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[2022 Edition] Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Broadband Plan For Your Home

Just as there are SIM-Only mobile plans with no contract, there are home broadband plans with no contract as well.


Due to the working from home arrangements during COVID-19, and possibly changing work trends in the future, having a good broadband plan at home has gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have for many households.

When it comes to deciding the best broadband plan for our home, there are six main players in the market to consider.

No Internet Service Provider (ISP)
1 M1
2 MyRepublic
3 SingTel
4 StarHub
5 ViewQwest
6 WhizComms

 

When applying for a home broadband service, there are two types of fees that we may be charged, outside of our monthly subscription.

NLT Service Activation Fee: We have to pay $56.71 for the NetLink Trust (NLT) Service Activation fee for every new fibre port activation. This is typically for new customers or customers that moved homes, as it applies for every new activation. Customers who re-contract (from the same address) should not have to pay this fee.

Termination Point Installation Fee: For homes that do not already have a termination point, we will have to fork out an additional sum for NetLink Trust to carry out this one-time installation work. For HDB and private high-rise apartments, this is charged at $160.50, while for landed properties, it is $288.90. Again, this typically only applies to someone who has moved recently as we very likely already have home internet broadband.

When choosing which home broadband plan to subscribe to, we should also ask ourselves two simple questions:

Contract Duration: No-contract, 12-month contract or 24-month contract?

Maximum Speed: 300Mbp, 500Mbps, 1Gbps or 2Gbps?

Read Also: [Cheatsheet] The Best SIM-Only Plans in Singapore

No-Contract Home Fibre Broadband Plans

Unlike the prevalence of no-contract mobile plans in Singapore, there aren’t as many no-contract options with home fibre broadbands plans.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Fibre Broadband Plans (Monthly) Additional Fees
1Gbps
MyRepublic
No Contract 1Gbps Broadband
$59.99 ·       $53.50 Service Installation Fee
·       $48.15 cancellation fee (if you cancel within first 3 months)
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Termination Point Installation Fee (for those without)
·       NOTE: $150 New Router Discount

Best No-Contract Plan

At this point in time, MyRepublic is the only player offering a no-contract plan. They give a $150 discount for a new router purchase. Note that while this is technically a no-contract plan, MyRepublic will charge a penalty for termination within the first three months.

Who Should Get A No-Contract Home Broadband Plan?

If we do not want to get locked into the service provider for 12 or 24 months, especially if we expect to change our residence or move out of Singapore soon, it could make sense to go with a no-contract plan. Once we get locked into a contract, cancellation charges are hefty and there is nothing we can do about it.

The main downsides are a monthly subscription, as well as having to pay for router and other installation charges (which are typically free for 12- or 24-month contracts).

12-Month Contract Home Fibre Broadband Plans

While the 24-month plan is most common, there are internet service providers that offer a shorter 12-month home fibre broadband plan.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Fibre Broadband Plans (Monthly) Additional Fees
>500Mbps 1Gbps 2Gbps
M1
Fibre Broadband 500Mbps/ 1Gbps
$39.90 (500 Mbps) $49.90 ·       $58.85 Fibre Registration
·       $90.00 ONT Activation Charge (Waived)
·       $68.48 Onsite Charge (Minimum)
·       $32.10-$64.20 Transportation/Manpower Cost
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50/$288.90 (High-rise/Landed) Fibre Termination Point Installation
MyRepublic
1Gbps Broadband
 – $50.99 ·       $53.50 Installation Service
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (Free for new customers)
NOTE: $150 New Router Discount
StarHub
1Gbps Fibre Broadband
$49.90 ·       $90.00 Service Installation (waived)
·       $12.84 Delivery Fee
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (for those without)
NOTE: Free Nokia Mesh nodes X 2 for new signups
WhizComms
No Frills Plan/Wireless Router Plan
$32.00 (300 Mbps) (No Frills Plan) $40.00/ $47.00 (With TP-Link Archer AX23 Router) ·       $53.50 WhizComms Activation Fee
·       $53.50 Delivery and Installation (reduced to $18.00)
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (for those without)

 

Best 12-Month Contract Home Broadband Plan

While WhizComms offers internet service that is the cheapest in this category, we may also want to consider the customer service and track record for the service provider. In this case, StarHub offers 1Gbps services with a free router at just $9.90 more. The potential headaches you might experience using the cheapest provider might not be worth the few dollars saved.

If you have two people or less in the household, a 500Mbps plan is sufficient. M1 provides a 500Mbps plan at $39.90. Note that this does not include a router.

