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.
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.
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.