Broadband Help Useful Resources

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Easy Broadband Choices: Buying Broadband Made Easy

Sick and tired of all the choices and complex jargon that accompanies choosing a broadband plan? Youcompare Broadband understands the complexities and irritations behind finding a Broadband plan that’s right for you, and has devised several options, depending on your broadband experience and knowledge, to assist you.

Comparing the likes of BigPond, Optus, AAPT, iiNet, Internode and other Broadband Internet Providers is a difficult task in itself, so when you visit Youcompare Broadband, we’ve made it easy to find a Broadband Plan from Providers such as those described. It doesn’t matter what type of Broadband either. Mobile Broadband, Wireless Broadband, ADSL, Cable or Naked DSL, we have them all covered.

Easy Broadband Decisions:
Use one of the Broadband online search features below to find a plan that suits you, easily and quickly!

Beginners Search:
Make an easy broadband choice using the beginners search. For those new to Broadband or who made find it difficult to make a decision whether its from lack of knowledge or due to the various choices available. Search by Profile (Ex. Light User, Average User, family, Gamer), Broadband Type, Broadband use, Email use, Mp3 (music) and Video Downloads or Online Gaming. We have fully customisable options which will assist you to find a Broadband Plan to suit your profile.

Browse Plans:
Simply Browse whats out there. Choose from Broadband Types, Broadband Bundles, Most Popular Broadband, Cheap Broadband and High Speed Broadband. Not happy with the selection? Then refine your search by clicking on an icon to reveal more search criteria.

Expert Search:
For those who know what they want and want to find a selection of broadband Plans and Providers quickly and easily. Search by State, Broadband Type, Download Speed, Download Usage Limit and Contract Length.

Broadband Guide and Youcompare Broadband have made buying broadband a hassle free uncomplicated process. Get an easy broadband plan that suits you, right here, right now and within minutes! Your new plan is only a few clicks away!

http://youcompare.com.au/broadband

Cheap Broadband Internet Bundles and Plans

For many people on tight budgets saving money is of vital importance especially if you need to meet monthly house, car or boat repayments. A few dollars here and there can really make a difference and Broadband Internet (including home phone, mobile phone, VoIP & Pay TV) is an area where significant savings can be made. Let’s explore some of the following key factors that may assist you with saving some $$$ while checking out cheap Broadband Internet Products, bargains, special offers, discounts and deals.


Know your Product
It definitely helps to know your product. What I mean by this is ‘What type of Broadband do you require and how much do you intend to use it’. There’s no point in purchasing a Broadband product that you will not make full use of. Firstly, why pay more for a very fast connection if you’re not going to take advantage of it, if a slower speed is cheaper and will suit your requirements? Or, why pay more for a plan with a huge usage limit that you’ll barely touch? But hang on you say, ‘but how do I know how much speed and usage I’ll need?’  Here’s two pointers that may assist you.

Start off Small:
Typical terms and conditions with most Broadband Providers allow customers to change their contract options. Some fees usually apply when requesting a Usage Limit downgrade (ex. dropping from 20GB plan per month to 10GB), or when requesting a Speed drop (ex. ADSL 8000kbps to ADSL 1500kbps).  Obviously, larger usage limits and fast connection speeds are more expensive. A 512kbps or 1500kbps speed with 2GB usage limit is a great starting point. It’s generally more than enough for those that only occasionally check emails, surf a couple of websites and perform banking online. If this type of set up is not suiting your needs, you can always upgrade to another speed/usage limit at the start of you’re next billing period (usually for fee). Important to note: ADSL2+ and Cable Broadband use different technologies and upgrading from ADSL to ADSL2+ or Cable may not be directly available. You will first need to check with your Provider.


Research:
You’re obviously on the Internet reading this article now, so why don’t you head across to our Broadband Help section where you can view some useful conversion tables. The link below will relocate you to a list of three tables that include a ‘Download Usage Guide’ with approximated download usage figures. Furthermore, you could also use a search engine like ‘Google’ to find other useful comparison tables and facts. http://broadbandguide.com.au/broadbandhelp/broadbandhelp/21-Broadband-Conversion-Tables 


Broadband Bundles
Bundling Broadband with products such as Home Phone, Mobile Phone, Pay TV and VoIP services can greatly reduce you’re monthly costs. Providers who offer 1, 2 or more of these services will usually give a set discount or multiple discounts according to how many products are bundled with your Broadband service. On the surface, monthly fees will appear as being reduced, however you will need to crunch all the call rates, line rental fees and start up fees among other hidden charges to really iron out the overall monthly saving, if any?


Cheap Broadband Plans
Cheap Broadband is not necessarily the best value for money Broadband, and although many cheap Broadband Plans can be exceptional value all round, its recommended that you do your research into the product. Attributes that you should consider scrutinizing prior to signing your life away are: 


Network & Routing Quality:
ISP’s need to peer with one another to exchange your data over their networks. The Internet backbone is made up from a number of interconnected routes which carry data across the world. Smaller ISP’s (such as a regional ISP) will either resell products through a larger ISP network or connect to  larger Providers who in turn may connect to a larger network backbone. Much routing occurs on the Internet which can greatly affect Broadband quality. Routing Protocols, Switches, Configurations, Network loads and the expertise of Network administrators can mean the difference between a good Internet Network and average Internet Network. Much like most services, cheap Broadband can have it’s pros and cons. Research your Provider’s network where possible.


