THE CHOICE of internet service provider (ISP) is a decision that could be the difference between good and average internet service according to Cooma-based technology expert Ian Ware.
He said there was a large amount of variation in the terms and conditions between the different ISPs that could alter the usability of people’s internet services markedly.
“I don’t know how many people have come to me with the situation where they have a supposed 25/5mb/s service and it is watered down to 2 or 3mb/s,” Mr Ware said.
“They have taken it to NBN, thinking it is a straight-forward case of the NBN not providing the service, but it often turns out to be more complicated than that.”
“You can get into a ‘he said, she said’ situation, the NBN blame the ISP who blames the equipment or the settings.
“It could be all of the above, but when you sign the ISP agreement there is often a clause where they can throttle you back according to what you are using and that can really hamper some people’s speeds.”
“It is easy to investigate which providers are the major culprits for throttling, there is a Google list of who provides what speeds and what they cut you back by.”
“There is no logistical reason there should be these cuts to speeds as each NBN connection is designed for 44mb/s and they work in a margin by guaranteeing 25mb/s, but there is no doubt it does happen and some ISPs are worse than others for doing it.”
“The easiest thing to do if you have a major problem with dips in speed is to change ISPs, some don’t shape speeds, they may ask for more dollars not to do it, but you might be happy to pay extra for reliable speeds.”
He also recommended using a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure ISPs do not cut speeds according to the programs being used.
“A VPN encrypts the data, the ISP doesn’t know whether you are browsing the news, the weather or whatever.
“You can set yourself up with a good VPN fairly cheaply so it is a good investment.”