Broadband FAQ

To help you understand our broadband options and the best solution for your internet needs we've put together a series of Broadband FAQs and a terminology glossary.

There are two types of internet connection: dial-up and broadband. Dial-up connects through your phone line. It's slower, ties up the phone line, and must be reconnected each time you use it. Broadband is a fast internet connection. Broadband can involve a range of different technologies to connect to the internet. It is much faster than dial-up, doesn't tie up your phone line, and is always connected.

1. It's fast.   2. It lets you do better things.   3. It doesn't tie up your phone line.   4. It's always connected.

People that have dial-up or haven't experienced the internet are sometimes unaware of all the benefits the internet offers. Here are just a few that people already enjoy:

Farming- Vehicle registration- Milk production stats- Stock records- Best practice info- Weather reports- Machinery & stock- Compliance & traceability
Business- Banking- Tax returns- Shopping- Real estate trading- Employment- Instant communication- Working anywhere, anytime
Family- Share emails & photos- Cheap phone calls- Learning & research- Parenting info- Family health info- Interest groups- Music, movies & games

Three main factors affect the speed of a connection:

Bandwidth; is a connection's capacity to carry information. It can be thought of as the number of lanes on a motorway. The more lanes a motorway has, the more traffic it can manage.

Data; is the information being carried. It can be thought of as vehicles on the motorway. Large, slow vehicles (huge files) can cause congestion.

Throughput; is the amount of information being carried at a certain time of day. Throughput can be thought of as traffic on the motorway, with congestion occurring at peak times of the day.

Other factors may include:

- The length and quality of the wiring in your house (for phone line connections).
- Your computer and broadband equipment.
- How many people share your connection.
- The programs you use (some programs use your connection).
- If you have viruses or spyware.
- Websites you visit (some international websites and websites with a lot of photos may load slowly).

Your choice of broadband plan will be largely determined by how much you use the internet, what you use it for and the needs of other members in your household. The type of broadband you choose Satellite, ADSL and Wireless Broadband are usually determined by location but may in some case be influenced by how you use broadband. Our sales specialists are experts at helping you determine your requirements and will give you guidance in selecting the most appropriate broadband plan. If your needs change down the track, it's easy to upgrade plans, just give us a call on 0800 32 76 74.

The difference between Satellite and conventional broadband is how it is delivered. Conventional broadband uses the existing landline network. Satellite is not reliant on fixed lines or infrastructure.

Almost anywhere. All that is required is either a clear view of the northern sky. This means some locations may not be able to receive Satellite due to the natural landscape, trees or buildings surrounding them. Often this can be resolved by moving the satellite dish to a different location on the property. Only in rare cases, such as in deep mountain valleys, will reception not be possible.

The Optus D2 satellite sits 35,888 km above the earth and is 152°E, it sends and receives signals from the Satellite equipment installed at the customer’s home to the Farmside network.

It depends on which service you use and how much you use it. For example, rural users on a dial-up service may be charged a monthly connection fee as well as a per minute connection charge that, depending on usage, will add up to more than a $49 +GST Satellite package.

With Satellite the data needs to travel to the satellite and back, creating a slightly longer delay than conventional broadband. This is not normally noticeable except for a few seconds when initially downloading a web page, however real time applications such as Skype, VoIP, VPN and gaming may experience performance issues.

Rain fade occurs at times of heavy rain, snow or hail and may interfere with the satellite signal. This will only occur in extreme conditions. As soon as the weather eases full service will automatically be restored.

No. Sky TV dishes are only designed to receive a signal. A special dish is needed to have the additional transmission capability needed for broadband.

A Satellite dish is either 84cm or 96cm in diameter, slightly larger than a standard Sky TV dish.

No. Satellite involves the installation and operation of a complex set of equipment. To optimise performance and minimise interference with other independent services, professional installation is required.

To connect a computer to the Satellite modem all that is needed is an Ethernet Port (either a 10/100 Ethernet Network Interface Card or a PCMCIA adapter with an Ethernet connector) on the computer or an appropriate router.

You do not need a phone line or dial-up data modem to use Satellite as it is a two way satellite service.

The Satellite modem lets you connect your computer to the Internet whether you are running Windows or Mac.

