Consider this page as a ‘Blog Post’ – we’re simply wanting to give you advice to help you have a trouble-free internet streaming experience.
From experience, both personal & through customers – we will be building this page with as much information as possible (check back frequently to read about any updates or new case studies).
*It is important to note that some people may experience really good service, while other people may experience really horrible service from the exact same ISP. This can be due to various factors, such as location, type of service, type of plan, distance from exchange etc. Your experience may differ than those listed below.
NBN Providers to AVOID:
‘Belong’ is fairly new – and markets itself as “Simple, hassle free – powered by Telstra”.
With first hand experience, we will without a doubt tell you to avoid and beware signing up with this ISP.
Belong is actually a division of Telstra, which is their new start up company aimed to compete with other cheaper service providers. We were fooled by the ‘its owned by Telstra, it must be good’ thought.
Our first hand experience:
- Our speed test results (at www.speedtest.net) and at (www.speedtest.telstra.com) were awesome. The results were 23mbps (on a 25mbps NBN plan) – however our internet was super slow. This triggered further investigation by our own IT professionals. We noticed that on (www.speedtest.net) – it automatically chooses the best ‘server’ to perform the speed test from. Ironically, it was choosing the Telstra server. We changed the server test, to test from an Optus server instead – our speed test result was dramatically different: 6mbps! 23mbps to 6mbps is not a small difference, this is HUGE. We decided to do further testing; we changed the server again to test our speed using a USA hosted server, the result > around 1mbps. We also downloaded a test file from an iiNet Australian server, the ETA download time for a 20mb file was HOURS. Something is clearly wrong , and restarting the internet modem was not helping or changing the results. After multiple talks to Belong staff, whom most could not understand the problem, one finally advised to reset the NBN box – this immediately solved the problem, however, this problem still occurs at random times – usually during the evening (but not to the extent that it did in the beginning – but there are noticeable differences with speed. Resetting the NBN box no longer makes a difference). We personally believe that this is purposely done – rather than ‘throttle’ the speed during the evening (which is common with companies like Optus cable due to congestion) – they appear to throttle outside connections, but keep Telstra connections working fast (which makes you as a user, misinformed, and cheated really). To the blind eye you would think your internet speed is amazing and fast, but in the real world, when browsing any website which is not hosted by Telstra , you are getting a different, slower speed.
- Customer service: we called the ’24/7′ customer service line a few times. Depending on the time of day, it can be hard for someone to answer. The people who answer the calls appear to be Australian, in Australia – the problem is that they are not very experienced or technical – this doesn’t help at all. Two of the representatives gave wrong information about what the amber/green lights on the NBN box mean. They appear to be ‘down to earth’ and are different from the typical customer service reps, from the likes of Optus – but this is only to comfort the user. When explaining the problem described above to one of the customer service representatives, his response was “So are you paying for Optus to give you fast speeds?”, and various other stupid replies. It was evident that he, and others from the Belong customer service team, are not experienced at all. A problem was solved when the representative finally transferred me to the Philippines call center (which he said was the ‘NBN team’) – who actually is technically experienced.
- We are very familiar with all the devices on our network, aswell as the speeds they receive on average using our Netgear router. Signing up to NBN, we received a ‘Sagemcom’ f@st branded modem (Sagemcom’ NBN modems are provided by many ISP’s such as Belong, Optus & Telstra for NBN) – so we plugged it into the new NBN box and off we go. Our RK3188 android dongle had full WiFi reception, but the speed was so slow (1.5mbps), while other devices on the network (such as laptops and phones) were getting approx 21mbps. This was really strange, so we tried to make some configuration changes, including; changing the WiFi channel, changing WiFi width 20 40, resetting the NBN box & resetting the router we gave up. The highest speed we got it too was 3.5mbps. It was impossible for there to be an ‘incompatibility’ issue as the android dongle uses the wireless N network which is fully compatible with the Sagemcom router, and this is what most devices in people’s homes use. After switching the router to a Netgear branded one, the speed literally went from approx 3mbps to 16mbps instantly. This is one example, of many, which we have seen &/or experienced when it comes to modems/routers.
To be continued…