Broadband services give Australian computer users constant, high-speed access to the Internet, but choosing a broadband plan can be difficult if you're not familiar with different service options and connectivity technologies. In order to make the right decision for your household, you will need to accurately compare the available options in your area.
There are several different connection technologies in Australia: ADSL, ADSL2, NDSL, cable Internet, satellite Internet and prepaid broadband. All of these options can provide an excellent experience for certain types of Internet users depending on usage habits and budget.
Before comparing these options, you should understand that all broadband providers use megabits per second (Mbps) and Kilobits per second (Kbps) to measure connection speeds. There are eight megabits in one megabyte and eight kilobits in one kilobyte, so if you see a broadband option with a download speed of 16 Mbps, you could download files at up to 2.0 megabytes per second. Keep this in mind when comparing options.
All of the ADSL options transfer data to and from your computer through copper telephone lines designed for broadband Internet connectivity. ADSL is much faster than dial-up, with average connection speeds reaching about 155-165 Kbps. Providers typically allot a certain data allowance to their customers, and you may pay extra for your connection if you exceed your data allowance. Typical allowances are in the range of 20GB-30GB per month, which should be more than enough for casual computer users. ADSL2 are similar to ADSL, but use different frequencies to offer faster connection speeds.
Cable connections offer extremely fast, consistent data connections, but less Australians have access to cable broadband than ADSL. If cable is available in your area, you can get cable Internet through a special modem, typically installed and set up by your cable provider. Many cable companies require a contract.
Satellite provides slower connection speeds than cable, but satellite is still an excellent option for Australians who do not have access to ADSL or cable lines. If you buy your TV service through a satellite company, you can also save money by purchasing a bundled deal through your provider.
If you're trying to decide on a broadband option, enter your postcode to see a list of local broadband providers. You can compare rates, connection speeds, contracts and data allowances to make the perfect choice for your household.