NBN speed & plans explained in a simple way
Want a simple, non-technical way of understanding how the difference between the four NBN plans and speed can affect you, then read on. The biggest confusion and disappointments involve NBN plans and speed expectations and not understanding how they may affect you. There a four standard NBN service speeds available: NBN12 (12/1), NBN25 (25/5), NBN50 (50/20) & NBN100 (100/40), with NBN12 being the slowest and NBN100 being the fastest. Each plan roughly doubles in speed rating, however that does not mean you actually experience a doubling in performance by going to the next level. There are many factors as to why this may not happen in the real world.
NBN12 (12/1Mbps) – Slowest, Cheapest
If you currently have a very average or bad ADSL internet service, then in the majority of cases this is what NBN12 will be like for you. That is why it is the cheapest. If you currently have a ‘Good’ ADSL service (it downloads fast and plays movies with little buffering) then in the majority of circumstances it will be better than an NBN12 service.
So in summary, for most people an NBN12 service will be slower than or NOT be as good as their current ADSL service.
NBN25 (25/5Mbps) – A Little Better
NBN25 plan should be a big improvement if you currently have a bad ADSL internet service, however it still will NOT deliver the high performance hype that people believe an NBN service to be. If you currently have a good ADSL service (it downloads fast and plays movies with little buffering) then in the majority of circumstances you may notice an improvement, however, it will not be a big improvement.
So in summary, most people should consider the NBN25 as the minimum entry level. It is not a performance plan but should provide a similar or better service than their current ‘good’ ADSL service.
NBN50 (50/20Mbps) & NBN100 (100/40Mbps) – Fast & Faster
Experience a dramatic improvement over your current good ADSL service and the hype around NBN performance starts to become a bit more real. Of course, the starting price is higher for these services however the internet has now become an integral part of our lives that can also produce costs savings (think of discounts in online shopping, working from home, and so forth). Obviously, NBN100 should provide a faster experience than the NBN50, however it is not available to all NBN-ready premises.
Therefore, NBN50 should be your best plan choice.
What NBN Speed Should I Expect?
As a rough rule, you should expect to achieve 70% of the NBN speed rating most of the time – this is a far more realistic expectation than believing that you are about to ride a rocket. Besides, NBN50 & NBN100 are still a vast improvement over the current ADSL services and keeping a family happy as they all access the internet at once is also a bonus.
NBN speed is like the hot water system.
Sharing a NBN25 with a family of 3 to 5, all active at the same time is like everybody having the hot water running from different taps and with the pipe only delivering 70% of the pressure, every tap is now just dribbling hot water.
However, if you install an industrial pressurised hot water system, then even if the pipe only delivers 70% pressure, all the taps are spouting water at an impressive speed because they are still above the minimum pressure (speed) required to make it work well. It is the same with the internet. If you need to share the same bandwidth with a number of people then everybody suffers, but if you get a bigger one then it is less of an issue because you can now maintain a faster average internet speed required for this technology to work properly.
Test it for yourself.
Get the family together (3 to 5 people) and all download or stream a different movie at the same time on your Good ADSL service, then take notice what happens to your average speed and how this affects what you are doing. Just remember to smile because you need to enjoy these family bonding moments, and I assure you that more of these will occur as we become even more dependent on our internet WiFi, not just for entertainment but also for our daily requirements.
In conclusion, in a shared 3+ family or work environment an NBN50 plan provides a better service over an NBN25 because it maintains a better average minimum speed required to make all this work properly.