Best of the Best: Best-Value Broadband Bundled Plans
GOLD WINNER: SPINTEL
Movies and games chew through the data, so make sure you're covered
You'd be hard-pressed to find an Aussie without the internet. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 13.3 million of us currently have a broadband subscription, an increase of 4.2% since last year.
Further, the amount of data we consume at home has skyrocketed: about 80GB a month, compared with just 50GB in 2015. Why the sudden surge?
"Our habits have completely shifted," says WhistleOut editor Joseph Hanlon.
"People come home from work and flick on Netflix the same way they'd previously watch broadcast TV. We might be engaging in the same activity - watching TV - but we're consuming a considerable amount more internet data."
So how much do you need?
"It's important to understand your usage habits so that you don't end up paying for a bigger plan than you need," says Hanlon.
"As a rule, if you're interested in watching YouTube, streaming TV, downloading movies or online gaming, you'll need a home broadband plan with 200GB-plus."
All our winners have at least 200GB as standard (last year it was 80GB) and monthly contracts.
For the second year on the trot, our frontrunner is SpinTel's Urban Home Bundle ($69.95 a month) with a generous 500GB of internet data and unlimited calls to all Australian landlines and mobiles, and no set-up costs.
Nipping at SpinTel's heels, TPG's ADSL2+ with Oz Talk Bundle ($69.99pm) offers unlimited data and unlimited calls with a $99.95 set-up fee.
It's neck-and-neck in the bundle market.
"These bundles offer a safeguard for families and those streaming or downloading on multiple devices at once," says Hanlon.
"For instance, you can use 50GB downloading a single game on the Xbox - that's approximately 10 Netflix movies back-to-back. Without a buffer, that's a huge whack of the family data allowance."