What is meant by "Connection Needs"??
You NEED an internet connection for a start but with which ISP or do you need an ISP at all?
Let's start by considering that first thought last - do you NEED an ISP at all? That all depends on what you do with Internet and what your work and/or lifestyle is like. Not many Australian companies or indeed the Australian arm of international companies actually advocate a "work at home" ethic - or telecommuting if you like - nor do very many outside a Government authority have relaxed attitudes towards how you complete your work. In many ways we are still in a pre-1950s style work environment here in Australia with the exception that we use modern contrivances such as computers, to complete that work. Some companies DO advocate those things, though and if you are lucky enough to work for one, this is what you need to know:
Not ALL Internet needs necessarily means you NEED an ISP! Your company, for example, may have a server but you travel from spot to spot or do a lot of work at home during work hours. You CAN get by with a mobile device such as a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or 3 phone but for those with sight problems or large fingers that is probably not the best answer. A laptop and a smart phone or wireless broadband device will suffice or even a pad that can do wireless networking at the least or can do wireless broadband as a smart phone can. You can choose from any major mobile phone service provider and most ISPs for that matter and buy yourself the "dongle" required for wireless broadband or just use the data allowance on your mobile phone by turning “wireless tethering” on, effectively making your phone a wireless broadband modem. You *NEED* to know what your data allowance is, with the phone and keep an eye on it. If you are a large user of wireless broadband, then you need to take that up with your provider. For most people, 2 gigs is more than enough when not at home able to use ADSL. However, please note that if you live in a good reception spot using 4G, your connection will be faster than your ADSL2 on your home line. The drop in speed will be the connection of wireless between your phone or dongle to your device. Once you have it up and running, the connection to internet is through phone towers so as long as your reception is OK, so are you OK to get to internet. If you are doing work and need, for example, Outlook as your email client AND you have a server at work or indeed just the POP3 details of your email account at hand, you can set that up in Outlook and use your email account and your web browser as if you were using a modem connection at home. As I type this article, for example, a lightning storm has started necessitating that I unplug my ADSL modem from the phone line to avoid lightning power spike destruction and wirelessly tether to my smart phone to continue with this. I have not much need for wireless broadband otherwise but it allows me to get to internet and do what I want without a physical connection. I do not have to have an email account associated with the wireless broadband connection and everything that DOES work through my ISP also works through the wireless broadband connection the same way. So, while modern smart phones can do exactly the same thing as your ADSL modem (3G being slower than ADSL2 and 4G where you get good reception being faster) my laptop remains connected to internet.
So - do you need an ISP at all? If your home or work lifestyle is mobile, no you dont need an ISP. You can make do with your smart phone on the right plan or get a wireless broadband dongle and go through your preferred mobile phone service provider. Note that you can do this with a prepaid wireless broadband dongle which limits what you pay per month to what you decide upon so that if you dont need it for 2 months, then you pay nothing or you can do it on a set monthly amount with your mobile phone provider or even by tethering your phone (if you have one capable of that) to your computer and achieve the same as using a wireless broadband dongle.
However, if you have a job that doesnt allow home work time or you have some other reason to mostly use internet at home, then yes you NEED an ISP in most areas of the country simply because 4G is a long way from being available to most people and 3G is slower than ADSL2. Now at this point, you have to decide what is your exact need - do you want a large download allowance for the cheapest possible amount or do you want reliability because believe me, there isnt one Australian ISP that can do both at the same time. My primary need is to be able to contact internet reliably and with the fastest speed possible when lightning storms arent about with my ADSL based account and that is why I decided upon the ISP I use now. While my ISP isnt the cheapest one about they are definitely reliable. I wont name them here but if anyone wants to know, drop me an email using the CONTACT form. When choosing your ISP consider this - every ISP has a problem eventually so what are they like when the problems arise? If you use your ISP based email account primarily or solely, then you have to look for problems they have had in the past. Has their email server been offline for longer than a few hours? Has their service been disrupted not due to any Telstra equipment based fault and has it been long? Have they had MANY problems or only a few? When you call them, how long do you have to hang on for before you can talk to someone? Eg, what is YOUR time worth to YOU hanging on to find out what the problem is? Also note that the amount of download limit you get, though HIGH in some cases, isnt always a good thing. A much observed and constantly reoccurring thing with ISPs since 1990 is that when they lay out a hog trough, they get pigs blocking things for everyone. I mean that if they offer unlimited downloads 24 hours a day for $49.95 a month, for example, then they attract a lot of clients and clog their network because believe me, that is what the video downloaders really want. The more there are on one network, the slower it gets for all and the more complaints, as a result and that means longer waiting queues.
There are actually ISPs that you truly want to avoid at all costs but rather than putting myself in a legal position, I refer you to www.whirlpool.net.au from where you can check out all the complaints and compliments for yourself. Then YOU can decide for yourself. Probably the best thing to do when going to call your ISP because of a problem is to find out all you can before you do call them. Eg, if you cannot get any web site or any email then is your computer connected to your modem properly and if it is, did you turn the power off to the modem for at LEAST 10 seconds then turn it back on and wait a full 60 seconds before attempting to get a web site again? Did you also completely close your browser and try again? If still no good, do you have another computer you can connect to the modem to see if THAT one gets to internet and if it doesnt, do you have a spare modem to try with? Lastly, before you call the ISP go to the Start menu and RUN command for pre-Vista Windows and type cmd and hit enter. For Vista or Windows 7 go to the start button where you will see a box at the bottom and type cmd in there. For Windows 8, on the tile menu just hit the “C” key and you will see a list of things with “C” in them, one being the “cmd” option you need to click on. Now when that window comes up type ipconfig and hit enter. It will tell you your IP address and the IP address of your gateway (your modem). Type that last one into your web browser where you would normally type things like www.google.com.au and hit enter. The modem will ask for username and password. You can refer to the modem manual here or try Admin for username and password for the password or just Admin for username and no password or even root for both username and password hitting enter after each try. When you get in, look for your logs and see what they say. They may tell you the username and password are wrong and if you know them you can enter them again and save them then try again to get to internet. If all works, you solved that yourself and if it doesnt, you NEED to ring the ISP especially if you cant remember your password.
Consider all that for your needs as a starter. If you need to know more, just fill in the CONTACT details to the left or if urgent, phone us on 0410-478-279.