Is Skinny right for me?
- What Skinny offers: Wireless 4G and fibre, ADSL and VDSL fixed-connection plans.
- The highlights: Flexible plans and award-winning customer service.
- Watch out for: Not all plans are available everywhere, so it’s important to first check availability in your area.
Skinny is a division of Spark New Zealand Trading Limited providing both broadband and mobile plans to New Zealanders. It piggybacks off Spark’s 4G network to provide wireless as well as fixed-connection broadband, with a network that is consistently being improved to extend coverage around the country.
Skinny keeps broadband prices as low as possible by stripping everything back and only charging for the things you actually need. And there’s good news for people that don’t like to be tied into a contract. It offers no-term prepay plans for both Wireless 4G and fixed connection, so you pay in advance each month with the option to cancel at any time.
Read on to find out if Skinny broadband plans could be suitable for your home.
Compare Skinny broadband plans
Types of Skinny broadband plans
Skinny provides two types of plans: Wireless 4G and fixed fibre or copper connections.
Wireless 4G is Skinny’s signature product and is available on 60GB or 120GB plans. Your plan auto-renews every month and the cost is deducted from your debit or credit card.
You can cancel at any time and if you find that you need more data, you can easily change to a higher data plan or choose an uncapped plan. When you sign up for a Skinny Wireless 4G plan there are no setup costs, but you will need to pay for a modem which plugs into the wall and gets you up and running in minutes.
Skinny uses Spark’s 4G network and you can expect speeds faster than ADSL, but slower than fibre. However, this does depend on things like the landscape, whether you have buildings around you, or if you have walls in between you and your modem. Download speeds can also vary based on how many other users are connected to the same cell site and the time of day.
Unfortunately wireless broadband is not available everywhere in New Zealand, so you’ll need to find out if you can get Skinny Wireless 4G Broadband at your place. You can do this by selecting the plan that you are interested in on the Skinny website and then entering your address. If Skinny Wireless 4G is not available, you can opt for a fixed connection plan instead.
Skinny Unlimited Broadband is naked, which means no landline and you get unlimited data each month. You have the flexibility to choose between having a 12-month contract or no term, but opting for no term means that you will need to pay $99 for your Skinny modem as well as a $49 setup fee.
The Skinny modem supports fibre, ADSL and VDSL connections, so depending on where you live and what’s available, you may have different download and upload speeds to another user.
While unlimited plans have been known in the past to reduce speeds once you reach a certain data limit, Skinny doesn’t have any data caps. This means you’ll get the same speeds no matter how much data you’ve used.
One important thing to note here is that if you already have a landline with another provider, you will lose this when you get Skinny Unlimited Broadband. Even though mobile use is becoming increasingly more common as the way to communicate, this may not be ideal for some people. If you don’t want to be restricted on your data use each month and don’t need a landline, then this plan could be suitable for you.
Are there any bundled extras with Skinny broadband plans?
Skinny mobile users on a 4-weekly $16+ plan who sign up for Uncapped Broadband will save $10 a month and get their first month free.
Skinny broadband highlights
- Plug in and go. No need to stress about a lengthy setup process or waiting for cables to be installed, as you can get online in under five minutes once you have your Skinny modem
- Award-winning service. Skinny has won numerous awards for its customer service from leading consumer organisations and reviewers.
- 30-day money-back network guarantee. If you are not happy with the quality of your network connection or signal strength, you can cancel within 30 days and return your modem for a refund.
- Add on data. If you run out of data on your 30-day wireless 4G plan, you can purchase a data add-on to get an extra 10GB for $20. You can also renew your 60GB, 120GB or 300GB plan to start a new 30 days.
- Only pay when you need it. If you go away on holiday for a month you can simply remove your plan on your Skinny Dashboard so you are not charged and then renew when you get home.
- No data caps. Skinny Unlimited Broadband doesn’t have any data caps, so you can use as much data as you need, as long as it’s not overly excessive or unreasonable under Skinny’s Fair Use Policy.
What to be aware of
Even if most of the plans are available where you live, one or two might not be. But as coverage spots are still being added you may want to check back later.
Skinny says that’s because 4G has heavier data requirements and puts pressure on cell towers that are shared with mobile users. Your local cell site may already be at capacity and it’s important not to overload it or it will affect the service of customers in that area. Skinny broadband is constantly working on updating the network so you may have availability at some point in the future.
If you prefer to have a fixed connection plan, keep in mind that your download and upload speeds will depend on what’s available to your home. Fibre is the fastest but it often requires a new cable and an ONT installation to get up and running, which can take longer.
When comparing broadband services, Skinny broadband is worth considering if you like the idea of not having a long-term commitment and being able to plug in and get connected within minutes.
However, due to the network not being fully operational nationwide, it’s possible that you may not be able to get Skinny at your place or you may have trouble with signal strength.
It is good to know that Skinny broadband plans provide a 30-day money-back guarantee so you are able to return your modem if you experience problems. We also like that you are able to choose from different data plans on wireless, so that you only pay for what you need with the option to buy add-on data packs as required.
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