What is broadband? A significantly high speed connection to the Internet when compared to dial-up technologies (also known as narrowband). Broadband includes fixed line technologies like fibre, ADSL and wireless/mobile technologies like 4G or LTE.

What is ADSL or DSL?  (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line (simply put) is a technology that enables you to connect a device or entire office or home network to the Internet using your existing telephone cable.

What is LTE or 4G?  Long-term Evolution or 4G is a mobile technology that enables you to connect a device to the Internet. This is provided by cellular phone operators and it is ideally suited for the highly mobile workforce.

How does broadband compare to a dial-up (or ISDN) connection? Dial-up (or ISDN) are based on time-based usage charges i.e. you get billed for the amount of time you spend connected (while accessing the Internet or retrieving/sending your email). With broadband you are always connected and generally charged for the amount of information you download or upload, which makes it significantly more cost effective if you are connected for a while.

How do I make a broadband connection? You need to configure a PPPOE connection and would generally do this using a supplied user name and password. Dial-up connections are done using a fixed telephone number supplied by the  ISP.

What is 1 GB (one gigabyte) of information equivalent to? To view 20,000 web pages or send/receive 250,000 emails (without attachments) or download 10,000 fairly large documents or 160 mp3's.

How fast is a 1 mbps Internet connection? One megabits per second or 1024 kbps (kilobits per second) is approximately 15 to 30 times faster than a telephone dial-up  (using a 56k modem or 64k ISDN connection).

What security risks are there with broadband? If you are always connected at high speed, it means that people can always get hold of you quickly, and sometimes they do not have good intentions. You can disconnect your modem, but the highly recommended approach is to get a firewall and/or router installed with your broadband connection to protect your network or computer from the rest of the world you are accessing.

What are shaped or unshaped broadband packages? It will only make a big difference when you start using a corporate virtual private network (VPN), peer-to-peer (PTP) software or playing Internet (online) games. Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) will manage, throttle or even restrict certain ports from being used. As an example, the standard port used when surfing is 80 (HTTP traffic). This is usually the port that will not be restricted or throttled, it might however be managed.

Do I need broadband Internet access? It all depends on your usage profile:

  What do I do with my Internet connection Do I need Broadband?  
  I do the occasional Internet banking and read my personal/business email Yes, we now have a range of products that will suit your needs  
  I spend no more than an hour a day after hours  Yes, we now have a range of products that will suit your needs  
  I am out of the office most of the time and I only need to be in touch with my email Yes, we now have a range of products that will suit your needs  
  There are multiple people requiring access to the Internet or email and we share the same connection Yes, broadband makes it simpler and cheaper (business or in the home)  
  I spend more than 20 hours a month on the Internet (dial-up or ISDN)  Yes, we now have a range of products that will suit your needs  
  I call long distance quite often during the day and this is in addition to email or Internet access I require Yes, broadband allows you to use various applications including VOIP  
  The Internet is slow and I waste far too much time waiting for files or website pages to download Yes, especially during the day (dialing up is very expensive)  
  I am a traveler and require a safe and fast Internet connection for a short period of time Yes,  contact us regarding our short term broadband rental options  
Do I still need an Internet Service Provider (ISP)? Most fixed-line options (like fibre and ADSL) will require an ISP. The physical connection is provided by the network operator and the ISP provides you with the routing infrastructure and bandwdith to access the Internet or retrieve/send email.

What happens when deplete my broadband package allocation? It all depends on the package you have selected. Some ISPs will work on a charge per gigabyte (GB) once you have reached your cap. Some switches you off (but provide you with an option to purchase more bandwidth) and some will throttle your speed for the remainder of the month. Due to the various packages and options available, we will be able to advise you on the best option that will suit your needs.

What happens to the bandwidth that is not used in a month? Generally you will loose it, but carrying over unused bandwidth from month to month is fairly common too. There are uncapped bandwidth accounts if you do not want to be bothered with all of this.

Can I keep my existing email address with my ISP or hosting service? Yes, you can, but there will usually be a small charge involved in maintaining it there. All your incoming email will still be routed via your existing ISP, but your outgoing email will be routed via the broadband email infrastructure (SMTP server). Most broadband packages offer one or more free email addresses or aliases with your connection.

Do I get a fixed/static public IP address?
No, like the majority of ISPs, you will get a dynamic IP address whenever you connect to the Internet. There is however an option of getting a fixed/static IP address at a nominal charge per month, but using a dynamic DNS service works on a similar principle. Your network or computer can therefore always be reachable through the Internet for remote administration.

How do I connect to my office/work network? If you are running a Windows Server at your office you can set up a secure virtual private network (VPN) and connect to it using your own broadband internet service. There is a fair amount of configuration required on the server side, but straight forward from the client side. Once set up, it is as if you are physically at your workplace.

What do I need to get connected? If you are going to get a broadband connection with a fixed-line operator, you will need to check availability, order and wait...for the ADSL installation. You will also need an ADSL router. In the case of mobile/wireless network operators, special modems are provided to access the specific frequency that they operate on. 
  
How do I share my Internet connection? There are several options available to you. One of the popular methods is using a router, as it gives you more flexibility and it is fairly inexpensive. You could also set up a Linux firewall on a fairly old computer to act as your gateway to the Internet. If you are running Microsoft Windows-based operating systems, you can use the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) feature. Once connected via ethernet cables and/or wirelessly (802.11b/g/n) all computers in the office or home can access the Internet or email simultaneously.

What type of router do I need?
If you have an ADSL installation you need to get...an ADSL router, which also replaces the need for an ADSL modem. In the case of fibre broadband installation, you require a "universal" or "cable" broadband router with an ethernet (RJ45) WAN port. For a Linux firewall you require a spare computer, two network cards, a hub/switch/access point and the installation software.
    
How do I secure my connection?  It is absolutely essential that you have a strong firewall set up with your broadband installation (especially if you planning on being connected all the time). Most routers that are available on the market today have built-in firewalls, Network Address Translation (NAT) and even parental control features. It is imperative that you have anti-virus and anti-spyware software running on every computer on your network as well. 

Your questions are not answered here, you need broadband, advice or a network solution?  then contact us