Refers to ADSL, Cable or Satellite
Broadband is a quicker internet connection
that does not depend on a separate phone line.
Internet Service Provider
The company that you pay for your internet
connection, be it broadband or dial up
Dial Up Connection
The standard internet connection where
your modem dials the local number for your ISP and you connect to
Also referred to as dialup
Data that you upload to the internet.
This would include files you send to
others, emails and request for internet pages. For instance. When
you type www.mangocomp.com in the address bar you are uploading
the page request.
Data that you download from the internet.
This does not just include files,
programs, photos, movies or music that you download. It also
includes all the WebPages that you look at. Even though you are
not keeping the pages on your computer you are in fact temporarily
downloading the information and it will be charged against your
The amount of information your plan allows
you to download at the basic rate. Going over this rate can incur
extra charges that can be very high.
Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
count both Downloads and Uploads against your allowance. It is a
good idea to find an ISP that does not count uploads.
(same as throttling)
connection speed after you exceed your monthly download allowance.
This is a good
thing. Rather than be charged for extra downloads your service
will be throttled back to dialup speed.
Kilobytes per second
Used to measure the
speed of a connection
We will limit our discussion to ADSL
broadband connections. The reason being it is the most prevalent. This
is not to discount the other two methods.
Cable is much faster but you are limited to the
cable provider in your area. The same providers that provide Foxtel
(Telstra) or Optus. Cable
is available only in limited areas and is limited to two providers. Also
the cable modem will only work with the one provider so if you move or
want to change service you could be out the cost of the modem. Although
cable is faster its availability is limited.
Satellite provides service for rural areas not
served by cable or ADSL. With satellite you still need to use the phone
line for uploading. You just use the satellite for downloading. The
upfront cost is high, but if you live in a rural area you may be
eligible for government assistance to help defray the cost.
No technical terms here. Basically the phone
lines running into your home have some extra wires. These wires can be
used to connect to the internet. You are able to connect to the internet
at faster speeds and use your phone for conversation at the same time.
Be on the internet and talk on the phone at the same time
With ADSL (broadband) you can be connected to
the internet and still be talking on the telephone. No need for an extra
phone line or tying up your line while surfing the net.
Is ADSL available everywhere?
No, but it is widely available. Most ISPs have a
web page you can use to check availability of the service to your phone.
The advantages of Broadband
Broad band is a lot faster than dialup
connections. Web pages will load faster. You will be amazed at how fast
file downloads will be.
A complex web page (150kBytes) might take 42
seconds to load using dialup. With broadband you could have it loaded in
1 to 10 seconds.
Downloading files is where broadband really shines
A 10 Mbyte file would take about 50 minutes to
download using a dialup account. On broadband the same file could load
in 1 minutes to 11 minutes depending upon the speed of your plan.
Always connected to the internet
There is no need to shut down your connection.
When you want to send an email you just send it. When an email arrives
you can have your email program play a sound to let you know. You can be
reading an email within seconds of its being sent.
With your internet always on you could find a
street faster using www.whereis.com.au, quicker than pulling out your
Initially you have a connection fee for
broadband, and the monthly fee is normally higher, but if you factor in
the other cost of dialup, broadband could save you money.
If you use the net a lot you donít have to
worry about having a phone line just for the net. Also with dialup every
time you go on line you are paying for the cost of a local call. Also
many broadband plans allow for higher download allowances. If you ever
had to pay for exceeding your download limit you can see where this
would be a savings.
If you always have your broadband on you must
have a good anti-virus program, and you have to keep it up to date. You
should also have a firewall, and should keep your Windows Operating
System up to date using the update feature on your computer. Not that
broadband is any more dangerous than dialup, it is that you are online
longer so have more exposure.
Who should have Broadband?
Those that spend a lot of time on the net. Those
that play online games. Those that use the web for research. Anyone that
wants to fully enjoy the benefits of the internet.
Why donít more people have Broadband?
The industry has done studies on this. The
results show that people are used to and comfortable with their dialup
accounts. Setting up broadband is new and a bit more complicated so to
many the feeling is ďI can get by with thisĒ. This is normal, but if
you want the full benefits of the internet you should consider
What should You know before getting broadband
Unlike dialup where your speed is based on your
modem you must choose a speed with broadband. Normally the faster the
connection the higher the cost.
I looked at some broadband providers on the internet and it was
confusing, can you explain the numbers?
It can be confusing. When quoting plan speeds
providers use 2 sets of numbers. As an example
The first number is the download speed 256
kilobytes per second. The second number is the upload speed 64 kilobytes
The typical speeds offered are
this to your modem speed of 56 kbs and you can see why broadband is
Know and understand your download allowance.
Does it include uploads? What happens when I exceed my downloads? These
are questions you must consider.
Because of the speed and ease of use of
broadband you will probably be visiting more web pages and downloading
more files than you did using dialup.
With some ISPs when you exceed your allowance
you are charged for the extra downloads. This is usually at an
exaggerated rate. There have been cases of people expecting a monthly
bill of $50-$100 being surprised with charges of many thousands of
dollars. Some ISPs, rather
than charging extra, may just slow your connection to modem speed until
the new month starts. You have a slower connection but you get no
surprise at the end of the month. When your new billing period starts
you are back to your normal fast connection.
The set-up cost will normally vary depending
upon how long of a contract you choose. The longer the contract the
lower the initial cost. But please consider this. The market is becoming
more competitive. A good price now may not be a good price in 12 months.
It is probably better to pay a bit more and have a six month rather than
a 24 month contract.
Another factor affecting the price is the modem.
You canít use your old computer modem You need a broadband modem. Most
providers will provide a modem for you. You may have a chance to choose
between different modems and your choice will determine the set-up cost.
Of course if you provide your own modem the set-up cost will reflect
Filters: You must have a filter connected to
each phone/extension that shares the line used for broadband. Simple to
install, just plug them in. Filters cost between $15-$20 each.
Broadband plan with dialup access
Some plans provide you with a dialup account at
no additional charge. This allows you to have internet access when away
from your home computer. It also provides you a way to get on the
internet if there is a disruption to the broadband network.
How does the process of getting broadband work?
Of course it varies from provider to provider
but most follow a similar procedure.