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
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • NBN 50GB Tier 1 (Entry)
  • 50GB NBN 12
  • $39.95/mth
  • Min. cost $172.95
Call SpinTel
Aussie Broadband
Aussie Broadband
  • NBN Basic Casual
  • 50GB NBN 12
  • $40/mth
  • Min. cost $40
amaysim
amaysim
  • nbn 12
  • Unlimited NBN 12
  • $40/mth
  • Min. cost $40
Teleron
Teleron
  • Basic 100GB Standard
  • 100GB NBN 12
  • $42.50/mth
  • Min. cost $92.50
Southern Phone
Southern Phone
  • NBN Small Plan Tier 1
  • 100GB NBN 12
  • $45/mth
  • Min. cost $245
Call Southern Phone
MyNetFone
MyNetFone
  • NBN Basic 200GB Tier 1
  • 200GB NBN 12
  • $49.99/mth
  • Min. cost $248.99
Belong
Belong
  • NBN Broadband – Regular
  • 100GB NBN 12
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $115
Hello Broadband
Hello Broadband
  • Unlimited Starter NBN Plan
  • Unlimited NBN 12
  • $57.95/mth
  • Min. cost $107.94

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
SpinTel
SpinTel
  • NBN 50GB Tier 1 (Entry)
  • 50GB NBN 12
  • $39.95/mth
  • Min. cost $563.40
Call SpinTel
Teleron
Teleron
  • Basic 100GB Standard
  • 100GB NBN 12
  • $42.50/mth
  • Min. cost $1,035
Southern Phone
Southern Phone
  • NBN Small Plan Tier 1
  • 100GB NBN 12
  • $45/mth
  • Min. cost $1,080
Call Southern Phone
MyNetFone
MyNetFone
  • NBN Basic 200GB Tier 1
  • 200GB NBN 12
  • $49.99/mth
  • Min. cost $665.83
Belong
Belong
  • NBN Broadband – Regular
  • 100GB NBN 12
  • $50/mth
  • Min. cost $600
Hello Broadband
Hello Broadband
  • Unlimited Starter NBN Plan
  • Unlimited NBN 12
  • $57.95/mth
  • Min. cost $695.40
iiNet
iiNet
  • NBN Fibre Basic 500
  • 500GB NBN 12
  • $59.99/mth
  • Min. cost $1,449.76
Optus
Optus
  • 60 Plan - nbn™
  • Unlimited NBN 12
  • $60/mth
  • Min. cost $1,440

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.


Compare broadband plans from the following providers...

Personal

Business

Broadband Deals

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 31 Oct. 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...

2nd month plan fee is $0

2nd month plan fee is $0

Your 2nd month is FREE with Barefoot or MATE broadband plans until 31.10.2017. Sign up online or call 1300 157 884