September 21, 2018

How does the NBN technology Work?

In this digital age, it is important to embrace new technologies in broadband that enable us to better connect with other people and improve our day-to-day activities, whether they be work, entertainment or leisure.

In Australia, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is being rolled out. This is our new high-speed broadband network. It aims to replace or upgrade the existing telecommunication networks that provide phone and internet access. The upgrade to NBN is mandatory. However, the process is not automatic and it differs depending on your area. Don’t worry – you will be notified before your current service is disconnected to make way for the NBN upgrade. If you are not sure, you can contact your service provider.

How does the NBN Technology Work?

Fixed wireless

If you’re using fixed wireless, a rooftop antenna and a Network Termination Device will be set up in your property to access the NBN network. This is ideal for areas where the premises have quite a distance between them.

FTTN

Fibre To The Node (FTTN) technology involves the installation of an NBN Node to deliver the final connection over the copper network through a vectored VDSL2 technology.

FTTP

Fibre To The Premises uses an optic fibre line that runs through the nearest available node to your area. In this type of connection, an approved NBN installer or service provider installs an NBN network device.

HFC

With Hybrid Fibre Coaxial technology, fibre enters a distribution area and an NBN optical node is installed to deliver the final connection over cable TV through DOCSIS 3.0 technology. With this network, you need to buy your own DOCSIS cable modem.

FTTB

With a Fibre To The Building (FTTB) connection, the fibre enters an apartment block or building, and using VDSL2 technology, equipment (DSLAM) is installed to deliver the final connection over the copper network. You can access this network by buying your own VDSL2 modem or use the one from your service provider.

NBN Installation and Equipment

An NBN technician may need to go to your premises to connect you to the network. Also, your existing networking equipment including modems and routers may be upgraded as you migrate over to the NBN.

Do you have other ideas about NBN technology and broadband plans? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Benefits of Switching to NBN in Your Home

As you probably know, there’s a new landline phone and internet network coming that aims to provide access to fast and reliable phone and internet services. It is called the National Broadband Network (NBN). It represents a substantial upgrade to the internet infrastructure that the country has today.

In this article, let’s look more into the benefits of switching to the NBN in your home:

  • If you have fast and reliable broadband at home, you will have more entertainment options. This is probably one of the most obvious advantages of having the NBN, and since almost all types of home entertainment have a digital aspect, everyone in the household will enjoy this component.
  • Another benefit of switching to NBN is that the higher capacity data allows the use of multiple devices at the same time. With fast home broadband, the whole family will be able to connect, whether they’re using the smart TV, a gaming console, computer or mobile device.
  • This network enables flexible working. There are so many broadband plans available, and when you have fast broadband, you can work remotely at different times, opening up many job opportunities especially for those who live in remote areas. For instance, there are a lot of freelancers who rely on fast internet to do their work anytime, wherever they are.
  • Having fast and reliable home broadband is also beneficial when it comes to learning and developing new skills. People who have access to fast internet will be able to complete their learning requirements online. This is likewise beneficial to students who live in remote locations – they don’t have to travel for long periods to go to school. Instead, they can study from their own homes.
  • Nowadays, more and more people are doing their shopping and other transactions online. With fast home broadband, they can make quick shopping trips from the comfort of their own homes. This is especially convenient for those who do not have easy access to transport.

These are just some of the benefits of switching to the NBN in your home. Bear in mind, however, that there is a need to do your research when it comes to finding the best internet deals, so make sure to compare internet plans so you can get one that meets your requirements.

Do you have other ideas on broadband plans and NBN? Share your insights in the comments section.

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A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Switch to NBN

By 2020, the nbn™ network will be rolled out across Australia. Are you prepared for this switch in your home broadband? Many may still be unaware about how this will work and how it will affect them, so it’s important to do some research on how to switch to this new network. By understanding what it entails, you can set your expectations and make the necessary changes.

Let’s take a look at things to consider when it comes to switching to the nbn™ network:

  • There are areas that are already connected to the nbn™ network. Make sure to check if your area has already been connected. If it’s not yet available, there is a website where you can register to receive an email once the connection becomes available in your community.
  • The nbn™ network is not a provider of broadband plans to customers. Once your area is connected to the network, inform your retail service provider. They will tell you the different speed and costs of their internet deals depending on your location. Also, while the network can support most devices, it is still better to check with your provider if your devices will work after the switch. Your provider will likewise tell you how to connect to their nbn™ broadband service.
  • You will need certain equipment to connect to the nbn™ network. Bear in mind that it varies depending on the connection that is suitable for you and is available in the area. It can be wired, wireless or satellite.
  • After finding out the necessary technology, inform your provider. The switch can be done with the help of a technician. In cases wherein you need a medical alarm and phone at all times, you may get free installation to the network. This ensures that you’ll be connected immediately.

