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View Full Version : Best Broadband Provider ???



AppleFan
14-02-2015, 05:36 PM
I live in South Auckland , Need to know which company provides the best broadband , and does having unlimited cause problems ?????

Please see my poll which u can vote .

wainuitech
14-02-2015, 05:52 PM
Thats a bit of an open question, best Broadband ??

Best Speed ?

Best Reliability?

Best customer Service ?

Best Price ?

Unlimited --- No real "problems" but some providers have a fair use policy, so if you are continually download/uploading 100's of GB a month they may drop your speed or various other actions.

Where it will be a help, is when and if people stream TV from various sites, either in NZ or USA from places like Netflix, then data usage wont be a problem.

Cant vouch for any ALK providers, but Vodafone here is no problems with speed or reliability, and unlimited --- never had it throttled yet.

Speedy Gonzales
14-02-2015, 06:01 PM
Only been with 2. Xnet, and Vodafone / TC. VF is good enough. At least I get free toll calls :p

Dont think Xnet was ADSL2 when I was on it. Dont even know if it's still around

Never been on Telecom, Orcon, Slingshot, or Flip. But I wouldnt join Telecom with the probs they've had before

Zippity
14-02-2015, 06:17 PM
Read the latest copy of NZ Consumer magazine.

Alex B
14-02-2015, 07:01 PM
Currently on BigPipe until UFB is available here in the next month or so. No problems with it.

Nomad
14-02-2015, 07:19 PM
We cannot get Big Pipe UFB outside AKL. They are also only online support. I guess if you want ease of connection and troubleshooting it might be better to get a ISP that provides their own router.

IME: the better lot are Snap and My Republic. Snap does 2yr contracts for free router thou and that is just with 2 RJ45s, a $50 more or a 3yr contracts gets the better one. So the pick of the bunch is MR but I don't do online streaming services. Also very good and a excellent customer service is Actrix, but they might not be as cheap as most others.

I've used Xnet, TCL (Voda), Orcon. They have been fine for our usage. They might not been the fastest connection in the same address and re: their customer service. So I would pick not them.

CliveM
14-02-2015, 07:46 PM
Read the latest copy of NZ Consumer magazine.

I do not trust NZ Consumer since finding that if you pay Sue Chetwin $25k you get approved status and for some strange reason your Company/Product then is at the top of the list in any report they produce. The report you mention is an example of that.

CliveM
14-02-2015, 07:47 PM
No problem at all with Spark in Sth Ak for me.

gary67
14-02-2015, 08:01 PM
Snap have been awesome so far. Signed up to a two year fibre contract in Christchurch. Moved to Brightwater (no fibre) a year later everything went perfectly fine. The call center is in Christchurch (Addington) and the longest wait on the phone to speak to them has been 45 seconds. Rock solid service all round.

Zippity
14-02-2015, 10:44 PM
I do not trust NZ Consumer since finding that if you pay Sue Chetwin $25k you get approved status and for some strange reason your Company/Product then is at the top of the list in any report they produce. The report you mention is an example of that.

I suppose you believe that there are Reds living under your bed too :(

AppleFan
14-02-2015, 10:48 PM
Thats a bit of an open question, best Broadband ??

Best Speed ?

Best Reliability?

Best customer Service ?

Best Price ?

Unlimited --- No real "problems" but some providers have a fair use policy, so if you are continually download/uploading 100's of GB a month they may drop your speed or various other actions.

Where it will be a help, is when and if people stream TV from various sites, either in NZ or USA from places like Netflix, then data usage wont be a problem.

Cant vouch for any ALK providers, but Vodafone here is no problems with speed or reliability, and unlimited --- never had it throttled yet.


Sorry for not keeping that in mind , yes all of those are important .

Thanks for letting me know the unlimited one thing i know is orcon does not slow you down , i read this on there site . They said only things like DOS is when things could slow down .

