Best cheap NBN plans: get quality internet from AU$39

A smiling young woman is holding a credit card and typing on a laptop
(Image credit: Petar Chernaev / Getty Images)

Signing up for a cheap NBN plan that doesn't sacrifice great service isn't an easy task. Some Aussies may worry that saving some extra coins on their home internet may mean dealing with poor coverage, quality and subpar customer service. That being said, some of the best cheap NBN plans combine both affordability and reliability, meaning you and your household can get connected for less. 

The best NBN providers provide attractive and highly competitive ongoing costs, let alone offer excellent introductory discounts, with prices starting at AU$39p/m for an NBN 12 (Basic I) plan. But for some, 12Mbps may not feed your internet demands, but you may still get a kick out of switching to a cheaper plan that delivers (or perhaps, overdelivers) on its high-speed download promises. 

To us, the best cheap NBN plans offer top value for the lowest possible monthly spend. They also include the maximum speeds for each tier, the reliability of the service you'll receive, and any extra perks. 

We've waded through the vast sea of NBN plans to find the most inexpensive plans across all internet service providers. All of these plans below work on a no-lock-in contract basis, which means you're free to chop and change NBN providers as you see fit. Keep in mind, though, that the most cost-effective way of changing ISPs is having a modem that you can reuse with any new provider you switch to.

As always, we're here to help you find a great home internet plan that works for you and your budget. We've divided selected plans into varying price points, starting from under AU$40 per month. 

Best NBN plans under $40

Finding an NBN plan under AU$40 is almost impossible. In fact, when looking at all the telcos we regularly monitor, Flip is the only provider that comes in under AU$40, but only for the first six months of service.

Flip | NBN 12 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract AU$39p/m

Flip | NBN 12 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract AU$39p/m (for 6 months, then AU$48.90p/m)

Flip is the only provider we can find that offers an NBN plan for under AU$40 per month. However, it's only for the first six months of the service, before it increases to AU$48.90p/m. 

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend an NBN 12 plan (see below), this plan may be perfect for a single-person household with minimal internet usage (e.g. social media scrolling and not much else) which wants to maximise their savings as much as possible. 

Total minimum cost: AU$39 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$527.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$586.80

This plan from Flip is only an NBN 12 plan, which has a maximum download speed of just 12Mbps and an upload speed of 0.8Mbps during the typical busy evening hours of 7pm-11pm. While this speed is fine for occasional web browsing and some social media scrolling, it's realistically not going to be able to support a modern household that wants to stream video content or conduct video calls.

With this in mind, we would recommend an NBN 25 plan at a minimum. You get double the speed and a greater capacity to support a small household. Realistically, an NBN 25 plan will still only be good for a household of just one or two users. Any more and you might want to consider a 50Mbps NBN 50 plan. 

The good news is NBN 25 plans aren't that much more expensive than NBN 12, with the cheapest NBN 25 plan we can find costing just AU$72 more over the course of a year, after any introductory discounts. 

Best NBN plans under AU$50

Moving up the budget scale a little further to AU$50 per month does present you with a few more options, although as before, only for the first six months of the service. For less than AU$50 each month (for the first six months) you're able to move up to the NBN 25 tier, with maximum download speeds of 25Mbps and uploads of 4Mbps. 

25Mbps NBN is enough to support a one or two person household who wish to browse the web, engross themselves in social media, and stream video content in up to HD quality. 

There are a few plans that meet the under AU$50 threshold on this tier, and we've picked out the best two below. 

Flip | NBN 25 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$44p/m

Flip | NBN 25 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$44p/m (for 6 months, then AU$54.90p/m)

The best NBN plan under AU$50 in our opinion is this NBN 25 plan from Flip. It advertises the maximum 25Mbps download speeds during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm, and is the cheapest 25Mbps plan in Australia. 

Again, we would recommend 25Mbps downloads as a minimum, so this plan could be perfect for a couple or single person household that wants moderate browsing capability for a decent price.

Total minimum cost: AU$44 | Total cost for first year: AU$593.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$658.80

Mate | NBN 25 | Unlimited data| No lock-in contract| AU$45p/m

Mate | NBN 25 | Unlimited data| No lock-in contract| AU$45p/m (for 5 months, then AU$65p/m)

Mate’s Crikey NBN 25 plan is a mammoth deal for an NBN 25 connection. You’ll save AU$20 a month over your first five months — that’s AU$100 — before the price increases to AU$65p/m. With no activation, exit, or change fees, this deal is a steal, especially with a low minimum cost of AU$45. 

And if you’re not completely satisfied with your connection, Mate will provide a full refund of your plan fee within the first month. 

