Best-rated Wireless Broadband Providers

Compare wireless broadband providers in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Starlink, Skinny, 2degrees, Slingshot, Spark and One NZ were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Bill Clarity, Clarity of Contract, Customer Service, Flexibility of Contract, Network Performance and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Starlink

Starlink is the winner of Canstar Blue’s inaugural Wireless Broadband Award, rated No.1 for customer satisfaction by Kiwi wireless broadband consumers.

Starlink logo

How we rate wireless broadband providers

Our review compares providers that offer standalone wireless broadband on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared wireless broadband providers before you sign on with one of them. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest friends and family which wireless broadband provider they think is best!


Canstar Blue surveyed 745 Kiwis who have an account with a wireless broadband provider and asked for their feedback on their broadband provider.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their providers from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall Satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a provider as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Bill Clarity: bills provides accurate details of broadband usage and costs, so it’s easy to work out if you’re on the correct plan for your needs.
  • Clarity of Contract: the contract for the broadband service is written in plain English and the services provided are easy to understand.
  • Customer Service: the customer service provided by the broadband provider is helpful, prompt and of a high standard.
  • Flexibility of Contract: the broadband provider’s contract offers flexibility when it comes to changing or cancelling the broadband service.
  • Network Performance: the wireless broadband service is consistently fast and stable.
  • Value for Money: the broadband provider offers great value for money when comparing services and extras with price.

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Starlink
  • Skinny
  • 2degrees
  • Slingshot
  • Spark
  • One NZ


Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.

Best-rated wireless broadband providers in New Zealand

  1. Starlink
  2. Skinny
  3. 2degrees
  4. Slingshot
  5. Spark
  6. One NZ

Starlink logo

Starlink is the inaugural winner of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers | Wireless Broadband Award. As our winner, Starlink is the only provider in our ratings to earn a top 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. It earns similar ratings for Network Performance, Bill Clarity and Contract Clarity, plus a great 4-Star rating for Value for Money. It earns its lowest ratings for Contract Flexibility and Customer Service, which is understandable, given that it’s a web-based service.

Editor’s Notes

Starlink is a satellite broadband service from Elon Musk’s SpaceX Aerospace company. By using satellites, Starlink is able to cover locations where internet connectivity has traditionally been limited. Starlink has two residential broadband plans:

  • Standard: $159/month
  • Deprioritised: $79/month

Both plans offer approx speeds of 100-200Mbps download and 12-20Mbps upload. Although deprioritised users may experience slower speeds at peak times.

Starlink also offers high-speed, priority services for businesses, plus services for users who require its wireless broadband services while moving.

To use Starlink’s service, you need a Starlink kit, which comprises a Starlink satellite dish, wi-fi router, power supply, cables and a mounting tripod. The tripod is designed for ground-level installation, if you require a roof install, roof mounts are available. You can buy the Starlink kit through the company’s website or from Noel Leeming for $359.


Skinny

Ratings Results

Given its great value prepaid phone deals, it’s perhaps no surprise that Skinny is the only wireless broadband provider in our ratings to earn a top 5-Star rating for Value for Money from Kiwi consumers. It earns additional top ratings for Customer Service, Bill Clarity and Contract Clarity, as well as great 4-Star rating for Network Performance, Contract Flexibility and Overall Satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

Alongside its no-frills prepaid plans, Skinny offers a great range of broadband plans across unlimited fibre and wireless. Free modem on 12-month contract, plus save $10 per month on broadband plans while you have an active eligible Skinny mobile plan:

Wireless Plans

  • 60GB Plan: $45/month
  • 120GB Plan: $50/month
  • Unlimited Plan: $55/month

2degrees logo

2degrees

Ratings Results

2degrees’ no-frills wireless broadband plans deliver the telco company predominantly 3-Star ratings. It achieves its best results, 4-Star ratings, in the categories of Customer Service and Contract Clarity.