Terms and Conditions:
The T & C’s (fine print) of a Broadband Product is an area where the overall expense and savings can really be calculated. A typical Provider will give you a ‘minimum monthly spend’ over the contract period of time in these notes. Other fees and charges can also be located in the T & C’s or usually elsewhere on the site. Key factors to consider here are:

Is there a cap for exceeding your limit?
Some Providers may shape (slow) your connection speed if your monthly usage limit is reached early and excess data is used. Generally shaping means that you don’t have to pay extra,otherwise you may be charged. Ex. 10 cents for every MB used thereafter. This may, or may not be capped at a certain excess limit. Therefore 1GB over your limit could amount to an extra $100 on your monthly bill. Some Providers may cap you at a certain excess limit, charge you for this, then shape you. Ex. Once 500MB cap is reached and is charged at $XX, your speed will be reduced thereafter with no additional fees being charged. A cheap plan could be just that, but what about the hidden fees and conditions? ‘Shaping’ is generally the safer option to take if available.


Early contract termination or relocation fees
As this suggest, if you need to cancel your contract early for any reason, what will an early cancellation fee cost you? This could in fact amount to the total remaining monthly charges or a % of such. Same with relocating, how much will an ISP charge you to do this? Make enquiries.


Fees and charges all vary from Provider to Provider and the costs involved may even change you’re opinion on a ‘cheap plans’ in some cases. Speak to your intended Provider’s sales team and find out all there is to know about additional ‘hidden’ charges before making any assumption on cheap Broadband plans.


Broadband Special Offers, Discounts and Internet Deals
Finally, the special offers and discounts that ISP’s use to lure customers to their products.

Common deals and discounts are ‘free hardware’ (modems/routers), free installation, free monthly fees (eg. 1, 2, 3 or 4 months free), Bundling Discounts (as discussed), lower call rates, half price offers etc.. etc.. Most of these deals and discounts are obviously used to promote and encourage  the customer to sign up to a Broadband Product.  Most are pretty much self explanatory too. Free monthly charges are a little bit tricky as most innocent consumers think their first 2 or 3 months will be free. Ah haa! Well think again cause some Providers may give you the 1st month free, then the 6th month free followed by the 12th month free when advertising ‘3 free months’. Again, look out for the contract terms and what you’re getting locked into. Sure a few free months can substantially lower your overall costs, but what is the compromise? Most Providers will try and entice the customer into locking into a 24mth contract by dangling juicy deals, discounts, and offers over their heads. Locking you in means you may have to pay a significant amount of money if you should decide to leave early for whatever the reason. Weigh up the costs involved in  a 6, 12 and 24month contract. Will it pay to sign up over a longer period?


Do you’re research, surf around, google search terms. Make a list and call your prospective Providers to enquire. After all, it’s what their sales and support help desks are there for.


Cheap Broadband at Broadband Guide
Broadband Bundles at Broadband Guide 

Need help choosing Broadband?

Look no further as Broadband Guide understands the complex issues and confusion behind choosing a Broadband Plan that’s right for you, and as a result have implemented many online resources to ease the burden. Making an informed choice has never been easier when using one of many search and comparison tools at Broadband Guide. Perhaps the easiest method, for even the most novice user, is our Broadband Plan Wizard. This online resource is simple to navigate and will take you through a step by step process which will assist you with making a Broadband choice within minutes, no matter how much you know.


For those with a greater understanding of Broadband Internet can use the Browse or Search Plan features which give a user greater control over the Broadband criteria that they seek from a Plan.


Broadband Guide also targets specific direct and indirect usage areas of Broadband Internet use, and from this have categorized individual areas to assist those who know exactly want they want from their Broadband.


All the tools you need to find a Broadband Plan that’s right for you!

Broadband Plan Wizard

Broadband Plan Search

Browse Broadband Plans

Compare Broadband Plans

Broadband Usage Areas



 



 


 

Wireless Modem Router Guide

Shopping around for a new router for many people that aren’t up to speed with Broadband related technology can be a very frustrating process. Obviously you want to make an informed choice on particular product to suit your needs. Therefore a product review might be the best solution in assisting you with making the right choice.


The easiest way to purchase a Modem/Router is to buy a Broadband Plan that has an accompanying product of such. However the type of Router thats comes with a particular Internet Plan may not be exactly what you require.  Moreover, you may prefer to shop around for a better price and read up on Router options, or perhaps you’re seeking to change you’re Broadband plan or simply update your current hardware. In any case, Ninemsn has an extensive article/review on Wireless Routers which covers many different products and lists the Pros & Cons, Prices, Features and Ratings along with links to all the manufacturers websites that you may find useful.

Wireless routers aren’t just wireless routers any more. Sure, they still do the basic job of pinging data around the air wirelessly, but the variety of other tasks that a wireless router can take onboard is extensive, from routing calls to VoIP devices, to acting as a virtual print server. In addition, there’s the all-in-one approach that bundles an ADSL modem into the package, which makes for easy installation, but could be a headache if one component starts playing up. 
 
Product Review Example

Belkin Wireless 802.11g Router with Built-In USB Print Server
RRP: $169.95
Web:
www.belkin.com.au
Features: 802.11b/g; USB port for printer sharing
Pros: The router includes a quick setup sheet for 26 different local broadband providers. It was simple to configure, and by default will show you the current status without requiring an actual login. The USB print sharing is easy enough to configure for compatible printers.
Cons: Signal strength and data throughput were rather average.
Verdict: Good value for money, especially with the inbuilt printer facility.
NetGuide’s Rating: 3.5/5


Read the entire article/reviews at Ninemsn.com.au


Helpful Wireless Broadband link

Online Gaming and Game Server Guide

Are you new to Online Gaming? Want to know more about who the best ISPs are for playing Online Games in Australia? What about which Broadband Type and Speed is best suited for Online Gaming and Gamers? Even if you’re in the hunt for a new Broadband Internet Provider or seeking to transfer (churn) from an existing ISP, and Online Gaming is a crucial element in your decision making, it may pay to read this guide to Games, ISP Game Servers and Online Gaming.


