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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 62269 2-Jun-2010 20:37
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Hi, I'm from the UK, moved to NZ a month ago and now I live in Auckland. I did not know before how poor the ISP situation is over here; in the UK I had a 6Mb line with 256up, and a 300GB cap and 30GB peak. Sometimes I got close to using it.
Here, living with four others, we have 20GB for a whole month?! we are obviously already limited to 64kbps.. and I am having real issues trying to find a decent ISP with a half decent cap. I've seen one true unlimited but they wanted $600/month for that, and I don't need the net that bad! The next is Xnet Fusion, with their torrent plan. I like the 75GB off peak (I say like.. I'd be ok with that) and the VoIP service.
My flat mates like the Vodafone Free MySkY package so I'm trying to convince them to change, but before I can give them the cost/benefit analysis(!) I need to know that the phone service is good enough.. the quoted low speeds of 100kb/s at peak times is acceptable for overnight stuff.
So, a few questions, since I have found some posts on VoIp quality, but they a are quite old.
How good is the VoIP service? I mean, skype quality, or better? when does the data become analogue again? how good is national dialling, say to Wellington?
We get 8Mb/s when we are not limited, so I would assume similar for Xnet on our exchange. true?
Anyway, thats good enough for now.. thanks for your input..
Alchemist

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  Reply # 337549 2-Jun-2010 21:12
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VoIP service is between cell phone and land line quality, and if you have a good ADSL connection then you can request a higher bit rate encoding which is probably close to land line quality. We've been on Fusion for a few years, maybe 3 or 4. The only issue would be power outage and the occasional XNet outage. For power I just use a UPS which is a good idea anyway, and the XNet outages were fixed despite the occasional complaint from people on this forum and then usually it turns out to be a Telecom issue.

XNet is running phone services for Telecom at fibre-to-the-home trial sites. There is one in Orewa (and I think another somewhere else?). More info on the XNet web site.

The PAP2T works well, but is getting old and I'd recommend any of the other devices. The PAP2T also does not support the faster bit rate encoding or FAX.

You are locked into using only their specified VoIP hardware, for security and for quality.

Don't know where it gets handed over to analogue, but I believe the land line phone system is digital anyway so you should not notice any difference. I believe they send it digitally to as close to the destination as possible, and via cables across the ocean and not via satellite but that is only a guess based upon the insignificant delay when phoning my mom in South Africa despite the 10h time zone difference. There is almost no noticeable delay.

Speed is another story. The Torrent plan is not intended for real time browsing/gaming, it is simply for shifting torrenting customers to a time slot which is normally has lots of bandwidth available while allowing them to throttle the speed. I think they throttle Torrent customers during the day as well if they need to improve speed for other customers, but again this is only my perception. The Torrent plan was an attempt to recover from their fall (after their success) when they quickly became very popular, perhaps the fastest growing ISP, but could not keep up with the growth. And this is an ISP that never advertises, everything is promoted by word of mouth.

You can try Torrent for a month and see how it goes for you, but I'd suggest going with Fusion. You also need to be aware that they respond to movie piracy notifications (can't remember the term) more aggressively than other ISPs. Personally I think it is a good thing, but depends on what you want to do.

The only real issue is speed in the evening, and then more to do with You Tube etc rather than browsing. But apparently this is common to many ISPs and if you want high speed then you need to go with Telecom who owns (owned) the lines or with an ISP that has their own equipment in exchanges.

One good thing is if they change the plans then you are never given a deadline for changing from your original plan. There are people that still have the original plan which was free national data, all NZ hosted data is free. I'm still on a free static IP which was available up to a few years ago by just asking for it. And they have top notch technical staff which you can talk to, either per phone or (informally) here. They used to be so involved in GeekZone that people started thinking this is an official support forum for them!

A couple of years ago South Africa launched 4Mbps ADSL... There are developed/developing countries with much slower speed than us. NZ is also such a small population that sometimes I am surprised by how good the internet is.

I don't blog, but sometimes I get the urge to write long posts. Hope this helps, I'm sure there will be a few negative posts most likely regarding speed.




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Reply # 337588 2-Jun-2010 22:05
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My reply won't be as comprehensive as Niel's, but about the VoIP service, I use VFX at home and at work and it works like a champ.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 337961 3-Jun-2010 18:08
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Hi Niel & Nate for your replies; Niel, you should blog! Thats an awesome response, so thank you. Good to know that we can up the bitrate on good connections for VoIP, and that the service is actually good. That's the important aspect for my house mates.
As for speed; well, daytime there is only one user who works from home, so she'll have full bandwidth, and as long as response times in the evening are ok for normal surfing & skype I'm happy.
We have just bought another 20GB, so thats got to last until the 20th, so we'll see how that goes.. gently gently I think.. never had to monitor my usage before; it's like bandwidth is a precious resource! weird.
Anyway, thanks for your time guys, and if anyone else wants to add comments, +/- would be appreciated..

Phil Gale
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Reply # 337972 3-Jun-2010 18:30
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I am on Xnet Fusion with 2 x VFX connections as our only 'landlines' (one for home and one for home business). I've been on VoIP for a couple of years now exclusively and it works perfectly well for me.




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  Reply # 337999 3-Jun-2010 19:23
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VoIP delivers a landline quality service with good quality hardware. Use IP phones that support the G.722 audio codec and the audio quality is vastly superior to landlines.

