What would you recommend for internet access?
Currently I have a mobile with Telstra $99 per month with some internet access. I have a basic home landline with Telstra around $40-$50 per month. And I'm on dial up with Bigpond at $30 per month. I'd like to upgrade my internet access at home and bundle everything to get a good price per month. I want to be able to use my laptop in different parts of the house. Down the track I'd like to get an Ipad and be able to use this away from home like I do my mobile. Thanks for your time. Sonia
You have a number of different options here, all of which would significantly improve the quality of your experience.
Let's start from the ending- using your laptop around the house, and incorporating an iPad into that scenario, is no problem at all. There is a short-range wireless technology, called Wi-Fi, that allows your internet connection to be routed around the home and shared, wirelessly, within a range of about 50 metres. iPads, laptops and even smartphones can all get on that shared Wi-Fi connection and make use of your internet connection.
Wi-Fi, however, is not a service that you pay for from month to month. It's a feature of the modem you buy or have installed. The modem will be attached to something that you do pay for, your broadband internet access connection.
Currently, your modem connects to a phone line, and then places a standard call over the connection to establish a dial-up connection. Because the actual transmission of the data is dependent on an analogue voice-call, the connection is painfully slow.
The alternatives, to achieve a high speed (or broadband) connection, are ADSL, Cable and Mobile. ADSL uses the phone line as well, but not a phone call to achieve a connection. Your copper line telephone connection is usually made up of a twisted-pair of copper wires. In the past, one line would be charges, with the second line acting as a redundant service. ADSL activates the redundant line to establish an always-on, high speed digital connection, without using analogue voice-switching to achieve that connection.
Cable uses a Foxtel or Optus fibre-optic connection to achieve a higher-speed connection. Unfortunately, Cable is not available in most places, while ADSL is. Cable is also less competitive - because only Optus and Telstra offer a cable service, there is less pressure from the market to drive down prices.
Mobile, you already use in a limited capacity. The internet connection on your mobile can be used as a standalone connection to your computer, via a variety of form factors. The most common is the USB Dongle, a small USb device that is equipped with a small antenna and a SIM card, and which plugs directly into your computer's USB port, There are also 'Pocket Wi-Fi' devices available from Dodo and iPrimus, which act as a standalone device, capturing a mobile internet signal, and then redistributing them around your house via Wi-Fi, so that you can walk around with the laptop, or share the signal with your iPad. Mobile Broadband, however, is the least stable and most expensive option, given its reliability on a mobile signal that can be easily interrupted.
Bundling everything may not be your best option here. I would recommend an ADSL connection through TPG, to bundle together your landline telephone service and broadband. For $60 a month, TPG would offer a basic home phone service and Unlimited broadband internet access, on only a 6 month contract. The connection fee would be $120, and a Wi-Fi capable modem would cost you $110. If these setup fees are a tad too steep, Dodo (1300 136 793) should be able to offer you a similar deal with no setup fees and a free modem, provided you agree to take on a 24 month contract.
If you're interested in the TPG offer, you can call us on 1300 106 571.
As for your mobile - if you're not on contract, and if you can get a connection to the Optus mobile network in your area, you may want to talk with Amaysim on 1300 302 942. For $39.90 a month, they will give you Unlimited free local, STD and mobile calls within Australia, including 13 and 1800 numbers. They also include 4GB of mobile internet data for use on your internet capable mobile.
All in all, these two plans would replace your slow dial up connection with a high speed broadband internet connection, and would save you between $70 and $80 a month. Not bad, eh?
Adam at Compare Broadband
1300 106 571