Take note that while some areas will be disconnected from the existing copper network, you don’t have to worry since the switch to the nbn™ network will occur gradually. Besides, it’s your retail service operator who will set up the connection for you. Just make sure to coordinate with your provider.

Do you have other ideas when it comes to home broadband plans? You can share your insights in the comments section.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to How NBN Gets to You

More and more Australian households get their own home broadband plans for entertainment of the whole family. There are several providers offering different products and services. To get the best deals, make sure to compare internet plans and weigh their features and disadvantages. It will greatly help you decide on which home broadband to choose from.

When looking at the features of different home broadband plans, you may come across the term NBN, or National Broadband Network. It is a national wholesale open access data network project in Australia. Operated by NBN Co Limited, this project aims to replace the current copper cable telephone network and support the ever growing demand for internet access. It is considered the biggest infrastructure project in the country today.

But do you know how NBN actually gets to you? Take a look at this step-by-step guide illustrating how it works:

Step 1: The broadband access network will be built

You may see construction partners who are building the NBN broadband access network across the country.

Step 2: The foundations are laid out

The groundwork is laid out using various technologies. This is to ensure that broadband and phone services will be delivered to you more efficiently.

Step 3: Your phone or internet provider will connect to the NBN broadband access network

This is where the Point of Interconnect or POI comes in. Phone and Internet service providers will connect to the NBN broadband access network in your location so you can have internet access.

Step 4: Talk to your service provider

Make the switch when the construction of the NBN is completed, and make sure to contact your phone or Intenret service provider.

Step 5: Choose an Internet plan

You can choose from several packages depending on your needs and preferences, from 25Mbps up to 100Mbps. Make sure to compare internet plans and packages and look at the pros and cons of each so you can get the best deal. Furthermore, you should ask your provider if there are factors that can affect the speed as well as other information about the NBN infrastructure. You can opt for a package that offers 12Mbps. This is ideal for those who only need basic internet connection. If you need faster broadband plans, your provider will be able to help you decide on what is suitable for your day-to-day requirements.

Step 6: Contact your service provider if there are any problems

Once you’ve made the switch, you can have fast broadband services. Of course, speak to your phone or internet provider if you encounter any issues of connectivity.

Do you have other ideas on broadband plans? Share your insights in the comments section.

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What is the NBN (National Broadband Network)?

There are several broadband plans available in the market nowadays, each offering a range of features and services to consumers. When you compare internet plans, you will come across terms that you may not be familiar with, and one of these is the NBN or National Broadband Network.

In the world of home broadband and internet plans, NBN refers to the fibre-optic, fixed wireless and satellite structure that offers a faster and more reliable broadband service. It actually replaces the existing broadband infrastructure to offer download speeds reaching 100 megabits per second.  With this feature, NBN is something to watch out for when you compare internet plans.

Types of NBN Connections:

  • Fibre-to-the-Premises: fibre optic cables connect a home or business directly to the NBN network
  • Fibre-to-the-Node: fibre passes through a node or central cabinet that provides service to a community
  • Fibre-to-the-Basement: fibre runs directly to a central room in an apartment or office, connecting to each unit through existing copper phone lines
  • Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point: the fibre is laid out on a property’s kerb. This is an existing copper line is used as a final connection from the curb to your house.
  • HFC Cable: simply known as cable, this refers to an existing network of technology that is used for digital pay TV series and is repurposed as part of the NBN network
  • Fixed Wireless: uses 4G radio signals to connect homes and offices in rural areas to the internet
  • Satellite: NBN utilises Sky Muster and Sky Muster II to provide internet access to people who live in regional and remote areas of Australia.

What is National Broadband Network? Here are other things that you need to know:

  • In most cases, it is completely free of charge to use the NBN, as well as the required equipment to connect to it. The cost will be covered by the government. Installers across Australia work to connect homes to the NBN network. Their work involves laying fibre optic cables underneath the streets.
  • While connecting to NBN is completely free, there is still a need to pay a monthly fee to your provider. You may also need to shell out money for the installation or hardware fee. Check your contract with the provider to see what fees are involved.
  • There may be a one-time $300 contribution fee if you wish to connect your new house to the NBN and no other telecom service has been connected to your property before. NBN charges this fee to your service provider, and it may be passed on to consumers as setup costs.

