Hi Adam, I'm currently using a pocket wifi which expires in a couple of months.
We dont have an active fixed phone line. I study online - at least 10 hours per week, probably more like 20-25. Online study requires skype and I regularly need to review videos. I have (today) connected a brand new, you beaut computer with i7 processor so speed for the computer shouldnt' be a problem. What do I look for in a super fast internet connection? I've no idea (apart from your explanation to Yogesh) about naked DSL or ADSL2 etc. Help please. Thanks Adele
First of all, thanks for your lovely feedback from Yogesh's question! I hope I can provide the same sort of clarification for your enquiry.
I've written a detailed article explaining why mobile data (which is what you have there) is inferior to fixed line data here: Mobile Data Demand Might Outstrip Capacity Within 12 Months. I've also written a Refresher Course: How ADSL Works that might also help explain the difference. But in a nutshell:
- First things first: you say you don't have an active fixed phone line. That's not important. What's important is that you have an actual Telstra phone PORT, somewhere in the house. Which your home will have as surely as it has water and electricity: phone lines are a public utility. The only exception MIGHT be if you're in a newly built estate.
- Also important: "Pocket Wi-Fi" is the name of the DEVICE (specifically, the modem) you're using, not the SERVICE. The actual SERVICE is Mobile Broadband, or Broadband-Internet-Over-Mobile-Radio. Just like when you buy an iPhone - you're not buying an iPhone service, you're buying an iPhone device, which uses a Mobile Phone service.
Your pocket Wi-Fi modem has a tiny little antenna in it, and a SIM card. It's powered with a very small amount of electricity, from a rechargeable battery. With those tiny resources, it has to do this:
- Collect a mobile signal from your local mobile tower. It has to deal with trees, buildings, atmospheric interference (or "Rain") and of course, the walls of your house.
- Once it has collected that very weak signal, it has to change the frequency of your connection, from the long range frequency the mobile tower uses, to a stronger short range frequency (That's the "Wi-Fi"part).
- Once your connection has been through all of THAT, it's then being send between your Wi-Fi modem to an even smaller radio antenna in your computer. THEN it has to change that signal into a language the computer can translate into Skype calls, videos, and everything else you want to do. Regardless of how powerful the actual computer is, the signal is just too weak for applications that need a strong steady data stream. And the major applications that need a connection like that are streaming services (like Skype, which "streams" voice signals back and forth at a constant rate), high speed downloading of objects (like when you download a bit of software, or a video) and gaming (which sends TONS of data back and forth over the internet).
Really, the only thing a mobile connection is any good for is downloading little bits of information, like the contents of a web page (like when you're browsing your favourite news site or Facebook) or downloading small files like emails. For everything else, it's too difficult to get a consistently strong signal. The only advantage to Mobile Broadband is that it's portable, which is why people often have an ADSL connection at home for strong, cheap, reliable internet, and a mobile broadband service when they're out and about, for 'good-enough' service that is portable.
Now the difference with fixed-line services (of which ADSL, or broadband-over-phone-lines is the most common) is that your data signal is coming in over a PIPE. An ADSL connection is, really, electrical. There's nothing to get in the way of your connection over a phone line - there are no trees, buildings or walls to get through. The only thing that can slow you down is distance (copper wire offers very little resistance, but it does offer SOME) and the laws of physics.
Ok, so to get to the point: even if your line isn't active, TPG (or other providers) will activate it for you. In most cases you'll have to take a landline phone service. If you don't want to use the phone service, then don't use it. Don't even plug a phone in. But even with that extra service, your overall costs will be far lower than it is with mobile broadband.
So here's what you'd have with ADSL:
- Your internet signal is sent directly to a point in your wall, from the network provider. No interference.
- It reaches the phone point in your home, which is powered by mains electricity. 240 Volts!
- The signal is carried to a Modem. The modem is also powered by mains power. So far, no reliance on batteries.
- The modem can use a powerful, short range radio signal (Wi-Fi) to make the last little leap to your computer. So your computer can still be anywhere in the house, it's only the modem that has to be fixed to the phone point.
- From here, the computer gets that signal, and translates it into Skype calls, videos, etc.
Because each leap is either short or powerful, the signal is steadier and stronger, and allows for vastly more data to flow through at a constant rate, without interruption.
All the economic stuff - the difference with Naked DSL, the line rental, which provider is available in my area and why - never mind that right now. That stuff only makes sense once you get this fundamental realization: getting a data signal over a fixed, solid line, will in almost every case be faster, cheaper and more reliable than getting it over a radio signal in the air.
So, I hope that point is clear! I would recommend you give us a call, and we can check your address to see which providers are available, and help you narrow down your search to a few different plans that would meet your needs. We're a dealer for TPG and Internode, who together make up the two largest competitors to Telstra and Optus. If we can't find a TPG or Internode plan to suit, we might be able to recommend a provider who would better match your needs.
Adam at CompareBroadband
1300 106 571