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 offering an ever-evolving range of plans catering to different requirements.

In 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 consumers should be considering when seeking out a cheap broadband deal, plus some of the plans on offer:

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 is 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.
  • 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 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 on offer from different retailers, focusing on data limits and speeds. It shows the difference in cost between plans with a data cap or a lower speed offering.

Consumers will need to confirm with retailers the specific plans that are available for their household and what connection fees apply.

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 with a focus on speed.

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)*
Keeping a cap on it 125 GB 125 GB Fibre: 100/20

VDSL: 70/10

ADSL: 20/1

Unlimited and need for speed Ultra Unlimited Unlimited Fibre: 900/400 $99

Skinny’s broadband offerings range from a number of wireless 4G plans with data caps to an unlimited fibre plan 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 fibre plan also requires purchase of a modem for $99 on a monthly contract. It’s provided free on a 12-month contract (with the first two months on the 12-month contract currently free for new customers).

Plan Monthly data limit Speed (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
Keeping a cap on it 60 GB 60 GB Spark 4G network: Skinny advises speeds should be higher than ADSL but generally slower than fibre $39
Unlimited and need for speed Unlimited Broadband Unlimited Unlimited Fibre 30: 30/10

Unlimited Fibre 100: 100/20

Unlimited Fibre 200: 200/20

Unlimited Fibre Ultra: up to 900/500

Unlimited Fibre 30: $73

Unlimited Fibre 100: $78

Unlimited Fibre 200: $88

Unlimited Fibre Ultra 900/500: $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. The modem can be purchased for $99 when signing up for a monthly plan. Consumers also have the option of using their own modem.

Plan Monthly data limit Speed (Mbps: download/upload) Cost (per month)*
Unlimited Starter Unlimited Fibre: 100/20 $79
Unlimited and need for speed 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)*
Unlimited Fibre 100 Unlimited Fibre: up to 100/20 $69
Unlimited and need for speed Fibre Pro Unlimited Fibre: up to 950/500 $85

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

To help Kiwi consumers make more informed decisions, Canstar Blue annually rates all the providers in the market. 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 below:

Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar!

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