For bigger households, a 1Gbps plan is preferable. In this regard, WhizzComms is the cheapest followed by M1 and StarHub at $49.90. However, it may be preferable to get MyRepublic for a few reasons. Firstly, you get a $150 discount off a new router purchased from them. This is not just $150 in value, but also offers versatility regarding which router you choose for your home. This is in contrast to no router from M1, and two Nokia Mesh Nodes from StarHub. While the Nokia Mesh nodes are great at increasing WiFi coverage, mesh nodes are generally slower even if you are connected to the primary node.

Secondly, MyRepublic gives free Static IP, whereas you have to jump through a number of hoops to get it activated on M1 and StarHub and you have to pay for it. This might not be very important for non-gamers, but for a gamer you might find yourself unable to forward ports or host sessions for some games if you do not have a static IP.

Who Should Get A 12-Month Contract Plan?

12-month contracts offer a middle ground for those who don’t want to be locked into for 24 months, but yet want to enjoy a slightly better rate for the home broadband.

These plans can be suitable for those who are living on rent. If we may cancel our subscription in the near term, either because of shifting houses or moving abroad, 12-month contracts would likely charge a lower fee for early termination.

24-Month Contract Home Fibre Broadband Plans

This will be the most extensive comparison as all the internet service providers offer 24-month home fibre broadband plans at various speeds.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Fibre Broadband Plans (Monthly) Additional Fees
< 1Gbps 1Gbps 2Gbps
M1
Fibre Broadband 500Mbps/ Fibre Broadband 1Gbps
$29.90 (500Mbps) $39.90 (Free Wi-Fi 6 router for new sign-ups) $59.90 (With Linksys E8450 or ASUS RT-AX88U Router) ·       $58.85 Fibre Registration
·       $90.00 ONT Activation Charge (waived)
·       $68.48 Onsite Charge
·       $32.10-$64.20 Transportation/Manpower Cost
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50/$288.90 (High-rise/Landed) Fibre Termination Point Installation
·       Comes with free 4G Mobile Broadband and home fixed voice service
MyRepublic
No Frills 1Gbps/ 2Gbps Broadband
$27.99 (200Mbps) $38.99 / $50.99 (GAMER) $59.99/ $69.99 (Gamer)/ $69.99 (Gamer + ASUS TUF AX3000 Router) ·       $53.50 Installation Service (Waived for 2Gbps)
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (Free for new customers)
SingTel
1Gbps/ 2Gbps/ 10Gbps Fibre Broadband
$49.90 / $69.90 (Gamer Bundle, comes with RT-AX86U Router) $69.90/ $189.00 (10Gbps) ·       $53.50 Registration Fee (Waived if signed up online)
·       $90/$145 (weekday/ weekend) router installation (Waived if signed up online)
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (for those without)
·       Comes with free 500MB Mobile Broadband
StarHub
500Mbps/
1Gbps/
2Gbps Fibre Broadband
$29.90 (50% discount on Router, or top up for $8/$16 per month for Smart WiFi/Smart WiFi Pro) $45.90 (Free Disney + and Free Nokia Mesh Node) $62.90 (Free 43” 4K Android TV, Free Disney+, service activation waived, and Free Linksys MX4200 router) ·       $90.00 Service Installation (waived)
·       $12.84 Delivery Fee
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee (Free for 2Gbps Fibre Broadband)
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (for those without)
ViewQwest
Home Broadband Plan (No Router)
$29.90 (500Mbps) $38.99/$52.90 (Gamer) $50.90/$64.90 (Gamer) ·       $53.50 Admin Fee (waived)
·       $100.00 On-site Installation fee.
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (for those without)
WhizComms
No-Frills Plan/ Wireless Router Plan
$28.90 (300Mbps) $34.90/ $40.90 (with TP-Link Archer AX23 Router)/ $49.90 (with  two TP-Link Deco M5 Mesh)/ $56.90 (with two TP-Link Deco X20 mesh) ·       $53.50 WhizComms Activation Fee
·      $53.50/$69.50 Installation fee (Weekday/Weekend)
·       $56.71 NLT Service Activation Fee
·       $160.50 Fibre Termination Point Installation (for those without)

Best 24-Month Contract Plan 

The one thing that is immediately apparent is that the 24-month contract plans are less expensive than the 12-month contract plans. This tells us that internet service providers value longer-term customers.

If we go with a 500Mbps plan, M1, StarHub and Viewqwest charge the same monthly fee of $29.90. M1 and StarHub offer the option to top up some money every month ($5 and $8/16 respectively) for an entry-level router. Singtel gives the router or mesh node for free. However, their routers and mesh nodes are all the older WiFi5 standard which may affect the actual usable internet speed and require an eventual router upgrade.

