There are a lot of broadband internet options in New Zealand. Most New Zealanders have access to fibre internet, but sometimes it is not available. My current living situation does not have fibre hooked up, and there is a council issue that does not allow two VDSL accounts to the property. The result was that I decided to try wireless internet. My Skinny Wireless broadband internet review is a real-world review.
Skinny offers four wireless broadband plans, but they do not provide all four plans in every service area. Living in New Plymouth, I only have access to the 60gb and the 120gb plan. The plans provide service for 30 days and start the minute that you activate the plan. This means that your data will end at the same time of the day that you started service. The plans automatically renew, but there is not a contract, and you cancel your renewal at any time. You can also switch between plans depending on the amount of data that you are planning on using each month. This is useful if you are going on holiday during the renewal period. You can purchase an additional 10gb of data for $20, but it usually is cheaper to renew your plan if you run out of data before it automatically renews.
Skinny does not provide a free router with wireless internet. You can bring your own router or purchase a router from them for $99. You can often find routers on TradeMe or Facebook Marketplace for cheaper than through Skinny. Skinny does allow you to return your router for a refund within 30 days if you are not happy with the quality of service. Skinny overnight mailed the router, and we had it the following day.
Setup for Skinny wireless broadband internet could not have been more straightforward. You plug the router into an electric outlet and then go to your Skinny account and input codes from the bottom of the router. The internet is then ready to go. It took about 3 minutes to set up the service once the router was received. One important thing to keep in mind with wireless internet is to set up the router where you get the best wireless signal, which might not be where you would typically install a router.
Skinny uses the Spark wireless network, and the price for the same network is a lot cheaper with Skinny than Spark. The network download speeds are typically around 15-25 mbps download, and 6-8 mbps upload. The speed is not as fast as fibre, but it is very usable.
Managing Data Use
Many of the wireless plans offered by Skinny have a data cap. They do offer an unlimited plan, but the service area that it is available is pretty small. This means that if you are used to broadband internet without a data cap that you might need to alter your internet usage. The primary data suck is streaming video. Depending on the quality of the video, an hour of streaming can use 0.3gb to 7gb. This is a huge difference and can quickly use your data limit. Skinny offers a dashboard that shows how much data you have left. You also can check your history, and it tells you how much data has been used every 24 hours.
I was surprised by how easy the ordering service and setup of Skinny broadband internet was. The speed provided was faster than I anticipated. The largest data plan that was available in my service area was 120gb per month, and my family did need to modify our streaming habits to help decrease the amount of data we used. I wish that the 240gb or unlimited plan was available to us. Overall I recommend Skinny if you need to get wireless internet, but if you have other internet options like fibre or VDSL, I would go with them first.