Which Game?
I suspect the best place to start, prior to researching and comparing ISPs, for suitable online gaming would be to first consider the ‘Type’ of Game you intend to play. If you’re seeking to play ‘Chess’ or ‘Casino’ type games you might as well stop right here! This article is not for you.  As for those wishing to play Action, First Person Shooters, Strategy, Simulation or ever increasingly popular MMORPG’s etc.., you might find this article somewhat helpful. Now before going much further, I’d like to point out that I’ll try and keep everything very basic in order to cater for the noobies (new players) out there.  Let’s take a look at Gaming Genres to begin with.


Main Gaming Genres
– First Person Shooter, Action & Fighting –
Categorized primarily as ‘combat’ type games, themes for these popular genres can encompass past, present or future type scenarios. Characterized by playable roles, individuals or teams generally engauge in high levels of violent gameplay. Game Examples:  Halo, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, Battlefield 2/2142, Call of Duty, Day of Defeat, Enemy Territory, F.E.A.R, Far Cry, Bioshock, Half Life, Hitman, Resident Evil, Sonic series, Star Wars series, Supreme Commander


– RPGs & MMORPGs  (Role Playing Games & Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) –
Players assume a character type role to usually acquire skills or powers while progresseing through an adventure type or story line environment.  Considered by some as a ‘social interaction’, as many of these games have no winners or losers. RPGs can be perceived as a ‘story telling’ game.  MMORPGs are RPGs on a bigger platform.  Some games like ‘World of Warcraft’ witness millions of gamers playing online simultaneously.  Game Examples:  Diablo, Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, Neverwinter Nights, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Burning Crusade & Wrath of the Lich King (WOW expansion pack)


– Simulation –
As the title suggests, these games aim to create ‘simulation’ type experiences. Elements such as limtations and physics can be very realistic like.  Major factors governing Simulation games contain skill, chance and strategy. Game Examples: V8 Super Cars, The Sims, Fifa Manager, Civilization, Monaco Grand Prix Racing, Flight Simulations


– Sport –
Sports Games try to emulate the ‘playing’ actions of traditional Sports. They can produce many different affects as they sometimes uses features from Simulation, Strategy and Action type Genres.  Game Examples:  FiFa 2006, Madden NFL 2007, NBA Live 2007, Customplay Golf.


– Strategy (Real Time Strategy) –
Joining the popular realms of FPS & RPG comes another genre of gaming which involves deep thought process and highly skilled planning.  Formats for Strategy games consist of ‘turn based’ or ‘real time’ elements of gameplay. They are usually very tactical orientated and sometimes difficult to follow from a spectator point of view.  Although some strategy games take patience, it’s not uncommon to see lightning fast reflexes (eg. Starcraft) play vital roles in these games also. Construction, Commerce, or Conflict are the fundamentals behind most Strategy Games. Game Examples:  Stracraft, Spore, Warcraft, Command & Conquer, Rome: Total War, Age of Empires


Major Game Developers/Publishers:
Blizzard Entertainment, Epic Games, Bungie, Microsoft Games Studio, Sony, 2k, Sierra, Electronic Arts, Bioware, Crytek, Irrational Games, Midway, Atari, Activision, Nintendo, Sega

Platforms: (including offline)

PC, Playstation2 (PS2), Playstation 3 (PS3), Xbox, Xbox 360 (X360), Wii, PSP, Nintendo, Ninetendo DS, Gameboy Advance (GBA)


 


Major factors determining Gaming Experiences:
Ok you’ve had a rundown on the types of games, platforms, devolpers etc… so now you should have a good idea of what you might like to play online (or offline). Next step and probably the most important, is creating a foundation for a great gaming experience.  Choosing a Broadband Provider/Product that’s suited for your game is one the most important decisions, however prior to doing that, there’s also a few other factors that you may like to take a look at first.  Many direct and indirect aspects come into the equation in order to achieve a great gaming experience, and what may appear to be insignificant to some, may in fact have serious implications. Let’s take a look at a few.


Broadband Networks & Latency
Ping: (
Packet Internet Groper) I
s a utility that tests/measures the time taken for information to travel from one point to another over a network.  Lower usually means better.
Latency: (Lag or Delay) Is the actual time it takes to process data over a network. Depending on Network Interference, high latency can really blow your gaming experience. Basically, gaming information (packets of data) should pass freely from Game server to client  (you) to avoid any interruption in gameplay…
Think of the data (information packets) as a fluid, Low bandwidth as a straw, and High bandwidth as a garden Hose. Depending on how much (amount of data), and any obstacles (routing, server loads, network congestion) the fluid faces in its path, can affect the ease (speed) of which it will pass through the straw or the garden hose.  
High bandwidth connections usually have low latency although connection speeds and ping times are not related.  Still confused? Then read more about latency with Interleaving.
Interleaving:
Click here for definitive information

Other Influences
Routing, Hardware & Line Quality, Network congestion (peak/off peak times), Game Server loads & their specs may also hinder the gaming experience. It’s handy to do some research on prospective Networks before joining a Provider.  Some ISPs are merely ‘resellers’ who may even route your Internet traffic through different countries and that can really slow you down!  The more routing, the more probable interfernce you’ll receive. Too many Players on a Game Server or over a Home Network may overload processing power or affect data tranfser, especially if you’re on a slow connection (eg. 256/64). Also there’s MultiTasking to be aware of! It’s usually wise to concentrate all of your PC’s processing power on your Game while playing, so turning off all other unnecessary applications on your PC can improve a gaming experience.


