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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 60452 26-Apr-2010 16:05
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So, until today, I had no idea how many ISPs there were in NZ. I thought there were only about 4 or 5!! I had a look at the nzconnection Wiki page - very useful - and I think maybe XNet might be what I'm looking for? I'm moving into a new place in a couple of weeks and there hasn't been an active phone-line there for 2 years at least, I'd say. I very rarely use the phone - I have a mobile and I only really need a phone line so I can have an internet connection and so my mum & dad can phone me from the UK (and occasionally, i phone them too...).

I don't want to have to pay for having a telecom phone line reconnected for a month, just for the pleasure of having broadband installed, otherwise, I might go for slingshot.

Mainly, I reckon I'll want about 10-15GB of data per month at reliable speeds. I watch a fair amount of Tv on the internet (e.g. megavideo) and do a bit of surfing (trademe, email, newspaper sites, internet banking - nothing very adventurous!). At first, XNet looked great - but then I started reading posts about their speeds not being reliable. I've just had about 6 months of Orcon, whose speeds were atrocious...1-2 mbps but before that I was with vodafone (/ihug) whose speeds were ok (5-6mbps) but the connection did keep dropping. So - first question - is it realistic (obviously, depending on how far I am from the exchange) to expect 5-6 mbps from XNet? I'll be living on Mt Albert/Pt Chev border (Auckland). Considering my requirements - are there any better alternatives to XNet?

Second thing - hardware. We will only be using a couple of laptops on the network and I have both an Apple Airport Express and an Airport Extreme base station. I also have an old D-link modem that i got when I joined up with ihug about 3 years ago. I doubt it is VOIP compatible. I was thinking I would get a Linksy's AG310 but it looks like they are not available anywhere. Seeing as how I already have wireless routers, would I be right in saying I don't also need a wireless modem?? Is it still possible to get such a thing - and if so, any recommendations? I don't want to spend heaps of money but I also don't want to compromise on speed. What do the experts advise?

thanks in advance, Lil.

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  Reply # 323245 26-Apr-2010 20:55
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The AG310 is good, but no stock. With your hardware you should be fine with the SPA2102 but don't wire it up for data to pass through, just add it to your router as another device.

There might still be a fee to get ADSL connected on the line, or perhaps XNet hides this cost. Not sure how it works. I switched from normal Telecom POTS to XNet Fusion a few years ago and things change.

Not sure if XNet has the speed during peak time that you are after. AFAIK if you want movies at night and best performance you should stick with Xtra. It's been mentioned that the commerce commission stated Telecom must guarantee a minimum speed for naked lines, something ridiculous like dial-up speed. I have not experienced that, but I do find day time speed for me to be around 7Mbps while evening speed can drop to 1Mbps. I'm in Pakuranga at about 3.5km from the exchange and not scheduled to get a cabinet (had fibre past the front door for years, but no one using it!). You Tube is slow at night, but not something I'm after so does not bother me.

XNet does what I need. See if more people respond and give feedback on the type of usage you require. If no reply, then your kind of customers all left... Hope not, I hope XNet is not as bad as a handful of people on here claimed for the past 2 or 3 years.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 323247 26-Apr-2010 20:59
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Oh, and their national bandwidth seems to be good but international not so good. That is what some people claim, mostly people doing speed tests a lot which does not mean nearly as much as people claim.

It's been a while since people complained about speed. Wonder how this discussion will turn out.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 323304 26-Apr-2010 23:36
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You can still get an Xnet XFV voip "line" if you choose another ISP providing naked adsl.

Compare:
Maxnet Pure DSL 15GB ($81) and Xnet XFX ($11.95) = $92.95
Xnet Fusion includes XFV ($69.95) + 15GB data ($15.36) = $85.31

So an extra $7ish /month for Maxnet, but imo it's worth it as they have much better international performance and general reliability.  I doubt you will have any complaints about their performance.

Alternatively if you don't want a phone line at all even a voip one, then Maxnet for 15GB is slightly cheaper than Xnet Fusion (Xnet always includes the voip line in the price for Fusion I think).

Now, Xnet does have the benefit of only charging you for the data you use, ie: use less 5 or 10 GB and pay less that month.

However, their general reputation for international performance and reliability with their adsl service is still decidedly average.


