With NBN rolling out around Ballarat & surrounds you’ll soon be faced with the question – What NBN Speed do I need? Firstly a VERY important fact you need to be aware of – Bits & Bytes. You will encounter both when shopping for NBN Speed & Data allowances.
- A Bit is the smallest piece of information that can be used on a computer (it is either a 0 or a 1) and is represented by a lower-case b. So Mb = Megabit, Gb = Gigabit. Bits are usually used to measure speeds.
- A Byte consists of 8 Bits of data and is represented by an upper-case B. So MB = Megabyte & GB = Gigabyte Data storage & allowances are usually measured in Bytes.
NBN Speed is sold in 5 Speed ‘tiers’
- 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload
- 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload
- 25Mbps download and 10Mbps upload
- 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload
- 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload
Note that these are all measured in Megabits and are theoretical Maximum speeds – you may not receive the FULL speed that you sign up for.
If you have previously had the internet connected via other technology (usually ADSL) then you may have some idea of your usage, but be aware – the higher speeds offered by the NBN can mean a higher consumption.
Which brings us to the most important part of choosing a plan:
Make sure your Data usage is capped.
This means that once you use your data allowance for the month, your connection speed will be dropped to something akin to dial-up but you won’t pay any more. If your plan has excess charges you can receive an astronomical bill due to the exorbitant rates your provider charges.
Be aware that your data allowance includes downloads and usually uploads (which hasn’t always been the case) If you have a device that regularly backs up data ‘to the cloud’ when connected to WiFi it will be included in your data usage.
To estimate how much data you’ll need to add up the amount of time you & your family ( & perhaps guests ) spend on:
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.)
- Chatting (Skype, VoIP)
- Downloading & Peer to Peer
- Online Viewing (YouTube, MetaCafe, TED, ShortForm, Devour)
- Internet TV (Netflix, Stan, Fetch TV, Presto)
- Backups to the Cloud (iCloud, Amazon, Dropbox)