Hardware: Wireless v Wired – Mouse, Keyboard and Modem/Routers? 
Although not directly related to Broadband requirements, I thought it could be helpful to add the following hardware advice anyway, as it too, may help optimize your gaming experience. Obviously a Wireless Modem may have similar latency implications to that of general Wireless Internet due to its transmission technology (even on a home network). Some Modem/Routers or Home Network configurations can also impair gaming. As for a wireless Mouse and KB – have you ever seen a mouse pointer go somewhere it shouldn’t of when you didn’t tell it to? Say no more! Wired components behave themselves more appropriately when it comes to reliability and consistency.  Elite players are very pedantic with their gaming setups and will do anything to get an edge.

Video Card/CPU (PC Processor)
Back in the day, prior to the current popularity of online gaming now, the CPU was the power behind Online Games. Although still vitally important today, it generally plays second fiddle to the Video Card.  New Games usually involve new technology (especially game engines) and require more processing power from both Video Card and CPU. So depending on how recent your game was manufactured, and the type of game it is, a high end CPU and Video Card could be a necessity.  *TIP* Either search online for information on such or check out the prospective game’s packaging for details on ‘System Requirements’. Whatever the specs might be, my advice to you would be to try and purchase something a little ‘higher ended’ than what the minimum requirements suggest.  In general, different games require different Video Cards and CPU’s. For example, a brand new FPS game may need hardware that’s just been released over the past year or so to run effciently, whereas a Strategy game might be able to handle hardware from a system that’s 5 years old. Do your research into System Requirements and Specifications!

Monitors (LCD or CRT)
Again not really Broadband related but nonetheless important for a great gaming experience. CRTs (the older Style ‘fat rounded’ tellies) are generally OK for all games. LCD’s are the current contemporary sets and for games that involve high
frame rates (action packed fast paced FPS etc..). It’s recommended that you use an LCD monitor that has a response time of at least 8ms (milliseconds) or below to avoid frame lag in fast paced graphics.

Broadband Type & Speed
Without doubt an integral cog. Broadband Type and Speed is a decision you’ll need to make at some stage, so what type of broadband is best suited for your Gaming? Obviously there might be some limitations to what’s available in your area or place of residence, so I’ll give you a quick rundown on what games I consider to be appropriate for Broadband Types/Speed.  Generally speaking,  Fast, Robust Broadband (Cable and ADSL) is suitable for all types of Online Gaming.  Kind of like a fast car, if you need to go very fast, well, the speed is there.  And if you don’t, you can still coast. Here’s why:  Games like First Person Shooters, Action, Fighting, and some Strategy based games heavily rely on fast responses. So the information (data packets) that are sent back and forth to the Server and Client need to travel quickly… The faster (wider) and more stable your connection, the quicker your information can be processed (and simulated).  

Here’s a ‘Gameplay type’ example of why High Speed/Robust Broadband is advantageous:
You tap your mouse button to emulate a shot being fired in a Warfare type FPS game, on a fast broadband connection that has very low Latency and Ping, you’re packets of data (the shot your fired) will almost hit the target where you intended it to go (timing – it will look like a ‘real life’ simulation). On a slower connection with high Latency (lag) & Ping, the packets of data (the shot you fired) will be slower to get to the Game Server and be processed for what could be a number of different the reasons, therefore you’re target may not be where you thought it was at the time on your screen. You see, the server received your information, later rather than sooner, during that instance because of Speed/Latency factors.  

Broadband Internet Service Poviders
Broadband Speeds greater than 1500/256 have
interleaving turned on (including the 8Mbit, 20Mbit, or 24Mbit plans from most ISPs). At this stage only Internode and BigPond give you the option to switch interleaving off. Researching Networks (the Internet back bone) of your prospective ISP will be your call. Generally speaking, all ISPs shown on Broadband Guide should have great connectivity on their own Game Server Farms (providing you are a customer of theirs).  Connectivity on other servers (outside your ISP) may vary though. Most ISPs also give you ‘free’ data usage when playing on their Game Server Farms (but make sure you check that out too). That’s right, the data you use while playing on their servers doesn’t come off your monthly usage limit. The same can be said when downloading Game files such as Patches, Videos and Map Packs from your own Providers.  Online games generally require servicing in some way shape or form too (eg. bug fixes). Most ISPs will host all the common game files for you. Some are essential so you’ll have to download them at some stage, while others are optional.  Theres also heaps of game video trailers out there which can be downloaded for ‘free’ (once again, check with Provider to make sure).  It can certainly pay to join the right Provider for many reasons such as free files and videos, especially if you are on a low monthly usage limit!  Aside from these resources, various ISPs have extensive Game Server Farms that you can play on. It’s not uncommon for some Game Farms to have in excess of 200 Game Servers running simultaneously.  This limit may include 30 – 40 different game types as well.  Along with ISPs giving discount on services and products etc.., some provide Game Servers that can be hired or booked out privately.  A Service Provider (or their gaming constituent) may also run Game Competitions such as a Ladders, Leagues, or Round Robin type Tournaments for you to participate in as well.  OK enough gas baggin, let’s check out the ISPs who have Game Farms!