Chilling_Silence
15-02-2015, 11:34 AM
I wrote a blurb about this a while back on G+ let me copy / paste it here:


Why not all Unlimited plans are created equal
(A long but easy to understand look at broadband plans in NZ, pricing, quality, speeds and more)

With a lot more people offering "Unlimited" plans these days, there's a few "gotchas" to be aware of. The main one being "Not all plans or ISPs / plans are created equal".

Many like Slingshot and Orcon are saying "We're not going to throttle, shape or prioritize your traffic". This is bad and I'll tell you why:

There's two main types of traffic, UDP and TCP, and they both behave very differently. I'll explain why this matters to shaping.

TCP is what browsing the web uses. It works like this:
--> You send a request to the webserver, saying "Heeey I want google.com"
<-- The Web server will send back a reply saying "Got your message", then it'll send a "OK which part of google.com do you want?"
--> Your PC will then reply and say "I'd like the website code first, then give me this picture"
If it doesn't respond, you'll try again saying "Heeey I want google.com", until you get through, or until you've tried too much / over too long a period, and your PC gives up and gives you an error.

Then there's UDP, it's used mostly for things like gaming, Skype calls, things like that.
It works by using a "send and forget" method, there's no checking to make sure that the remote server actually got what you sent.
It's ideal for games because the time required for a "confirmation" response from the Server basically doubles the delay. Same for Voice calls on Skype etc.
So here's how it looks for if you're playing, say, Halo:
<-- You get a message saying "James123 is positioned here behind the rock"
<-- You get a message saying "James123 is running between this rock and that rock"
<-- You get a message saying "James123 is firing at you"
<-- You get a message saying "You're dead"

Naturally that's very cut-down, but picture this:
You don't get the 2nd and 3rd messages, you only get the 1st and 4th messages. Because it's a "send and forget", the server just assumes you're going to get the messages.

... but what if you don't get all the messages?
Well, one minute you're fine, a split second later it catches up and you're dead.

What causes this? Usually it's network congestion in one form or another. It could be that your home broadband connection is congested because your family is uploading something to Facebook. It could be that your Telco is congested because they've got too many people on an "unlimited" plan and they don't have enough bandwidth to support all the people who they've signed up.

What do you mean they don't have enough data to support everybody?
Picture it like this:
Your home broadband connection is a straw. Your ISP gets their data from overseas through a pipe the size of a garden hose. If you're trying to suck your data through a straw, and so is 10 other people, your garden hose isn't going to be big enough. You're all going to be getting bits of air or you're just not going to end up getting anything at all.
What your ISP really needs is something bigger, like a fire-hose sized pipe!

But what if now you're looking at VDSL2 and UFB, and your pipe is the size of a garden hose instead of a straw?
Your ISPs fire-hose won't quite cut it, again they are going to need something bigger!

Unfortunately most don't bother though, because of the cost.
How much does it cost though?

Well, naturally it's cheaper the more you buy, but lets look at some lower level retail pricing that's readily available to view online, thanks to HD.net.nz.
If we have a look under their dedicated servers section, you can see that 1mbps (CIR - Means 'dedicated bandwidth') will cost $40.
If you buy 100mbps, you can split that 100 ways at 1mbps each for $3,000 which is $30 per mbps
Now these are retail prices, but still, they're close enough and they're publicly available prices that anybody can easily see and verify.

Now if one person uses a solid 1mbps the whole entire month, they'll download a little over 300GB in that month.
Keep in mind that most broadband connections are around 20-30mbps right now, so a 30mbps UFB connection (Most ISPs start at 30mbps down and 10mbps upload) can happily do over 9 Terrabytes in a single month, download only, not including uploading on top of that!

That 300GB, from one person, is going to "cost" somewhere ballpark of $30 per month for an ISP. Factor in that you do most of your "Downloading" when you get home and you watch a YouTube video, it'll download at 6mbps for a few minutes and then sit idle while you finish watching it.
Same goes for most people, they do their browsing / downloading in the evenings on weeknights, so where 1mbps was previously enough for the whole month, your ISP has to factor in that "most people" are downloading in the evenings. They're relying on the fact that not all people will be home, or online every single night, it's a balancing act.

