The internet has essentially taken over our lives. We no longer use it just to look up information or connect with others—nowadays, we do everything from our banking to ordering dinner through it. But how dependent are Aussies on it, exactly?
To peer into their habits in this domain, we’ve searched the web far and wide to fetch you the latest and most relevant internet usage statistics, putting together the only online article you’ll ever need to read on this topic.
So let’s get right down to it, shall we?
Aussie Internet Stats That Cast a Wide Net
- 89% of Aussies are internet users.
- The average mobile download speed in Australia in 2020 was 67.58 Mbps.
- 73% of Aussie adults reported use of internet-connected smart devices in 2020.
- 99% of Aussies used a search engine in a given month in 2020-2021.
- In 2019, there were 8.75 million registered fixed broadband subscriptions in Australia.
- 30% of home internet connections in Australia in 2020-2021 were from Telstra.
- The average monthly cost of an internet connection in Australia as of 2021 is $71.
- Oz is on track to have 23.21 million mobile internet users by 2025.
- Emailing was the most common internet activity among Aussies in 2020.
- Australian social media stats show there were 20.5 million active SM users in the country in January 2021.
General Internet Use Statistics
1. 89% of Aussies are internet users.
(Statista) (Prosperity Media)
As of January 2021, there are 22.82 million internet users in Australia. The number of active internet users is likely reaching market saturation levels, with the internet penetration rate in Australia inching up from 87% in 2019 to 88% in 2020, and by another 1% the following year. It’s similarly predicted to remain steady into 2023 and tick up to 90% the year after that.
Namely, the number of internet users increased by just 265,000 between 2019 and 2021. However, by 2025, the total number of Aussies online is projected to hit 23.36 million. In terms of households connected to the internet, the anticipated figure for that same year is 9.84 million, up from 2021’s estimated 9.12 million.
2. 55% of Australians could no longer imagine their life without the internet in 2020-2021.
Over half of Aussies between the ages of 16 and 64 say they can’t live without everyday net usage anymore. Moreover, 52% feel it’s important for them to have uninterrupted mobile internet access. It’s a good thing, then, that 51% agree that they get good mobile network coverage in their area, while 18% care about having access to the latest cellular network technology (5G).
3. In 2021, 48.9% of internet traffic in Oz was accessed from computers.
Internet traffic statistics from January 2021 show that almost half of it in Australia is accessed via laptops and desktops. As the next most popular device, mobile phones are used for 45.2% of internet traffic Down Under, followed by tablets with 5.8%, and other devices with 0.1%.
Furthermore, 90.23% of desktop search traffic in the country in April 2021 originated from Google, which is expected since it’s the search engine with the biggest market share in the world.
4. The average mobile download speed in Australia in 2020 was 67.58 Mbps.
When it comes to the different types of internet connections in Australia, in May 2020, the mobile internet download speed far outstripped that of fixed broadband, which stood at 45.92 Mbps. However, the average fixed broadband upload speed was better at 19.28 Mbps than that on mobile at 13.97 Mbps.
5. 73% of Aussie adults reported use of internet-connected smart devices in 2020.
Internet use statistics tell us that in 2020, almost three-quarters of Australian adults accessed the web through a device that wasn’t a computer, tablet or mobile phone. In June of that year, 65% reported using a smart TV, followed by 21% who connected via a wearable device, 11% who used voice-controlled speakers, 10% security cameras, etc., while 26% stated that they didn’t use such internet-enabled gadgets.
6. In 2020, Australian internet users spent an average of over 6 hours and 13 minutes a day online.
(We Are Social)
Australia’s internet subscribers aged 16-64 spent an average of 32 minutes more on the internet daily in 2021, up 10% from the previous year’s 5 hours and 41 minutes. Based on these internet statistics, the Australian population spends over one-quarter of every day “ensnared” in the World Wide Web.
Search Engine Statistics
7. 99% of Aussies used a search engine in a given month in 2020-2021.
Search engine statistics in Australia are pretty straightforward—pretty much everyone uses these bad boys. For comparison, 63% of Ozzies said in a survey that they’d visited an online store in the previous four weeks, while 61% had been on social media sites and apps.
The rate of adults who had watched videos on websites and apps like YouTube was 60%, whereas 40% had checked out specific companies’ web pages and applications. In addition, 39% of the respondents had consumed news on dedicated sites and apps, while 15% had read blogs and newsletters.
