Pros and cons of contract-free internet


WhistleOut
10 November 2016

If you're looking at getting a new internet plan, you'll have to make the decision of whether to take up a month-by-month connection or choose a contract option. While not every internet service provider gives you the choice, many do. This not only includes smaller players like SpinTel and Belong, but industry stalwarts Optus and Telstra.

Here's a look at the differences between contract-free broadband and a contracted connection.

Why you might want a contract-free month-to-month broadband plan

The biggest benefit of a contract-free month-to-month broadband plan is you're not locked in with anyone. You'll almost certainly have to pay a setup fee, but you can then cancel your service at any time. If you're not happy with your provider, you're able to change at any time. This is ideal if you want to trial a new provider you're not 100% confident about, for example.

This also means it's easier to change if you find a better deal. Of course, if the better deal is also month-to-month, you'll get hit with another setup fee, which can counteract savings. Australia's broadband market is far less volatile than our smartphone market, with far less competition in terms of data inclusions and pricing, so we're unlikely to see much fluctuation in the short term. 

Contract Free ADSL Broadband Plans

Broadband Plans

With at least 200GB data | Filters
Provider Inclusions
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle 500GB ADSL2+
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $49.95/mth
  • Min. cost $49.95
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle Unlimited ADSL2+
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $54.95/mth
  • Min. cost $54.95
AusBBS
AusBBS
  • On-Net ADSL Unlimited
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $110
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle 500GB ADSL2+
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $59.95/mth
  • Min. cost $59.95
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Metro Home Bundle 500GB ADSL2+
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $59.95/mth
  • Min. cost $108.95
iiNet
iiNet
  • 500GB Bundle
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $59.99/mth
  • Min. cost $139.94
Optus
Optus
  • 60 Plan M2M
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $60/mth
  • Min. cost $260
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle Unlimited ADSL2+
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $64.95/mth
  • Min. cost $64.95

Contract Free NBN Plans

Provider Inclusions
Aussie Broadband
Aussie Broadband
  • NBN Basic Casual
  • 50GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $40/mth
  • Min. cost $40
amaysim
amaysim
  • Basic Speed - Unlimited Data
  • Unlimited NBN Fixed Line
  • $40/mth
  • Min. cost $40
Teleron
Teleron
  • 100GB Standard (Promo)
  • 100GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $42.50/mth
  • Min. cost $92.50
TPG
TPG
  • NBN M Bundle
  • 100GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $49.99/mth
  • Min. cost $179.94
MyNetFone
MyNetFone
  • NBN Basic 200GB Tier 1
  • 200GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $49.99/mth
  • Min. cost $248.99
Barefoot Telecom
Barefoot Telecom
  • Lite NBN
  • Unlimited NBN Fixed Line
  • $59/mth
  • Min. cost $59
MATE Communicate
MATE Communicate
  • NBN #goodmates
  • Unlimited NBN Fixed Line
  • $59/mth
  • Min. cost $59
iiNet
iiNet
  • NBN Fibre Basic 500
  • 500GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $59.99/mth
  • Min. cost $139.94

Why you might want to sign a contract

Choosing a contract with your internet service provider might for somewhere between 12 and 24 months might seem daunting, but it can save you money.

Many providers offer some sort of saving when you sign a contract. This could be waiving a setup fee, a free or discounted modem, and in some cases, a cheaper monthly price.

In addition to potentially saving you money, longer contracts often include bonuses. Optus, for example, throws in access to Fetch TV and Optus Sport support on a number of their broadband bundles. Telstra will give you a Telstra TV and three months access to Netflix and Stan. If these bonus inclusions are of interest, it may be worth considering the on contract approach.

And of course, your provider of choice might not offer a month-to-month option.

ADSL Broadband Plans on a Contract

Broadband Plans

With at least 200GB data | Filters
Provider Inclusions
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle 500GB ADSL2+
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $49.95/mth
  • Min. cost $574.40
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle Unlimited ADSL2+
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $54.95/mth
  • Min. cost $634.40
AusBBS
AusBBS
  • On-Net ADSL Unlimited
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $695
Dodo
Dodo
  • ADSL2+ Unlimited (Bundle)
  • Unlimited ADSL2+
  • $59.90/mth
  • Min. cost $1,462.55
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Metro Home Bundle 500GB ADSL2+
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $59.95/mth
  • Min. cost $694.40
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • Urban Home Bundle 500GB ADSL2+
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $59.95/mth
  • Min. cost $694.40
iiNet
iiNet
  • 500GB Bundle
  • 500GB ADSL2+
  • $59.99/mth
  • Min. cost $1,449.76
Internode
Internode
  • Easy Broadband 250 with NodeLine
  • 250GB ADSL2+
  • $59.99/mth
  • Min. cost $1,533.76

NBN Plans on a Contract

Provider Inclusions
Teleron
Teleron
  • 100GB Standard (Promo)
  • 100GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $42.50/mth
  • Min. cost $1,035
MyNetFone
MyNetFone
  • NBN Basic 200GB Tier 1
  • 200GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $49.99/mth
  • Min. cost $665.83
Southern Phone
Southern Phone
  • NBN Small Bundle Tier 1
  • 100GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $1,393.95
iiNet
iiNet
  • NBN Fibre Basic 500
  • 500GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $59.99/mth
  • Min. cost $1,449.76
Optus
Optus
  • 60 Plan - nbn™
  • Unlimited NBN Fixed Line
  • $60/mth
  • Min. cost $1,440
Optus Business
Optus Business
  • 60 Plan - nbn™
  • Unlimited NBN Fixed Line
  • $60/mth
  • Min. cost $1,440
iPrimus
iPrimus
  • Basic 100GB
  • 100GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $60/mth
  • Min. cost $795
Telstra
Telstra
  • Home Internet Connect Bundle - nbn
  • 100GB NBN Fixed Line
  • $70/mth
  • Min. cost $1,779

So do I want a contract, or do I want to go month-to-month?

If you want to save money, a contract is probably your better option. If you don't mind being locked in, you'll often get a free modem, and have your setup fee waived or reduced.

If you're not comfortable about being locked into a provider for as long as two years, contract-free can be an equally good option. You might have to pay an extra $100 or so upfront, but you'll be able to leave whenever you want. This can be useful if you don't know how long you'll be in the country for, for example.

If you've already got a recent, high-quality modem that works with your connection type, you won't need to worry about paying for a new one if you opt for a month-to-month plan.


Contract image from ShutterStock.


Broadband Deals

Special Offer Pricing for 6 months!

Special Offer Pricing for 6 months!

Get amaysim nbn 12 Mbps for $40/month & 25 Mbps for $60/month. The first six month’s service are at a discounted rate. Hurry offer ends 30.11.17

Bonus Deals with Telstra Mobile Broadband

Bonus Deals with Telstra Mobile Broadband

Telstra Mobile Broadband plans include a range of deals such as bonus Foxtel Pack subscriptions, unlimited Telstra Air Data & Bonus Data

Unlimited Netflix Streaming

Unlimited Netflix Streaming

Teleron's Basic nbn plan includes unlimited Netflix streaming & data-free iTunes downloads until 30 Nov. New customers only, T&Cs apply

$70 credit with 18 month contracts

$70 credit with 18 month contracts

SpinTel's 18 month nbn™ broabdband plans now include a $70 credit which will appear on your first invoice...