No-one likes slow internet speeds. There’s not a lot more painful than the dreaded loading wheel endlessly spinning mid-way through a movie! But don’t worry, the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand program is helping to ensure we keep up to date with the fastest providers.
It tests and publishes the speeds and performance of premium internet fibre plans, essentially looking for the fastest broadband networks across the country. And it has just published its latest research into the speediest Fibre Max and Fibre 100 broadband.
Best Providers For the Fastest Internet. In this article we cover:
- The difference between Fibre Max and Fibre 100 broadband?
- Best Fibre broadband plan to stream Netflix
- What broadband speed do I need?
- Can I get fibre broadband at my place?
- Finding the best and fastest broadband plans
What’s the difference between Fibre Max and Fibre 100 broadband?
Fibre Max plans are the fastest fibre connection available, designed for maximum speed, and come with a higher price tag. Fibre Max plans are generally advertised with download speeds between 750mbps and 950mbps. Fibre Max is usually only recommended in cases where there is a genuine need for more bandwidth, eg frequently uploading or downloading large files.
Fibre 100 plans still deliver a great internet speed, but are not as fast as Fibre Max. The 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.
What’s the best fibre broadband plan to stream Netflix?
When it comes to the fastest fibre provider in the market, according to the Commerce Commission’s report, all the main brands serve up the high-speed goods.
Vodafone and Spark’s average download speeds across Fibre Max lines were slightly higher than other providers, but the difference isn’t statistically significant.
Even with four streams of ultra-high-definition (4K) Netflix running simultaneous, all households with Fibre Max broadband handled it without a worry.
Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees’ average Fibre 100 download speeds were all pretty close. Even using Fibre 100, 98% of homes could handle four Netflix 4K streams without a wobble.
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 Summer Report, April 2021.
Fibre Max download speeds (average download speeds)
2 Degrees: 822.4mbps
Orcon & Slingshot: 834.3mbps
What broadband speed do I need?
That’s totally up to you. For many households, 100/20mbps is 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. If there are a number of people in your household simultaneously accessing video streaming, gaming, video calling and other services, it will add up and can slow your internet.
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.
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.
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.
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