By Bessie Hassan from Finder.com
Your Internet connection can sometimes be a tricky thing to get your head around, especially as everyone migrates over to the National Broadband Network (NBN). But there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to alleviate some of that stress and pick the right broadband plan for you that won’t break the bank.
How many devices does your household have?
It should come as no surprise that if you live alone or with only one other person then you won’t use as much Internet as, say, a family of five. Families tend to use more devices than couples or those living alone, and five mobile phones, a gaming console and three laptops draw on a lot more Internet than just one or two laptops. Essentially, the more devices in your household the more data you need and the faster the speed tier.
Families that don’t want to encounter slow Internet speeds should invest in a plan with unlimited data and a higher NBN speed tier. However, this can be costly and you should be aware that if you’re on the NBN you might not always be getting the speeds that you’re paying for. If you’re living alone and you don’t mind speeds similar to that of your standard ADSL plan you’ll be happy to hear that you can pay as little as $30 a month for a decent Internet plan, leaving more in your pocket for other expenses.
What do you mainly use the Internet for?
This is another key factor that will help you determine which data limit and speed option you should choose for your broadband. If your household uses the Internet predominantly for browsing, online shopping, checking your emails and doing homework, you won’t need as much data. If your household is partial to Internet TV and online gaming, you’ll need a significant amount more. Most providers offer unlimited broadband plans, but there’s no point paying for something that you don’t need. If you know you won’t be going through that much data, you can opt for a cheaper option.
What’s your monthly budget?
If you’re really looking to save on your Internet plan, incorporate it into your household budget. A budget is a great way to track your spending and make sure you don’t overdo it. Do your research, shop around and compare different plans from different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. When searching for the right plan, try not to base your choice on the cheapest monthly cost. Instead, you should always factor in the total minimum cost to figure out if you’re getting the best deal. Some providers will throw in added bonuses if you sign up for a longer plan.
NBN or ADSL?
As the NBN rollout progresses and more and more homes are connected, it’s important to know whether your home is NBN-ready before you choose a new Internet plan. If you are able to switch, it’s a good idea to do it now rather than later. That way you won’t encounter any issues. If you don’t migrate to the NBN within 18 months of your home being declared NBN-ready, your Internet and home phone may be disconnected. If your home is not NBN-read yet, don’t be enticed by a cheaper but longer 24-month ADSL plan. It may seem like the better option, but you don’t want to be locked into an ADSL provider when you’re ready to make the change to NBN.
Bessie Hassan is a money expert at finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.