29 November 2010

Recommendations for a good home ISP provider

| Joe Canberran
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Done to death but deals and experiences change…

I’ve just move to the Southside and need to sort out an ISP for my home.

I know Riot uses Velocity. I’ve also had a look at broadbandguide.com.au for Canberra ISP’s. Most of the recommendations there are Bigpond or Optus but I’m wary.

Looking for a plan that will cope with streaming video (uni lectures – not p0rn!).

What do you, the Riot Hive-Mind, recommend?

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M0les said :

Surely noone’s still reading by now, but I recommend either iiNet or Internode due to their high quality networks and clued-in staff. I err slightly on the side of iiNet due to some recurring outages of Internode over the last year.

OTOH Bigpond should give the most consistent service everywhere and potentially the lowest latency (* unproven: big question-mark here). However they’re one of the most expensive and difficult to deal with.

I would never recommend Optus for anything unless “better advertising” is one of the check-boxes you want to fill.

I haven’t been with any other provider, I have telstra everything, and, although probably slower than others, I am on wifi ADSL2, haven’t had more than 1/2 an hour down time, in the past 10 years of dealing with them.

My landline based connection is 3123kbps down, 647 up, via 54G connection to winxp system, my mobile system is 2372 kbps down, 158 up, via next g.

I use them for the reliability, single bill, and, after reading about others exploits with other isps, on whirlpool, am in no rush to change. phone support is a bit ordinary, but that is about the only thing. (I refuse to reset my router, they check the exchange and everything is ok…)

Joe Canberran – depends entirely on where you live, and thus what options are available to you.

Most places will have ADSL2+ from the larger players available to you. It’s the best bang-per-buck. Plenty of recommendations above for which one to choose.

However, quite a few suburbs deliver poor ADSL for various reasons – long lines back to the exchange, stuck on congested RIMs, etcetc. Or perhaps no ADSL at all – only TransACT VDSL (“Cable”) or FTTH – or perhaps wireless is your best or only choice in some spots.

Check out adsl2exchanges.com.au, the transact website, and other sites recommended here to see what your options are.

INTERNODE. they are amazing. seriously. if you go with anyone else you’ll be a sucker.

I would put in another recommendation for Internode. My less technical parents have had great service with them just as I have. Having an all Australian call centre is very handy. The staff seem to be able to resolve issues rather than just reading from a script.

I would definitely avoid Optus and Telstra if you can. You generally pay more for a service that is at best exactly the same as something you could get from a smaller ISP and at worst very terrible.

Also, they gave me a pony.

+1 iinet. Great deals, excellent service.

Avoid Virgin (which is owned by Optus) like the plague.

TPG is the cheapest $59 unlimited ADSL2+
I have been with TPG for 9 years and have never had an issue.

Another +1 for Internode.

iinet. I haven’t had any problems with them, been with them 5 years.

Another +1 for Internode. I don’t know about Optus, but I’d stay away from the scumbags at Bigpond/Telstra.

+1 for Iinet. Apart from problems when first installed (one of their technicans stuffed up the change over at the exchange when I went to NakedDSL), it has been brilliant for me. Good speed, very reliable and great plans.

molongloid said :

Post #8 says internode count uploads towards the quota. They don’t.

Their website says they do, for every plan except the ‘extreme’ and ‘ultra’ plans.

plus plus plus for Internode – and they have new plans all the time to keep up with the opposition.

I’ve used Velocitynet for the last 5 yrs. Very reliable and almost always works – i think maybe 3 outages that have impacted me in the last 5 yrs.

I was with iinet, but after the frustrations of having to connect my house to the Internet (waited 1 week, no response from them and still no internet) I changed to Internode, who fixed the problem within 2 days and provided updates to me via SMS.

I’ve been using TPG for several years now. Their customer service is helpful and friendly (if given through a thick Indian accent) and I believe their rates are competitive. I’d definitely recommend them.

molongloid said :

Post #8 says internode count uploads towards the quota. They don’t.

Depends on the plan you choose, the Easy Broadband plans do.
However as they are tagetted at everyday users the upload counting to the quota is not a problem.

Surely noone’s still reading by now, but I recommend either iiNet or Internode due to their high quality networks and clued-in staff. I err slightly on the side of iiNet due to some recurring outages of Internode over the last year.

OTOH Bigpond should give the most consistent service everywhere and potentially the lowest latency (* unproven: big question-mark here). However they’re one of the most expensive and difficult to deal with.

I would never recommend Optus for anything unless “better advertising” is one of the check-boxes you want to fill.

Post #8 says internode count uploads towards the quota. They don’t.

If you want internet access that is robust, fast and has excellent technical support, but isn’t the cheapest, then I heartily recommend Internode.

