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With internet plans coming in a range of different speeds it can be confusing knowing which one to choose. This guide explains in easy language the differences in internet speed and how you can select the right one that best suits your needs.
Internet speeds are not created equally from country to country and even region to region. For the sake of geography (we’re an Australian based company), we’ll just stick to Australian internet speeds.
In Australia, a good internet speed is 25Mbps or higher for the NBN. It is based on Australian Government’s standards. Of course, keep in mind that this can change as technology gets upgraded. Your internet provider along with the Australian Government will advise you of any changes.
Internet speed is the speed that data is transferred between your device (computer, tablet, phone, etc) and the internet. It’s also known as bandwidth. The speed of this data is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). One megabit is equal to 1,024 kilobits. There are two types of internet speed:
The rate that information travels from the internet to your device. Viewing a webpage, receiving an email are examples of downloading.
The rate that information travels from your device to the internet. Sending an email or uploading a video are examples of uploading.
Although a speed of 25Mbps is considered ‘good internet speed’ the reality is that good internet speed is very much based on your individual household needs and depends on four factors:
1.What do you use the internet for the most? ( general web browsing, streaming music, and video downloading large files, etc.)
2.How many people will use your internet connection? ( will they be using the internet simultaneously?)
3. How many devices require connection to a Wi-Fi network? ( mobiles, tablets, computers, etc)
4. Will these devices be used at the same time? ( streaming a movie and doing video call )
Note: In addition to the above factors, please keep in mind that internet speed is also affected by other factors like network congestion, your individual service provider, and the type of technology being used.
Once you’ve taken into consideration the above factors for your household needs you’ve got to understand which speed tier best suits your needs. The NBN has four-speed tiers ( a classification system of the maximum speeds available on the plan) outlined in the following table.
Please note that these are only a guide as the NBN can differ between service providers along with a range of factors. Always double-check with your service provider.
As you can see from the NBN speed tiers the right internet speed for you is entirely dependent on your household needs. What’s a good internet speed for one household may be a terrible internet speed for another.
As a general rule don’t choose an internet speed below 25 Mbps as it’s considered ‘slow internet speed’.
You’ll need to compare NBN plans from a range of providers in Australia to help you choose the right internet plan and internet speed for you. Some of these providers may not offer internet plan on all four of the NBN speed tiers.
Related article: What is NBN?