ISP Game Server Farms

BigPond (GameArena) – Approx 275+ Game Servers

Internode – Approx 144+ Game Servers

Netspace (Gamespace) – Approx 61 Game Servers


Primus (IPGN) – Approx 29 Game Servers


People Telecom (PTGN) – Approx 20+ Game Servers


# Game Server infomation and amounts shown above are estimates only as from August ’07


Gamer Terminology/Abbreviations
AFK: Away from Keyboard
AFAIK:
As far as I know

AI: Artifical Intelligence
Avatar: Gamer’s character model or picture
Clan: (Gaming Team or Group)
Client: Your PC.  A computer system that accesses a service (Game Server)
GG: Good Game 
GL: Good Luck
GS (NS): Good/Nice Shot
Frag/Fragged: A ‘Kill’ or ‘Killed’
HF: Have Fun
HP: Hit Points (damage score)
HUD: Heads-up display (gaming interface)
IP (Address): Internet Protocol Address – Game Server/Hosting location that you connect to to play your game online
LEET (31337): Elite (highly skilled player)
LOL: Laugh Out Loud
MP: MultiPlayer
Noob or Newbie: New person (inexperienced)
Owned: Thorouly beaten
Map: Game Level (playing environment)
Mod (1): Modification (usually refers to a partially converted game or game add on)
Mod (2): Moderator (Person of authority usually that monitors Forums or Online Game Servers)
Patch: Usually an essential file that is applied to a game that fixes bugs or adds new content
RL: Real Life
ROL: Roll over laughing
RPG (MMORPG): Role Playing Game (Massively Multiplayer Online)
RTS: Real Time Strategy
RU: Ready Up
Server (Game Server): Game Host/Data processing center that simulates game instance .
Skin: Character/Model Uniform, Clothing or Appearance
SP: Single Player
THX: Thanks
WD: Well Done
 


Final Word
ADSL/Cable is generally more superior in every respect when it comes down to the best types of Broadband for Online Gaming, whereas Wireless/Satellite tends to generally lag more due the data transmission technology.  The fact of the matter at this point in time is that ADSL & Cable connections are more superior over that of Wireless & Satellite technology for gaming.
Some games can be still quite fun to play on wireless/satellite, but you may not get the best desired affect.  In saying this though, all is still not lost for those who cannot obtain ADSL or Cable services.  There are many types of games that do not rely upon ultra fast low ping low latency robust instantaneous broadband connectivity *takes breath*.  ‘Turn Based’ Strategy and many RPG Games work quite efficiently on Wireless and Satellite connections. The trick is to know your game! Does it rely on low latency and high Bandwidth? Does the Game information need to travel ultra fast to produce real time emulation? 


Fundamentally, FPS and Fast paced Action/Fighting Games will execute more appropriately with higher bandwidth and low latency broadband, whereas most MMORPGs, some RPGS and some Strategy type games do not need the higher and lower rates to perform satisfactorily.  As for Broadband Speeds… 512 or 1500 down connections (as a rule) should be suitable enough for most online games these days. Up speeds are generally OK as more information is coming to you rather than being sent by you. Overall I’d be recommending cable or an ADSL 1500 connection. This way you will have more than enough bandwidth to handle any Online Game, avoid any interleaving issues and also have the option of using it for a small home network if necessary.  Other than that there’s only your usage limits to consider, and unless you’re thinking about playing more than 20 hours per week and downloading heaps of files, a few Gigabytes per month should see you out.


GL  HF!


Regards,


Broadband Guide


Online Broaband Internet Gaming at Broadband Guide

Internet Content Control Software & Child Protection Filters

Are your children and family members safe from online predators and inappropriate content? Are you concerned with what they’re seeing, who they’re chatting to, and what they’re downloading online?  Isn’t it our responsibility as parents to protect our children and nurture them through until adulthood? In light of the recent news which had a Melbourne schoolboy ‘hacking’ his way past a $84 million ‘poka yoke’ (foolproof) government porn filter within 30 minutes,  the thought of alternative content control software came to mind.  Perhaps Protection Filters should be given as much priority as that of Anti Virus software when purchasing Broadband Internet, and not something that should be necessarily left up to the government to implement. We all have our own types of moral interpretation and standards when it comes to parenting, and this should apply to the virtual world as much as it does to reality. And although it’s far from me to suggest a suitable method for parenting your child or protecting your family, however when it comes to online government protection filters, I thought it might be handy to know that there are in fact other alternatives out there too.

So what is a Content Control Software (aka Protection Filter)
In terms of Internet web filtering software, a protection filter controls permission levels of what a reader/viewer is able to read and see on the Internet. The software is typically installed on a home computer which has customized settings to suit filtering levels. Common features include blocking specific website access, logging/monitoring actions, and image filtering that can be set over a large range of categories. Most popular content control software is very easy to install and operate which makes it very user friendly.


Below are some popular independent content control software programs that you may want to check out.


Popular Protection Filter Software
Net Nanny: 
http://www.netnanny.com/ 
“1 in 5 children aged 10 to 17 have received a sexual solicitation over the Internet.” Net Nanny is a powerful, yet simple to install parental control solution that helps parents protect their children and monitor their Internet use. More than an Internet Filter, it is peace of mind.

Safe Eyes: http://www.internetsafety.com/safe-eyes/
Facing off against 10 of the industry’s best known names – including AOL, Microsoft, Norton, and MacAfee – Safe Eyes 2005 was found to provide the best protection from unwanted Internet intrusions. 


