Student Broadband Plans: Good, Better, Best – Where Does Yours Rank?
Just about to leave home for college? Feeling overwhelmed? No need to stress. At CompareMyRates.ca we know precisely what you need from a broadband service. To help you we’ve looked at what students generally look for in a broadband plan, and what they should actually be looking for.
Broadband plans for students are available in different arrangements. If the parent is paying, they can look for a plan that allows them to add more users later or share big data with multiple users and devices. This way, parents can still monitor the Internet use of their children. They may also obtain a broadband bundle that already includes wireless connection, so students can access the Internet even when they are far away from home.
Good Student Broadband Plan – Something Cheap with High Speed
If you fall within the “starving student” demographic, you don’t have a lot of money, especially when you have to fund your social life...hanging out is really expensive in Australia!
As a minimum, you’ll need ADSL 2+ speeds of up to 25 mbps to meet your needs as a student. Speed is not governed by the ISP you sign up with, but rather on how far from the exchange you’re located. Your broadband will be slower if it has to travel a long way to reach you.
For this reason, undergraduates studying in remote areas such as Wagga Wagga might only get ADSL1, which offers speeds of up to 8mbps: sad to say not everyone can receive ADSL 2+. Nothing can be done about this: some exchanges simply do not have ADSL2+ infrastructure, and in some cases there are not enough ports.
You may prefer cable broadband if you’re a gamer. With this type of broadband you get fast, consistent service at a speed of 100mbps. Obviously, prices are higher, with limited availability.
Better Student Broadband Plan – High Data Limit
As a child of the digital era, you live and breathe Snapchat and Netflix. We know you want to keep up with the latest episodes of Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black. You’ll need a large data pack, whether you follow a lot of shows or you live in a house full of university students.
Since it means no worries whatsoever, unlimited obviously sounds like a great plan. Unfortunately, to a significant extent unlimited is merely a marketing ploy. Even university students don't use that much data. Users should also know that technically, providers should not be offering unlimited broadband. Really, providers don’t expect you to use more than 500GB of data. The provider’s infrastructure will be overloaded if too many people surpass their projected allotment, and this will affect your broadband service.
That said, you could still try to sign up for an unlimited package if you feel your data needs are high. But you most likely won’t need to. The standard for TV downloads is 40 episodes per month, and that takes up approximately 300 megabytes of download. At just 100GB per month, you can watch more than 300 episodes monthly, and more than 80 weekly. Do you really use that much data? Do you really need unlimited? No probably not.
A safe limit to go with for the typical household of four university students is 300GB of data.
Best Student Broadband Plan – Something that's Actually Reliable
It’s important for students to have a good Internet connection. You’ll be doing lots of research and most universities depend on online systems to issue course information and for managing assessment tasks. If you’re doing an online test, you can't have an Internet connection that keeps dropping: you need reliability and consistency.
We’re not talking about mobile broadband here. It’s free to set up and activate, and it’s easy to use, but mobile broadband is unreliable. This type of service is meant for people who use only small amounts of data or who want Internet access while they're out-and-about. Mobile broadband is unsuitable for students since it's slow and expensive. Providers offer several post-paid unlimited plans, but generally, you won’t be able to buy large data packs.
Students should, therefore, go with fixed line broadband. Even Naked DSL is a fixed line. A common fallacy is that “Naked” means ‘just like ordinary ADSL broadband without being connected to a phone line’. The word “naked” suggests this, and it’s a reasonable mistake. “Naked,” however is really just another instance of marketing brilliance. It actually means an inactive phone line. There are still set up charges, you still plug your modem into the phone port, the only difference is that if you plug in a home phone it won’t ring. There’s actually nothing ‘naked’ about it apart from the fact that you won’t have to rent a phone line.
Naked DSL and ADSL broadband are the best picks for students. Take note that you should not pick naked only because you don't need a home phone. Check what the company is offering first: with most providers it's essentially cheaper to get broadband bundled with a home phone: you don’t need to use the line if you don’t have to. The cost of the phone line rental is within the bundle, and it often works out cheaper than paying for separate broadband and an additional deposit for a phone line.
Shopping for broadband doesn’t have to be hard, even if the telecommunications market feels overwhelming.
- There are many competitively priced unlimited broadband plans.
- Know your needs – Do you need a cheap plan? Do you like watching TV shows? Do you need a home phone?
- Pick a fixed line service for reliability and speed.