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  Reply # 323353 27-Apr-2010 05:54
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One advantage of XNet which is seldom mentioned is that local traffic is free. Local does not mean national, but menas local to the XNet network. That includes e-mails, VoIP (or VoBB was they call it), and stuff on Alkami servers like Windows updates (as long as you are not the very first one to download it). I believe there is some music also considered free.

The other day we downloaded SolidWorks 2009 and SolidWorks 2010 trial versions (3D CAD), 1.9GB and 5.2GB, I quickly went on-line to increase our data cap from 5GB to 10GB, and then found both were on Alkami servers and cost nothing to download.

As said, XNet provides the correct services for what I need, but I do not need performance.

Reliability is not bad. There were a few issues which many people still remember, but at work we have much more frequent issues and I'm working at one of the largest exporters in the country.




You can never have enough Volvos!




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 323473 27-Apr-2010 11:15
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Thanks Neil and Ragnor for your replies.

I find it such a double edged sword, reading these forums! After I read your advice, Ragnor, I thought I'd almost definitely go for Maxnet. Then...after reading all the different ISP forums, I've become thoroughly confused! Everyone seems to complain about download speeds no matter what provider they're with!! It's so hard to choose...especially seeing as most ISPs lock you into a 12 month contract.

I might try posting in some other forums and see if I can't confuse myself further...

Thanks again!

Lil.

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  Reply # 323477 27-Apr-2010 11:24
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I think it depends on your usage.
As other people have said, the onpeak (after say ~3-4pm) international is pretty slow. But off peak international I can pull my full line rate if the server i'm connecting to is up to it.

What I like is the per MB charging, so I only pay for what I use, none of this dumb "use up to " cap stuff.

Reliability has been OK, although there seems to be an outage every 1-3 months.
The other thing is they do naked DSL. Like you I have no use for a landline.

They also offer native IPv6 (as a trial) which seems to work great.

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WorldxChange

  Reply # 323495 27-Apr-2010 11:42
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CrystalLil: Thanks Neil and Ragnor for your replies.

I find it such a double edged sword, reading these forums! After I read your advice, Ragnor, I thought I'd almost definitely go for Maxnet. Then...after reading all the different ISP forums, I've become thoroughly confused! Everyone seems to complain about download speeds no matter what provider they're with!! It's so hard to choose...especially seeing as most ISPs lock you into a 12 month contract.

I might try posting in some other forums and see if I can't confuse myself further...

Thanks again!

Lil.



You have hit the nail on the head here Crystal, there are some fundamental issues which effect all ISP's and they are all to do around backhaul and conjestion at peaktimes, it is not as some would have you believe all related to International bandwidth, the best advice is look at a provider that is going to suit YOUR needs. 

You will always find some people that will love or hate a provider and will go out of their way to promote or discredit providers. 

General advice is to look at people who comment and really are an independant source with no vested interest, 
   




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

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  Reply # 323512 27-Apr-2010 12:06
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I use XNET Fusion, and have found it very satisfactory.
Personally, I'm not so keen on the Linksys routers etc. I use a Draytek router, which is pretty good. 
 
I do like the fact that the people at WorldxChange definitely know what they are talking about, and are accessible and responsive. (Which is a very pleasant exception to the norm in this industry)

Also like the very reasonable data charges - around $1 / Gb is very straight forward. I no longer have to worry whether I am on an appropriate plan. 






kind regards Andrew TD



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 323519 27-Apr-2010 12:10
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Thanks, kywhana2 & maverick.

I probably always would have gone for the cheapest big name in the past (being ignorant of the smaller, less well publicised companies)...but I ended up having quite a bad time with vodafone - we always ended up doubling our data but never used the full extra amount that we bought and I thought their customer service was very poor. Not unusual to spend 45 minutes waiting to talk to a technical support person - for a communications company this is appalling. AND I thought THEIR speeds were bad but they were actually inconsistently good compared with Orcon. As SOON as we switched to Orcon, our speeds dropped to a fairly consistent 1-2mbps at most times of the day. If we were lucky we reached 3-4mbps but even that was slow compared to vodafone's best. Orcon asked us to do all sorts of tests, which were exhausting for my small brain, but still we didn't resolve the issue. The last suggestion was that we buy a new modem, because maybe our current one was creating the problem. Funny that our modem suddenly became faulty as soon as we switched to Orcon...??? I'm so over it.