Do you have other ideas on NBN, broadband plans, and internet deals? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Different Broadband Options in Australia

When you’re looking for home internet plans, you’ll encounter a lot of terms that you may not be familiar with. Also, with so many brands offering a range of broadband plans, it may be hard to choose the best deal. To help you in the selection process, compare internet plans available to see which meets your needs and preferences. Here are the different broadband options in Australia:

ADSL

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line or ADSL uses a DSL filter to separate telephone voice signals from digital data, but both share the same copper lines. One of the main features of ADSL is its low price. Since telephone providers already have copper phone lines underground, ADSL providers just need to add a DSL filter to these lines, enabling faster downloads and internet access while keeping the costs down.

Cable

Cable broadband is a network of fibre optic cable and coaxial cables designed to transmit signals such as internet and cable TV.  These lines are designed in a way that there will be no chance of getting interfered from telephone signals. What’s great about this option is that it uses the same technology as cable TV. This means that you can add your broadband to your pay TV. Cable is also one of the fastest ways to gain internet access.

Mobile Broadband

This option provides coverage that is the same as that of mobile phone networks. In optimal conditions, you can expect services that are similar to those of fixed line broadband. However, depending on the signal strength and how busy the network is, anticipate speed fluctuations. This holds true to all providers.

Satellite

As the name suggests, satellite broadband transmits data with the use of satellite signals. The provider installs a satellite dish usually on the roof of a home or establishment. It will then receive data from a satellite that orbits the Earth. Data will then be transmitted to a network of satellite ground stations that will connect to your provider’s network. In this way, you will be able to access the internet.

Fibre

Nowadays, fibre broadband is the fastest way to connect to the internet. Just how fast is it? Optical fibres are thin glass cables bundled together to form cables that transmit light signals. These can carry hundreds of gigabits per second, usually reaching 100 Mbps. With this speed, expect to pay a lot more for your broadband.

Got other ideas on broadband plans and how to compare internet plans? Share your tips in the comments section.

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Tips for Monitoring Your Broadband Data Usage

Most people today are always glued to their smartphones, tablets or laptops. Whether it’s for playing games, watching movies, browsing through social media pages or just to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, staying online has become a necessity. The good thing is, there are several service providers of broadband plans that cater to a wide range of consumers. And with so many to choose from, it pays to compare internet plans to ensure that you will get your money’s worth.

You may get carried away with all the video streaming and social media updating that you forget to monitor your broadband data usage. Before you know it, you’ve used up your data limit. Stay on top of your internet use by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Know the culprits of broadband data usage. Of course, it is important to know what sends your broadband usage through the roof. You can do a lot with your data, but the major culprits include video streaming particularly on YouTube or Netflix. Audio streaming also accounts for a big chunk of your broadband usage. The same holds true for digital gaming platforms.
  • Set a personal data limit. This is a great way to ensure that you don’t go overboard with your broadband usage. On your smartphone, just go to Settings > Data usage. You will see a graph that tells you how much data you’ve already used. Set your personal data limit for a month. When you’re already close to that limit, you will be notified by your phone.
  • Web pages that have videos embedded in them need a lot of bandwidth, not to mention that most of them play automatically. Limit your mobile web browsing time when you’re on a 3G or 4G network to avoid eating up too much of your broadband.
  • Who doesn’t love watching videos at HD quality resolution? If you have limited data allowance, you may need to skip HD. Instead, watch with a lower resolution or SD video. It doesn’t eat up as much data allowance as HD. Also, you can disable HD streaming when you go to account settings.

These are just some of the ways to monitor your broadband data usage. Keep these tips in mind so you don’t go overboard with your data limit each month.

Got other tips on how to keep track of your usage of broadband plans? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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A Guide on How to Compare Broadband Plans in Australia

You want the internet, but what is the right plan for you? Internet deals in Australia unfortunately aren’t always cheap, and they are also not always easy to compare. Your first broadband choice might not be the right one. So how do you fix that? How do you compare internet plans, so you end up with cheap home broadband that has everything you want without paying for more services than you need, and without falling into any consumer traps? Before we start, the most important thing is always to check the actual price of the product including start up fees, offers that may expire after a trial period, and expensive extras. Next to that, there are a few more things you can do to get cheap home broadband internet. Here is a guide on how to make a good broadband comparison.

Internet deals with or without hardware

Most people don’t want to buy the hardware on their own and prefer it to be part of the broadband package. You can get broadband plans where the hardware is included, but it usually involves a contract as well – something that some people are not comfortable with. If you prefer paying on a month to month basis with no contract, it’s fine to buy the hardware up front. It might cost you a little more to start with, but you will be free to see how the plan goes and to opt out anytime. It really depends on your preference.

