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Fastest NBN plans: 100, 250 and 1000Mbps internet plans compared

NBN logo on fibre optic background
(Image credit: NBN Co / Getty Images)

There are now three speed tiers available to households that are considered fast NBN plans: NBN 1000, NBN 250 and NBN 100. If you’re unsure what these numbers actually mean, they indicate the top download speed available on each plan.

In reality though, this isn’t always the case. For example, an NBN 1000 plan should in theory be able to reach a top speed of 1,000Mbps, but among the limited number of telcos who offer this plan, Telstra is the only provider to report getting close to this number.

Telstra has the fastest consumer-grade NBN 1000 plan you can get, reporting a typical evening speed of 700Mbps. While it doesn’t reach the top speed available during the busy evening period, it is far above the average, which is 370Mbps when you consider all telcos with an NBN 1000 plan. Similarly, most providers who offer NBN 250 plans don’t actually report a typical evening speed of 250Mbps – the average speed sits a fair bit below at 219Mbps.

The number of options can be understandably overwhelming, but we want to help you make the right choice when it comes to choosing a fast NBN plan. We’ve partnered with WhistleOut to compare NBN plans from over 30 Aussie providers and find our top picks on this page, or you can skip ahead by clicking on the links below:

Can you get NBN 250 or 1000?

Before signing up to a high-speed NBN 250 or NBN 1000 plan, there are some factors you should be aware of. These tiers are only available on two types of NBN connection – fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC).

When it comes to NBN 1000 plans, all FTTP connections can sign up for the 1000Mbps speed tier, but only a select subset of HFC installations are eligible – estimated to be roughly 7% of the total.

Noteworthy fast NBN deals

Below we'll run through our top plan picks, but first, check out these ace offers currently available on fast NBN plans:

Best fast NBN plans

Best NBN 100 plan

Our choice for large households and those who want a little extra speed
NBN 100 plans are the most broadly available fast plans, with the telcos reporting a typical evening speed of 94Mbps on average.

Spintel | NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$69p/m (first 6 months, then AU$84.95p/m)

Spintel is facing some stiff competition from MyRepulic at the moment, but we’re giving the best NBN 100 plan to Spintel because it has a better typical evening speed. You’ll get a discount for your first six months with the provider, so you’ll pay AU$69 a month before it goes back to AU$84.95 each billing. It’s still one of the cheapest NBN 100 plans you’ll find once the discount ends, and for the price, you’ll be getting typical speeds of 100Mbps. This is ultimately why MyRepublic missed out on the top spot – it’s got a lower ongoing cost, but a slower typical evening speed of 93Mbps.

Total minimum cost: AU$69 | Total cost for first year: AU$923.70

• See more: Best NBN 100 plans

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Best NBN 250 plan

The go-to for lightning-quick broadband
Availability of NBN 250 plans is now almost on par with that of NBN 100, with telcos reporting a typical evening speed of 219Mbps on average.

MyRepublic | NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$89p/m (first 6 months, then AU$99p/m)

MyRepublic is now offering incredibly competitive prices on its fastest plans. You can sign up to its NBN 250 plan for just AU$89 a month for your first six months, and once the introductory deal is over, it only bumps up to AU$99 ongoing. That makes it not only the cheapest NBN 250 plan initially, but also the (equal) lowest ongoing price too. It comes with a typical evening speed of 200Mbps, which is below average for this tier, with the average being 219Mbps. Still, it’s a fair whack faster than NBN 100 plans.

[A multi-award winner in the 2021 Mozo Experts Choice NBN Awards.]

Total minimum cost: AU$89 | Total cost for first year: AU$1,128

• See more: Best NBN 250 plans

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Best NBN 1000 plan

The fastest you can get, but only available in select locations
The once sparse NBN 1000 tier is growing in availability, with an average typical evening speed of 370Mbps reported by the telcos.

MyRepublic | NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$99p/m (first 6 months, then AU$109p/m)

MyRepublic is also our pick for the best NBN 1000 plan, and that’s largely due to its cost – just AU$99 a month for your first six months. Once that welcome discount finishes, it’s still the cheapest plan we can find at this speed, coming in at AU$109 ongoing. MyRepublic’s plan only promises a typical evening speed of 350Mbps though, so if you want a plan that’s guaranteed to get closer to 1000Mbps, we’d recommend Aussie Broadband for AU$149p/m.

[A multi-award winner in the 2021 Mozo Experts Choice NBN Awards.]