Editor’s Notes

2degrees has a selection of no-frills wireless and unlimited fibre broadband plans to meet all budgets and internet usage needs:

Wireless Plans

  • 300GB 4G: $55/month
  • 600GB 4G: $60/month
  • Unlimited 5G: $79/month

12-month only term, includes free modem ($15 shipping fee). $10/month discount across all plans if you have an eligible 2degrees pay monthly phone plan. Power discounts also available.


slingshot

Slingshot

Ratings Results

Slingshot achieves a great 5-Star result for Customers Service, plus two 4-Star ratings, for Bill Clarity and Contract Clarity. Across all other fields, it earns 3-Star ratings.

Editor’s Notes

Slingshot has been a player in the NZ broadband market since 2001. It’s now owned by Vocus, the same company that owns Orcon. It has a range of wireless and unlimited fibre broadband plans, plus bundle savings:

Wireless Plans

  • 300GB: $55/month
  • Unlimited: $60/month

Plans are for a fixed 12-month term and include a modem, $14.95 delivery fee applies.


spark_logo

Spark

Ratings Results

Spark is one of the country’s biggest telcos, and earns mainly 3-Star ratings. However, while not a top rating, 3 Stars is by no means a measure of dissatisfaction, rather it indicates Spark’s wireless customers are happy with the levels of Value and Overall Satisfaction they receive. Spark earns its top score for Customer Service: 4 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

Spark offers a range of wireless and unlimited fibre broadband plans. Although it’s worth noting that a modem is an extra $150, available through interest-free payments:

Wireless Plans

  • 40GB: $45/month
  • 120GB: $55/month
  • Unlimited: $60/month

Wireless Plans 4G with Benefits*

  • Everyday Wireless Plus (4G): Unlimited – $65/month
  • Max Wireless (5G): Unlimited – $85/month

*Benefits include Netflix Standard ($20.99/month) and McAfee Security Standard ($4.95/month).

Extras: add Neon to your plan for $15.99 per month.


One NZ

Ratings Results

Formerly known as Vodafone, One NZ rounds out our wireless broadband ratings and scores a clean sweep of 3-Star ratings across all categories, including for Value for Money.

Editor’s Notes

One NZ offers a range of wireless and unlimited fibre broadband plans:

4G Wireless

  • $55/month: 300GB
  • $65/month: Unlimited

5G Wireless

  • $79/month: Unlimited

All plans on 12-month term with modem included, no delivery charge.


Note: All prices correct as of 25/06/2024 and don’t include special offers. For further details, visit individual providers’ websites.

Approx: 4G Speeds: 35/17Mbps | 5G speeds: 240/19Mbps

Now: Winner Most Satisfied Customers | Fibre Broadband 2024

Canstar Blue also rates and reviews Fibre Broadband providers, including Now, Skinny, Sky Broadband, Spark, Orcon, 2degrees, One NZ and Slingshot. For our latest Fibre Broadband Awards click here.


Electric Kiwi: Winner Most Satisfied Customers | Bundled Utilities 2024

Many power companies now offer deals that bundle broadband with electricity, these firms include Electric Kiwi, Nova Energy, Genesis, Slingshot, Contact and Mercury. For Canstar Blue’s latest Bundled Utilities Award click here.

Choosing the Right Broadband Provider

Value for Money is always a top consideration for all consumers in Canstar Blue’s awards, so it’s no surprise to see it rated a No.1 concern for wireless broadband customers – on a par with Network Performance.

However, it’s interesting to see that Customer Service (21%) is not that far ahead of Bill Clarity (17%) for wireless broadband customers when it comes to how they rate their provider.

Overall, here’s what the consumers in our survey say are their most important considerations when rating their wireless broadband providers:

  • Value for Money: 28%
  • Network Performance: 26%
  • Customer Service: 21%
  • Bill Clarity: 17%
  • Flexibility of Contract: 6%
  • Clarity of Contract: 2%

Slow Internet? What’s the Solution?

Are you the problem?

First, it pays to run an internet speed test. This will reveal if it’s a problem with your internet supply.

