We’ve just moved house and have been on Vodafone naked broadband for several years but due to the fact that I will be shifting mobile providers next month the cost of staying with Vodafone was prohibitive.
Looking around at the various options for naked broadband the prices vary significantly.
While my wife and I can get away with a small data cap our teenage son is managing to blow away our 100gb cap in about 20 days leaving us on slowband for the rest of the month – so something in excess was required.
I have in the past been a customer of telecom, Vodafone and Orcon – telecom has no naked broadband so discounted them straight away, Vodafone too expensive without a mobile plan and orcon I will never go back to.
I did look at slingshot but I’ve had clients who have had real issues with them so I’ll stay away for now.
Finding the prices:
Snap’s website is awful – you can’t get the prices unless you put in your address which then looks like you’re in the middle of the signup procedure – why can’t they just have a pricing page like everyone else, no doubt this puts many people off from the start.
What services can I get?
Put my new address into the checker and it said it didn’t know what services were available – Chorus SAT shows me in ADSL2 coverage but I still had to call Snap who in turn had to do a check with Chorus which was going to be 24 hours later – the nice person on the phone said call us back in 24 hours with this reference number and we can tell you what services are available.
I asked if they were going to call me back but he said no they were short staffed in the call centre and don’t call people back – I did find this a bit odd however I called back 24 hours later and yes I can have ADSL2 but no VDSL.
A few days passed and after chewing through 5gb of mobile BB in a week I took the plunge and signed up online – a painless process. Snap seem to only offer payment via credit card or direct credit.
There are a number of options like 12-24 month terms, data packs, upgraded modem/routers and other addons.
Once you’re done the credit card is debited the first month’s fee plus any additional costs and you’re sent a signup email.
Waiting until activation:
Several days went past and no email from snap about a connection date so I called the help desk and got a very helpful person who said that the technician was booked for the next day, this to me was the most disappointing part of the process – I would have expected an email with an update but to this day nothing has come through.
I asked when it was connected whether I could use the internet – he told me no I would have to call the help desk again to get them to ‘activate the billing’ then about 10 minutes later I would be online.
Again an email explaining this would have saved the call centres valuable time.
Out of interest he said that if I didn’t call to activate the billing in can take up to 48 hours after connection for it to happen automatically – this is quite different to all the other providers I have been with.
Got a call from Chorus technician who said he’d livened up the line and if there were any problems to give him a call – so I popped home and tried to configure the old Vodafone router to use snap (the friz was still at the courier depot) however you can’t configure the @snap.net.nz domain using the standard login and the advanced login wouldn’t work on the iPad so I went to the courier and picked up the fritzbox that snap had sent me.
They had pre-configured it so it really was just plug and play – online straight away.
The online portal for Snap allows you to see your overall data usage for the month however I can’t see anywhere that you can break it down day by day.
What’s the fritz!box? It’s my new best friend – best router I’ve ever owned.
So the fritz is available in 2 flavours the 7340 and the 7390 the latter being the top of the line model.
I did a bit of research between the 2 and this is what I found:
The 7390 has:
4 lan ports (vs 2 for the 7340)
2 wifi chips 2.4ghz and 5ghz can run at the same time (vs 1 for 7340)
512mb internal memory to use like a shared drive (none for 7340)
The 7390 was $50 extra on the 24 month contract and I opted for the 7340 – just like buying a new car I do have a bit of buyers regret eg. Why didn’t I buy the other model? But the reality is that I don’t need the extra features but they would be nice to have.
So why is the fritz!box so good – I have a relatively low sync rate of 13mbps but the fritz hasn’t dropped my connection at all yet it remains solid.
SIP accounts were very easy to configure (for 2talk) was up and running in a couple of minutes and no signs of voice dropouts. It also has fax and answerphone features build into the fritz.
There is a dect base station built into the box so you can connect your cordless phone to the fitz without need for a base station for your phone
Monitor your connection on the fritz interface.
Wifi overall is good but not great – you can’t add an external antenna and the signal strength from the ‘fins’ on-board is average at best – however there is a site survey feature and other nifty features.
The NAS functions are excellent – my previous Vodafone box had awful performance for the external drive plugged into it - but the NAS on the fitz has excellent throughput – the only issue I have is that I have to manually update the file list on the media server side of it or else new files won’t show.
The box is IPv6 compatible too which is an interesting feature.
No doubt this is a major feature of your snap connection.
Its early days but I am more than happy with the performance of the snap connection at this point.
I’m not really a speedtest person however the browsing feels at least as good as it was before and there are no issues with youtube etc.
Peak times do appear better and more consistent on snap.
For the record speedtest shows a 10ms ping and constant 11mbps down and 1mbps up – no up and down through the test and consistent block of data from beginning to end.
I’m very happy with my snap connection and may look to move my work connection over in the next few months however I would hope the communication for a business connection is better as downtime would be unacceptable.
Hope this helps you if you’re looking to join.