8. What are the biggest search engines in Australia?
When asked which search engine they’d used in the month prior to a survey conducted in 2020-’21, a whopping 93% of Aussies aged 18-64 said Google. Yahoo! and Bing had an equal market share of 19%, whereas DuckDuckGo had been used by just 9% of the respondents. The list of the top five most popular search engines in Oz was rounded off by Search.com, used by 8% of the queried individuals.
9. Over half of Australia’s internet traffic in January 2021 came from Google Chrome.
(We Are Social)
An overview of the market share of browsers on the continent in early 2021 suggests that 50.6% of all internet traffic came from Chrome. Far behind it was Safari with 34.6%, whereas Microsoft Edge was a distant third with 4.8%. Samsung Internet, in turn, accounted for just 3.5% of traffic, while Firefox was almost tied with it with 3.4%.
Internet Service Provider Statistics in Australia
10. In 2019, there were 8.75 million registered fixed broadband subscriptions in Australia.
(Trading Economics) (Statista)
According to the World Bank’s collection of development indicators, when it comes to household internet use, there were precisely 8,752,830 registered fixed broadband subscriptions on Australian soil in 2019.
Furthermore, in 2020-2021, the rate of broadband usage at home among adult Aussies was 58%, while 18% utilised a mobile connection on a phone or tablet. 5% said they used other connection technology, whereas 4% got online via satellite. 1% still had dial-up, while that same percentage didn’t have internet access at home at all.
11. 30% of home internet connections in Australia in 2020-2021 were from Telstra.
Australian internet statistics show that Telstra was the ISP of choice of nearly one-third of adults who had internet access at home in 2020-’21, while Optus was second with 17%. TPG had a 10% market share, iiNet 9%, whereas Aussie Broadband and Belong matched up with 6%. Dodo had 5% of all internet subscribers, Vodafone 3%, while all other providers got smaller pieces of this pie than them.
12. 92% of customers were satisfied with Aussie Broadband in 2019.
Customer satisfaction data on the best internet service provider in Australia from November ‘19 show that Aussie Broadband was convincingly the winner of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the Month Award, far ahead in the ratings of other Australian internet companies.
Internode and TPG both scored 79%, while iiNet scored a 77% customer satisfaction rating. Further down the list, Telstra and Optus were likewise tied at 72%.
13. Telstra NBN, Optus NBN and Aussie Broadband offer the fastest Netflix.
Netflix ISP Speed Index results from December 2020 show that Telstra NBN, Optus NBN and Aussie Broadband were the Australian internet companies with the fastest prime time Netflix performance of 3.8 Mbps. However, other providers didn’t lag far behind the highest internet speed in Australia by this metric at all, averaging 3.6 Mbps.
14. One in ten people were very likely to change their home internet service provider in Australia in 2020-2021.
It seems that Aussies tend to stay loyal to their ISPs. Namely, 30% of them in a 2020-2021 survey said they were very unlikely to switch providers at home on the next possible occasion, while 21% described themselves as unlikely to do so.
23% of home internet users said they were neither likely nor unlikely to jump ship, while 3% didn’t know if they would. However, 14% were likely to change ISPs, and if we add in the 10% who were very likely to, nearly one-quarter of this market might be up for grabs.
15. The average monthly cost of an internet connection in Australia as of 2021 is $71.
Australian households pay an average of $852 a year for their broadband plans. WA and Tas users pay the highest internet prices in Australia—an average of $73. Victorian and Qld online users are close behind with $72, while those in NSW pay the national average.
Meanwhile, the residents of South Australia fork over the lowest monthly average amount of cash for an NBN plan—$68.
Mobile Internet Statistics
16. Oz is on track to have 23.21 million mobile internet users by 2025.
The facts and figures on mobile internet usage in Australia tell us that in 2021, the country had 21.57 million such users and 34 million mobile broadband connections. Both numbers are set to rise steadily during the next quadrennial, with the latter gradually turning into 35.76 million.
The mobile internet penetration rate in 2021 stood at 84% of the population Down Under, projected to grow to 86% by 2025. The rate of mobile broadband connections, in turn, is 131.86 per 100 Aussies and is likewise forecasted to climb slowly to 133.04 over the next four years.
