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The term ‘broadband’ refers to a type of internet connection that can receive and send a large amount of data in a very short period of time. The majority of internet connections currently available from Australian internet service providers are classified as ‘broadband’ connections.
Generally, broadband connections are capable of receiving and sending data a lot faster than the superseded ‘dial-up’ connection. Viewing websites and downloading data over a dial-up connection can be very slow.
While there are many different opinions on what data transfer rates should be labelled as ‘broadband’, the generally accepted minimum speed of a broadband internet connection is approximately 256 kbit/s.
Putting technical jargon to one side, a broadband connection, by definition, should enable the end-user to download / view internet content (websites, pictures, videos and music) without lengthy delay.
There are several different ‘delivery methods’ of broadband internet. Some involve a wire or cable being directly connected to the home or computer, whereas others rely upon wireless radio signals to receive and send internet content. Under these two basic categories, sit the following types of broadband:
|Type||Definition||Fixed Line or Wireless?|
|DSL||A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet connection, uses your existing phone line to send and receive internet data. It is a lot faster than older 'dial-up' connections which also use a phone line.||Fixed Line|
|ADSL||An Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) internet connection, uses your existing phone line to send and receive internet data. It is a lot faster than older 'dial-up' connections which also use a phone line.||Fixed Line|
|ADSL/2+||An Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 2+ (ADSL2+) internet connection, uses your existing phone line to send and receive internet data.||Fixed Line|
|NAKED DSL||Naked DSL is a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet connection, that uses your existing phone line to send and receive internet data, but removes the ability for you to make phone calls over that phone line.
The 'phone' service on this connection has been 'stripped' away, hence the term 'NAKED'.
|CABLE INTERNET||Cable Internet connection usually uses your cable TV cable to send and receive internet data.||Fixed Line|
|MOBILE BROADBAND||Mobile broadband is the common term used to describe 'wireless' internet access via a portable modem or mobile phone such as 3G or 4G.||Wireless|
With a large range of broadband connections available in Australia, and multiple factors such as speed, connection type and data limits to consider, it is challenging to calculate an ‘average’ cost. We recommend you follow our online needs analysis tool to help find a broadband plan that meets your needs and budget requirements from our APL.
Generally speaking, ADSL2+ is faster than the older ADSL and DSL standards. Speeds however can be impacted by a number of factors including; traffic, distance to the exchange and line quality.
Some broadband internet service providers have websites that you can log into to monitor your usage. If all else fails, you can call your internet service provider who should be able to provide you with an up-to-date status of your current month’s usage.
Bundling is when you combine several services from a single provider, usually at a discounted price. Some providers allow you to combine your internet connection, mobile phone, home phone and cable TV connection in the same package or ‘bundle’.
Wi-Fi enables you to wirelessly connect to the internet via radio waves, without the need for wires connecting a modem to your device. Wi-Fi can enable you to connect several devices at once anywhere in the house (depending on the modem used), such as your desktop computer, tablet or mobile.
As everyone’s internet usage requirements and budgets are different, we recommend you follow our online needs analysis tool to find a specific internet plan that meets your needs and budget requirements from our APL.
A cap is a limit imposed by service providers on certain plans which determine how much data you can download over a certain time period.
While every internet service provider treats download limits differently, some will slow down the speed of your connection to ‘dial-up’ speed (which is very slow), if you exceed your limit.
Other providers might charge you an additional fee for every additional download above your agreed limit. It’s important that you understand the contract with your service provider before signing up.
A connection speed relates to how quickly your internet connection can send and receive data over the internet.
VoIP stands for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’, which basically means phone calls that are made over an internet connection rather than a phone line. VoIP can be a great way of reducing your phone bill if you make lots of phone calls. Some internet service providers now include VoIP as an optional extra when signing up for a broadband internet plan, and others may provide VoIP as part of a bundled plan.
Naked DSL is a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet connection that uses your existing phone line to send and receive internet data, but removes the ability for you to make phone calls over that phone line. The ‘phone’ service on this connection has been ‘stripped’ away, hence the term ‘Naked’. If you do require phone calls it might be worth adding a VoIP pack to the plan.
ADSL2+ is essentially an upgrade to standard ADSL. It uses the same wiring and connections as ADSL, but achieves faster internet speeds because it applies different software and protocols.
Some providers have broadband internet plans that allow you to ‘bring your own’ modem and use it to access their internet service. This can be a good way of reducing the overall cost of your plan, as some internet plans add the cost of the modem they provide you to your monthly bill or charge an upfront fee. However, if you have an old modem it may be worth investing in a new one. Modems are superseded in the same way as computers, so an older modem may affect your internet speed.
A router is different to a modem. A router is simply a ‘splitter’ that allows you to share a single internet connection across multiple computers in your home or office. Routers come in both ‘wired’ and ‘wireless’ versions.
We recommend you contact your existing provider to determine the terms of your current contract and if there are any exit fees or disconnection charges. Depending on your plan, it may still be more cost effective to change plans and pay the exit / disconnection fees.