How to make an informed choice about broadband plans

Comparing broadband plans
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

At Broadband Compare we believe that everyone should have the information they need to make an informed choice about broadband for their home.

And we understand that finding the best broadband plan isn’t a one-size-fits all process of recommending the cheapest. A large family home with multiple people streaming and gaming will need a different plan to a rural property, or an inner-city apartment with one occupant.

We try to make it as easy as possible to compare broadband plans side-by-side online so you can make an informed choice about plans and add-ons that are best for you. We’ve outlined some top things to look for in our article below.

If you’d prefer to go ‘analogue’ and chat with a real person over the phone – we can help. Give our NZ-based Customer Service Team a call on 0508 226672. It’s free and our team will take the time understand what you need to recommend the best plan for you. Or, if they think you’re already on the best plan, they’ll let you know!

Here are the top things to look for when comparing broadband plans

1. Your best broadband plan will depend on your address

Enter your address into our finder to bring up a customised list of plans available in your area.

2.  Choose your connection type.

Your connection type will depend on how you plan to use the internet, and what type of connection is available in your area. The main connection types are:

  • Fibre - The fastest connection option is Ultra-Fast Broadband (fibre). One of the main advantages of fibre is that it offers a constant speed, so the service won’t fluctuate like older broadband services that rely on copper cable technology. Fibre plans
  • VDSL - VDSL runs over existing copper lines and delivers much fast download and upload speeds than ADSL. Depending on where you live and your provider some VDSL users experience better speeds compared to entry level Ultrafast Broadband. VDSL plans
  • ADSL - ADSL is the most commonly available type of broadband available in New Zealand and runs on existing copper phone lines. ADSL plans
  • Wireless - Wireless broadband uses the 4G mobile network to connect to a modem at your house. Wireless broadband can only be used in areas with a strong 4G signal, so it isn’t available everywhere. It can be a good option in areas that don’t have good copper or fibre broadband service, for example in rural areas. Wireless plans

3. Ratings

Choosing a provider with a good track record can give you peace of mind when choosing a new broadband provider. There’s no point choosing the cheapest plan if their service is patchy, or it’s difficult to get customer support when you need it. Our Broadband Compare rating takes into account price, plan features and customer reviews when comparing plans. 

4. Price per month:

Comparing price can feel complicated when choosing broadband. Do you choose a plan that offers 3 or 6 months free, and then pay a higher rate for the rest of the contract? It can be useful to work out the cost you would pay per month for the full term to work out which deal offers the best value – which our comparison tool does for you!

5. Think about the features that are important to you.

The main ones to consider are:

  • Data – Some broadband plans have a data cap or data allowance. This is the amount of content you can upload or download during a billing cycle. If you are a very light internet user, you may find that a plan with a data cap is a cost effective option. However, unlimited Broadband plans (with not data cap) are increasingly commonplace – offering a cost effective option with no usage limits.
  • Contract options – The contract is the length of the contract you will be locked-in for, if you want to cancel your contract early you usually have to pay a cancellation fee. Broadband contracts are typically open term (no contracts), 12 month, or 24 months. A 12 month contract is considered as “standard” in New Zealand, but there are some options with two or three years terms, they allow you to lock-in an agreed monthly rate for the full term. If you don’t want to commit for that amount of time, you can also choose a ‘no contract’ plan, which usually runs from month-to-month.
  • Speed – Choosing plan with a connection speed that won’t slow you down will depend on whether you plan to spend your time on the internet sending email, downloading music, streaming videos, or gaming. Learn more about choosing your internet speed. 

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