17. In 2020, 86% of Aussies used their mobile phones to access the internet at least once a day.
(We Are Social) (Statista)
Smartphone usage in Australia is pretty intense since those aged 16-64 spent 2 hours and 36 minutes of every day browsing the web on one in 2020. About five in six Ozzie adults connected to the internet through their phones daily that year, while 4% did so only weekly. A minuscule 1% did so only once a month and another 1% even less often than that, while 9% never did. Hmm, we wonder what those non-users do all day.
18. Telstra held 42% of the mobile handset services retail market in Australia in 2020.
When it comes to internet usage in Oz, Telstra reigns supreme as an ISP. In June 2020, it boasted the largest share of the mobile handset services retail market, followed by Optus with 26%. Vodafone was next with 17%, while all the remaining Australian internet companies held a combined 15% share of this market.
Online Activities Statistics
19. Emailing was the most common internet activity among Aussies in 2020.
According to a 2020 survey on the most popular internet activities among adults in Australia, around 98% answered that they went online to access their emails. Further, 96% browsed the web, 89% watched video content and did online banking, 86% accessed the news, whereas 83% shopped online. Nearly three-quarters i.e. 73% posted or engaged with online content, and 69% listened to audio.
Given the pandemic, it’s unsurprising that some of the most popular uses of the internet among Ozzies were video conferencing or calling with 64%, working from home with 42%, telehealth consulting with 36%, as well as selling goods and services and studying remotely with 33% respectively.
Only 10% of people went online to get legal, financial or similar consulting, while 18% did so to purchase lottery tickets and 8% to gamble.
20. Of all websites, Aussies spent the most time on YouTube in 2019.
According to website usage statistics from December 2019, YouTube commandeered 25 hours and 19 minutes of Australians’ time that month. Furthermore, the average length of time they spent on Facebook was 22 hours and 17 minutes, while on Instagram 4 hours and 14 minutes, making them two of the most popular social media platforms in Australia.
The third most popular website was Google, with 19 hours and 24 minutes spent on it, while Microsoft products like MSN, Outlook, Bing and Skype were far behind it, taking up 5 hours and 45 minutes of people’s time in a given month.
21. Over one-quarter of Aussies visit ABC News Online, more than any other news site.
A survey conducted in January-February 2021 looked at what news brands adult internet users in Australia accessed, and this is what it found:
- ABC News Online—26% of users
- Guardian Australia Online—11%
- BBC News Online—10%
- Smh.com.au (Sunday Morning Herald)—10%
- Theage.com.au (The Age)—8%
However, trust in the online media Down Under is tenuous. Namely, 31% of survey respondents said they trusted news from search engines, 29% that they distrusted them, while 40% neither trusted nor distrusted them.
22. Sending messages accounts for 96% of mobile phone usage in Australia.
In 2019, messaging was the most popular mobile activity among almost all respondents Down Under. Other mobile internet activities Australians frequently used their phones for were video calls, with 88% of those surveyed providing this answer, while 82% cited Google Maps.
75% answered that they used their phones for online banking, whereas 73% for social media use. These statistics on Australia further show that 70% of the respondents read the news; 65% listened to the radio or streamed music or podcasts; while 62% watched video content on services like YouTube, Netflix, etc.
Social Media and Apps Statistics
23. Australian social media stats show there were 20.5 million active SM users in the country in January 2021.
How many Australians use social media? 79.9% of the total Australian population had active social media accounts in early 2021. These figures haven’t been changing much since SM use is practically at saturation point. Namely, social media demographics in Australia suggest that 96.4% of Aussies aged 16-64 accessed one of these networks in December 2020, but among seniors above that age, social media usage plummeted.
24. WhatsApp is the most used communication app according to Australian social media statistics.
The top five mobile applications used for communication Down Under are:
- WhatsApp Messenger
Logging Out Is Such Sweet Sorrow
Aussies are avid surfers—that much we know. Still, our main takeaway from these internet usage statistics is that they’re equally adept at navigating the unpredictable waters of the World Wide Web. And as new technologies in this area continue to make waves, the info above makes us confident that they’ll likewise be able to tackle the ebbs and flows of any future digital trends.
- Australia Unwrapped
- Canstar Blue
- Prosperity Media
- Roy Morgan
- Trading Economics
- We Are Social