How to Save Money on Broadband: Tips, Tricks, and Plans

Canstar runs through some tips and tricks to save money on broadband. As well as some of the cheapest broadband plans and best promotions in New Zealand.

Saving money on broadband isn’t always easy, as broadband prices, plans, and deals are always changing. You think you have the best deal, only for another provider to slash its prices or throw in a free streaming subscription to sweeten the deal. Next thing you know, your broadband connection costs $10 more, is the slowest on the market, and you’re stuck paying for your own Netflix account.

So it’s no surprise, then, that the best way to save on broadband is to shop around and regularly review your plan. And to make things easier, we’ve included a list of all the current pricing information for fibre broadband plans, as well as all the current deals and discounts too. Plus a bunch more tips and tricks you can use to help save money.

So read on below and start saving on broadband now!

How to save money on broadband

Consider your needs

Unlimited, super-fast plans are all the rage in the broadband market. But, they also come at a higher cost. If you are looking for ways to save, one of the best ways is to consider how much, or how fast, your broadband needs to be.

For example, wireless broadband is typically cheaper. And although you will have significantly slower speeds than on fibre, for users who just browse social media or use the internet to stay in touch with family, it might be enough.

Even watching Netflix shouldn’t cause any issues.

Consider the add-ons

Certain broadband plans come with benefits like streaming subscriptions or sign-on rewards. These can be a great sweetener, but consider the true value, alongside whether it’s a need or a want.

For example, a new TV is nice, but if your existing TV is fine, then you aren’t saving. You’re just getting a free but unnecessary benefit. Or a plan might offer free Netflix, but if you already have Prime Video and Disney+, you might not feel a Netflix subscription is needed.

Furthermore, be wary of just how free these free add-ons are. For example, Spark’s fibre plan with free Netflix is more expensive than several other fibre plans. So if you’re paying extra for a free add-on, that add-on isn’t really free.

That’s not to say it isn’t good value. But try not to get sucked in by the add-ons. It’s important to carefully consider the actual value they offer.

Look for discounts

Providers might give you a month free, or several months half price when you sign up. This could be a good option to save money, but it might require a little bit of math. If you sign on for a year, what does that price work out to be when averaged out across 12 months? And is the original price that the plan reverts back to still a good deal?

Bundle your phone plan and/or electricity

If your broadband provider offers electricity and/or phone plans, you might be able to bundle for a discount. But before signing up, check that it’ll work out to be good value. Saving $10 on broadband is no use if you’re overpaying on your electricity or phone plan.

→Related article: Paying Too Much for Mobile? NZ’s Cheapest Phone Plans

Consider the cost of a modem

Most plans provide a free modem (although shipping and handling costs usually apply), while others require you to pay upfront for one. Other broadband providers allow you to bring your own compatible modem.

If you need a new modem, factor in any modem costs into your choice of provider. Saving $5 a month may not be worth it if you have to pay a sizeable modem cost.

Additionally, factor in the type of modem you’re getting. Some plans now offer mesh routers and smart modems that can double up as a smart speaker and/or provide more stable connections.

Open plan or fixed-term plan?

When you sign on for a fixed-term plan, you often get benefits that increase value, such as free modems, rewards or discounts. The trade-off is that if you want to call it quits early, you have to pay a break fee. With an open-term plan, you can call it quits anytime you want.

Broadband is a fast-moving industry, and plans are regularly changing. Being locked into a long-term plan could result in you missing out on new deals and discounts as they arise. But an open term may result in missing out on many of those benefits, which are often only included on fixed-term contracts.

Neither option is necessarily better or worse. You simply need to consider whether you value the freedom to shift plans as deals arise, or whether getting the cheapest deal now is of more importance.

Regularly review

This one’s important.

As we mentioned above, Broadband plans and deals are ever-changing. To know you’re getting the best deal, you need to regularly review the market and what’s on offer. Which is where we can help.

Instead of trawling through page after page and getting stuck in a web of endless tabs, you can use Canstar to compare Broadband providers and find the cheapest broadband plans.

Canstar Blue rates all the 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 2021 review of NZ internet providers compares NOW, 2degrees, Bigpipe, Contact, MyRepublic, Nova Energy, Orcon, Slingshot, Spark, Stuff Fibre, Trustpower and Vodafone and awards the best our 5-Star rating:

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 below:

Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar!


