Searching for the best unlimited NBN for your household might not be as simple as you’d think, since you’ll find that the majority of NBN providers include unlimited data as standard with their plans. What this means is that you’ve essentially got to sift through all the best NBN providers to find the best NBN plan for your needs.
Even if you don’t think you’ll use a huge amount of data each month, having unlimited data on your NBN plan will help you avoid any extra charges or slower download speeds if you were to exceed your monthly data cap.
For us here at Tom’s Guide, the best unlimited NBN plans are those that offer the full download speed of their respective speed tier, for the lowest monthly price. We’ve also factored in if any NBN providers include any extra perks, such as free subscriptions, to determine which truly are the best.
If you know which speed tier you're after, simply click the quick links below to jump straight to that section.
• Best Unlimited NBN 25 plan – AU$44.90p/m from Tangerine (first 6m, then AU$59.90p/m)
• Best Unlimited NBN 50 plan – AU$54.90p/m from Tangerine (first 6m, then AU$69.90p/m)
• Best Unlimited NBN 100 plan – AU$64.95p/m from Exetel (first 6m, then AU$84.95p/m)
• Best Unlimited NBN 250 plan – AU$125p/m from Telstra (first 6m, then AU$140p/m)
• Best Unlimited NBN 1000 plan – AU$144p/m from Origin
Best Unlimited NBN 25 Plan
Most Australian homes connected to a fixed line NBN connection should be able to achieve speeds of at least 50Mbps. But some Australian NBN users will get by perfectly on a 25Mbps plan. Particularly good for single person households, NBN 25 plans tend to be among the most affordable.
Tangerine | AU$44.90p/m (for 6 months, then AU$59.90p/m) (opens in new tab)
The best unlimited NBN 25 plan also happens to be the cheapest NBN 25 plan, and it comes from Tangerine. Offering the full 25Mbps download speed, a 14-day trial to see if you like the service, 7-day technical support and an incredibly low introductory price of just AU$44.90p/m, it really is hard to beat.
Total minimum cost: AU$44.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$628.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$718.80
Best Unlimited NBN 50 Plan
The NBN 50 speed tier accounts for nearly half of all active NBN plans in Australia. The 50Mbps option is more than capable of allowing multiple users to stream and download at the same time, and considering only certain NBN connection types are capable of supporting the faster NBN 100 speed tier and beyond, NBN 50 is the one to go for.
We’ve picked out a couple of options for the best unlimited NBN 50 plan: one that is the cheapest and one that we think offers the best overall value.
Tangerine | AU$54.90p/m (for 6 months, then AU$69.90p/m) (opens in new tab)
Tangerine currently offers the cheapest NBN 50 plan we can find, whilst also offering the full 50Mbps download speed. Once again, you get a 14-day free trial to test out the service before committing to a month-to-month contract. Do note that Tangerine isn’t the cheapest when it comes to purchasing a required modem, although with the rather excellent Google Nest router provided as standard, we think it's worth the investment.
Total minimum cost: AU$59.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$748.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$838.80
Exetel | AU$53.95p/m (for 6 months, then AU$74.95p/m) (opens in new tab)
Exetel’s NBN 50 plan also comes with unlimited data and does work out to be around AU$30 more expensive over the initial 12 month period compared to Tangerine, but we reckon the inclusion of Speed Boost days makes it entirely worth it. Exetel’s Speed Boost days allow you to boost your plan to the next tier (NBN 100 in this case) if your NBN connection type can support it, for free, five times each month. You can also choose to bank your free days, up to a total of 30, potentially giving you an entire month of 100Mbps download speeds.
Total minimum cost: AU$53.95 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$773.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$899.40
Best Unlimited NBN 100 Plan
In order to be eligible for the NBN 100 plan, you’ll need to make sure you have either a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) or hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) NBN connection (you can find out more about connection types in our NBN speeds explainer article). Most NBN providers will offer the NBN 100 speed tier, but not all are able to promise the full 100Mbps download speeds.
Exetel | AU$64.95p/m (for 6 months, then AU$84.95p/m) (opens in new tab)
Exetel is one of only a handful of NBN providers to advertise the full 100Mbps download speed, with Optus, Telstra and Spintel being the others. We disregarded Optus because it applies a compulsory charge for the modem and Telstra is the most expensive (although you do get free access to a selection of streaming services).
Exetel offers the cheapest NBN 100 plan to come with unlimited data and 100Mbps download speeds. Once again, you can activate up to five free Speed Boost days each month, which will see your service increase to 250Mbps download speeds, making it even greater value.
Total minimum cost: AU$64.95 | Total cost for first 12 months: AU$899.40 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,019.40
Tangerine | AU$62.90p/m (for 6 months, then AU$89.90p/m) (opens in new tab)
You might not get the full 100Mbps download speed, instead just 92Mbps during the typical busy evening period, but you do save a fair amount of money with this NBN 100 plan from Tangerine. Available for a limited time until January 31 2023, this Tangerine NBN plan offers one of the most affordable ways to achieve close-to 100Mbps speeds, perfect for larger households who are streaming and downloading throughout the day.
Total minimum cost: AU$62.90 | Total cost for first 12 months: $916.80 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,078.80
Best Unlimited NBN 250 Plan
Through our partnership with WhistleOut, we can determine there is just a single NBN provider that offers the full 250Mbps download speeds on an NBN 250 plan: Telstra. So, if you want the best of the best, this is the telco to go with. Just remember, that it will also cost you.