So lets say an ISP has 100 customers, lets pretend they have 100mbps of "international bandwidth", this means that if 20 people are watching a YouTube video in 1080p at 5mbps, that leaves a grand whopping total of: NOTHING REMAINING

What about the other 80 people who want to use the internet?

Well, if you're Orcon or Slingshot, then those customers who may be wanting to game at that same time are going to run into problems.
That, or the people who want to watch the 1080p video, they're going to have buffering problems.

But what if YouTube knew that they could all watch the video in 720p instead, and the gaming got priorities, and those who are downloading their "Linux ISOs" (Codeword for pirated movies) were able to download theirs slightly slower so that it didn't adversely affect somebody elses Skype calls?

You see back in the day, a lot of ISPs would use "Oh you just have a bad / cheap ADSL connection" as an excuse to load, say, 1000 customers onto a 100mbps international connection. Many people didn't know better. They just took it at face value.
Now we're on faster connections. People expect that if you're on a 20mbps VDSL2 connection, or a 30mbps UFB Fibre connection, that you should get pretty close to that.

Traffic Shaping / prioritization is definitely a cost-saving method for ISPs. You could get a 200mbps pipe so that all the people who want to download at "peak" times can, and can do it as fast as they like. That's then going to double the cost of the connection though.
Or, your ISP could shape a few things that don't really need priority, give priority to things like Voice / Skype calls / gaming, that does need priority, to ensure a better overall quality for you, along with saving you money because your ISP doesn't have to buy so much additional bandwidth to account for peak times.

It really is about "How much does your ISP care about your connection?", vs "How cheap can we sell a connection to a customer".

You see a UFB connection will cost an ISP ballpark $40 -> $60, just to pay Chorus for your connection, not including any data charges. If you then presume an ISP is spending $30-ish on your international bandwidth alone, you're not left with a whole lot for them to pay for:
- Running their Datacenter / servers / switches / firewalls etc
- National data / peering charges
- Paying their support staff to help you with signing up or when your connection goes wrong
- Paying their admin staff who chase you when you don't pay your bill
- Covering the cost of dedicated wiring for your VDSL2 connection into your home
- Chasing up installation for the UFB connection with Chorus, getting your landlords permission to install UFB, usually takes half a dozen hours per-connection
- Any early disconnection charge to Chorus if you're not on a contract and you don't stay for 12-months
- And everything else that goes into your connection

And they're only left with (In Slingshots case of $85 a month for unlimited VDSL2 or $89 for unlimited UFB) somewhere around $15 a month to cover all those costs.
You know that one support call that took you 2 hours to fix your broadband? Yeah, that meant that your ISP basically makes no profit from you for the next 18 months...

Lets look at routers for example as another cost your ISP incurs:
The ones most ISP's give away for free, like the Huawei / Technicolor (Thomson) routers, they're not worth the $199 they tell you they are.

In fact, they likely buy them for around $25-30 a pop, in blocks of 1,000+ (Depending on a few things). This "cost" to them if they're not charging you a sign-up fee is also spread across your monthly payments

Compare that vs a better, higher quality, more reliable router that might cost, say $80. Suddenly the "sign-up" cost of a router has just tripled.
When your ISP says "We're giving you this router free, no strings attached", it doesn't mean "This is kick ass and awesome!", it means "This was the cheapest we could bulk-buy".

This is why a number of ISP's are now starting to "lease" them. The Orcon Genius is leased because they heavily customize it for the Orcon services, it's no good anywhere else.
The free one you get from Slingshot will work anywhere, relatively happily. At least, as happily as a cheap router can.

