including the model of your modem, its location in your house or aging cables. Learn how to optimise your new NBN connection here.
Compare NBN plans and 4G/5G wireless options
Now that you know the speed you need for your home internet, you are ready to start comparing plans. For super-fast speeds, an NBN plan or 5G wireless connections are the only way to go. However, if your internet activities are more low-key, you might be able to save money by choosing a basic NBN or 5G plan, or even a 4G alternative.
For Pay TV Australia or streaming services customers, there are also some cost-effective bundles for entertainment and broadband that might be the perfect option for you.
The table below is a sample of some of our favourite plans (prices correct in September 2022).
|Provider||Plan||Data limit||Typical evening speed||Cost|
|Optus||Internet Family Entertainer (NBN)||Unlimited||50 Mbps||$99/mth
($89/mth for the first 6 months)
Min. cost $557
|Optus 5G Internet Entertainer Superfast||Unlimited||225 Mbps||$99/mth
($89/mth for the first 6 months)
Min. cost $576
|Belong||100GB Data Plan (3G and 4G)||100GB||20 Mbps||$35/mth
Min. cost $35
Min. cost $70
|Foxtel||Unlimited Broadband + Premium channel pack||Unlimited||50 Mbps||$154.20/mth
(free internet for the first 2 months)
Min. cost $1700.40
Whether you are moving home or just looking for the cheapest broadband plan, call Move-In Connect on 1300 786 045 and talk to one of our experts about our moving utilities services.
Our 100% free comparison and moving service will not only find you the best plan, but we’ll also do all the hard work to get you connected in time for moving day! And in the same easy phone call, we can also help if you are moving home electricity, gas or Pay TV!
Call us on 1300 786 045 or enter your details online.