They promised us fast internet for all, but to find a genuinely fast NBN plan you have to read a lot of fine print. Or, more accurately, we have had to read a lot of fine print, and you have to take a look at a bullet point list just down the page.

All NBN providers are obliged to show actual average speeds from real-world speed tests on their websites, but as you’d expect, most bury this detail down in a size 8 font somewhere in the T&Cs. So a hat tip to the brave, now mostly blind, people who sacrificed their sight so we can reveal this truth to you.

TPG – 88.1Mbps 

That’s right, TPG is not just cheap and cheerful, but is currently the fastest NBN provider in the whole world. What this means is that during Netflix o’clock between 7pm and 11pm, the average TPG customer gets 88Mbps of pure internet juice pumping into their homes. For comparison, this is slightly faster than both Telstra and Optus.

Telstra – 87.8Mbps 

It’s a pretty tight race between first, second and third place, but Telstra can claim to be ‘pretty much the fastest too,’ given we’re speaking about a difference in decimal places. The only thing about Telstra, of course, is that it’s more expensive.

The plan above is for an NBN 50Mbps plan because Telstra will only sell you 100Mbps after you connect up to the slower speed and they can test your connection to see if you can get good speeds. If you can, you need to fork out an extra $30 per month for the speed boost. 

Optus – 87.42Mbps

Like Telstra, Optus is basically in a tie for first place. If this were the Melbourne Cup, we’d be measuring the winner by the reach of flared horse nostrils.

Also like Telstra, one of the big reasons to sign up with Optus and not the other providers is all of the perks and extras you get. There’s Fetch TV, Optus Sport, free Hoyts movie tickets, pre-sale tickets for major concerts, among other things. Plus that fast, fast NBN. 

Aussie Broadband – 86Mbps

Known by many as the good guys of the NBN, Aussie Broadband is winning hearts and minds by trying to make the most out of the troublesome NBN. To get average speeds like 86Mbps takes a lot of tweaking across the network, and Aussie Broadband is one of the smaller companies willing to put in the elbow grease to make sure you can watch Nailed It without interruption.  

Kogan Internet – 85Mbps

Not as fast, but still respectable, Kogan Internet is last on our list. This is the very definition of a no-frills internet plan. The price is cheap, the internet is fast, and there’s not much else to think about. 

Joe Hanlon is editor at WhistleOut.com.au and Reviews Australia.

Image: AAP / Alan Porritt