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What Is A 'Good' Internet Speed? | Mbps and Broadband Plans

A good Internet speed is important. We all know there’s nothing more frustrating than a video that won’t stop buffering, or a website page that just won’t load. When so much of our lives – including both work and leisure – take place online, a slow Internet connection can feel like your entire life has slowed down.

While it’s important to purchase a broadband plan from your Internet service provider (ISP) that can cope with your demands, you still want to avoid paying more than you need to. So what is a ‘good’ Internet speed? How good does your speed in particular need to be? We’ll give you a straight-forward rundown of everything you need to know about Internet speeds.

How Are Internet Speeds Measured?

Internet speeds for uploading and downloading content are measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). However, this measurement is impossible to interpret if you don’t have an idea of what a fast Mbps is compared to a slow Mbps.

What Are The Different Speed Options?

The NBN, the network through which nearly every Australian sources their Internet, offers four different speed tiers.

  1. Basic Evening Speed (12/1Mbps)
  2. Standard Evening Speed (25/5Mbps)
  3. Standard Plus Evening Speed (50/20Mbps)
  4. Premium Evening Speed (100/40Mbps)

Here, the Mbps units refer to the maximum download and upload speeds the tier offers. For example, a Basic Evening Speed will offer a 12/Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed at most.

The ACCC introduced the concept of ‘evening speeds’ to hold ISPs accountable to greater transparency when advertising the speed of their broadband plans.

From 7pm-11pm, there are typically more people using the network than at other times of the day. This means the evening speed is when your Internet will be under the most strain and likely to be its slowest.

Sometimes a plan offered by a specific telco will advertise a “typical evening speed”, rather than the maximum evening speed possible.

But What Speed Is Best For Me?

There’s no single answer for what constitutes a ‘good’ Internet speed. For a household of more than 5 people who all heavily use the Internet in the evenings, it’s likely that only a Premium Evening Speed would be sufficient. However, most households could achieve a ‘good’ Internet speed at a lower price.

Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans tend to be the most popular choice among Australian families. This plan is typically capable of managing web browsing and high definition video streaming across multiple devices in the evening.

If your household is likely to stream HD Netflix simultaneously in the evenings, this is likely to use roughly 10Mbps of your bandwidth. With a Basic Evening Speed allowing only 12Mpbs download speed at most, this doesn’t leave much bandwidth for anything else. Whilst a Standard Evening Speed is likely to cope with this level of usage, consumers tend to find that the Standard Plus plan provides a better balance of speed performance and price. 

Figuring out the cheapest plan that will still deliver good Internet may require some guesswork and a month-to-month contract to give you the chance to change plans later.

Alternatively, you could turn to our experts at Compare & Connect who will be able to tell you exactly what Internet plan you need based off your unique needs and demands. Leave it to us to compare your plans, so you can enjoy the fastest Internet possible on the most affordable plan.

Sally Writes 25 Oct 2020