It's why I recommend if somebodys ISP has "given" them a router, free, to keep, that they sell it immediately. It'll likely work fine if you're just doing one or two web pages at a time, with one or two PCs (Think: Grandma / grandpa connections) but as soon as you wanna do anything more than "the basics" or with a number of PCs / Laptops / Phones / Tablets, you need something better.
Why? Because unless your ISP is intentionally making a big loss, there's no way they can actually afford to give you a decent router, to keep, for free.

TL;DR:
So the next time you see an ISP saying "Hey, we don't throttle your data or slow you down in any way", it's either a lie, or it's to your own detriment. Think twice.
The next time you see an ISP saying "FREE signup, no contracts", think "They're covering the cost of that somehow in my monthly amount, so they must be cutting costs elsewhere". Either that or they're gambling that you won't actually leave before 12 months is up.
The next time you see "Free router worth $199", there's no way it's worth that much, and there's no way they'd let you keep it if it was.
The next time you see "Unlimited data" think "Have I heard good things from other people about this service? Do I have any family or friends who have this service who are happy?"
The next time you see "We're going to give you this extra service like SkyTV or this free Antivirus product", think "This is going to be costing them, somehow, so where is that money going to be coming from out of the $ I pay them per-month? Are they going to be skimping on my speeds to cover this cost to a 3rd party?"
This is why a lot of "smaller guy" ISP's, such as Actrix, consistently get the best reviews in Customer Service, Speeds, Customer Satisfaction and pretty much every way that you can think of. They get this because they cost that little bit extra, and because they're not cutting corners as a result.

Remember: You get what you pay for when it comes to ISPs, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If it seems cheap, it probably is, and statistically you're far less likely to be happy or get the speeds you're expecting.

Hope that helps you in your decision about going for unlimited vs data cap, and looking at the pricing too.
Figures are ballpark but you get the idea. The explanation of how TCP vs UDP works is rough, but again it should give you a good picture of it.

pctek
15-02-2015, 03:04 PM
Of thsoe listed:

Other (Actrix, Xnet, Snap)

then

Spark.

wainuitech
15-02-2015, 03:42 PM
Remember: You get what you pay for when it comes to ISPs, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If it seems cheap, it probably is, and statistically you're far less likely to be happy or get the speeds you're expecting. Aint that the truth ;)

Been around to a person place this week, they were with Vodafone, and one of the spark reps came calling a while back, promising the earth at a lot lower cost. What they "forgot" to mention was she would also lose all the other services she had with Vodafone.

The Spark Modem turned up, and she couldn't figure out how to set it up, called the help desk and all they said was simply plug in the same as the old one.

ERRRRRRRR Vodafone cable and Spark are completely different :groan: Spark simply assumed she had a phone jack where the computer was -- Hence had to run cables under the house.

To say she was a bit annoyed they didn't tell her she would lose the TV is an understatement.

Once the spark was going I did a few tests, The internet speed was noticeably slower than Vodafone's, and speed tests confirmed it. :groan:

SO cheaper with spark - not really, less services yep, so if you take the fact you are only getting half what you had before no wonder its cheaper.

Chilling_Silence
15-02-2015, 05:13 PM
Yeah Spark been a bit shady lately...
They offered my wifes grandparents an upgrade from ADSL to "Ultra Broadband". Coz Chorus had just been down their street a few weeks earlier laying fibre, they thought it was "Ultra Fast Broadband". Turns out it was VDSL2, not UFB. Their VDSL2 product is simply called "Ultra Broadband", without the 'fast' in it, it's so easy for people to get confused.

They've been doing it all over the show, preying on peoples ignorance, just as with wainuitech. They don't care in the slightest...

@wainuitech what were the speeds like nationally / internationally vs the customers sync speeds?

wainuitech
15-02-2015, 06:22 PM
@wainuitech what were the speeds like nationally / internationally vs the customers sync speeds? Didn't do a lot of testing, just noticed when downloading a couple of programs & updates they seemed slower on Spark.

