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Unlimited broadband deals
Tired of being capped? Unlimited broadband plans let you stream, game and surf to your heart's content.
Not so long ago, capped broadband plans were the de facto means of connecting to the Internet. Monthly data quotas meant you had to be cautious with your downloads and uploads, or you would exceed your limit and suffer a “throttled” (slowed down) connection. Or worse, be subject to excess usage fees.
Nowadays, unlimited broadband plans are more common than their capped counterparts, with many broadband providers trading exclusively in unlimited internet plans. While there are currently no providers in New Zealand that offer wireless broadband with unlimited data, you can enjoy stress-free streaming and downloading on Fibre, VDSL and ADSL.
Compare unlimited broadband plans
Why should you choose unlimited broadband?
Unlimited broadband plans provide the following advantages:
- Stress-free browsing. Without a cap in place to worry about each month, you can browse at your regular plan speed for the entire billing period without limits. While a Fair Use Policy may exist, it is unlikely that you will be affected by this if you are doing what is considered normal amounts of streaming, gaming and downloading.
- No speed penalties. Often with capped data plans, your speed is reduced if you go over your limit. With an unlimited plan, your speed won’t be throttled.
- No peak and off-peak browsing times. Enjoy being able to download at any time of the day or night.
- Set monthly bill. You’ll have peace of mind that your bill will be the same every month and no extra data charges to budget for.
What are the main features to compare for unlimited broadband plans?
Your Internet speed will depend on the provider you sign up with, the type of connection you have and the infrastructure available in your area. As a result, it is important to check what broadband plans are available at your home address.
Once you’ve determined the options available to you, here are the key factors that will affect the speed of your new Internet plan:
- Type of Internet connection. The type of technology and network access method you choose are critical in determining your Internet speed. The types of connections and considerations include:
- ADSL2+. ADSL2+ connections are greatly affected by the distance from your premises to your nearest exchange. Under optimal conditions, an ADSL2+ connection can deliver speeds comparable to some VDSL plans, but maximum speeds drop dramatically the further away you are from your local exchange.
- VDSL. VDSL connections are capable of hitting higher speeds than ADSL2+, and is available to around 85% of homes.
- Fibre. The Fibre network in New Zealand uses fibre-optic cables and provides a faster and more reliable experience than copper broadband. While it’s not available everywhere in the country, further rollouts are underway. It is expected to be accessible by more than 4 million Kiwis by the end of 2022.
- Network congestion. All network connection types mentioned above can experience slower speeds depending on the number of people accessing an Internet provider’s service at a single time. The busiest times for Internet browsing in New Zealand are between 7pm and 11pm, so this is typically the time when Internet speeds are at their slowest.
- Modem and equipment. Your connection speed could be limited if your modem is out-of-date or the performance of your computer is being affected. If you are using an old modem, you can often purchase a new one directly from your Internet provider or from an electronic retailer.
- Wi-Fi signal. While Wi-Fi networks are convenient, they can also be significantly slower than connecting directly to your modem or router with an ethernet cable. Thick walls, multiple connected users and other wireless devices can all negatively impact the speed and reliability of a Wi-Fi connection, so it’s important to understand how to minimise problems with Wi-Fi connections.
Providers usually offer 24-month, 12-month or month-to-month contracts. You can expect perks like an included modem or reduced set-up fees if you sign up to a longer-term plan. A month-to-month plan allows you to cancel any time without any additional exit fees, though you will usually have to pay a higher up-front cost for the privilege.
The price of unlimited broadband plans can range anywhere from around $60 a month up to $100+ depending on contract length, broadband speed and any other benefits you may opt for. More expensive options may include entertainment and streaming services like Netflix or VodafoneTV.
To ensure that you get the best deal available, look out for the following plan extras to sweeten your unlimited broadband deal:
- Free subscription for an entertainment service such as Amazon Prime, Lightbox or Spotify Premium
- Free antivirus software
- Free modem
- Discounts off mobile plan prices
- Home phone included
- Account credit
- Joining rewards such as a TV or laptop
- Half-price broadband for a limited time
How to save on an unlimited broadband plans
If you’re looking to pay as little as possible for your unlimited Internet plan, these tips might come in handy:
- Discounts for mobile plans. Some providers offer a discount on your broadband if you have a pay monthly mobile plan with them as well. For example, 2degrees gives a $10 monthly discount for pay monthly customers, and Orcon will discount $5 for every mobile phone plan you add up to a maximum of $20.
- 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 less add-ons will keep your monthly cost down.
- Consider signup bonuses and extra features. Deals with account credit, free TV or half-priced broadband for three months may sound appealing at first, but make sure to work out the overall cost of your plan and if you will be able to get a cheaper deal elsewhere.
- Do your research. Unlimited Internet deals change often, so keep an eye out for what’s on offer and compare plans and features carefully before making a decision.
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