The Lowdown On No-contract Broadband Deals

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If you don’t want your internet provider to tie you down, keep it casual with a no-contract broadband deal. Canstar reveals your options.

In life, sometimes you don’t want to be tied down. Instead of a long-term relationship, you want something more casual. And what’s true of the heart, also applies to broadband. Rather than committing to a 12- or 24-month broadband contract, sometimes you need a more short-term solution. If you fall into this category, and your focus is flexibility, there are plenty of no-contract broadband deals offering hassle-free hook-ups.

From UFB to wireless 4G offerings, no-contract broadband is typically available on a month-to-month basis. And while the sign-up costs of these plans can be higher than fixed-term contracts, the quality of the broadband connection is the same.

Of course, as with any broadband offering, there are a number of factors that consumers should keep in mind when signing up for a no-contract plan. So it’s worthwhile carefully weighing up your requirements and shopping around for a suitable plan.

Why choose no-contract broadband?

So why choose no-contract broadband over a 12- or 24-month contract? It may simply be a case of keeping your options open before committing to a long-term contract.

It could be that you’re keen to trial a service with a particular retailer before locking in for the long term. Or, with new technologies such as Hyperfibre and 5G set to be rolled out, no-contract broadband can provide the flexibility to change plans when required.

Of course, one of the main reasons people opt for no-contract broadband is that they’re renting. If you’re on a short-term rental contract, or plan to relocate in the near future, no-contract broadband can be accessed on a month-to-month basis.

For some households, no-contract broadband may make sense from a budgeting perspective. Not only does it allow for cancellation at short notice, it can also circumvent the need for credit checks, which can be a problem if you’ve bad credit.

Contract considerations

One of the main differences between a flexible and a fixed-term broadband contract is the lack of an early termination fee. This is a charge applied when a consumer breaks a fixed-term contract before its end date.

This fee is not applicable for flexible contracts. However fixed-term contracts may come with a range of additional benefits, such as a free router, no set-up costs and lower monthly contract costs.

If you’re looking for a no-contract plan, you should consider:

  • Routers – some plans require you to purchase a specific router, or may provide the option to either purchase or rent a router. If you already own a router, or are keen to purchase a particular model of router for your household, then it’s worthwhile confirming that a plan allows for the use of a BYO router
  • Set-up – what initial fees apply? For instance, along with the router cost, you may also need to pay a set-up fee
  • Monthly costs – is there any difference in the monthly contract costs between a retailer’s fixed-term and flexible contracts? If you’re with a retailer for an extended period of time, these costs can add up

Meanwhile, as with all broadband plans, it’s worthwhile keeping in mind:

  • Data limits – while many UFB plans come with unlimited data, data caps may apply for wireless 4G plans
  • Speed – there are a range of different speeds available with UFB plans. It’s important to choose an appropriate speed for your household’s requirements
  • Landline – do you also require a landline?
  • Account monitoring and management – what type of online account monitoring and management tools (including apps) does a retailer provide?
  • Added incentives – does a retailer offer any other incentives to sign up for a plan, such as bundle deals?

Retailers

The following is a selection of retailers offering no-contract deals. It’s certainly worthwhile researching the range of deals on offer from retailers, and referencing online reviews of different retailer offerings, in determining what is right for your household.

Skinny

Skinny’s broadband offerings include a number of wireless 4G plans, delivering consumers the flexibility of both no contract and no cables. Skinny uses Spark’s 4G mobile network, providing speeds that should be higher than ADSL, but generally slower than fibre.

Consumers keen to sign up for a Skinny wireless plan will need to purchase a Skinny 4G modem (configured to connect to the Spark 4G network) for $99. Skinny states it takes under five minutes to get it up and running.

Skinny is currently offering the first month free for its wireless plans. It also offers a 30-day money-back network guarantee. Skinny’s plans do not come with a landline.

 

Plan Monthly data Download/Upload Cost (per month)*
60 GB Wireless 4G 60 GB 4G/4G $39
120 GB Wireless 4G 120 GB 4G/4G $49
Uncapped Wireless 4G Unlimited 4G/4G $65

 

MyRepublic

MyRepublic offers a range of month-to-month plans, encompassing both VDSL and UFB connections. All of MyRepublic’s plans come with unlimited data.

Consumers who sign up for a month-to-month plan can rent a MyRepublic router on a monthly basis, can purchase one upfront, or can use a BYO router.

MyRepublic doesn’t charge connection fees across its month-to-month plans. Its plans are also available with a home phone line (costing either $5 or $10 per month).

 

Plan Monthly data Download/Upload Cost (per month)*
VDSL Unlimited 70/10 Mbps $79
Gamer VDSL Unlimited 70/10 Mbps $89
Fibre 100 Unlimited 100/20 Mbps $79
Fibre Pro Unlimited 950/500 Mbps $85
Gamer Fibre 100 Unlimited 100/20 Mbps $89
Gamer Fibre Pro Unlimited 950/500 Mbps $95

 

Spark

spark_logo

Spark offers a range of open-term plans, encompassing both UFB and wireless 4G connections. Its Unplan plans move customers automatically between three price tiers based on their data usage every month.

Spark does not include a modem with its plans, but one can be purchased at an additional cost. Fibre plan consumers can use a BYO router, however Spark’s wireless broadband services require a Spark modem.

There is the option of adding a landline to Spark’s UFB or wireless plans for $10 per month.

Plan Monthly data Download/Upload Cost (per month)*
Unplan Wireless Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 4G/4G Up to 60GB: $65

60-120GB: $75

120GB+: $85

Unplan Metro Wireless Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 4G/4G Up to 60GB: $65

60-120GB: $75

120GB+: $85

Unplan Netflix Wireless Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 4G/4G Up to 60GB: $75

60-120GB: $85

120GB+: $95

Unplan Netflix Metro Wireless Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 4G/4G Up to 60GB: $75

60-120GB: $85

120GB+: $95

Unplan Fibre Basic Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 50/10 Mbps Up to 60GB: $66

60-120GB: $76

120GB+: $86

Unplan Netflix Fibre Basic Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 50/10 Mbps Up to 60GB: $76

60-120GB: $86

120GB+: $96

Unplan Fibre 100 Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 100/20 Mbps Up to 60GB: $70

60-120GB: $80

120GB+: $90

Unplan Netflix Fibre 100 Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 100/20 Mbps Up to 60GB: $79

60-120GB: $89

120GB+: $99

Unplan Fibre Max Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 900/400 Mbps Up to 60GB: $90

60-120GB: $100

120GB+: $110

Unplan Netflix Fibre Max Up to 60GB/60-120GB/120GB+ 900/400 Mbps Up to 60GB: $100

60-120GB: $110

120GB+: $120

Stuff Fibre

Stuff Fibre’s Base and Boost plans are available with different contract length options, including no-term contracts. These are available at a higher price per month than its 12- and 24-month contracts, and include a no-term set-up fee of $49.50.

Stuff’s no-contract plans come with a router included at no additional cost. You can upgrade to a high-end router for an extra $299. There is also the option of using a BYO router.

Consumers can add Stuff’s Voice App, which provides for mobile access to a landline number, for an additional $10 per month. Stuff offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

 

Plan Monthly data Download/Upload Cost (per month)*
Base Unlimited 100/20 Mbps $89.95
Boost Unlimited 950/500 Mbps $104.95

 

*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.

Researching the best broadband plans

Ultimately, if you’re after the best no-contract 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 below:

Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar!

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