Summer means many of us are lucky enough to spend more time at home, with the kids on school holidays and many parents taking time off work. But more time at home also means more time spent online, streaming entertainment, playing video games or simply browsing the web.

In November 2018 iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with YouGov Galaxy Research to assess the attitudes of over 1,000 Australians towards connected devices and internet usage. Over half (51 per cent) of Aussie families say their internet usage increases over the summer months, including one in five households with children (21 per cent) who said their internet usage increases dramatically over the summer holiday period.

Many of us were lucky enough to unwrap new connected devices at Christmas such as tablets, PlayStations or Kindles which puts greater demand on our home internet plan.

So, it’s not surprising that many Aussie families find themselves frustrated over the summer break with their current plan’s data limits or speeds.

For the past four years, internet experts iSelect have seen the number of customers looking to switch internet plans increase by about 40 per cent during early January (based on online customer enquiries in the first week of January 2–8, 2016-2019 compared to the first week of December 2-8, 2015-2018).

This is prompted by a combination of new connected devices for Christmas, higher internet usage due to the whole family being at home and many of us finally having the downtime to get around to those tasks which have been lurking at the bottom of our to do list for the whole year – like sort out the internet.

women laptop right home internet plan

So how do you choose the best internet plan for your home?

If you do find yourself with a bit more spare time over summer, the last thing you want to do is waste any of it comparing internet plans. With so many options out there, how do know which internet plan is best? Here are our top tips on how choose the right home internet plan to meet your family’s needs.

Speed is key

For the best experience and to avoid slow connections or buffering issues, opt for at least a 50/20 Mbps plan. Many providers have made their 50/20 plans more affordable and they are suitable for connecting multiple devices, streaming online entertainment or gaming.

Unlimited may be unnecessary

A lot of people prefer ‘unlimited’ data plans for budget certainty and protect themselves from high internet use, but many users don’t need it and could be paying more than they need to. 200 to 250GB a month should cover most families for downloads, streaming and gaming.

Lock it in

It is usually better value to opt for a 12 or 24 month contract, rather than going month-to-month. Contract plans generally have lower set-up fees and often include a free modem which can improve your connection speed.

Right internet plan modem

Forget the phone

Most Aussies have unlimited calls included with their mobile plan, so opting for a plan without mobile calls included should save you money.

Speak to an expert

Speak to a broadband comparison expert who can do the hard work for you and help you understand your family’s use and find the best internet plan to meet your needs and budget.

For more ways to cut the running costs of your home check out our guide to make your air conditioning more efficient, 9 ways to save money around the house and the home tech that will save you cash.

Author

Laura Crowden is Corporate Affairs Manager for iSelect. When she isn't providing advice on how to find the right energy, broadband or insurance plans, Laura can be found tackling home renovations (to varying degrees of success) or eating ice cream. She loves getting a good deal, sparkly things, her cat & G&Ts.

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