nbn 250 internet speed

Want Super-Fast Internet? Your Guide to NBN 250

Fast internet is a pretty universal desire. Whether it’s streaming your favourite shows seamlessly, conducting a Zoom call without interruptions during crucial presentations or just indulging in a smooth online scroll, having an internet connection that keeps pace with your online activities is crucial.

As someone who runs a digital-first business, having reliable, high-speed internet at home is absolutely essential. This is where NBN 250 comes in.

While not yet accessible to everyone, an increasing number of Australians now qualify for download speeds well beyond 100 Mbps – NBN 250 (Superfast) and NBN 1000 (Ultrafast), offering users plans with lightning-fast speeds.

True to its name, NBN 250 plans deliver download speeds of up to 250 Mbps, surpassing the capabilities of an NBN 100 plan by more than double.

If you’re craving speed or need additional bandwidth to ensure your entire household can make the most of super-fast internet, read on for everything you need to know about NBN 250 plans.

NBN 250 plans: the basics

It’s straightforward: opt for an NBN 250 plan, and you could enjoy download speeds of up to 250 Mbps, coupled with upload speeds reaching 25 Mbps.

This speed tier is available to any NBN users connected to fibre to the premises (FTTP) and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) technologies.

For internet enthusiasts seeking to maximise their connection capabilities, NBN 250 plans stand out – though the privilege comes at a cost, ranging between about $110 and $140 per month.

Actual speeds

However, it’s essential to note that the label “NBN 250 plan” doesn’t guarantee a constant 250 Mbps. Internet providers often highlight “evening speeds” or “NBN peak hour speeds,” which can be slower than the plan’s maximum and vary among providers.

Similar to traffic congestion during rush hours on the road, the NBN experiences slowdowns, especially in the evenings when neighbourhoods collectively log on for streaming, surfing and downloading.

An NBN provider should tell you the plan’s “typical evening speed” alongside the maximum speed. This should give you some insight into the expected connection speed you should consistently get during peak usage hours, typically from 7 pm to 11 pm.

While traditionally associated with nighttime, the definition of NBN peak hours has evolved, influenced by a surge in remote work. Now, these peak hours extend beyond evenings, impacting connection performance whenever many users are concurrently engaging their NBN connection.

For example, in Sydney, the average night time (between 7pm and 11pm) internet speed is around 200 Mbps, which is less than the optimal plan speed of 250 Mbps. 

What equipment do you need for NBN 250?

Both FTTP and HFC NBN technologies rely on a router to distribute the NBN internet connection to devices within your home. Ensuring the capability of this primary device is crucial.

Consult with your provider to select a router that is compatible and designed to effortlessly achieve speeds of 250 Mbps if NBN 250 is what you’re aiming for.

You’ll also want to confirm that your router is, at a minimum, a dual-band model, encompassing 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies (distinct from 5G).

The 2.4GHz frequency represents a slower yet more extensive range, technically supporting speeds of up to 600 Mbps (on WiFi 4). These maximum speeds are achievable under ideal conditions and may be constrained by the distance between devices and the router, as well as potential interference.

On the flip side, 5GHz is a more recent, speedier but shorter-reaching band, capable of reaching speeds of up to 1300 Mbps (on WiFi 5 routers).

Note that the farther a WiFi device is from the router, the more likely it is to be incapable of reaching max download speeds. You’ll get the best download speeds from 5GHz WiFi but not if these devices are too far away from the router, so experiment with ranges and speeds by performing an internet speed test on these devices.

In the end, the optimal way to guarantee the fastest and most dependable speeds is through a wired Ethernet connection rather than WiFi. Remember that not all Ethernet cables are of the same quality, and an ageing cable may limit your wired device to 100 Mbps or slower, particularly if it has degraded.

Are you eligible for an NBN 250 plan?

To find out if you can get an NBN 250 plan, you need to know your NBN technology type.

  • As of right now, only customers on FTTP and HFC connections can get an NBN 250 plan.
  • If you’re not connected to one of those two technology types, hold tight: NBN Co is on track to enable up to 10 million premises, or up to 90 per cent of homes and businesses across Australia to connect to FTTP by the end of 2025.
  • If you have a FTTN address eligible for an FTTP upgrade, you’ll simply need to order an NBN 100 plan or faster from any provider to start the upgrade process.

What if you can’t get NBN 250 at your address?

Luckily, NBN isn’t the only kind of internet connection you can get in Australia. If you don’t have FTTP or HFC but still want super fast internet at your place, look at 5G home internet. These plans can have typical evening speeds of up to 250 Mbps, but theoretically can go much higher.

You’ll still need to be living somewhere with 5G coverage, but 5G home broadband is a viable alternative for those struggling with slow NBN.

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