Best NBN plans under AU$50: top-tier internet for less

Woman lying on couch using a laptop
(Image credit: Unsplash / Mimi Thian)

If you’re looking for the best cheap NBN plans, or you have a specific budget in mind and want to keep it under AU$50, then we’ve got you covered. NBN doesn’t have to burn a huge hole in your pocket, as there are now plenty of monthly plans that are both affordable and reliable. 

However, it has to be said that of the NBN plans under AU$50, they only remain at that price for up to six months as part of a promotional offering. Once this introductory period expires, your NBN plan will revert to its regular price, which can be around AU$60 per month as a minimum. 

But, since the majority of NBN plans are available without a contract, you are free to switch providers every six months to keep taking advantage of introductory offers. Remember though, promotions are usually reserved for new customers only, so you won’t be able to keep changing NBN providers until the end of time. 

Even so, once your NBN plan reverts to its regular price, you can still find some incredibly affordable deals, even on NBN 50 plans with enough speed to support up to four users comfortably. 

Best NBN plans under AU$50

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Through our partnership with WhistleOut, we’ve found there is only one NBN plan that costs under AU$50 for the entire duration, and it comes from Spintel. 

Image (opens in new tab)

Spintel | NBN 25 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$44p/m (for 6 months, then AU$49.95p/m)

Spintel’s entry-level NBN plan is an absolute bargain, although there is one potential catch. The telco says the typical evening speed you can expect is just 20Mbps and not the full 25Mbps you would get from competitors. However, Spintel says you will be able to achieve the full 25Mbps during off-peak hours. 

And, while we can’t find confirmation from the provider, we’d wager that the sacrifice of 5Mbps is a deliberate move to help keep costs down. In reality, you may not even notice a difference, especially if you’re living in a one or two person household. And, if price is the most important factor for you, Spintel is tricky to beat. 

Total minimum cost: AU$44 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$563.70 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$599.40

Tangerine | NBN 25 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$44.90p/m (opens in new tab)

Tangerine | NBN 25 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$44.90p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$59.90p/m)

Tangerine is the only other NBN provider partnered with WhistleOut to offer the first six months of an NBN plan for under AU$50. Like Spintel, Tangerine’s plan maxes out at 25Mbps, but you can expect to achieve this speed even during the busy evening hours. So, if receiving the full speed that you’re paying for is more important than price (Tangerine’s plan reverts to AU$60p/m after the promotional period) then this is the NBN plan for you. 

If you’re able to part with a little extra cash each month, then you can move up a speed tier to NBN 50. And, like we said earlier, you can switch your plan to a new provider that is just as, if not more affordable once the six month introductory period is up. 

Total minimum cost: AU$44.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$628.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$718.80

Dodo | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$53.85p/m (opens in new tab)

Dodo | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$53.85p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$75p/m)

Dodo’s NBN 50 plan is currently on the receiving end of an exclusive WhistleOut discount that ends on January 19, 2023. Said discount make’s Dodo’s NBN 50 plan the most affordable on the market, narrowly beating out Exetel (albeit by just 30 cents over the first 12 months). Dodo promises the full 50Mbps download speeds and because it also supplies electricity and gas, you can bundle services together to save even more. 

Total minimum cost: AU$53.85 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$773.10 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$900

Exetel | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$53.95p/m (opens in new tab)

Exetel | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$53.95p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$74.95p/m)

Exetel’s plan is virtually the same as Dodo’s, and while it may cost 10 cents more each month for the first six months, it has an added bonus feature up its sleeve. This comes in the form of Speed Boost days, which are available on NBN 50 –- NBN 250 plans, and which allow you to boost the speed of your NBN service to the next tier, for 24 hours, five times a month, for free. 

Total minimum cost: AU$53.95 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$773.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$899.40

Tangerine | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$54.90p/m (opens in new tab)

Tangerine | NBN 50 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$54.90p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$69.90p/m)

Rounding out the most affordable NBN 50 plans currently available is this one from Tangerine. It is slightly more expensive over the first 12 months compared to Dodo and Exetel, but it then becomes the most affordable where ongoing costs are concerned. 

One of our favourite features of Tangerine, however, is its 14 day free trial that gives you the chance to find out if your household can indeed achieve the claimed 50Mbps typical evening speeds. If for whatever reason you can’t, then you can simply walk away. 

Total minimum cost: AU$54.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$748.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$838.80

Cheap NBN plans with faster speeds

If you know you’re going to need a faster NBN connection, whether it’s to support a higher number of users, to comfortably stream 4K content or to ensure a speedy connection if you work from home, then there are still some affordable plans available. 

Just note that you’re not going to be able to get an NBN 100 plan, for example, for around the AU$50 mark. In general, the higher the speed, the higher the price you can expect to pay. We’ve rounded up the cheapest NBN plans for NBN 100, NBN 250 and NBN 1000

Dodo | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$63.85p/m (opens in new tab)

Dodo | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$63.85p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$85p/m)

Dodo’s NBN 100 plan is currently on the receiving end of an exclusive WhistleOut discount that sees its monthly price slashed by AU$21.15p/m for the first six months, making it the most affordable NBN 100 plan currently available. Do note, however, that Dodo only quotes 95Mbps typical evening speeds and not the full 100Mbps. 

If you do need the full 100Mbps, then the most affordable plan comes from Exetel, costing around AU$6 more each month. 

Total minimum cost: AU$63.85 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$893.10 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,020

Tangerine | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$79.90p/m (opens in new tab)

Tangerine | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$79.90p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$109.90p/m)

Telstra is currently the only NBN provider to promise the full 250Mbps typical evening speed, but there are plenty more deals to be had if you’re ok with a drop in evening speed. When searching, you may also find that some providers promise close-to-250Mbps evening speeds, but these aren’t NBN 250 plans (Exetel quotes 245Mbps, but this is technically on its NBN 500 tier, which is its equivalent of NBN 1000. Confusing, right?). 

So, the cheapest NBN plan that falls under the NBN 250 speed tier is this one from Tangerine, but it only quotes 205Mbps typical evening speed. That should still be plenty fast enough for most NBN users, but you may question if you’re truly getting good bang for your buck. We’ll leave that decision to you.  

Total minimum cost: AU$79.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$1,138.40

Origin | NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$144p/m (opens in new tab)

Origin | NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$144p/m (opens in new tab)

The same dilemma applies to the NBN 1000 tier. No NBN provider currently delivers the full 1Gbps speeds and some market their version of the ultrafast tier as NBN 500, so it looks as though you’re getting more accurate download speeds. Some other providers have also yet to monitor their service for long enough to determine what the average typical evening speed on this speed tier is. 

With all this taken into account, Origin comes out as the cheapest provider on the NBN 1000 speed tier. Claiming 600Mbps during the busy evening hours for AU$144p/m for the first 12 months, it narrowly comes out on top compared to its only direct competitor, Aussie Broadband. 

Total minimum cost: AU$144 | Total yearly cost: AU$1,728

Cheap NBN 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 yearly cost of AU$599.40 following any introductory offers. 

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

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 around. If you regularly stream high-quality video content or you work from home most of the time, then you will probably need to upgrade to an NBN 50 plan. Fortunately, these can still be affordable, with Tangerine’s NBN 50 plan costing just AU$838.80 per year after discounts are removed.

Max Langridge
Senior Editor, Tom's Guide AU

Max is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, where he covers all things internet-related, including NBN and the emerging alternatives, along with audio and visual products such as headphones and TVs. Max started his career in his homeland of England, where he spent time working for What Hi-Fi? and Pocket-lint, before moving to Australia in 2018.