Best NBN 250 plans: the cheapest, fastest and best overall options

NBN logo layered over image of light trail on road in Sydney
(Image credit: Future)

If you have the connection to support it, an NBN 250 plan has the potential to amplify your online experience. Offering download speeds of up to 250Mbps, the best NBN 250 plans aren’t just a step up from NBN 100 plans, they’re one giant leap. 

NBN 250 plans are constantly seeing improvements, with some internet service providers (ISPs) now advertising typical evening speeds that are getting closer to the magic number of 250. Yes, only two ISPs currently advertise the full 250Mbps speeds during the busier evening hours: Telstra and Southern Phone, but an increasing number aren’t too far behind, such as Aussie Broadband, Optus and Superloop. 

We’ve taken this into account as we dive into finding the best NBN 250 plans currently available in Australia, along with monthly cost, any additional perks and even any hidden costs. 

Best NBN 250 plans

Best overall NBN 250 plan

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Optus | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$89p/m (opens in new tab)

Optus | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$89p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$119p/m)

Our current top pick for the best NBN 250 plan comes from Optus. The telco is currently holding a sale (until March 26, 2023) that has seen AU$20 knocked off the first 6 months of its Superfast plan. Optus does only advertise 240Mbps typical evening speeds, but we’ll take the 10Mbps sacrifice in favour of a financial saving.

In fact, we recently crunched some numbers and over a 12-month period, Optus’ NBN 250 plan offers the best value in Australia in our opinion (bested only by plans offering 205Mbps and 208Mbps evening speeds). The only slight niggle we have with Optus is that it puts a mandatory charge on the supplied modem if you cancel the service within an initial 36-month period. If you stay connected for 36 months, the modem is free.

Otherwise, Optus provides a compelling option. In the most recent broadband performance report (opens in new tab) published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Optus was found to deliver 101.7% of advertised plan speeds during the busy evening hours. This implies you’re highly likely to achieve the maximum 240Mbps, or perhaps even faster, when connected.

Total minimum cost: AU$341 (inc. modem) | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$1,248 (excl. modem) | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,428 (excl. modem).

Best fast NBN 250 plan

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Superloop | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$99.95p/m (opens in new tab) (for 6 months, then AU$119.95p/m)

By default, Superloop doesn’t advertise the fastest typical evening speeds on the NBN 250 speed tier, coming in at an Optus-matching 240Mbps. However, we’ve chosen it as the best fast NBN 250 plan because the telco offers customers the ability to boost their speed to the next tier up five times a month, which in this instance provides 500Mbps download speeds.

If you don’t use all five Speed Boost days in one month, you can have them rollover into the next. You’re able to bank a total of 30 days.

Total minimum cost: AU$99.95 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$1,319.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,439.40

Exetel (opens in new tab) is another good option here, as it too offers Speed Boost days to the next tier. However, Exetel’s standard evening speeds on the NBN 250 tier are 225Mbps. If you’re happy to drop down 15Mbps, then you can save AU$60 over the course of 12 months.

Cheapest NBN 250 plan

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)

Tangerine, which so often provides some of the cheapest NBN plans on the market, also has the cheapest NBN 250 plan. The only caveat is that you’re not promised the full 250Mbps download speeds during the busier evening hours of 7pm–11pm. Instead, Tangerine advertises speeds of 205Mbps. 

But if spending the least amount of money is your goal and you want faster-than-100Mbps-speeds, Tangerine is the best option for you. 

Total minimum cost: AU$79.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$1,138.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,318.80

If you bank with CommBank, however, then you can get an even cheaper NBN 250 plan through More. More is currently offering CBA customers 30% off all NBN plans for 12 months, and an ongoing 10% discount thereafter. You could therefore get a 208Mbps NBN 250 plan for AU$83.80p/m for 12 months, bringing the total first year cost to AU$999.60.


How fast is NBN 250?

NBN 250 plans offer a maximum download speed of 250Mbps. However, only two telcos in Australia currently advertise this maximum speed: Telstra and Southern Phone. All other NBN providers in Australia advertise a range of speeds, from 196Mbps up to 245Mbps, so it’s always good to shop around to find the right balance of speed to monthly cost that works for you. 

Can I get NBN 250?

Not everyone in Australia will be able to sign up to an NBN 250 plan. In order to access the superfast speeds, you will need to have either a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) or hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) connection type at your property. Be sure to check with a range of ISPs if you have an HFC connection though, as some say an NBN 250 plan is only available in select cases. 

How much is an NBN 250 plan?

The cost of NBN 250 plans varies rather dramatically. The cheapest NBN 250 plan, as we mentioned further up this page, comes from Tangerine, with prices starting at AU$79.90p/m. But, the major telcos of Vodafone and Telstra charge AU$130 and AU$140 per month for their NBN 250 plans, after any introductory discounts. 

The average monthly cost of an NBN 250 plan, from our research, comes out to AU$118.40 per month.

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.