High speed broadband has made internet access far more enjoyable and convenient than ever before. Prior to broadband being made available we had dial-up internet. A technology that was very slow and frustrating. When Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) was introduced the whole ball game changed. This new outstanding development brought with it speed and reliability. Where dial up saw the slow signal often dropping out and a telephone line having to be tied up, ADSL worked independently of the telephone, despite it sharing the same copper wire. It could also download 72 times faster than dial-up and was much more reliable. It has been able to do this by using frequencies not used by voice on a telephone line by utilising a splitter, or DSL filter. This little device attached to the telephone line separates the voice calls from the data needed to be downloaded to enable you to go online. One downfall however was that ADSL was only effective a short distance from a local telephone exchange; usually no more than four kilometres, although double this distance in not unheard of.
Top Broadband Plans
What Broadband are you looking for?
Choosing the best broadband plan involves weighing up a variety of different factors and ultimately considering the needs of yourself and your family. From bundled broadband to naked broadband to wireless broadband... the options are endless!
A collection of several helpful tips in picking the right broadband plan for yourself:
Home broadband plans start from as little as $19.90 per month
First off, how much are you looking to spend? Home broadband plans can start from as little as $19.90 per month - even lower for wireless broadband modems, and can vary all the way up to $129 for fixed home phone and broadband bundle plans. Bundling can also save you a heap of money if you're looking for a simple, family-friendly option. Service providers offer incentives and discounts to customers who choose to bundle multiple services together, like broadband, mobile, and cable T.V. Bundling customers should definitely take a look at Optus' Fusion, which offer great bang for you buck! If you're looking to stick to a budget, consider purchasing an unlimited or naked broadband plan. Dodo's unlimited naked plans start from a ridiculously low $39.90, while TPG's plans are not far behind at $59.99. Prepaid wireless broadband is a more budget option for light internet users and has no long term commitment or fixed monthly payment.
High-speed broadband is mainstay in the modern family. If you're someone who enjoys downloading, streaming and sharing files online, it is imperative to select the right type of broadband plan. In Australia, cable and ADSL2+ are currently considered the fastest, most advanced forms of broadband, maintaining theoretical download speeds of up to 30 mbps. However, due to location, rural customers and customers not living near to a telephone exchange or cable line may face availability issues. Alternatively, dial-up and ADSL provide lower speeds but are more widely available to customers. Wireless mobile broadband is the final option but is highly regarded due to its portability rather than speed. Wireless customers face inconsistent connections compared to fixed connections but benefit through mobility.
When purchasing your ideal plan, data allocation becomes a crucial factor that you must consider. If you are a heavy user, an unlimited or heavy-usage plan would definitely be a good plan for you, offering upwards of 500GB data every month. However, heavy-usage and unlimited plans are quite expensive, starting at $50 per month, over a fixed term of 24 months. TPG and Dodo offer budget unlimited naked plans, but be wary of poor customer support and inconsistent connection. For unlimited plans, service providers like Optus and Telstra maintain their position as top dog. Alternatively, if you are looking for a plan for your family, bundling services together means good value for money. Optus' Fusion plans start at $64.95 per month, and give the user 120GB of cable or ADSL internet plus the option to make unlimited local and domestic fixed calls. Naked plans are another value option, cutting out the telephone line (and thus, line rental charges!) and saving you cash. Finally, wireless plans include less data - starting from 2GB per month - and are not considered good value for money, but are great for students and those who don't want to commit to a fixed term plan.
Mobile Broadband Benefiting From Fourth Generation Technology
Broadband has also been introduced to provide mobile internet access for people on the move. This technology can deliver broadband wirelessly. No longer need you be confined to you PC at home or in the office but you can now access fast broadband anywhere, as long as you are within your internet service provider's (ISP's) coverage area. Mobile broadband delivery relies on a small portable modem, or internet key, a data card or an inbuilt modem ( which is included with some laptops), to enable connection to the internet by using the same signals as do mobile phones. Although not as fast as ADSL2+, fourth generation mobile technology (4G) is capable of quite high speeds and is most useful in handling most downloading situations.
The Two Big Australian ISP's
All the major ISP's in Australia currently provide fast reliable internet broadband plans, with many of the smaller providers using the infrastructure of the bigger providers such as Bigpond (Telstra) or Optus. These two major players sell usage of their infrastructure to a smaller provider who in turn sells it to their clients.
many promotional offers are made as one ISP tries to outdo another in order to secure your business
When you go online you will see many broadband comparisons. Because of the continual competition experienced in this field, as people clamour for the best available plans, many promotional offers are made as one ISP tries to outdo another in order to secure your business. All are worth delving into and seeing for yourself how they compare because what might be ideal for one person might not suit another. The various broadband comparison sites are an ideal way of finding out for yourself what plan would best fit in with your specific requirements.
To get the best use out of broadband comparison plans you should first take note of what you need in such a plan. For instance:
- Is it download speed that you are looking for? The faster your download speed the more efficiently you can download large files, such as those found when you go about downloading movies, videos, music tracks and online games.
- Is it large data downloading allowances you need more than anything else? Large data downloading allowance are necessary if you need to download or upload large files. You have to be careful here in that if you choose a comparatively small data downloading allowance and rely on shaping to carry you through till the start of the next data downloading cycle, the speed will, in most cases be reduced to a level resembling dial-up. This will be inappropriate in most cases.
- Do you need VoIP? VoIP will allow you to make cheap phone calls.
- Would naked broadband suit you best? Naked broadband will release you from having to pay telephone line rental costs which will mean cheaper broadband. If you make most of your calls on your mobile phone and only pay telephone line rental for the purposes of having an internet broadband connection, you may fine this type of broadband attractive.
Any of these broadband plans are best if they can be obtained with ADSL2+ technology. ADSL2+ is much faster but is still being expanded out from the CBD's of most of our larger cities. In the meantime you will have no choice but to be satisfied with a slower but still very fast ADSL connection. A further improvement will occur when the NBN fibre optic cable is finally rolled out across the country.