Total minimum cost: AU$45.00 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$660.00 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$780

Best NBN plans under AU$60

If your monthly budget can stretch to AU$60p/m, then you're able to go up another speed tier to NBN 50, with maximum download speeds of 50Mbps and maximum upload speeds of 20Mbps. However, once again, you can only spend less than AU$60p/m for the first six months on a select few NBN plans. 

The NBN 50 tier has recently been affected by NBN price hikes, as a result of NBN Co increasing wholesale prices. Telstra's NBN 50 plan jumped up AU$5p/m — taking it up to a mammoth AU$100p/m — on November 1. Other telcos have followed suit, with increases ranging between AU$5-10p/m. This could be the perfect time to switch, so scroll on if you're on hunt for cheaper NBN 50 plans. 

Flip | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$59p/m

Flip | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$59p/m (for 6 months, then AU$69.90p/m)

We have to recommend Flip as the best NBN plan under AU$60 as its 50Mbps NBN 50 plan is currently the cheapest you can find. Better still, the telco advertises the maximum 50Mbps speeds during the evening hours. 

Upload speeds are on par with the competition at 17Mbps, too and online reviews appear to be pretty positive. 

Total minimum cost: AU$59 | Total cost for first year: AU$773.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$838.80

Tangerine | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$59.90p/m

Tangerine | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$59.90p/m (for 6 months, then $79.90p/m)

Tangerine’s Value Plus NBN 50 is one of the cheapest prices you’ll pay for an NBN 50 connection, coming in right under AU$60 p/m. Saving AU$20 a month over your first six months — that’s AU$120 total — before the price increases to AU$79.90. 

What we like about Tangerine is that it offers a 14-day risk free trial, so if you find the service isn't up to scratch for whatever reason, you're free to cancel without any issues. 

Total minimum cost: AU$59.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$838.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$958.80

Best NBN plans under AU$70

AU$70 edges closer to the average cost of an NBN 50 plan (currently AU$76.36 based on the regular monthly costs of the NBN providers we monitor), but it can also get you a faster 100Mbps NBN 100 plan...for the first six months. 

With this in mind, we've picked out plans from both the NBN 50 tier and the NBN 100 tier as the best NBN plans under AU$70. You can get either an NBN 50 plan full time, or an NBN 100 plan part time. 

Exetel | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$60.99p/m

Exetel | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$60.99p/m (for 6 months, then AU$78.99p/m)

Our other top pick for an NBN plan under AU$70 is this one from Exetel. It only meets the price point for the first 6 months, but comes with added value in the form of Speed Boost days, which allow you to boost the speed of your NBN service to the next tier – NBN 100 in this instance – for 24 hours, five times a month, for free. 

Any unused Speed Boost days can be banked up to a total of 30. If you want more days, you can purchase them for AU$2 each.

Total minimum cost: AU$60.99 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$839.88 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$947.88

Flip | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$69p/m

Flip | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$69p/m (for 6 months, then AU$79.90p/m)

If you crave even faster speeds, Flip's NBN 100 plan also comes in under the AU$70 budget for the first six months of the service. 

The only downside here is that Flip doesn't advertise the maximum 100Mbps speed during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm. But at 91Mbps it should still be plenty quick enough for households of four or more. 

Total minimum cost: AU$69 | Total cost for first year: AU$893.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$958.80

Best NBN plans under AU$80

AU$80 is realistically how much most Australian households will need to pay to get connected to the NBN if they want a fast, reliable service. For AU$80 you can comfortably get an NBN 50 plan for as long as you've got the right connection type. A couple of NBN providers are still more expensive — Vodafone and Telstra, we're looking at you.

There are also a few NBN 100 plans that come in under AU$80p/m following any introductory discounts, which we've included below. 

Spintel | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$75p/m

Spintel | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$75p/m (for six months, then AU$85.95p/m)

If you're keen for superfast speeds at a seriously low cost, this Spintel deal is hard to beat. Advertising 211Mbps download speeds during the busy evening hours, this plan slashes AU$10.95 off a month for the first six months — that's a saving of AU$65.70 — before the price increases to AU$85.95, which still represents astonishing value compared to other providers on this speed tier. 

Keep in mind, though, that this Spintel offering is only available for addresses with FTTP and HFC connections. 

Total minimum cost: AU$75 | Total cost of first 12 months: AU$965.70 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,031.40

Flip | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$69p/m

Flip | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$69p/m (for 6 months, then AU$79.90p/m)

We had to include Flip's NBN 100 plan once again. It represents the cheapest way to get connected at this speed level (if you don't factor in a plan from another provider that has received numerous negative reviews). 

As we've mentioned before, it doesn't advertise the maximum 100Mbps speeds during the evening hours, but considering the low cost, we feel this is an ok sacrifice. 