Total minimum cost: AU$99 | Total cost for first year: AU$1,248

• See more: Best NBN 1000 plans

Fast NBN plans: major telcos

When it comes to the big three internet providers, these are the best fast plans available:

Telstra's best high-speed NBN plans

Telstra NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$1 for first month (then AU$110p/m)
You’ll pay just one dollar for your first month on this plan, before it increases to AU$110 ongoing. Telstra’s NBN 100 plan is the most expensive option on this speed tier, but unlike many of its competitors, it has a top typical evening speed of 100Mbps.

Telstra NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$1 for first month (then AU$140p/m)
Telstra is the only provider to have an NBN 250 plan with a maxed-out typical evening speed of 250Mbps, but you’ll pay handsomely for it. Telstra’s NBN 250 plan is about AU$20 more than the average monthly price on this speed tier, so consider signing up while you can get your first month for just one dollar.

Telstra NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$1 for first month (then AU$180p/m)
As you might expect, Telstra has the most expensive NBN 1000 plan on the market at AU$180 a month. The good news is that Telstra quotes a typical evening speed of 700Mbps, which is one of the best claimed-speeds available on NBN 1000. What’s more, you can currently get your first month on this plan for one dollar.

Optus' best high-speed NBN plans

Optus NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$89p/m (first 6 months, then AU$99p/m)
Optus’ NBN 100 plan promises a typical evening speed of 100Mbps, which is the top speed for the tier. It’s initially cheaper than the average price of an NBN 100 plan, but once prices increase after the first six months, it goes above that threshold.

Optus NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$109p/m (first 6 months, then AU$119p/m)
This NBN 250 plan is fairly priced for a big provider – in fact, it costs one dollar less than the average monthly cost. Optus has also increased its reported typical evening speed since our last update, going from 215Mbps up to 240Mbps.

Optus NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$139p/m (first 6 months, then AU$149p/m
The cost of Optus’ NBN 1000 plan is slightly above average, but you’re getting a decent typical evening speed of 300Mbps for the price. Aussie Broadband also has an NBN 1000 plan for AU$149 a month, but it delivers a download speed of 600Mbps in the evening.

TPG's best high-speed NBN plans

TPG NBN 100 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$79.99p/m (first 6 months, then AU$89.99p/m)
TPG’s NBN 100 plan sits just below the average cost of all plans on this tier, making it the most affordable option among the three major telcos. Typical evening speeds aren’t as good though, sitting at 90Mbps.

TPG NBN 250 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$94.99p/m (first 6 months, then AU$124.99p/m)
At AU$124.99 a month, there’s a significant price jump between TPG’s NBN 250 plan and its NBN 100 option, though the initial discount will see you save AU$180 over your first six months. Typical evening speed is quoted at 200Mbps, which is below the average.

TPG NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$114.99p/m (first 6 months, then AU$144.99p/m)
There’s quite a bit of disparity between claimed typical evening speeds on the NBN 1000 tier. TPG reports a typical evening speed of 250Mbps, but competitors such as Telstra can reach up to 700Mbps. Considering TPG’s NBN 1000 plan costs AU$144.99 a month, we’d argue it’s not particularly good value.

Fast NBN FAQ

What are NBN 1000 real world speeds?

NBN 1000, which the NBN Co refers to as 'Ultrafast', is the fastest consumer NBN speed tier. The small but growing number of ISPs who offer it advise a typical evening speed of 370Mbps on average, which is quite low considering the top speed available on these plans is 1,000Mbps. Outside of the peak busy period, we’ve seen real-world speed test results that are much higher at 900Mbps, though still not reaching the maximum amount.

What are NBN 250 real world speeds?

The second-fastest tier is NBN 250, which the NBN Co refers to as 'Superfast'. Again, there’s a small number of providers who offer this speed, but it’s slightly larger than the number who offer NBN 1000 plans. On average, the telcos with these plans report an average download speed of 219Mbps during the evening hours. As with NBN 1000, actual speed does vary among the ISPs on NBN 250 plans, so be sure to read the fine print.

What are NBN 100 real world speeds?

The NBN 100 tier is the most affordable option from the fastest NBN category, and you can expect a typical evening speed of 94Mbps on average. While the tiers mentioned above are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of speed, they are also limited in their availability – only FTTP and HFC connections can sign-up to NBN 1000 and NBN 250 in most cases.

NBN 100 is referred to as 'Fast' by the NBN Co – it’s available for most connection types, and is often the fastest option available for the millions of Australians using fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology. If you want the top typical evening speed of 100Mbps for your NBN 100 plan, only a select few providers offer it: Telstra, Optus, Exetel, Pennytel and Spintel.

You can read more about each connection type here.

Jasmine Gearie is TechRadar Australia’s resident deals expert, with a keen eye for hunting down the best Aussie discounts on everything from laptops and phones to cameras, headphones and mobile and NBN plans. She doesn’t buy anything without doing a little research first, and she wants to help you do the same.