Another vote for iinet and Internode.

(Do you see a pattern emerging here? There’s a reason.)

+ 1 for Internode.

iinet are wonderful – very simple system, great technical service, great custiomer service, pretty inexpensive … ditched my home phone last year and switched to VOIP – and have never been happier.


Exetel is shit. Their customer service called me a liar. When I re-sent the email to him, whilst we were talking on the phone, you could hear the excrement falling out his pants

Internode is very good. Been with them for a few years now. I would go with the ADSL 2+ for streaming videos. Speed will depend on how far you live from the exchange.

So very much Internode.

troll-sniffer2:01 pm 29 Nov 10

I have been very most happy with iinet naked ADSL 2+ and a VOIP phone. I get 10+10GB and essentially unlimited landline calls for an average all up bill of $62-$63 per month lock stock and barrel. The best thing was their totally hassle free integrated supply of hardware and the ADSL.

Exetel are supposed to be good but Iwon’t touch them with a barge pole until they apologise for telling me they could supply a VOIP service then reneging, costing me three weeks without a phone while the mess they caused was sorted out.

Prior to iinet I was very happy with Velocity but they didn’t offer the VOIP naked ADSL service when I decided to go phone line-less. (new word coined today)


I think you might find : http://forums.whirlpool.net.au a better place to ask these questions.

+1 Internode

Seconded the Internode. Excellent speeds if you’re in a decent coverage zone and very helpful support.

+1 for Internode

Second recommendation for Internode. Been with them for years, and their customer service is top notch.

To give you any decent advice though, it’d be helpful to know which exchange you’re connected to, and what you’re willing to spend per month.

If you go to http://www.adsl2exchanges.com.au and plug in your address, you’ll be given all your exchange information, which providers are available in your exchange, and an estimate of the type of data rates you could expect to get on your line.

I was with VelocityNet for years and they were great – I had a great plan that allowed unlimited DLs between 12am and 7am and a relatively small DL limit outside of that (5GB) which suited me well. Very reliable service and the online and over the phone service was always excellent – I hope this continues now they have been bought by another mob.

Recently moved house and have gone with a ‘naked’ iiNet plan – this takes care of the home phone as well and gives me free national calls and very cheap international calls. If your keen to look at wrapping up your home phone/internet all into one, I would recommend checking it out.

I also only hear good things about Internode.

Dont go near Optus/Bigpond.. Check out

iinet. The end.

I signed up with Internode a few months ago – everything worked first time and I haven’t had to contact them about any problems. I’m close to an exchange (600m) so internet access is fast and reliable.

Saying “ISP provider” is like saying “ATM machine” – i.e. you’ve said Internet Service Provider provider.

Anyway, your best bet is to go and check out the broadband choice page at whirlpool… http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/

Also, have a look at the stats available on http://www.speedtest.net <– there's a search facility that lets you view the details for a specific location

It pays to shop around, there are some pretty good deals going these days that make the offerings of bigspend and shaftus look like pure rorts.

Good luck.

Pommy bastard1:23 pm 29 Nov 10

Seconded, Internode are brilliant, great service and support.

Either Internode or iinet. Both are decent for the prices, and they don’t fail to let you know when they have a better product out, so you can upgrade and save money and / or get faster or more downloads.

Wouldn’t recommend bigpond – even if they offer you some half decent deal for home phone / foxtel etc.

Growling Ferret1:19 pm 29 Nov 10

2nd for Internode. Bundle it with your phone and VOIP, save a ton of cash and get excellent ADSL2 speeds.

Velocity are brilliant for customer services, but I don’t know if they have started to offer ADSL2 yet.

I’ve been with Grapevine for a few months now. Good speed (just tested: Download 6256Kbps; Upload 1203Kbps), no problems, fair price. Kicks the arse of the shit I was getting with Bigpond.

Caveat: I don’t have a massive download limit. I don’t know if it’s still value at the top end.

I would suggest using Broadband Choice instead of Broadband Guide as it has far more providers listed and provides a much better comparison.

iinet has always run well for me, I too am on the Southside.

I’ve been with Exetel for many years and am very happy with them. They are consistently have some of the cheapest plans and are currently offering free ADSL2+ if you bundle phone and mobile with them.

I love my Internode. They are always able to help when I call the help line (even when it’s a problem my end and they have nothing to do with it), it was an easy set up, they have no 24month contract bollocks, they don’t charge for going over your quota (unlike Dodo), I rarely have connection difficulties; a lot less than I used to with other ISPs and I have a stupidly fast* Naked Extreme ADSL with 60gb a month for $69 (I must download a lot of porn 🙂 )

With all that download I don’t need “bundled cable” TV – I just download whatever we want to watch, we don’t have a house phone – just use the mobiles or for international calls Skype through an iPhone app.

