While it’s easy to sign up with an NBN plan and just leave it to roll over every month, locking yourself in with a contract could be costing you money. If you’re someone who loves a good bargain, one of the best ways to save money with your internet connection is by switching NBN plans every six months to make use of the “new customer” offers most of these providers are running. If you’re not locked in, you can bounce from promo to promo every half a year to get the best possible deal.
On a more practical level, having no contract also frees you up to swap providers if you’re looking for a faster NBN plan – be it in the same speed tier or higher. If you’re saddled with a lock-in contract, then you’re stuck with the internet connection that you’ve got (until it runs out, at least).
There are a few internet providers in Australia that offer NBN plans with no lock-in contracts, which gives you flexibility when it comes to grabbing something cheaper, faster or both.
Here are some of the cheapest contract-free unlimited NBN plans around, which include a fair few internet providers offering timed discounts on your first six months of service.
It’s also worth noting that most providers will offer to sell you a modem, but some force you to buy a model when you’re signing up for a new plan. Others will make you pay out the rest of your modem if you leave early. To keep it simple, we’re only covering NBN plans where modem purchase is optional and where you won’t get stung with setup or early exit fees.
The cheapest contract-free NBN plans
Unlimited NBN 50 plans with no lock-in contract
Dodo is one of your cheapest options for an NBN 50 plan, where you’ll pay $53.85 per month for your first six months and $75 per month thereafter. If you’re in NSW or Victoria and also get your gas and energy from Dodo, you’ll save a further $10 per month.
Exetel has a pretty similar deal, where you’ll pay $53.95 per month for your first six months, and $74.95 per month thereafter.
If you want a plan that stays cheap, SpinTel is worth considering. You’ll pay $54 per month for your first six months, but just $64.95 per month thereafter. While jumping from discount to discount is the best way to keep your as low as possible, if you’d rather just stay with one provider, then SpinTel is worth it in the long run.
All of these providers are reporting typical evening speeds of 50Mbps, ostensively making them congestion-free.
Unlimited NBN 100 plans with no lock-in contract
In terms of the cheapest plan available, Tangerine is currently running an offer for new customers where you’ll pay $62.90 per month for the first six months and then $89.90 thereafter. The provider is currently reporting typical evening speeds of 92Mbps.
Dodo is again one of the cheapest options for a contract-free NBN 100 plan. You’ll pay $63.85 per month for your first six months, and $85 per month once the discount period ends. Even at full price, that’s still pretty reasonable for a plan on this speed tier. Dodo is reporting evening speeds of 95Mbps.
SpinTel doesn’t have as generous a discount but can be cheaper in the long run. You’ll pay $69 per month for your first six months, and $84.95 per month thereafter. SpinTel also has faster typical evening speeds at 100Mbps.
Unlimited NBN 250 plans with no lock-in contract
Only FTTP and HFC NBN addresses can get NBN 250 plans, so if you’re lucky enough to be able to get this speed tier, then Tangerine is currently your cheapest option. You’re looking at $79.90 per month initially and $109.90 per month thereafter. Tangerine is reporting typical evening speeds of 205Mbps.
The next cheapest plan is a bit more expensive, both for its introductory price and full price. TPG is offering the first six months of its NBN 250 plan for $94.99 per month and then $124.99 after the discount period ends. However, TPG does have faster evenings speeds at 210Mbps.
If you’re looking for the fastest evening speeds on NBN 250 plan, Telstra reports typical evening speeds of 250Mbps, making for what should be a congestion-free experience. You’ll pay for the privilege, though, with Telstra billing $120 for your first six months and $140 per month thereafter. Telstra gives you a modem with your plan, and if you leave within your first two years, you’ll need to return it to avoid paying a hardware fee. Telstra will also throw in 12 months of Kayo and two months of Binge for free.
Unlimited NBN 1000 plans with no lock-in contract
If you’ve hit the NBN jackpot and have FTTP or HFC, you can go all in and get an NBN 1000 plan.
Tangerine is again your cheapest option right now, where you’ll pay $99.90 per month for your first six months and $129.90 per month thereafter. However, Tangerine doesn’t currently have any data available for its typical evening speeds for its NBN 1000 connection.
TPG is up next, where you’ll pay $114.99 per month for your first six months and $144.99 per month after. TPG has typical evening speeds of 450Mbps, which is pretty solid.
If you’re after the fastest NBN 1000 plan without a contract, you’ll want to consider Aussie Broadband. Aussie reports typical evening speeds of 600Mbps on NBN 1000 plans, and bills $149 per month.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.
This article has been updated since it was first published.