Compare cheap broadband plans
You don't have to spend heaps on your broadband. Find out how to compare and how to save with our guide.
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With high-speed Internet a necessity these days, shopping around for cheap broadband deals is more important than ever. If you’re after a low-cost broadband plan, sort plans in the table below by price and find the right plan for you.
How to compare cheap broadband plans
Of course, cheap broadband plans don’t come without a few caveats you’ll want to be aware of. Keep the following points in mind when comparing your options:
Speed and connection type
When it comes to the internet. many cheaper broadband plans sacrifice Internet speed in order to cut costs, which might be fine if you’re only interested in some light web browsing and watching the odd YouTube video. However, should you want to stream Netflix in HD, that cheap ADSL connection probably won’t cut it. Instead, you should aim for a higher speed connection to ensure you won’t be stuck waiting for the latest episode of Rick and Morty to load.
Fibre is the fastest and most reliable type of broadband, and even though it typically does cost more than copper connections, some providers offer the most basic fibre at the same price as ADSL and VDSL. While VDSL has download speeds of up to 70Mbps in most cases, you could experience up to 100Mbps with fibre.
In cutting costs, many broadband providers also cut monthly download limits quite significantly. Limits of between 60GB and 120GB a month are common with cheap broadband plans. While this can be sufficient for general web browsing, it’s a little less suitable if you plan on streaming TV shows or downloading movies or games. Streaming two hours of HD Netflix a day would blow through 50GB in just over a week, and that’s not counting all the videos you watch on Facebook or the image galleries you flip through on news sites.
In the lower price range of cheap broadband, you won’t see too many plans offering both a roomy data cap and a super-fast connection, so you’ll need to weigh up which of the two is more important to you.
Not sure how much data you need? Try out our data usage calculator.
Ongoing cost and value
The cheapest broadband plans in New Zealand are available for less than $70 a month. It’s important to factor in how many gigabytes you get for the cost, as you may find that you can get an extra 10-20GB for just a few dollars more with another provider.
Beyond the monthly bill, you’ll want to check what additional costs you may be subject to with your cheap broadband plan. Installation fees and mandatory equipment purchases can quickly turn a $70 plan into a $300 buy-in, so be sure to understand all necessary costs before signing up. You should also factor in costs for data packs if you are not on an unlimited plan and may need more data from time to time.
12- and 24-month contracts were once the norm for broadband plans, but signing up to one of these means that you are locked in for a length of time. If you decide to leave early, exit fees will apply, and these can be hundreds of dollars depending on what point you are at in your contract.
Open-term plans are becoming more common and give greater flexibility. While some providers will charge you a higher monthly cost, some will keep the same price as longer contracts but charge you for your modem and installation.
Added features and bonuses
Broadband plans sometimes come with added features and signup bonuses such as account credit, free Amazon Prime or Netflix, or a joining reward like a free TV. However, these are usually for more expensive plans, so you may miss out when looking for cheap broadband. It does pay to shop around though, as you might be pleasantly surprised.
How to save more on broadband
Other than scouring the Internet for cheap broadband deals, you may be able to save on your broadband with these tips:
- Discounts for mobile plans. If you have a pay monthly mobile plan, you may receive a discount for having your broadband with the same provider. For example, you can get $5 off per month for each mobile plan you have with Orcon up to a maximum, and 2degrees gives a $10 discount for pay monthly customers.
- Bundle your energy. Energy providers such as Trustpower, Nova Energy, Contact Energy and Orcon offer discounts for bundling your broadband and power. If you are with one of these companies already, find out how much you can save by switching your broadband service over. Or, you may want to switch to a new company for both services.
- Limit your add-ons. Depending on the provider, you may be offered a range of add-ons including a landline, calling packs, wiring maintenance fees or technical assistance callouts. Consider which of these you actually need, as fewer add-ons will keep your monthly cost down.
How to switch broadband providers
If you’ve found a cheap broadband plan and want to switch providers, the process is relatively simple with minimal downtime.
- Check the terms of your current contract. If you are still under contract, an early exit fee will most likely apply. If you only have one or two months left, it may make more sense to wait until the contract is finished before switching over.
- Signup for your new plan. You can either do this online or by phone. You will need to let the new provider know that you have an existing connection and give them permission to transfer the service.
- You will be given a date that your new connection will be ready to go. You can go ahead and cancel your existing plan, making sure to inform them of the date to avoid being cut off early.
- You may have an email or phone number tied to your current provider. Find out whether you will lose access to your email, and if so, transfer your contacts and important emails over to an email service such as Outlook or Gmail. If you need to keep your landline, speak to your new provider about porting the number over. You can find out more in our guide on how to switch broadband providers.
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