 Cheapest broadband plans

All plans are for 300mbps/100mbps with no home phone line. Unless indicated as an extra, all include a router, although a delivery fee can apply. It’s worth noting that most deals also include early termination fees, should you break your contract early. And many allow you to bring your own compatible router.

Broadband Provider

Unlimited Broadband Deal
$ Per Month

Skinny

Modem shipping: $10

$52

(price includes current deal: 4 months

free on 12-month contract)

Contact*

Bundle deals only, no fixed term:

$59.99: broadband + power + gas

$64.99: broadband + power

MyRepublic*

$63.75

(price includes current deal: 3 months

free on 12-month contract)

2degrees*

$74.20

(price includes current deal: 2 months

free on 12-month contract)

Deal also includes 6 months free NEON worth

$15.99 p/m, and 6 months free Prime worth $8 p/m.

Total saving over 6 months: $143.94,

not included in above price.

Vodafone

$79

$69 with Vodafone pay

monthly mobile plan

Bigpipe

$79

Sky Broadband

$79

$94.99: broadband + Sky Starter Package

worth $25.99 per month, equivalent

to $69 per month.

Slingshot*

$79.95

Spark*

$85 (+$106 router)

Includes Standard Netflix worth $18.49 p/m,

equivalent to $66.51 per month.

Now*

$85 (+$120 router)

Nova Energy*

$89 broadband only (no fixed term)

$69.99: broadband + power

Orcon*

$89.95

Trustpower*

$109 (2-year contract)

$94: broadband + power

*$15 one-off modem delivery fee (Prices correct as of 23/03/22)

What’s the deal with the cheapest broadband plans?

As you can see above, most broadband plans cost between $70 and $9o per month. On paper, Contact’s deal looks cheap, at $59.99, but you need to sign up for power, too, which could cost more than your current electricity provider. Then there is Skinny’s current cut-price deal, offering free broadband for the first four months of a 12-month contract, which equates to just $52 per month.

So why would you pay $85 for Spark’s broadband when you can get the same internet from Skinny? The answer to that poser comes down to the deals and contract lengths. When looking at the different providers, you have to look carefully at what’s on offer.

Skinny is a no-frills provider. All it does is deliver unlimited broadband. And while its current deal is great, its regular plan price is $78 per month, in line with the other telcos. After a year, your savings will be minimal, unless you change providers – which Skinny hopes you’ll be too preoccupied to do.

Sign up to Spark, however, and you get free Netflix Standard, worth $18.49 per month. So, if you’re already a Netflix subscriber, your Spark internet will effectively cost you just $66.51 per month. But it’s only a great deal if you want Netflix!

The same can be said for Sky Broadband, if you’re an existing Sky TV customer your broadband will only cost you $69 per month.

If you’re willing to bundle your internet, adding either mobile phone plans or power plans, a world of extra savings awaits. But you need to do your homework.

Current cheapest broadband deals include:

2degrees

  • 6 months free NEON worth $15.99 p/m
  • 6 months free Prime worth $8 p/m
  • $10 per month discount across all broadband plans if you have a 2degrees pay monthly phone plan

Nova Energy

  • Bundle with electricity for an extra saving of $20 monthly

Orcon

  • Add your power and get a 10% bundle discount on both your broadband and power
  • Add a phone plan and get a $5 monthly discount

Slingshot

  • Add power to your Slingshot broadband and receive 10% off your broadband plan and 10% off your power plan

Spark

  • Includes Netflix Standard (HD), worth $18.49 per month
  • Add Neon to your plan for $11.99 per month and/or Spark Sport for $19.99 per month

Sky Broadband

  • 12 months free Disney+ worth $129.99

Trustpower

  • Range of joining rewards, including fridges, TVs and washing machines or half-price broadband for 12 months*
  • Duel-fuel discounts on gas and electricity
  • $50 account credit when you sign up online

*On a 24-month term.

Vodafone

  • $10 per month discount if you already have a Vodafone pay monthly phone plan
  • Vodafone’s rewards scheme
  • SuperWifi, wall-to-wall wi-fi guaranteed or get a $100 account credit

Compare broadband providers


author andrew broadley

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.


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