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  Reply # 338065 3-Jun-2010 21:30
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Apart from good quality VoIP the other 2 great features about XNet is 1) data usage as only pay-what-you-use and not data blocks, and 2) local traffic is free so all that junk mail my mom sends me is free downloads. By the way VFX (VoIP) uses a bit of bandwidth, but if you are with XNet then it is local traffic so it is also free.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 338088 3-Jun-2010 22:38
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Been with Xnet for a few years myself as a naked dsl customer with voip too and like the others have pretty much summed it up perfectly 99% of the time nothing but great service. Speeds are actually quite good and most nights on the torrent plan where and if needed i can normally download 5 - 10 gig sometimes more so not really any complaints from me.

In fact the only complaint i do have is my tollerance to have my downloads come overnight and be satisfied with that hehe normally find i'm using between 10 - 20 gig peak times per month but that's just me.

They provide one of the better services in NZ and as they have said earlier peak traffic is on a as u use it you pay for it. Plus you can also setup your broadband to throttle if you really wanted it too (who would choose that i don't know but it's there as a choice).

Also would like to say have experience with Slingshot, Telecom, Kiwionline (more like kiwi offline) and Telstra as providers so done the rounds and only one outta that lot i would or could recommend would be telstra but a lot of recent posts have been stating they are really slow at getting you up and running plus they are really expensive (but have best speeds once up and running).



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 338350 4-Jun-2010 17:53
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I must say thank you again for all your constructive comments. Good to know the VoIP is certainly good enough, and broadband speeds are fair. torrents come when they come; and in the UK I've used Giganews/VyprVPN, which deals with traffic shapers by making your connection SSL.. certainly a good thing to think about..
Interestingly no negative comments.. which is positively refreshing :-)
I think I have enough to go to my house mates with now, so thanks again..
Of course, I'll be monitoring this thread to see if anyone else wants to enlighten me further.
Thanks again guys
A.

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 340244 10-Jun-2010 15:23
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Been having major problems lately with VoIP quality. On good days, it's excellent, but there have been quite a few bad days lately. Have talked with the techies at XNet and they've been friendly and helpful, but the fixes they've suggested have not yet fixed the issue of quality. I am presently waiting for them to get back to me with possible solutions, whilst my wife insists we jump to another provider ASAP.

Might not be indicative of XNet - could be a Telecom-related problem, or a problem with my hardware, etc. Just thought you should get a balance. I'll keep you posted with how successful the fixes are.

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  Reply # 340258 10-Jun-2010 15:58
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BravoCo: Been having major problems lately with VoIP quality. On good days, it's excellent, but there have been quite a few bad days lately. Have talked with the techies at XNet and they've been friendly and helpful, but the fixes they've suggested have not yet fixed the issue of quality. I am presently waiting for them to get back to me with possible solutions, whilst my wife insists we jump to another provider ASAP.

Might not be indicative of XNet - could be a Telecom-related problem, or a problem with my hardware, etc. Just thought you should get a balance. I'll keep you posted with how successful the fixes are.


 Just had a quick look at your connection and noticed your connected to RIC-RAN-21.  This person in this thread is also having issues with service - http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=65&topicid=62560.  Funnily enough they're also connected to RIC-RAN-21, it's possible there is a connectivity issue with that particular RAN causing added latency at times.  

This is most likely what is causing your voice quality issues.  I've emailed Wholesale faults questioning whether or not this is the case.  I think you'll find the voice quality is reasonable during the day but poor at night with the added latency seen (see speed tests and mtr's in the other thread).  

Will update this thread when I can confirm this is the case.  

Response from Wholesale was Fast, Wholesale confirmed "Yes will be as the issue is with RIC 21"







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  Reply # 340268 10-Jun-2010 16:15
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Thanks Cam,

Beat me to it, but if you are on the same as this Customer the latency will be causing issues for VOIP, as Cam has said there is a known issue with this site that Telecom are aware of and are working to resolve.






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Reply # 340331 10-Jun-2010 17:54
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BravoCo: Might not be indicative of XNet - could be a Telecom-related problem, or a problem with my hardware, etc. Just thought you should get a balance. I'll keep you posted with how successful the fixes are.


Definitely not the Xnet service, I run a personal line at home (over Xtra) and we run our business lines over XNet at work - both work brilliantly.  Seems Telecom are dicking you around at the moment.

Good to see the WxC boys are onto it!

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 340375 10-Jun-2010 19:27
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Impressive response time guys! Hopefully it's all sorted soon. I like my XNet connection and dislike the idea of having to change. Thanks for the updates.

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  Reply # 340460 10-Jun-2010 22:35
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I agree wholeheartedly I like my Xnet too hehe.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 342411 16-Jun-2010 18:03
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It's been a while since I asked this question, so thanks to everyone for their input. Your thoughts have been valuable, but unfortunately not valuable enough for my flatmates who have vetoed my ideas as too complicated.. so.. I'll have to wait until I get my own pad in a good few months before I can use Xnet Fusion. However, all is not lost, since Vodafone have just increased their cap from 20GB to 30GB per month, so at least we have a little more to play with.. still not what I'm used to, but, hey I'll live with it for the moment..
Thanks again guys
Alchemist

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