The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, April 08, 2005

help wanted

Well I'm intending to jet into the 21st century, finally, and get broadband at some point in the near future. But I'm in a quandary over which ISP to use, which package etc. I suspect something at the lower (ie cheaper) end of the spectrum will do the trick - main use is email and internet surfing, not a lot of downloading and no online gaming.

I've been stalling on actually following through, apart from looking at a few ISPs online (of course) because I am just not really that good at the tech stuff. And then I thought of you, my gentle reader(s) and realised many of you are full to the brim with knowledge about this kind of thing, just looking for an opportunity for you to share it with the world.

Which package is best? Which ISP do you favour and why?

And will it really matter if I get the 5x faster or the 24x faster? The main reason I want it is to free up the phone line (I know, I'm a philistine).

Does anyone know if you could hook up two puters to the same line and surf the net at the same time using any of the broadband packages?

Advice in the comments much appreciated - most of the ISPs I've looked at so far seem to just pass on Xtra Jetstream in some form or another...


Rich said...

I suspect if you can get Woosh you should, as it's a lot cheaper and I haven't heard anything bad. I use Telecom Jetstream 128, which is reasonably reliable but expensive ($100 a month line rental including the phone).

The speed doesn't make that much difference unless you are downloading films and stuff - 128k is fast enough for browsing email and streaming audio.

Yes, you can run multiple computers with a broadband package. The easiest way to do this is to get an ADSL router (on Telecom - I don't know what you need on Woosh). You can then plug your computers in with network cables and it sorts out the sharing. You can also get a wireless hub and wireless cards - much easier than cables, but might be a problem if your house is particularly solidly built.

It is also possible to set a Windows (or Linux) box up to share a 'net connection with no router - not trivial though, especially with wireless...

stef said...

Oh my god internet is way too expensive in new zealand. I pay 50 bucks a month for adsl.

span said...

The Man In The Comfy Chair checked and apparently we are not The Chosen Ones, in regard to Woosh. thanks for your tips though rich, will definitely keep them in mind.

stef - apparently internet is heaps cheaper in NZ than in the UK, or at least it used to be back when i was on h2g2 (long before broadband was available here).

Nigel Kearney said...

I've only used Jetstream, also 128, and it is reliable. There is a special combination deal you can get if you have Sky, which I don't.

For multiple users, a router is fine if the two computers are next to each other or you don't mind running a cable around the house. Otherwise wireless, but obviously your computers need wireless cards to do that. My wife and I just take turns plugging in which also works.

Make Tea Not War said...

We just got Jetstream. I didn't actually do the market research but I believe it turned out to be the best option. We've also got Sky through Telecom so its good only being billed once. We've also got two computers. They are connected through an ADSL router which Telecom sent us when we signed up for it.

I have to say its really wonderful being able to simultaneously check email and do internet surfing. I never want to go back to taking turns

We were on Paradise before and were prepared to go with the Telstra Clear package but firstly there call centre is obviously only occassionally staffed and then when we finally got through it turned out we weren't in there area.

Rover said...

(Disclaimer - I work for Telecom)

At the moment there is a promotion where you get 99 dollars of the install and 99 dollars off the new modem if you sign up with telecom and xtra.

now if you get the cheapest options (self install and single user modem) that means you wont pay anything for install and equipment.

now if you want to hook up two computers then the best option is a router modem which wired is 199 from telecom (100 on the current promotion)

if the two pcs are in diffrent rooms then maybe wireless is a better option which means youll pay 200 for the modem.

anyway you can call me if you want some more info. oh and the plans start from 39 per month.