Telstra | AU$120p/m (for 6 months, then AU$140p/m) (opens in new tab)
Not only does Telstra’s NBN 250 plan come with a six-month introductory discount, but also gives you two months of access to Binge, three months of Apple TV Plus, 12 months of Kayo Basic and four months of Spotify Premium. Oh, and it's currently the only NBN provider to quote the full 250Mbps during the busy evening hours.
Be quick, though, the six month introductory offer is only available until January 9 2023.
Total minimum cost: AU$120 | Total cost of first 12 months: AU1,560 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,680
Tangerine | AU$79.90p/m (for 6 months, then AU$109.90p/m) (opens in new tab)
If you can access the NBN 250 speed tier but are more concerned about spending as little as possible, then this plan from Tangerine is our pick. You only get 205Mbps download speeds, but this will still be more than enough for most households. Tangerine is currently offering AU$30 off each month for the first six months, making it the cheapest NBN 250 plan.
Total minimum cost: AU$79.90 | Total cost of first 12 months: AU$1,138 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,318.80
Mate would be our next best pick, costing AU$1,188 for 12 months, but giving you ever so slightly faster 208Mbps download speeds.
Best Unlimited NBN 1000 Plan
Despite NBN making 1Gbps speeds available on the NBN 1000 speed tier, you’re unlikely to be able to get the full gigabit download speeds from your NBN provider. Through our WhistleOut partnership, we’ve determined that Origin and Aussie Broadband are the two best options, both of whom claim to offer 600Mbps typical evening speeds.
Origin | AU$144p/m (opens in new tab)
Origin is our top pick for being the most affordable (Aussie Broadband (opens in new tab) is only an extra AU$5p/m). Origin is also currently offering AU$10 off your internet each month if you add on an energy plan, but only if you sign-up before January 31 2023.
Total minimum cost: AU$144 | Yearly cost: AU$1,728
What is the NBN?
The NBN (National Broadband Network) is Australia’s national infrastructure for phone and internet services. A government initiative, it was first proposed in 2007 and as of 2020, NBN Co. had completed 90% of the rollout. NBN services are now available to virtually all Australians, although not all can access a fixed-line service. For those who can't, a fixed-wireless service, which uses towers emitting 4G signals should be available, or satellite internet services.
Which NBN speed is best for me?
NBN offers six main speed tiers for consumer connections. There are official names for these (ranging from ‘Basic 1’ to ‘Ultrafast’) but most providers refer to them as a number, relating to the expected download speed. The speed of internet service you can achieve at your property is determined by the physical connection type you have.
The six main NBN speed tiers available are:
NBN 12 (Basic 1): 12Mbps download | 1Mbps upload | All NBN connection types | 1 user | NBN 12 is best suited for a single-person household. Even then, the 12Mbps maximum download speed is only going to be good for browsing the internet, sending emails and watching video content in up to 1080p quality. If you want to stream 4K video content (or to multiple devices simultaneously) on services like Netflix, then NBN 12 likely won't be fast enough.
NBN 25 (Basic II): 25Mbps download | 5Mbps upload | All NBN connection types | 1-2 users | With NBN 25, up to two people can comfortably browse the internet at the same time and stream a range of music and video content in up to 1080p quality. You may be able to watch 4K streaming video, but only on a single device at a time.
NBN 50 (Standard): 50Mbps download | 20Mbps upload | All NBN connection types | 2-4 users | The most popular NBN speed tier, NBN 50 is designed to allow up to four users to browse, stream and download content with ease. NBN 50 is also a good speed tier for people needing to use video chat a lot at home. NBN 50 is the most popular NBN plan in Australia.
NBN 100 (Fast): 100Mbps download | 20Mbps upload | All NBN connection types | 5+ users | Well suited to 4K video streaming and allowing for multiple users to be online at the same time. While all NBN connection types are theoretically capable of achieving 100Mbps speeds, those with FTTN connection types may struggle, depending on the distance of the premises from the node.
NBN 250 (Superfast): 250Mbps download | 25Mbps upload | FTTP, HFC connections | 5+ users | Incredibly fast internet speeds that allows multiple users to stream 4K video content and download large files at the same time.
NBN 1000 (Ultrafast): 1000Mbps download | 50Mbps upload | FTTP, HFC connection | 5+ users | Currently the fastest possible NBN speed tier, although very few telcos actually achieve the full 1000Mbps download speeds, especially during the evening.
What does 'typical evening speed' mean?
You'll see the term 'typical evening speed' advertised against all NBN plans (we've mentioned it a lot in this article, too). This refers to the average download speed you can expect to realistically achieve during the identified peak evening hours of 7pm - 11pm.
Different NBN providers may advertise different typical evening speeds, so be sure to keep an eye out for this figure when searching for a new plan. On speed tiers ranging up to NBN 100, the typical evening speed figure is less important than it used to be, since most will deliver the full amount.
The speeds realistically achievable in Australia have improved in recent years, and you'll now find some internet service providers will advertise the maximum possible speed of the NBN tier you're on. In some cases, your evening speed could actually exceed the theoretical maximum limit of your tier.