Then run the test on multiple devices in different parts of your home. If the problem isn’t restricted to just one area of your home, or a particular device, it could be that your household’s data demands could be too demanding for your internet plan (particularly if you’re not on fibre).

For example, 4G fixed wireless only hits around 40Mbps, which can struggle with even a single UHD Netflix stream. Although if you’re on fibre 300 and above, it’s unlikely you’re too demanding for your internet connection, unless you’re really pushing your bandwidth. For even fibre 300 can stream four UHD Netflix shows simultaneously without issue.

If the speed tests reveal your internet is, indeed, the problem, and your speeds are below where they should be, there are a few common reasons for this. Note that the problem could be a combination of a few issues:

Your router is in a bad spot

Wi-fi routers aren’t the prettiest of devices. As a result, many of us tuck them away out of sight, or set them up in little-used rooms. But this is going to hinder your internet connection. When it comes to a strong wi-fi signal, walls and distances aren’t your friends.

Place your router high up, in an unobstructed location, and near your demanding devices, such as computers, smart TVs and gaming consoles.

You may need a wi-fi extender or mesh routers

Depending on the size of your property (or the density of your walls), it may be that one router isn’t up to the job. If your wi-fi is flying next to the router, but stuttering down the hall and in your bedroom, it may just be the signal is struggling to reach that far.

Wi-fi extenders can help. These don’t extend your wi-fi per se, rather they use your existing wi-fi connection to broadcast their own one. As a result, you’ll have more than one wi-fi network in your home. Your regular network, and the one broadcast by the extender(s).

Mesh routers, on the other hand, deliver a single cohesive wi-fi network that utilises a main router and then several nodes to boost the network around the home.

Mesh routers provide a better internet experience, but are more expensive than wi-fi extenders. However, some providers offer mesh routers as part of their broadband plans.

Is your router old?

Router technology is constantly improving. An old router might still connect you to wi-fi, but it may do so at a slower rate. It can also leave your connection open to security risks, and might lack features that could improve your connection.

Modern routers feature a host of features that can improve your home’s wi-fi experience, such as:

  • Beamforming: detects device locations and focuses wi-fi signals to where they are needed
  • Quality of service: allows you to prioritise the connection quality of certain devices over others
  • Band steering: steers dual-band devices to the less congested network

If your router is getting old, it could be time to upgrade.

Are you crowding the bandwidth/using the wrong option?

If your router has two networks for you to choose from – 2.4GHz and 5GHz – (as most routers do) this means you have a dual-band router.

Your router uses radio frequencies to transmit internet to your devices, and 2.4GHz and 5GHz refer to the frequency of those radio signals. To get the best out of your wi-fi connection, you need to utilise both in the correct way:

  • 2GHz is the slower of the two, but the signal travels further
  • 5GHz offers better speeds, but only over short distances

For this reason, it pays to set up your router close to your most demanding devices (gaming consoles, smart TV, work computers, etc.) so they can utilise the 5GHz network.

You can then connect most other things on 2GHz, which is perfect for devices far from the router, as well as things that don’t require much bandwidth. For example, most smart appliances can happily stay on 2GHz, even if they are close to the router.

Furthermore, try plugging demanding devices directly into the router via LAN cables. Not only does this improve the connection to those devices, but it frees up bandwidth for wireless devices. However, this may be impractical if your ONT and router are away from your bandwidth-hungry devices.

About the editor of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

More Information

Key statistics

Broadband provides value for money: 47%

Currently subscribe to a paid video streaming service: 44%

Worry about safety of online personal data: 41%

Get all entertainment online: 36%

Been target of online scam: 35%

Worry children can access unsuitable content too easily online: 29%

Spend more time socialising online than in person: 28%

Spending more time working online at home: 22%

Worry about time their children spend online: 18%

Online streaming habits

Watch <50% TV online: 31%

Watch >50% TV online: 26%

Watch all TV online: 24%

Watch no TV online: 18%

Canstar Blue surveyed 5127 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who have a broadband internet account. In this case, 2279 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

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