  • Home internet plans with hardware: You save the cost of buying the hardware, but you will often have to enter a contract and stay with the provider for a certain number of months.
  • Home internet plans without hardware: You have to cash out and spend a few hundred dollars on hardware. In return, you are not bound by a contract.

Low cost broadband: Fixed line or mobile broadband

Fixed lines create the most steady internet connections, but they do require a landline in the house. Most people have them anyway, so it’s usually not a big deal, but it’s good to check when choosing your cheap home broadband internet. If you do not have a landline, you can still get fixed line broadband. With a line rental, you pay to keep the cobber lines active without paying for the phone service of a landline. Often, line rental is included in broadband packages, especially phone and broadband packages. Other times, you have to pay for it yourself.
Some providers offer packages without line rental and without the need of a landline. The price is actually almost the same.

The alternative is getting a mobile dongle. It allows you to use the internet anywhere and is good for commuters who like to get some work done on the move. The connection on the other hand not as reliable as a fixed line home internet plans, as it depends on a mobile signal, and the speed is not very good.

Look at contracts when you compare internet plans

Another important thing to consider is the time you will have to commit to a fixed line home broadband. Most fixed line broadband plans involves a contract for a certain amount of time. If you don’t feel ready for a 24 month contract, try to find a deal with a shorter one.  Remember that the price often becomes cheaper if you commit to a longer time.

Some providers offer an introductory contract with a cheap price. But after it has finished, the price goes back up to normal again. In the same way, a set-up fee could cost you more money up front but could save you money down the road.

Research what pays off in the long run, if you do get a contracted home broadband. Always read the small print before deciding.

Should you bundle your broadband choice?

There are many ways to bundle more services with broadband plans. If you need different services such as phone or cable TV – why not bundle it and save some cash? TV, phone and broadband packages can be cheaper than getting it from different providers, but it’s not always the case. Here is how you make sure that bundling is right for you:

  • Note exactly what you pay for your current services.
  • Compare the price you already pay with the price you could pay in a bundled TV, phone and broadband package.
  • Be honest with yourself: Does the bundled plan give you everything you want? Are you paying for extra services that you don’t need?
  • Choose to bundle if you can get what you need cheaper than buying it on its own.

Home broadband data allowance

Data allowance can be tricky to figure out. You don’t want to pay too much for data you will never use. On the other hand, it’s annoying to run out in the middle of the month.

10 GB should be enough for users who don’t use the internet a lot. That amount of data will allow you to download around 14 movies a month – if that’s the only thing you do. Streaming videos, listening to music online or just browsing can quickly get you up to the 10 GB.

If you consider yourself an everyday user, you would probably need 20 GB. And with more people in the house, you can consider to get an unlimited plan with a Wi Fi router, so that the internet is available to everyone in the household.

The speed of your connection

The average internet speed in Australia in 2015 was 8.2 Mbps (megabytes per second). This should give you an idea about what constitutes a “good” speed. Still, it varies depending on where you live (city or country side) and whether you have a mobile or fixed line. You can’t expect as good a speed on a mobile network or if you live far away from the city for example. The 8.2 Mbps is just a guideline you can use when you compare internet plans. To find a broadband choice with a fast connection, think about the following things:

  • Broadband availability

Depending on where you live, different providers might offer the best speed. That’s because the further you are away from your service provider, the slower the internet will be. To find cheap internet plans with a fast connection, make a quick search on the internet to find out if you can improve your speed by switching providers. Some websites and providers have calculators that let you run a test of your speed as well as the broadband availability in the area. In that way, you can check if you’re with the provider that offers the best speed for where you live.

  • Providers exaggerate the speed of their internet deals

Providers will usually advertise the connection as “up to” say 8 Mbps.  That means that the actual speed when accounting for factors such as throttling and distance to your provider could be slower. This is another good reason to find a provider close to where you live to get the best possible connection speed for your money. It’s of course always a balancing act – a provider won’t necessarily be more valuable because it’s closer to you, but it’s just one of the things you should take into consideration when looking for cheap internet plans.

Do you need broadband for business?

If you are a small business working from home, broadband for business can give you some great features and services. What exactly you get depends on the package you choose, but many business broadband deals include a router with extra stability as well as extra security measures so that your business information remains safe and free from spam. Some providers also offer 24-hour support and static IP addresses. Another important reason to choose broadband for business is the peace of mind that comes along with the enhanced stability that it offers. Broadband intensive services with greater security risk such as email servers, FTP and web servers sometimes may be blocked by normal broadband packages, but will work fine with business internet deals.