CyberSitter: http://www.cybersitter.com 
Families today need more than plain common sense and supervision to keep their kids safe on the Internet. They need the help of experienced professionals who are constantly keeping abreast of on-line dangers your children may face.


CyberPatrol: http://www.cyberpatrol.com/ 
CyberPatrol is one of the most powerful and popular client-based, browser independent, Internet safety software solutions for Windows-based standalone PCs available today.


Content Control Software Review Sites
www.child-internet-safety.com
www.monitoringsoftwarereviews.org
http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com
www.filterreview.com
www.download.com/sort/3150-2162_4-0-1-3.htmlwww.consumersearch.com/www/software/parental-control-software/index.html
www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,1639158,00.asp

www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/internet-filtering-software-605/overview/index.htm
http://www.wellresearchedreviews.com/computer-monitoring/?id=109&s=google&gclid=CJvhgO3txIsCFU9FGAod_xQWIQ



Moving House & Broadband Relocation


Moving house is generally an exciting time for many, new environment, fresh start etc… However when it comes to disconnecting and reconnecting utilities, the experience can soon change. Relocating your Broadband product is no different, and although usually a streamlined process, it might pay to prioritize your tasks by placing Broadband toward the top of the ‘to do’ list.

Taking Broadband relocation for granted is definitely a no no. In most metropolitan areas reconnecting your Broadband shouldn’t be a problem, however it can pay to prepare and make inquiries with your Provider before doing anything. I’m not talking about a ‘she’ll be right mate’ couple of days either. I’m recommending at least several weeks notice in advance. This way, if you do run into any unforeseen issues, e.g. Broadband rejection at your new residence, it might give you enough time to rectify the situation or seek alternatives prior to being left out in the lurch.

ADSL, being the most popular type of Broadband (currently), transmits data over a phone line.  Here’s your first hurdle. As ADSL requires a phone line to operate, you’ll need to have a new line sorted prior to relocating your ADSL (although with naked adsl coming soon new connection processes may change).  If you’re lucky enough to have the same Phone and Broadband Provider, you may be able to synchronize your dis/reconnection process with relatively low downtime.  Let’s take a look at some vital relocation details and difficulties.

Process Duration:

Typical Phone Relocation: Depending on which Provider you’re with, relocation process could take anywhere up to 3 – 5 Days (Possibly longer)

Typical Broadband Relocation: 7 – 10 Days (Again, could be longer so be sure to make an inquiry on all possible scenarios that may obstruct the relocation process)

Relocation Rejections & Difficulties:

There are various complex issues that may hinder your Broadband relocation request. Most fall into Technology, Availability and Customer Service categories. Let’s take a look at some common reasons.

Rim & Pair Gain (ADSL) – Alternative Telephone Service that is used in areas where there is no copper lines (ADSL Broadband requires copper telephone lines). There are some exceptions with RIM & Pair Gain, but generally speaking, if your Provider says that you’re in one of these areas, your chances of obtaining ADSL Broadband could become remote. These types of systems are usually found in areas that are generally a few extra kilometers away from an established telephone exchange. So if you are intending on moving to an area such as a ‘new Estate’, you may face availability issues? Make inquiries, do the research!

Limited Ports – Again, ADSL Broadband is based on phone line technology and each phone line has a port at your local telephone exchange. Limited ports in your local exchange may force you on to a waiting list. Limitations are usually confined within ADSL2+ type technology, but it can still pay to check.

General Availability – DSLAM (ADSL 2+), Wireless & Cable Technology are subject to availability in many parts of Australia including major metropolitan areas. Check in advance with your Provider to see if these services are in fact available in your new prospective area.

Customer Service – Humans are not perfect and either are customer service operators. Incorrect data entry or inadequate administration procedures can also affect a streamlined relocation (I know, as I’ve experienced this first hand). Read the fine print on terms and conditions as most Providers will not assume responsibility of rejection, incompatibilities and difficulties. Problems can occur even after they’ve previously confirmed Broadband availability with you!

Tips:



  • Relocating  ADSL & ADSL2+ (Phone) – You might need to call your Phone Provider to first get the phone connected. Obviously you’ll have to obtain your new number so make sure you have your new phone details present when contacting your Broadband Provider.  In order to check Broadband availability in your new area, a phone number or street address must be cross referenced with the relative telephone exchange. 

 



  • Relocating Cable Broadband – call your Cable Provider to check on availability (it’s not wise to presume that because you live in a central part of a metropolitan city that your new location is Cable eligible!)

 



  • Relocating Wireless – Again, call you’re provider and check on availability etc…

 



  • Relocating & Switching Broadband Types – Cable & ADSL2+ services are not readily available in every area, so if you’re intending on switching from ADSL or Dial up to Cable, Wireless or ADSL2+ services etc.., its imperative that you check weeks in advance for availability issues.

 



  • Record Accountability & Document Inquiries – It helps to keep records of who you spoke to, what time you called, and keep a reference of the call you made by asking the customer service operator for a name, receipt number and logging the date/time of the call.

 


Final Word:

Yes I know what you’re thinking, there’s a lot to be wary of. But then again Broadband services and technology are in a league of their own. Don’t worry about it too much though, most relocations are relatively smooth (especially ADSL).  Think ahead, plan and prepare! Make inquiries on availability, possible downtime, relocation costs and duration. So depending on your Broadband Type and circumstances prior to making an inquiry, try to be sure that you have a check list of some description to use as a guideline.


