If your household is made up of multiple people streaming HD/4K content and gaming, Fibre Max is worth going for. If however your household rarely has more than one high definition stream or game download underway at the same time, you’ll likely find that Fibre 100 is adequate for your internet needs.
Speed difference of Fibre Max
The biggest drawcard of Fibre Max is that it is much faster than the more commonly selected Fibre 100 broadband plan.
Just how much faster is it if you look at the maximum possible speeds on this technology anyway?
Spoiler alert – it’s a lot faster.
But in a way, this doesn’t tell the whole story.
You see in my opinion the biggest benefit is really the amount of throughput that a Fibre Max connection has.
Yes it’s fast when you want to use it to download something large, or stream something in very high resolution.
But it’s also still blazingly fast when multiple people in your household are all downloading, streaming, gaming, or video calling.
Gone are the days where one person’s internet activity caused slowdowns and annoyance for the other members of the household!
Why isn’t it called Gigabit Fibre?
A lot of people do still think of a Fibre Max connection as “Gigabit” internet, and it is close to that.
The maximum realworld speeds that are technically possible over Fibre Max are up to 950Mbps download and 450Mbps upload.
However there are definitely several different factors that can stand in the way of achieving those epic speeds.
Most commonly these stem from older or lower-spec computers or devices which just aren’t capable of handling that speed of data transfer.
Likewise connecting over WiFi rather than via a wired ethernet connection you’re much less likely to see the full speed possible.
Then there is the nature of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) fibre network around New Zealand, which is all about providing world class internet access to as much of the population as possible.
If every single person in a suburb start trying to download at 950Mbps each, the suburbs infrastructure will struggle to maintain full speeds for everyone. Thankfully this very rarely happens, and while there are obviously peak times in the evenings when millions of people get home from work and school and start streaming Netflix and gaming, the infrastructure in NZ has been improved to such a level over recent times that it can easily deliver amazingly consistent high speed connectivity to literally millions of people across the country at any one time.
Overhead during data transfer and so on also means that it’s not possible for a “Gigabit” connection to actually reach 1000Mbps, so a general naming convention for most internet providers was settled on, calling it Fibre Max or similar.
Whatever it’s name, it is without a doubt the best broadband connection I have ever had, and our home always has more than enough ridiculously fast internet available for whatever we’re wanting to do – usually being limited by the server at the other end that we’re trying to send to or receive from.
Price difference of Fibre Max
So let’s talk dollars.
I don’t know about you, but for me decent internet connectivity is not a “nice to have”.
Everyone in my household needs fast internet every day.
It’s like electricity, or water – we’re not going to switch it off for a month to save a few bucks.
The absolute minimum connection speed I would consider in 2020 and beyond is 100Mbps.
Currently Voyager’s price for Fibre 100 is $79/month.
If I upgrade to Fibre Max, it’s an extra $20/month.
Looking at the max speeds possible, that means I’m getting up to 850% faster connectivity for an additional $20. I’ll take that every time.
We switched to Fibre Max ages ago at home, and haven’t looked back. It’s just awesome.
Who would find Fibre Max worth it, really?
Would I recommend that a single elderly person who occasionally browses Facebook and checks emails get Fibre Max over Fibre 100? No, I wouldn’t.
They’re not transmitting enough data to really reap the benefits of it.
Would I recommend Fibre Max to a flat of 2 or 3 students (or more)? Yes, absolutely I would.
Even a couple of students in many cases are going to try their level best to thrash the internet connection, downloading, streaming, with quite likely multiple phones, computers, consoles in the household all being used every day – and often simultaneously.
Likewise a family household with a couple of parents and a couple of teenagers are going to have moments on a Fibre 100 connection where they’re competing for throughput. Digital game downloads and 4K content file sizes are no joke these days!
For such a relatively low additional cost it’s just a no brainer to me, and what I recommend to friends and family when we’re talking connectivity.
Of course there are even faster variants of Fibre just around the corner, but the lack of hardware that can support them, and the much higher price point make them not something that’s widely recommended at this time.
My pick for my own home’s connectivity is Fibre Max without a doubt for the foreseeable future.