How to compare internet plans to get low cost broadband

In order to make an effective broadband comparison, you need to look at a few different things such as whether you are a private person or a business, if you are comfortable with contracts, want to bundle your services as well as consider hardware, connection and data.

The most important thing is to look at the real price you are going to pay. Look out for offers that expire, extra costs or maybe services you don’t need – especially when you bundle. A good way to make your new broadband choice is to gather all the information. What do you already pay, and what do you want to pay? What do you need in terms of data, speed and commitment? And does the deal include everything you need, and nothing more?

Consider these few tips next time you are looking for home internet plans, and remember to always check the small print.

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Top Companies in Australia for a Broadband Plan

There are several companies in Australia that offer a wide selection of broadband plans and internet deals. They differ in many factors such as streaming data speed, coverage, customer service, and price, and choosing the best home broadband for your family can be a challenge.

To help you make the right decision, here are the top companies in Australia and their differences based on features that we normally look for in home internet plans.

Streaming data speed

If you stream a lot of content online, then you need to be able to count on a company that can handle large volumes of data. If you have a business, streaming data speed is most likely very important to keep things running smoothly, and these companies are considered to rank high in this aspect. Our top picks for fast data are:

Price matches speed

We all want value for money in any product or service, and when it comes to internet plans. The following companies are worth checking out as they offer some good internet deals:

Looking for a broadband plan? Here are some tips to consider:

Shop around and compare internet plans

Having a home broadband costs money, so make sure to spend on a plan that not only is affordable but also offers speed and great customer service. One great way to achieve this is to compare internet plans. Check several providers and put their features side-by-side for comparison. This will greatly help in finding the best internet deal.

Identify your needs

Are you a heavy user of internet? Do you love watching TV shows and movies? Is it for business or entertainment for the family? One deciding factor is the speed. Your needs will most likely dictate how fast your internet speed should be.

Know how many devices can use the internet at one time

Members of the family have different preferences in what they want to watch. When buying a home broadband, consider the number of devices that can be accommodated at any one time.

Consider customer service

Slow internet connection, router issues, as well as disconnections and dropouts are some of the common problems that you may encounter when watching TV shows and series. In case of issues and errors, it is ideal to choose an internet plan from a reputable provider that offers solutions in the quickest way possible.

Do you know other tips on internet deals and broadband comparison? You can share your ideas in the comments section below.

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Top 3 Websites to Test Your Internet Speed

Not getting the speed you think you should from your broadband connection in Australia? Test it to see how it stacks up.

For some things, humans have impossibly high expectations with no regard for the challenges that may be faced to achieve these expectations. Think about our tolerance or lack thereof for slow internet.

We demand blistering fast internet speeds, with little care for the fact that data is travelling vast distance and competing for ‘space’ with millions of pieces of information to get to you.

Beyond our lack of patience, there is some necessity for fast internet speeds. Many of the services available on the internet require a fast connection to function; like Netflix, or online gaming. Even a seemingly simple website can have lots of data-heavy features that struggle to load with a poor connection.

Most internet service providers in Australia advertise ‘super doper fast internet’, but this won’t always be achievable by all users.

It is relatively easy to test your internet speed and find out just how good your connection is. So, before you compare broadband plans or look for the best internet deals, do a speed test on your current provider, to know what you are currently getting.

Here are some sites that you can use to test your broadband speed for free:

All you do is click on the ‘Start test’ button and wait for the results. The sites mentioned above have easy to understand results that don’t require any technical knowledge to interpret.

What can you do with the speed test result? Compare it will the maximum theoretical speeds advertised by your Internet service provider.

Don’t be surprised if you’re not reaching maximum theoretical speeds, they are… well, ‘theoretical’.

Lots of things can make your connection slower than what it could be:

  • The distance from the closest node (the place internet comes from in your local area).
  • The hardware you are using (particularly the router).
  • The number of users on the network.
  • The quality of the cable running in your neighbourhood.

Here are a couple of simple ways to make sure you are getting the fastest speed without changing providers or buying new equipment:

  1. Reset your router. Turn it off, wait one minute and turn it back on. Simple but effective.
  2. Stop background data use. Check to see if you have background downloads or data consumption; disable anything that isn’t required.
  3. Check for viruses. Some types of viruses can slow down your connection. Run a scan and remove anything that it finds.

If you’re disappointed with your current speed, do a test and get actual performance. Try some of the above suggestions to improve your speed. If it is still sluggish, it might be time to compare internet deals.

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