Good Luck

The Broadband Guide Team



Handy Moving House links:
http://broadbandguide.com.au/moving-house
http://broadbandguide.com.au/broadband-bundle/

Broadband v Dial up: The Need for Speed

Not completely satisfied with your Dial up Internet connection? A common misconception that Broadband Internet is considerably more expensive than Dial up is actually quite far from the truth. In comparison to Broadband, Dial-up is not much cheaper at all. When you take the many different pro’s & con’s of both Internet access types into consideration, you might then be inclined to think that Broadband is in fact a far better option regardless of price.


 

Rising Trends (Statistics speak louder than words)

Over the past several years, Broadband Internet Access has become ‘the norm’ for the majority of Australian Internet subscribers (especially ADSL).  It’s been quite astonishing really, to see how much of a swing has taken place among Internet access types, as a preference, since 2004.

 

Toward the end of September back in 2002, more than 4.6 Million Aussie subscribers were accessing the Internet. This figure, broken down, translates into 4.2 Million (92%) using Dial-up Internet access technology, while only 350,000 (8%) were utilizing permanent non Dial-up (Broadband) connections. Two years later (Sept 2004) this figure rose to 5.7 Million in total. This was comprised of 4.4 Million (77%) on Dial-up, and 1.3 Million (23%) on non Dial-up technologies. This swing in trends rapidly continued toward early 2007, and according to the latest issue of ABS statistics (March 2007) – 4.34 Million Aussies were accessing the net using non Dial-up technology while only 2.09 Million remained on Dial-up.

 

What a huge reversal we’ve seen among Internet Access type trends over the past 18 months -2 years in Australia!  Broadband has now actually replaced Dial up as the dominant Internet Access type in Australia with approximately 2 out of every 3 Internet subscribers opting for non Dial-up means.  DSL (ADSL) technology has led the way with more than 3.36 Million subscribers accessing the Internet on this popular type.


 

Myths on Broadband Expenses

For most Australians (in relative terms), Broadband Internet was an expensive luxury many years ago, there’s no doubting that.  Currently, however, unless you’re residing in a remote region of our vast country that’s reachable only by satellite technology, you shouldn’t have to spend big bucks on Broadband.  Let’s take a look at some fundamental points when comparing pricing differences between the following two hypothetical popular plans.

Average Plan Comparisons (hypothetical)

                                              Dial-up                             Broadband

Monthly Fee                          $15-20 ($30+ inc. calls)    40 – $50


Usage Limit                           Unlimited                          5 – 10GB


Connection Speed                 56k                                    512/128k – 1500/256k


Ongoing Fees                        Dial-up Ph. Calls               N/A (shaped excess)


Set up/installation Fee          Modem/Conn                    Modem/Conn


 

Comparison Breakdown

Here is a comparison based on the breakdown of the two Plans.

·         Set up/Equipment/ Installation fees

Usually, Broadband would be more expensive than Dial-up  to set up, however taking advantage of the many deals and special offers that are currently available,  set up fees could be waived entirely.
 

·         Ongoing fees

20-30c phone calls apply for every time a Dial-up subscriber dials into the Internet.  Some Providers often disconnect your session after a 4 or 5 hour block. We could assume that the average Dial-up users would make 30-40 calls per month for Internet purposes (6 -$12). Broadband on the other hand has zero ongoing fees unless you join a Provider who only gives you the option of being charged for excess data usage. Otherwise users are shaped and speeds are generally slowed.  Popular Plans suggest that most Broadband subscribers choose the shaped option over charged.

·         Internet Connection Speeds

512 & 1500k speeds are approximately 9 & 26 times faster than Dial-up respectively.  In relative terms, this can equate into a 5MB file (e.g. 1 song) taking 30 secs to download on 1500k connection, whereas it would take at least 12 mins on Dial-up.  No guesses  to who comes out second best with connection speed.

·         Usage Limit

Dial-up appears to have the edge with unlimited usage allowance. But when you take a closer inspection and do the calculations in conjunction to a 10GB limit, Dial-up is grossly behind. E.g. What you could download using a 1500k connection in 3-4 hours would take you around 100+hours on Dial-up. That’s almost 4 continuous days straight!

 

Let’s break it down even further.  Let’s take away all Dial-up and Broadband start up prices. Now deduct any additional Broadband charges for extra data usage and base the Dial-up v Broadband equation on Monthly costs and convenience only. Yes, that’s right, convenience! Only the individual can put a price on convenience. I can provide statistics, facts and running costs, yet I cannot gauge how important convenience is to the individual.  That’s up to you! This is what we are left with….

 

On one hand you have Dial-up which is generally slightly cheaper overall (E.g. Calls + Monthly Fee = $25-35). On the other, we have a close Broadband equivalent – around $40-50. That’s $15-25 per month difference.  Pricing does appear to favor Dial-up, but it’s not much and you might need to work in your convenience factor.


 

So who wins?

If it comes down to the $, it’s Dial-up (just). If it comes down to the $ + convenience, it’s definitely Broadband. But hang on a sec, there’s more!  As like most forms of technology, it changes, and so does that of the Internet revolution and what we use it for.  Broadband Internet has the potential to change the course of communication, automation and entertainment in our lives forever. Websites, Media, Files, Picture, Movies and Songs (to name a few) are all now being optimized to enhance quality, enjoyment and convenience for the user.  This process also usually requires bigger file sizes and or new technology, thus faster Broadband Internet in which to view and receive it.