MyRepublic and WhizComms offer 200Mbps and 300Mbps options but considering that 500Mbps is just $1-2 more per month, it makes quite little sense to get those.

1Gbps plans are offered by all six internet service providers, with the cheapest broadband plan coming from WhizComms at $34.90/month for a no-frills plan.

Starhub bundles it with 12 months of free Disney+, but this is not worth it especially if you consider that a Disney+ subscription is roughly worth the extra paid, which means that you are not getting a discount and might as well subscribe separately. The other options are priced between $36.99 to $39.90. MyRepublic seems to have the edge, especially if free static IP is important to you. However, where they truly shine is where they bundle their plans with high-spec ASUS Routers (and where they have also historically bundled their plans with Secret Labs and Prism products). If you were going to get those products anyway, the discount in the bundle is quite worth it.

For 2Gbps plans, ViewQwest offers the cheapest deal at $48.90. However, this deal is not as attractive as it seems, because you need a high-spec router to obtain the promised 2Gbps. MyRepublic offers a high-spec ASUS TUF AX3000 router bundled with their 2Gbps plan at $55.90, which offers more value for the small top-up.

Singtel and Starhub offer free routers too, however, their free routers are entry-level, which you will definitely want to replace if you want to maximise your 2Gbps internet speed. But even considering this, both Singtel and Starhub’s offerings are more expensive (Singtel significantly so), making MyRepublic the clear winner in terms of value.

Finally, SingTel is the only provider which offers a plan faster than 2Gbps – a 10Gbps 24-month contract for $169.00. Most normal people will not come anywhere close to utilising 1Gbps on their own in their average internet usage, so even individual extremely heavy internet users will not find this worth it. However, considering that this plan offers 5 times the bandwidth for only slightly more than twice the price of a 2Gbps, families living in multi-generational households may want to seriously consider this plan over a 2Gbps plan, especially if your household consists of more than 10 active internet users/ devices.

Who Should Get A 24-Month Contract Plan?

Anyone who wants to subscribe to a home broadband plan should consider signing up for the 24-month contract plan. They offer the best value for money on their contracts, as well as waive certain installation service fees. 24-month contract plans are also frequently bundled with other services, devices and promotions that may offer more value if you are already intending to purchase the bundled services or devices separately.

In general, if you have your own home and are not considering a change of residence anytime soon, a 24-month contract offers the best value. However, you will need to plan for this carefully because choosing the wrong plan will mean being unable to change for 2 years. This is largely dependent on the number of active internet users who are living in your household.

Fortunately for most people, this number does not change so readily, perhaps the only people who might have to pay attention are those who have adult children who may be moving out, in which case you already have an internet plan and it may be preferable to avoid recontracting so that you can downgrade without penalties when your children move out.

Finally, before choosing which ISP’s services to use, it also pays to do some research as to the reliability of the ISP’s services. You can be sure that disgruntled users will take to the interwebs to complain if a certain ISP has regularly failed them. Since the internet is so integral in our lives nowadays, having outages, especially frequent outages can be incredibly frustrating, so it’s probably best to avoid ISPs that have frequent outages.

Read Also: Online Video Subscription Services: Netflix VS Amazon Prime Video VS Viu Premium VS Disney+ VS HBO Go

Is a “Gaming” plan worth it?

Most ISPs have a “Gaming” or “Gamer” version of their broadband plan which feature ultra-low latency, while charging anywhere between $10-20 more per month. For most other internet usage, you will not notice any difference, however, latency governs how quickly data packets are sent from your computer to the server, and if the latency gets too large, your gaming experience may be affected since your opponent has that few milliseconds of extra time to shoot you.

Most internet latency can be eliminated with the use of the right ethernet cables as well as a good router. For instance, WiFi adds a ton of latency because your data needs to be successfully beamed through the airwaves, so if you are trying to game on a WiFi network, or if you are not using a high-spec router, your latency is going to be higher than whatever latency advantage you might get from your ISP.

Given that regular home setups with non-“gamer” plans can be tuned to get a ping of 5ms or below, the extra $10-20 per month does seem like a rather steep price to pay for the latency upgrade. However, if your internet usage is based heavily on gaming and if you can feel the difference enough to regularly irritate you, that extra $10-20 might just be worth spending.

This article was last published on 28 October 2020 and updated with the latest 2022 prices. Additional reporting by Clement Low

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