GUIDES & RESOURCES

Internet Providers

Keep reading to learn more about Australian internet providers, and some tips that may be helpful when considering which provider to choose.
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One of the important choices you need to make for your home is which internet provider you go with. When you moved in, you may have gone with a cheap internet provider, or maybe the provider you’ve used in the past.

But just like furniture, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. In this article we’ll cover common differences between internet providers and share some helpful tips to help you find a plan that works for you.

What kind of internet plans are out there?

Before you get started, it’s helpful to understand the different types of internet plans available. There can be lots of ways to connect your home to the internet, but they might not all be available in your area.

Let’s start off with the connections available via the National Broadband Network, or NBN. The NBN is Australia’s newest way to get internet, and has helped improve internet speeds around the country. Depending on where you live, there are many ways to connect your home to the NBN, including:

  • Optical fibre reaches your home through high bandwidth fibre-optic cable laid in the ground or in overhead power lines. This tends to be a favourable option for the NBN option, because the connection generally doesn’t weaken as it travels through the cable. However this might not be a viable option depending on where you live, in which case check if Fibre To The Curb (FTTC) or Fibre To The Node (FTTN) connections are available for you.  
  • Cable/HFC(Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) connects to the internet using the same sort of cable as pay TV connections.
  • Fixed wireless uses the same technology as your mobile phone to connect to the internet. Currently, this is typically only available in rural areas.
  • Satellite connection beams down data from two Sky Muster Satellites. While it may sound high-tech, it’s the slowest way of getting NBN and is only available in the more remote parts of Australia.

The other option for getting internet in your home is ADSL. ADSL and ADSL2+ (the newer, faster version of ADSL) connects your home to the internet via a modem, and existing phone line.

Understanding what type of internet you can connect to your home is the first step in finding a suitable internet provider. You can check whether your address is NBN compatible on their official website.

What internet providers and products does iSelect compare?

At iSelect we’re passionate about helping Australians save time, effort, and money across a range of products, including internet plans! We’re currently partnered with the providers below to help bring you great value internet and an affordable price.

  • Belong
  • Harbour ISP
  • Optus
  • My Republic

With the above internet providers, iSelect compares a range of different internet products to suit your budget and lifestyle.

What are the basics when it comes to choosing an internet provider?

Once you know what kind of internet connection you’re in the market for, you can start comparing internet service providers and their plans. If you’ve been with the same provider for many years, you’re not alone. A survey found that nearly half of Australians surveyed have been with the same service provider for five years or more1.

But if you don’t take the time to compare providers, you could be missing out. When shopping for a new plan, here’s some factors which may be beneficial to consider:

Speed

If you’ve ever had Netflix start buffering mid-movie, you’ll understand the importance of internet speed. When comparing plans, pay attention to the bandwidth. Bandwidth is the volume of information per second that your internet connection can transfer, measured in megabits of data per second (Mbps). The internet moves in two directions, so be on the lookout for both the download and upload speed.

The bandwidth that’s suitable for you depends on a number of factors, such as how many people are in your household and what they’re using it for. For example, if you’re a gamer, or are working or studying from home, you might find that paying for more bandwidth is worth it.

Speed Shaping

Speed shaping may sound like a super power a Marvel character might have, but sadly it’s not quite as fun. Some providers may slow your speed once you’ve reached your monthly data limit. This might not be a problem if you go with a plan with a high monthly allowance, but it’s good to keep in mind.

Reliability

Whether you’re about to find out whodunnit or you’re uploading an assignment just before deadline, internet reliability is pretty important. Some internet service plans will come with a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which could guarantee a certain level of performance.

Cost

The speed, capacity, and reliability of your internet plan can all impact how much it costs. When you know how much bandwidth you’re after, you’ll be able to compare costs of the plans that could deliver it.

What else could be beneficial to keep in mind?

The speed, reliability and cost of your internet could be key factors in deciding which provider to go with. But don’t overlook the small details that might ultimately make your life easier.

Customer Service

When internet problems occur, it’s always nice to have a provider that’s easy to get in touch with. A little research at the start could save you hours of hold music down the road.

Flexibility

Going with a provider that allows you to switch between plans may appeal to those who have a tough time with commitment. After all, what if you finally start that online business from home? Or decide to become a famous Twitch streamer?

Bundles and Extras

Some providers also offer mobile phone plans, which you may be able to bundle with your internet plan to save. Others add special features, like free hotspot access. These extra touches may not make or break which provider you choose, but could be a sweet cherry on top of your NBN sundae.

I’m thinking about switching internet plans. Where do I start?

Whether you’re sick of your current plan, or simply want to see if you could find a better deal, we’re here to help. Start by comparing internet plans from our range of providers online with iSelect, or give our friendly team a call on 13 19 20.

 

Sources:
1. https://www.smarterbusiness.telstra.com.au/tech-solutions/business-internet/what-to-look-for-when-choosing-an-internet-provider

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