All I did was fire up speedtest. They were on Vodafones LightSpeed 40G which tops out at 15 Mbps, (and it did on testing last time I tested it) On spark the speed test tops out at around 5Mbps.

The cable I ran is CAT5 roughly 10 -12 Mtrs, which wouldn't slow anything due to its length, the modem is now in the kitchen.

The lose of the TV didn't go down to well.

I know with the plan I'm on with Vodafone, if using a download manager I often top it out 100 Mbps.

Ninjabear
16-02-2015, 01:04 PM
I vote for Orcon.

I never liked Vodafone from a customer and staff perspective.
So happy I left them

Agent_24
16-02-2015, 05:35 PM
Aint that the truth ;)

Been around to a person place this week, they were with Vodafone, and one of the spark reps came calling a while back, promising the earth at a lot lower cost. What they "forgot" to mention was she would also lose all the other services she had with Vodafone.

SO cheaper with spark - not really, less services yep, so if you take the fact you are only getting half what you had before no wonder its cheaper.

Do people not do their own research anymore before they buy something? Salesmen only want to sell, doing whatever it takes to make you buy...:illogical

AppleFan
16-02-2015, 06:34 PM
I would like to thank "Chilling Silence" for his explain for how things know , i did learn alot , so a big thanks and also thanks for everyone who voted in poll and gave their opinion , im happy for more comments .

wainuitech
16-02-2015, 08:08 PM
Do people not do their own research anymore before they buy something? Salesmen only want to sell, doing whatever it takes to make you buy...:illogicalSome of them are really pushy and some people feel intimidated by them.

Had one around here a few weeks back, I started asking some technical questions and he just sounded more pushy in his tone and couldn't really answer. He wouldn't take No for any answer.
I started to close the door on him when the dog comes running around the corner, she decided she didn't like him, Growling / Barking -- so opened the door a bit -- he soon left when he saw her coming ;)

chiefnz
20-02-2015, 02:38 PM
Hmmm interesting.

I voted for Vodafone for 2 reasons...

1) They've been my provider for the past decade, I switched to them because they offered me more data and a lower monthly price than the then Telecom plan I was on.

2) I have only had 1 major issue whilst being with them which after talking to the right people (admittedly after a bit of a run around) was resolved in a matter of days.

I have gone through various products with them Sky, ADSL / ADSL2 and now currently on VDSL and bar the issue in 2) above I really haven't had anything to complain about.

I find it curious that many people "Loathe" Vodafone... and don't get me wrong I have heard some shockers. I had the same conversation with a work colleague the other day and he recently moved from Vodafone to Telecom... the deal breaker for him was that Vodafone wanted to sign him up for another 12 month contract which seemed really odd seen as he was an existing customer???

It boggles my mind that so many other people have had issue with Vodafone, I honestly am yet to find someone who has had a reasonably good experience similar to mine.

gary67
20-02-2015, 07:10 PM
We didn't have too bad an issue with Vodafone except them taking over a week to connect us when we moved to Christchurch and the problem of having to wait online when needing to speak to them. Snap offered us a better deal on fibre a year later and have been superlative ever since.

wainuitech
20-02-2015, 07:49 PM
Hmmm interesting.

I voted for Vodafone for 2 reasons...

1) They've been my provider for the past decade, I switched to them because they offered me more data and a lower monthly price than the then Telecom plan I was on.

2) I have only had 1 major issue whilst being with them which after talking to the right people (admittedly after a bit of a run around) was resolved in a matter of days.

It boggles my mind that so many other people have had issue with Vodafone, I honestly am yet to find someone who has had a reasonably good experience similar to mine.

Count me then, been with them ever since the Cable first came available in the wgtn area, from memory it was paradise. Theres been the odd time if needing to call there may be a long wait, but generally I find if there are long wait times its because there's a problem and no need to hang on the phone. ALL ISP's at one time or another have problems.