I don't want to fight any more! I just want to go home after work and watch a bit of telly on my computer without having to wait 10 minutes for it to download 1 minute of video. Is that so much to ask?

At the moment, my main contenders are XNet, Maxnet and Snap. XNet has the advantage in that you only pay for what you use but Snap seems cheaper overall ($69.95 that includes 10GB?). Ah, decisions decisions.

Lil.


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  Reply # 323816 27-Apr-2010 18:40
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I don't want to fight any more! I just want to go home after work and watch a bit of telly on my computer without having to wait 10 minutes for it to download 1 minute of video. Is that so much to ask?




I don't want to come on here just to bag xnet but the failure to be able to watch even youtube videos was one common complaint of xnet subscribers not so long ago.

I was with xnet but had to change, the speeds especially at night were very poor. When I changed to Vodafone my speeds tripled.

Maybe some present users of xnet could chip in and advise what sort of performance they are getting downloading tv shows or videos at peak times.

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  Reply # 323848 27-Apr-2010 19:51
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I've just watched a 1 minute You Tube video (normal, not high def). It took 3 seconds to start, buffered about every 15 seconds, and took a total of about 12 seconds extra. If you pause it at the start and wait 10 seconds than you will probably play the whole video without waiting for any further buffering. It's been a while, but from memory there is no buffering needed during the day.

With other players becoming cheaper than XNet and XNet started with minimum 12 months contracts and disconnection fees etc., I think they have lost their popularity which caused their downfall and are now fine for people that do not go downloading Gigabytes every day. They also got a "bad" reputation when they suspending accounts of people found to breach copyright law (movie downloads). I'm fine with all that. Suits our needs/usage.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 323862 27-Apr-2010 20:33
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With VF and Telecom I can download 99% of youtube videos in hi def with no buffering at all.

I don't have adsl2 either at my exchange.

At the end of the day I guess you need to choose what suits your needs.

If you want reliable speeds at peak times you need to choose one of the bigger players and pay a little more for it.

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  Reply # 323964 28-Apr-2010 01:19
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Youtube will be fairly good on Xnet now as they peer at APE/WIX, this is because Orcon who also peer at APE/WIX host google/youtube cache hardware/servers.

Basically this means if the video you want to watch is in the cache it should be fast national traffic via open peering at APE/WIX rather than international over the SX cable to the US.

If I recall correctly Xnet changed their primary international provider from pacnet/asianetcom to vocus either in late 09 or was this year?  Chances are their international performance has improved, however I see see recent complaints about international speed on gpforums and here.

Your mileage may vary!

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  Reply # 323969 28-Apr-2010 02:20
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ok, a bit too much to read here at 2am but I would say yes xnet ~could~ be good for price and performance and for avoiding paying that nasty BT/telecom monthly rental fee, but you have to use the hardware they recommend (linksys) which seems to have mixed reviews

maybe I just have a bad egg (I have started my own thread on the WAG310G) but it is doing my head in a bit. I know a mate of mine back in London (I am a kiwi recently returned) who had a router there with voice that was very stable and not a linksys/cisco, must ask him what model it is...

and if you join xnet and choose the off peak 75GB for free plan as I did be careful about the "time of month" you join as they roll over on the calendar not your anniversary ... so I'm doing my best to download 75 in 10 days :)

also, it might of been a fluke but at about 8am-ish this morning my connection reported over 12000kbs download, which is out standing for NZ broadband in my opinion, sadly it didn't last long and nor was it free at this time...

and I was using the voda site
http://www.vodafone.co.nz/broadband/speedtest/

so yes, go for xnet if you want to avoid telecom and a 12 month contract but be prepared to fork out for some possibly dodgy hardware!

and it can be slow around after school time..

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  Reply # 323990 28-Apr-2010 08:04
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denizej:

so yes, go for xnet if you want to avoid telecom and a 12 month contract but be prepared to fork out for some possibly dodgy hardware!

and it can be slow around after school time..


You can use your own hardware. I'm using a Cisco 877 and asterisk on a linux box..

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