Broadband Basics

Better broadband: Why speed and data matter

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July 02, 2019

Your household is all go. Whether you're working from home, the kids are playing video games, or you're trying to video call your parents across the country... you need everything to just work. 



That's why picking the right broadband plan is so important. If you notice your internet seems to slow down at certain times of the day, or you get that annoying buffering wheel the minute the kids get online after school - then chances are, your current plan isn’t right for your needs. 

So what do you need to consider when looking for a new broadband plan? The two most important things are speed and data. In this blog, we break down what you need to know about speed and data so you can make a quick switch to the right plan for your household. 

Settling on speed


The faster your broadband speed (measured in Megabits per second, or Mbps), the quicker you'll be able to download content and stream your favourite shows without any interruptions. It also means you and the kids can all be online at the same time without experiencing any issues – a must these days with kids doing everything from homework to entertainment to socialising online.

Fibre broadband provides the fastest connection speeds - the most popular fibre plan is 100Mbps as it meets most households' needs, but more and more people are choosing gigabit fibre plans as it’s the fastest broadband available and there are lots of great deals on offer. 

Deciding on data


Data can also affect your broadband experience. It dictates how much content you can upload or download in a particular month – measured in Gigabytes (GB). To give you an idea of use by activity, according to Netflix, watching TV shows or movies on its platform uses about 1GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3GB per hour for each stream of HD video. (source https://help.netflix.com/en/node/87).

While music streaming services like Spotify use way less data (40MB per hour on default sound setting). (source https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/Guides/How-Much-Data-Does-Spotify-Use) 



If your broadband plan has a data cap your provider may charge you extra for any data you use over your monthly allowance. Some providers may even slow down your connection once you go over your cap, making it more difficult to enjoy the content you love. 



A family of four can easily chew through a decent amount of data. To avoid receiving additional charges and reduced speed, consider signing up for an unlimited plan. An unlimited plan means your family can download and stream as many of your favourite TV shows and movies as you like!

 If you're not sure how much data you go through or actually need, a great place to start is with our Data Calculator, which will give you an idea of your monthly usage. 

For the best broadband experience, we recommend a fibre plan with speeds of 100Mbps or more and unlimited data. If fibre’s not available consider VDSL. Check out www.broadbandcompare.co.nz for a side-by-side comparison of different fibre plans available. 

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