The internet is rapidly becoming part of everything we do in life, and lockdown has made it even more so!
Many of us work online all day.
So many of us have signed up to online streaming services as a source for series, radio and general entertainment that the SABC is getting worried.
We shop (even for groceries) with web-based store applications, we talk on the phone via WhatsApp instead of making a regular phone call, and many even fall sleep to music or meditations streamed via our digital devices.
The internet is EVERYWHERE. And because it’s so important, we all want the best, fastest, and most stable connection to it that we can get.
Here’s a little insight into our personal ‘internet journey’ and why we’ve switched over to Fibre
At home, we started off, “years and years back”, with dial-up connections (remember the connection tones?!) And emails took so long to download we could make a cup of coffee and mow the lawn in between.
Then ADSL came along. And until a few years back, this has been the most consistent connection available in South Africa. Over the years, it has continued to improve; it increased in speed, of course, to the point where a 40mb line gives a decent-quality result.
LTE came onto the market a few years ago, and it offered great potential since we could travel with the router. So we ditched our ADSL line for LTE. We used it without any complaints in our previous house. BUT, we moved a kilometre up the road and the speed decreased to a crawl. When we queried the issue, we were informed that we had moved onto a ‘different tower’, and there were more people connected to this one.
Then we went back to ADSL so that we could get better speed. The problem with ADSL is that the technology is up-and-down in South Africa. This means up-and-down connectivity. And Telkom is phasing out ADSL, so they’re not interested in renewing their lines.
Enter the new-kid-on-the-block, FIBRE
Fibre lines are the new technology that is being used for data transmission. They are faster (you can get a 200MB line!).
Fibre is also more stable than ADSL, and its speed does not decrease as traffic increases.
With fibre, your uploads and your downloads are fast. For ADSL and LTE, uploads scan be extremely slow. The bottom line is that fibre is the best option if you can get it.
So what fibre line should you get, and what provider should you use?
There are a number of different providers across the country. So while you may have the fibre infrastructure available in your neighbourhood, you might not have access to the same providers as your cousin in Cape Town for example.
The best place to start is to look at your NEEDS and (of course) your budget, and then do some online research on providers in your area that would suit your requirements.
How do you know what you need? I’ll give you three scenarios to choose-from:
First, my parents
They had a REALLY slow LTE connection (1mb kind of slow).
For them, a 10mb/10mb (10mb up and down) uncapped fibre line is perfect. They can answer emails, browse YouTube, and even watch Netflix. They are happy with that for under R500 per month.
My wife and I have signed up for a 50mb/50mb line
This will ensure that even if we’re both working online, from home, we’ll have more than enough speed to do what we need to do. I often teach online, and upload videos to YouTube. My wife is involved in the media industry and uploads and downloads an extensive amount of data daily.
We also listen to the radio, podcasts, and watch TV using streaming apps.
Our household includes a tenant who shares our connection, and often works online, so we need a little more speed availability compared to my parents. Our connection costs us around R1,000 per month.
Then there’s my sister-in-law’s partner
His job is in virtual reality development, and he uses the internet ALL day, every day. He simply can’t afford to have slow internet.
Plus, he plays online games in his spare time. And they also have a smart TV so they watch all their entertainment via streaming apps. They have signed up for a 100mb/100mb line which costs around R1,400 a month.
It’s a real pleasure to spend time at their place because of this! But it’s certainly not necessary for the average South African.
Where do you and your household fit in?
Take your pick from the options above, then do some research on a deal that suits you best.
You’ll be slightly constrained by the provider(s) in your particular area, but the deals should all be similar in price.
TIP: Make sure that the deal you choose includes FREE installation and equipment, and if possible, select an option that doesn’t rope you in to a long term contract. There are a lot of month-to-month options available.
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