 


Dial-up Internet is quickly becoming a superseded product, and unusable at that.  Just like our 1 and 2 cent coins have been eradicated from circulation, so too will 56k Dial-up. It will soon become obsolete and a relic of our past. Most Broadband Providers are aware of the recent mind blowing statistics and along with new Broadband technology, are even choosing to remove the slower Broadband products such as 256/64k connections out of their list. 


 


The future is Broadband; however, if you’re happy with the price you pay for Dial-up, the inconveniences and limitations along with the inability to simultaneously access your home phone, then by all means stay with Dial-up.  As for those of you who are not satisfied with Dial-up and are seeking faster instantaneous Internet, new forms of entertainment and convenience, not too mention the ability of accessing and surfing regular contemporary website & features…. Welcome to the world of Broadband Internet! J


 

Regards,
 
The Broadband guide Team

Upgrading from Dial Up
Upgrade from Dial Up to a Broadband Plan
  
Reference to statistical information in ‘Rising Trends’ was obtained from ABS ‘Internet Activity’ records.  All other examples and references are the opinion/s of the author only.

 

Want Broadband Now?

You can receive Internet Access almost immediately, along with extensive information on Broadband right now with our free to use service. No need to wait any longer or spend countless hours researching Internet Service Providers or Plans when everything can be explained in simple to understand English right here at Broadband Guide or by speaking to a consultant. 

We understand the burden and complexities behind searching and choosing a Broadband Plan that’s right for you.  As a result, we have developed various online tools, features and resources that help make searching, comparing and joining Broadband Plans and Providers a breeze.  


Broadband Guide can help you make an informed decision then get you up and running on high speed Broadband Internet in no time at all by using our fast, free, and simple to use service.  No matter what type of connection you’re after (ADSL, ADSL2+, Cable, Wireless or Satellite), or where you live in Australia (metropolitan city, provincial, town, or country), Broadband Guide can help you find a suitable plan within minutes.  Even if you’re new to Broadband or switching (rapid transfer / churning) Internet Service Providers and require minimal or high speed Broadband Internet access… we can help!  Our aim is to provide a simple, informative and prompt service that caters for all Australians (and free to use), so spare a couple of minutes of your time and see for yourself how easy it can be. 


 

Broadband Now
Search, Compare, Join or simply check out a Broadband Plan quickly and easily! Just click on a preferred link below.
Plan Finder Wizard (<- click link)
An excellent plan search tool for those new to broadband and seeking an informed choice. It’s dynamic features make it simple and fun to use and finding the right plan is only steps away. Highly Recommend! Search Plans  (<- click link)
This advanced method of search enables users to make customized selections by using an interactive display interface that’s easy and enjoyable to use. Here you can choose from Region, Type, Provider, Speed, Download Limit, Contract Length and Price Range.
Browse Plans (<-click link)
For those seeking extensive information on Broadband Products & Plans, the ‘Browse Plans’ feature has various components for browsing information, features and resources.

# Note – A Comparison feature is available with any Search function. Simply check the boxes that appear on the left hand side of each plan in the search results, then either scroll up or down to the ‘Compare Selected Plans’ button to compare 2 or more separate plans.

Find out More
Perhaps you’re new to Broadband and the Internet or would generally like to find out more information on Broadband? We have many resources that can help answer your questions and get you up to speed on Broadband. Broadband Help, Tips, Guides, Comparisons, FAQ’s & much more.

Broadband Guide Forums (<- click link)
Not sure about which plan to join, or perhaps you want some advice? Ask and answer questions, or add comments and concerns in our Broadband Forum. Joining is easy and instant. Also Highly Recommend!

Broadband Help Centre (<- click link)
Choose from a smorgasbord of Broadband topics. Technical Advice, Terminology, Glossary, Services & Uses, Conversion Tables, Hardware, Types, Security, Tips and much more.


The Broadband Debate
– The current state of Broadband in Australia
Over recent years the Australian Federal Government and various Telecommunication Companies (namely Telstra Bigpond & Optus) have periodically discussed the implementation of high speed Broadband Internet throughout the country.
With Australia lagging behind other major developed countries in High Speed Broadband Internet Access, recent initiatives such as the ‘Broadband Connect’ program, which is meant to deliver fast Broadband to rural and regional Australia, have been introduced however, will just barely meet some of the coverage areas in our vast and extensive locations. As the Broadband debate continues to mount, slow decision making in Parliament has also impaired High Speed Broadband advancement. This has now witnessed the Federal Government at logger heads with Telstra, Optus led G9 Telco consortium, the Labour Party and even the ACCC over Australian Broadband improvements.  All parties involved with the new proposed High Speed Broadband Network are currently submitting proposals that will supply Australia with a Wireless Broadband ( WiMAX ) and Fibre to the Node Network ( FTTN ). Speculation to whether or not it will reach 98% or 99% of the population effectively is also an issue. It’s difficult to predict how long the new Broadband Network process will take with some suggesting development on a new service will not start until late 2008 or early 2009, and actual new Broadband services to become available by 2010 or 2011.  Communications minister Senator Helen Coonan has suggested the new proposed Network may provide speeds of up to 12Mbits or beyond. In the meantime the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts will be providing support for those wishing to know more. As for accessing faster Broadband than what’s currently available, Australians will have to sit tight and be satisfied with what they have now along with waiting a couple of more years yet. Whenever that may be…. well your guess is as good as mine, but one things for sure, Broadband Guide will be ready. 

Regards,

The Broadband Guide Team

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