I call them every year close to the contract time ending and get a better one, last time THEY made a bo-bo and even admitted it after listening to the voice recording that they do for every call, ( even offered to send me a copy of the call if I wanted, but no need they admitted they stuffed up, and they said that was being recorded as well :) ) "legally" I could have forced the issue but not worth the hassle, so to compensate for the stuff up they upped a few features at no cost, gave me some discounts on the package deal, all lasting a year, so its been cheaper so far.

As for service and speed on cable, its good for the cost, cheaper and faster than UFB.

Places like Spark, when they come calling simply cant even get close to the same for the cost as our package. Remember once the guy from spark suggested a plan, he didn't like it when I asked why would I want to reduce the speed and drop unlimited data for the same price or higher ? :)

Chilling_Silence
21-02-2015, 02:56 AM
Yeah, Cable internet, the one thing they do that nobody else can. AFAIK it's an almost completely separate network from their DSL side (Ihug purchase of Vodafones from back in the day), which is why the Cable customers seem to have less issues vs DSL.

plod
21-02-2015, 08:49 AM
Hey Wainui, I was with them when it was Saturn communications. Offering tv and telephone only

wainuitech
21-02-2015, 10:06 AM
Hey Wainui, I was with them when it was Saturn communications. Offering tv and telephone only THAT was them :) :thumbs: Couldn't remember the other name change last night. Can still remember the guys stringing up the cables in Wainui.

mzee
21-02-2015, 11:34 AM
I have recently changed to Actrix. My last ISP had very good service and the VDSL2 speed got as high as 21Mbps at times, but the band width was narrow so things slowed down a lot.
Actrix, at the moment, is slower, about 16Mbps but must have a bigger band width because it performs better.
It doesn't matter who supplies the Broadband, they farm it out to others, so its pot luck if you get a good one or not.

Digby
23-02-2015, 11:13 AM
@Apple Fan

You need to add Actrix.

I have been with them for about 14 years.
They often win best ISP

Chilling_Silence
24-02-2015, 11:10 AM
@mzee, that's actually not far from the truth. A lot of the time you'll sync (Your modems connection to the local exchange) at a faster speed, but ISP's have to oversubscribe their bandwidth to a certain degree. Some just have a worse contention ratio compared to others, so even though you're only syncing at 16mbps it's plausible you'll attain closer to that speed more regularly with a "better" ISP.

jupiter1
24-02-2015, 07:45 PM
Thats a bit of an open question, best Broadband ??

Best Speed ?

Best Reliability?

Best customer Service ?

Best Price ?

Unlimited --- No real "problems" but some providers have a fair use policy, so if you are continually download/uploading 100's of GB a month they may drop your speed or various other actions.

Where it will be a help, is when and if people stream TV from various sites, either in NZ or USA from places like Netflix, then data usage wont be a problem.

Cant vouch for any ALK providers, but Vodafone here is no problems with speed or reliability, and unlimited --- never had it throttled yet.

I'm with Inspire and have been for 8 years now.
They come out as the best for all of the above reasons (speed, reliability, service, price) every time in the "Consumer" surveys.

WalOne
24-02-2015, 09:44 PM
This is a similar thread to my Orcon, call me loyal. Until now that is! (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?138798-Orcon-call-me-loyal-Until-now-that-is) :2cents:

Based on the responses I got, I decided to run with Actrix. Because of the 30 day notice, the changeover doesn't take place until this Thursday - two days away!

I believe most service providers ISPs, telecoms, electricity providers etc are pretty much the same in as much as the end product doesn't have too much noticeable point of difference. What difference there is is really in their marketing.

And, the level of service. As far as I'm concerned, the level of service from Orcon was appalling with pathetic and insulting responses by some muppets in some foreign land whose level of understanding of both their product and the English language left a lot to be desired. A far cry from the excellent standards of Seeby Woodhouse, the founder of Orcon.

After 9 years, it's goodbye to Orcon, and hello Actrix. Hope these guys don't let me down, but I don't think so.