Total minimum cost: AU$69 | Total cost for first year: AU$893.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$958.80

Exetel | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$68.99p/m

Exetel | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$68.99p/m (for 6 months, then AU$84.99p/m)

Exetel's NBN 100 plan does go over the AU$80p/m threshold after the introductory discount, but we felt compelled to include it here because of the added value that comes with it. That added value being the aforementioned Speed Boost days, which allow you to temporarily increase the speed of your service to the next tier — NBN 250 — for free, five times a month. 

Note that you will need to connect to the NBN via fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) or hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) to take advantage of this speed boost feature. 

Dodo | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$64p/m

Dodo | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$64p/m (for 6 months, then AU$85p/m)

This Dodo NBN 100 plan is currently the cheapest NBN 100 plan in Australia. Not only does it come in at under AU$900 for the first year, Dodo's plan also advertises the maximum 100Mbps typical evening speeds. 

However, you may want to consider switching to another plan like Flip's NBN 100 plan, if you want to maximise savings on similar speeds over the first 12 months.

Total minimum cost: AU$64 | Total cost for first year: AU$894 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,020

Best NBN plans under AU$90

AU$90p/m is pretty much the sweet spot to get connected to the NBN. At this price point, you can sign up for the majority of NBN 100 plans and virtually all NBN 50 plans (except for Telstra) after any introductory discounts. 

Signing up for an NBN 50 or NBN 100 plan will mean an entire household can comfortably connect to the internet at the same time. The faster download speeds will also be beneficial for gamers wishing to download large files, and 100Mbps NBN 100 plans are also good for those wishing to stream 4K content in the comfort of their own home. In this regard, the plans mentioned above fit the bill perfectly.

It is also possible to sign up for a faster NBN 250 plan, with theoretical maximum download speeds of 250Mbps, although only for the first six months. We've included our two favourite options on the 250Mbps speed tier below. They do only meet the threshold for the first six months, so at the very least, we would recommend you do sign up for this introductory period, to see if you need the faster speeds. You may find an NBN 100 plan will service your household just fine. 

Flip | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$84p/m

Flip | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$84p/m (for 6 months, then AU$94.90p/m)

Flip once again features at this price point. There's just very little to fault the telco on, and it's a testament that it's able to deliver well-reviewed NBN for much less than most of the competition and Flip's NBN 250 plan is indeed the cheapest you can get in Australia.

Typical evening speeds are only 236Mbps and not the full 250Mbps, but only a select few NBN providers do promise the maximum, so we're not going to mark Flip down on this occasion.

Total minimum cost: AU$84 | Total cost for first year: AU$1,073.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,138.80

Superloop | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$85p/m

Superloop | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$85p/m (for 6 months, then AU$99p/m)

This NBN 250 plan from Superloop is well worth considering in our view. It doesn't quite promise the maximum 250Mbps download speeds either, but with 240Mbps quoted instead, we think a sacrifice of 10Mbps is justifiable, considering the cost. 

The only other plans on this speed tier that are cheaper advertise slower speeds, so for our money, Superloop is another provider well worth your consideration.

With this Superloop plan, you're also able to temporarily boost the speed of your plan to the NBN 1000 tier five times a month. Superloop quotes typical evening speeds of 600Mbps here, which is among the fastest in the country.

Total minimum cost: AU$85 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$1,104 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,188

Cheap NBN plans FAQ

What is the cheapest NBN plan?

Determining the outright cheapest NBN plan can be tricky, since NBN providers regularly change their plan prices or introduce various offers. At the time of publishing, the cheapest NBN plan available through our partnership with WhistleOut is Spintel’s Entry 20 plan at a total 12 month cost of AU$623.70 following any introductory offers. 

It’s based on the NBN 25 speed tier, although it only advertises 20Mbps speeds during the busier evening hours. If you live in a single person household, or if there are two people requiring basic internet needs, it’s the best and cheapest option out there right now. 

Who has the cheapest NBN plans?

Many of the popular retail service providers (RSPs) offer affordable NBN plans, but those that regularly come in at the lowest end of the budget spectrum include Tangerine, Spintel, Dodo and Exetel. 

How much should I spend on NBN?

The amount of money you spend on your NBN plan will be determined by the speed you need. If you live by yourself or in a two-person household, then you can most likely get by with an NBN 25 plan, which are some of the cheapest options around. If you regularly stream HD video content or you work from home most of the week, then you will probably need to upgrade to an NBN 50 plan. Fortunately, these can still be affordable, like Tangerine’s NBN 50 plan costing just AU$838.80 per year after discounts are removed.

Lucy Scotting
Staff Writer

Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.

With contributions from