Alternatively, check out http://whirlpool.net.au/ it’s like RiotACT but focussed on broadband, mobile phones, ISPs, wireless and hardware and without all the trolling and abuse… so I guess it’s nothing like RiotACT 😉 and they rate different ISPs and even create comparison charts for different plans/rates/quotas etc.

good luck!

*compared with other Australian connections, not compared with any other 1st word country. Bring on the NBN

Gee what strange twisted world do the users of broadbandguide.com.au live in? Check out real reviews at http://bc.whirlpool.net.au where I think you’ll find internode and iinet at the top and bigpond and optus near the bottom.


These days, they generally all use the same data centres and same connectivity, so its more a case of which providers to avoid rather than which to look more at. Id say your 2 suggestions fit into the former category rather than the latter.

(The exception is if you work for either of these companies, in which case the packages available to staff are well worth a look at.)

Try to look for an ISP which has a physical office (rather than a ‘virtual’ ISP who simply have a national call centre and no other local presence) and go in and talk to them before you sign up. Youll get a good idea pretty quickly about whether you want to use them or not. Also, while visiting in person, you might be more likely to have them waive joining fees or other accessory charges that ISPs like to throw on.

It depends on how far from the exchange you are.
I’m very happy with iinet, I’ve heard good things about internode and TPG.

Here is a tip: NEVER use Dodo. Three years ago I asked them to connect my phone and internet. It took them three weeks to connect the phone. It took them a further seven weeks to get the broadband internet connected, and all I had was trouble. 10 weeks in total to get broadband connected, having paid for the modem up front because I didn’t want to be locked into any contracts.

I threatened to take them to the Communications Ombudsman and A Current Affair. Their response (paraphrased) was “You will not get anywhere with it. We are not in breach of our own policies so the Ombudsman can’t do anything. And forget ACA – they will not be interested either”. I instructed Dodo to disconnect all my services immediately and not to bother sending a bill. Of course they sent a bill out … which I still refuse to pay to this very day.

I use Vodafone now – fantastic! I have also had very good experiences with Bigpond.

eyeLikeCarrots12:38 pm 29 Nov 10

+1 for Internode

I think you pay a few extra dollars against the download quota. But there are many benefits such as free ABC iView and access to all their free content servers. If you have a problem, their helpdesk system will actually offer to call you back to save you the hassle of spending 11 hours on the phone only to be told that they know about an outage or problem and it will be restored asap).

Added to that, they have some very innovative and clever staff. A very progressive ISP.

iiNet is also good.

If I had the option, Bigpond or Optus would be among my least favoured choices.

Another recommendation for Internode.

I have been with Internode for 8+ years, so has all my family.
You can’t go wrong.


Holden Caulfield12:35 pm 29 Nov 10

I expect there’ll be a lot of Internode recommendations. I’ve been using them for close to 7 years in the inner north.

I’m on an ADSL2+ plan and the speeds aren’t great, to be honest (~5.5Mbps) but I suspect that is more due to distance from the Civic exchange and quality of wire to our house.

Aside from that Internode has been great to deal with, easy to switch plans etc.

There is a government department that has a computer in a building somewhere. Don’t know department, don’t know building. Heard it uses power and someone won an award. Don’t know if they have the internet connected or could provide internet to your at you house.

Maybe give them a go?

ConanOfCooma12:34 pm 29 Nov 10

I am also with Internode, and apart from couting uploads towards my cap (just don’t seed!), it’s great.

I was with EXETEL, but a quick search on google for them will show you just how professional they really are.

Telstra and Optus are pretty much the worst you could go with.

+1 for Internode. There are cheaper providers, but I’ve found Internode’s service to be top notch and have heard nothing but horror about some of the others. Just anecdotally, but it must count for something.

DeadlySchnauzer said :

Uh… bigpond and optus are about the worst ISPs out there.

I would heartily recommend Internode.

+1 for Node

You didn’t mention suburb but you can probably hook up to one of their ADSL2+ exchanges:

If you are wanting a good connection to the local Uni’s (Canberra, ANU etc) then Internode is probably the best. They have direct connections to the Uni’s ISP AARNET.

Ifartandsmell12:20 pm 29 Nov 10

iinet has been pretty good for me. Good quotas, good prices and awesome customer service.

I use Spin and have been very impressed…. http://www.spin.net.au

Have an ADSL2+ and VOIP bundle with them. Great internet speeds, never had any technical issues and unlimited local&national calls through VOIP, all for $60 a month.

I can highly recommend them!

DeadlySchnauzer12:11 pm 29 Nov 10

Uh… bigpond and optus are about the worst ISPs out there.

I would heartily recommend Internode.

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