The spinning wheel of death has plagued internet uses for what feels like forever. But thankfully, now that fibre internet is the new norm, the spinning wheel interrupting a streaming movie is a less common occurrence. But for those who are particularly wi-fi hungry, and still suffer buffering video content or slow-loading webpages, the fastest broadband speeds are of utmost importance. So who has the fastest speeds?
Canstar breaks down the fastest broadband speeds advertised, alongside the latest report from the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand Report, In order to find out where you can get the fastest broadband in New Zealand.
Best Providers For the Fastest Internet. In this article we cover:
- Fibre 100 or Fibre Max: What broadband speed do I need?
- The best broadband plans for Netflix
- The fastest broadband plans in New Zealand
- Can I get Fibre at my place?
- Hyperfibre: the fastest internet in the world.
What broadband speed do I need?
The average user in New Zealand will have two choices of Fibre broadband plans; Fibre 100, and Fibre Max (or an alternatively named equivalent). Standard Fibre 100 plans offer 100mbps download and 20mbps upload, which is fine for the average family’s needs. Streaming, surfing the internet and playing video games online.
Fibre Max plans are generally advertised with download speeds between 750mbps and 950mbps. These might be better suited for a household with several users all using a lot of bandwidth through internet intensive activities. This may also be a popular option for serious gamers, where even small amounts of lag and latency can cause issues.
So for a small household, or just casual internet users, a Fibre 100 plan may be more than enough. However, as a guide, the following are the mbps speeds required for some of the more data-intensive services:
- Video streaming – Netflix recommends a download speed of 3mbps per stream for playing SD-quality TV shows and movies, 5mbps for HD and 25mbps for UHD
- Gaming – Microsoft advises via its Xbox website that minimum download/upload speeds of 3/0.5mbps are recommended for Xbox One online gaming
- Video calling – Skype recommends that HD video calling download/upload speeds are 1.5/1.5mbps
It’s worthwhile keeping in mind the cumulative impact of multiple devices using the same broadband service. While the above numbers seem small, it’s unlikely you’ll be performing just the singular activity at any one time. Multiple tabs, windows, devices, and users can all add up.
And if they are all using wi-fi, this, too, can slow speeds. For more details on setting up your home network for max speeds, check out our story: How to Achieve A Lightning Fast Home Broadband Network.
What’s the best fibre broadband plan to stream Netflix?
As mentioned above, for most, 100/20mbps will be fine for streaming Netflix. According to the Commerce Commission’s report, even when using Fibre 100, 98% of homes could handle four Netflix 4K streams without a wobble.
But if you have a large household, or just a particularly wifi hungry one, there are plans with significantly faster speeds that could be a good option for you. You can see a breakdown of the average speeds of common plan types below:
Average Download Speeds by Plan
Average of monthly household averages. Peak hours are Monday – Friday, 7pm – 11pm. Error bars show 95% confidence intervals. Graph reproduced from Measuring Broadband New Zealand Spring Report, December 2021.
If you are a die-hard fan of Netflix, and being able to watch your shows uninterrupted is your main concern, it could be worth checking out Spark’s new broadband plans, which come with a standard Netflix subscription. But for a full comparison of Broadband providers, hit the button below:
The fastest broadband plans in New Zealand: Fibre Max
As mentioned above, if you are finding a standard 100/20mbps plan too slow, it may be worth going for a faster Fibre Max plan. Below is a breakdown of the major internet providers in New Zealand along with the advertised speed of their Fibre Max (or equivalent) plans.
|Provider||Download/Upload Speeds Mbps|
*The speeds listed above are the speeds advertised on the individual retailer websites. Actual speeds may be different
Measuring broadband speeds
Below you can see the actual speeds of Fibre Max plans across several of New Zealand’s largest internet providers. All data sourced from the Commerce Commission’s report Measuring Broadband New Zealand Spring Report, December 2021.
|Provider||Average Download Speeds|
|Orcon + Slingshot||876.3mbps|
Can I get fibre broadband at my place?
Most main cities and towns in NZ have fibre broadband coverage already, or installation is planned. You can find out if fibre has been installed in your area, or if and when installation is planned at broadbandmap.nz.
Hyperfibre: The fastest internet in the world
While Fibre Max should be plenty for even the savviest of households, technically speaking, it isn’t the fastest option available. Since 2019, Chorus has been rolling out Hyperfibre. Hyperfibre is the latest technology that can offer astounding speeds well beyond anything imaginable with a fibre connection. Hyperfibre delivers some of the fastest broadband speeds available in the world. Depending on the broadband plan, it has speeds ranging from 2-8gbps and offers a smooth, low latency connection.
So whereas Fibre max is pushing 1000mbps, Hyperfibre goes all the way up to 8000mbps!
However, while Hyperfibre sounds great, it’s going to be overkill for nearly everyone out there. Unless you’re a business that is regularly transferring large amounts of data, Hyperfibre won’t be necessary. And even if you do want it, you’re choices are limited. Currently, Hyperfibre is only offered by MyRepublic and Orcon, and even then, only at select addresses.
Finding the best and fastest broadband plans
Ultimately, if you’re after the fastest broadband deal, it’s always worth doing a little research. To help you get a clearer picture of broadband providers in NZ, Canstar Blue rates all the big providers in the market annually. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Value for Money, Network Performance and Customer Service.
Canstar Blue’s 2020 review of NZ internet providers compares NOW, 2degrees, Bigpipe, Contact, MyRepublic, Orcon, Skinny, Slingshot, Spark, Stuff Fibre, Trustpower, Vodafone and Voyager, and awards the best our 5 Star rating:
^ By clicking on a brand or 'details' button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to either a product provider website or a Canstar Blue NZ brand page. You agree that Canstar Blue NZ’s terms and conditions apply (without limitation) to your use of this service,to any referral to a product provider from our website, and any transaction that follows. Canstar Blue may receive a fee for referring you to a product provider. See How we are funded for further details.
Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in March 2020, published in April 2020.
See Our Ratings Methodology
The table above is an abridged version of our full research, so to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the big button at the bottom of this story.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.