NZ’s Best Broadband Deals

There’s more to the best broadband deals than just cheap prices. Canstar Blue reveals what you should look for in a great broadband plan.

For consumers on the hunt for a cheap broadband deal, there’s no time like the present to be checking out what the market has to offer. As the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) rollout continues around the country, retailers are coming up with an ever-evolving range of plans, offering cheaper, faster broadband.

But when assessing the plans on offer, it’s worthwhile looking beyond the monthly price tag. Keep in mind other factors, from data limits and speeds, to equipment costs, connection fees and contract length. Also, are retailers offering any additional incentives to sign you up?

We take a look at what you need to consider when seeking out a cheap broadband deal, plus some of the plans on offer with the highest scores in Canstar Blue’s latest satisfaction ratings.

Broadband deals: factors to keep in mind

Of course, the monthly cost of a broadband plan is a primary consideration for most consumers. However, it’s also important to compare like-for-like plans when weighing up what’s best for your household.

The cheapest plan available may be appealing. But if you’re constantly exceeding your data allowance, or if the plan is not fast enough, you might be better off on a slightly more expensive plan.

In such cases, the extra dollars will likely be money well spent. Also, keep in mind the other potential costs involved at the sign-up stage, including equipment costs and connection fees.

Some factors to consider when weighing up plans include:

  • Data limit – a cheaper plan with a data cap may be suitable if you’re a light internet user. However it’s important to remember that the amount of data used can quickly add up. This is especially true if multiple devices are accessing a home network, and if data-intensive services, such as video streaming, are used regularly.
  • Data speed – there’s great variety in the speeds offered with different plans. Plans with slower speeds can be cheaper. However, as with data limits, it’s important to match a plan to your usage requirements. And as recent research shows, even though retailers around the country are offering plans with download speeds nearing 1Gbps (gigabits per second: 1000Mbps), for most households, regular download/upload speeds of 100/20Mbps are more than adequate. For more details on this, read our story Super-fast Broadband Plans: How Fast is Fast Enough?
  • Type of tech – if UFB is not available in your area, you may need an ADSL, VDSL or 4G plan. For some, a 5G plan might be an option.
  • Contract length – while some plans are monthly, others require you to sign up for a year. It’s worthwhile keeping in mind that long-term plans often come with extra incentives. These include free routers and mesh wi-fi tech and reduced sign-up fees. However, early termination fees can also apply.
  • Additional incentives – what else comes with the plan? Some retailers include free subscriptions to streaming services, or initial sign-up incentives, providing reduced monthly rates.
  • Time to bundle – you might also be able to bundle other services, such as a home phone line, mobile phone package, or an electricity service, potentially leading to additional savings. You can read more about these bundles here!
  • Equipment requirements – does a plan come with a router, and, if so, is the router sufficient for your needs? The router is a key piece of equipment in delivering a smooth internet service, and it’s worthwhile taking steps to ensure your router is up to the task.

Meanwhile, also keep in mind other support provided by retailers, such as account monitoring and management tools, and what sort of flexibility there is to upgrade or change plans during your contract.

Certainly, it pays to shop around and research the customer service and tech support provided. Also, look to online reviews to see what other customers are saying about retailers and their plans.

Broadband plans

The following is a selection of broadband plans that score highly in Canstar Blue’s latest broadband provider Most Satisfied Customer ratings. It shows the difference in cost between plans with a data cap or a lower speed offering. As plans change all the time, you’ll need to confirm with retailers the specific plans that are available, prices correct as of 06/05/2021.

 

Now Broadband

NOW’s broadband plans comprise fibre, ADSL and VDSL offerings on a 12-month contract, ranging from its 125 GB plan to unlimited plans.

New customers have the option of using their own router, or purchasing a router when signing up (for a one-off fee or via monthly payments). There are also the options of adding a home phone line, and purchasing an in-home or remote home tech assist membership.

Plan Monthly data limit Speed: (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
125 GB 125 GB Fibre: 100/20
VDSL: 70/10
ADSL: 20/1
$75
Unlimited Unlimited Fibre: 100/20
VDSL: 70/10
ADSL: 20/1
$85
Ultra Unlimited Unlimited Fibre: 900/400 $99

Skinny has a range of wireless 4G plans and unlimited fibre plans available with different speeds.

The 4G plans require purchase of a 4G modem for $99 and are available monthly (with the first month currently free for new customers). The no-term contract fibre plan requires the purchase of a $99 modem, plus a $49 connection fee. These charges are waived on a 12-month contract. You also get a $10 per month discount on selected broadband plans if you have a selected Skinny mobile plan.

Plan Monthly data limit Speed (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
60GB Wireless 60GB Spark 4G network: Skinny advises speeds should be higher than ADSL but generally slower than fibre $35
120GB Wireless 120GB As above $45
Uncapped Wireless Unlimited As above $55
Uncapped fibre Unlimited Fibre 30/10
100/20
200/20
900/500
$73
$78
$88
$98

Bigpipe Broadband Logo

Bigpipe provides its customers fibre, ADSL and VDSL plans, with all of its plans coming with unlimited data.

Consumers who choose a 12-month contract are provided a free Bigpipe Smart Modem, or BYO compatible modem, and free connection.

Plan Monthly data limit Speed (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
Fast Unlimited ADSL: 5/20 $79
Turbo Unlimited VDSL: 15/60 $89
Starter Unlimited Fibre: 100/20 $79
Expert Unlimited Fibre: 100/100 $89
Pro Unlimited Fibre: 200/20 $99
Elite Unlimited Fibre: 700-900/400-500 $109

MyRepublic offers a range of fibre and VDSL plans, all of which are available with unlimited data.

Consumers have the choice of monthly plans (with a BYO router, or a rental router charged at $5 per month), or a 12-month contract (with a BYO router, or a free rental router). There is also the option of adding a home voice plan for $10 per month.

 

Plan Monthly data limit Speed (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
VDSL Unlimited 70/10 $85
Gamer VDSL Unlimited 70/10 $89
Fibre 100 Unlimited 100/20 $85
Fibre Pro Unlimited 950/500 $95
Fibre 2000** Unlimited 2000/2000 $149
Fibre 4000** Unlimited 4000/4000 $179
Gamer Fibre 2000** Unlimited 2000/2000 $159
Gamer Fibre 4000** Unlimited 4000/4000 $189

**$249 installation fee, T&Cs apply. For more info, click here.

2degrees logo

2degrees offers broadband plans across fibre, wireless 4G, VDSL and ADSL. They also offer joining credits and deals, including free Amazon Prime Video and Prime Gaming for a year. Plus there is a monthly $10 discount if you have an eligible monthly phone plan.

Plan Monthly data limit Speed: (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
300GB 300GB 2degrees’ 4G network. Speeds should be higher than ADSL but generally slower than fibre $65
Unlimited Unlimited ADSL, VDSL & Fibre:
Up to 100/20
$89
Ultimate Unlimited Unlimited Fibre: 900/400 $106

Stuff offers two broadband plans, on fixed and no-term contracts. Plus extra voice app and router deals.

Plan Monthly data limit Speed: (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
Base Plan (no term)*** Unlimited 100/20 $94.95
Boost Plan (no term)*** Unlimited 950/500 $109.95
Base Plan (12-24 month) Unlimited 100/20 $84.95
Boost Plan (12-24 month) Unlimited 950/500 $94.95

***$49.50 set-up fee applies.

*Further information on pricing can be found at individual retailer websites. This should be used as a starter guide and not considered an actual quote.

Finding the best and fastest broadband plans

Ultimately, if you’re after the best and 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:

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.

Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar!

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