To get the most out of your Internet experience, we suggest the following minimum system requirements:

Software requirements; Operating system: PC: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3), Mac: OS X. (Please note Windows XP will no longer be supported effective from April 2014).

Hardware requirements; Processor: PC: Pentium II or greater, Mac: 400 MHz G3 or greater.

A network card fitted and activated prior to installation.

Yes. You can connect multiple computers and laptops. However all computers on this network will be sharing a single connection. Simultaneous use of high-bandwidth applications by multiple users may result in a slower speed for all users.

Satellite plans have monthly limits for the amount of data you can upload and download each month. If you exceed this data cap, overage charges apply for the amount of additional data you use.

With Boosters you can add extra data to your broadband plan as you need it. It's cheaper to buy additional data in a Booster than to incur overage charges. If your needs change, just give us a call to increase/decrease your monthly Booster amount or even remove it from your plan for a while.

To get the best value from a Satellite plan, keep an eye on the usage each month. To help our customers do this, Farmside posts usage statistics at each customer's Myfarmside login, plus sends usage updates via email when you have reached 60%, 80%, 100% and 120% of the data limit for your plan (usage emails are best effort and should not be relied on as the sole method of monitoring usage).

This stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. This is the technology that has been developed for enabling broadband connections using existing telephone networks. Unfortunately it only works close to an ADSL exchange resulting in it being unavailable too much of rural New Zealand.

ADSL filters allow you to continue to make telephone calls whilst using your broadband connection. The filters are easy to install: unplug your telephone from the wall socket, connect an ADSL filter into the wall socket and reconnect the telephone to the ADSL filter socket marked 'PHONE'.

A connection to the internet that is permanently available and ready for use.

A program running either on the internet or on your computer that analyses incoming mail and filters spam (junk) mail.

A program running on your computer to protect it against a virus attack. Viruses are malicious code sent from other computers which can intrude on your privacy, damage your computer or corrupt your files.

The amount of data that can be transferred over a connection at any one time, for a broadband connection it is normally at least 512Kbps.

A connection to the internet that works at high speeds because of its greater bandwidth.

The generic name given to services which use fibre optic cable buried underground to carry telephone, television and broadband to your home.

The amount of data per month you're able to transfer to your computer via broadband before either stopping, or charging you.

This describes the maximum number of users sharing the bandwidth on the broadband connection between your local exchange and your broadband provider.

A contract period is the minimum length of time you will be tied with your existing broadband provider. The average period is 12 months, though this can extend for up to 36 months depending upon the broadband deal you choose.

A dial-up connection uses a telephone line to connect to the internet. A modem is used to turn data into audio signals so that it can literally 'dial' the number of your internet service provider (ISP) and communicate with their computers.

Describes the process of transferring files from a location on the internet to your PC.

Most broadband suppliers who offer unlimited broadband downloads have an acceptable or fair use policy. The supplier monitors the broadband usage by the customer. If the use is deemed excessive, the provider retains the right to restrict or stop the customer using the service. The restrictions are usually triggered by excessive downloading. The restrictions allow other customers to access the broadband service fairly.

Software or hardware that is designed to prevent unauthorised access to a network. This can either be a piece of software or a standalone piece of equipment.

One gigabyte is approximately 1000 megabytes. Broadband caps and limits vary from 1GB to unlimited downloads dependent on which broadband deal you choose.

An ISP is the company that provides your broadband connection (Farmside)!

This code allows you to migrate from one broadband supplier to another. They are obtained from your current broadband provider.

The rate at which broadband data is transferred between computers. One megabit is approximately 1000 kilobits.

This is an acronym derived from the words modulator and demodulator by taking the "mo" and "dem" from the words. A modem is a piece of hardware that is used to connect computers to the internet.

This is an audio file format which uses compression software to make the file size smaller without significant reduction in quality. It is a common file format for sharing music files on the internet.

This is the act of tricking someone into giving them confidential information or tricking them into doing something that they normally wouldn't do or shouldn't do.

A device which decides where to send packetised information, so essential if you have more than one computer on a network.

Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes.

An alternative to downloading large files such as audio and video. Streaming allows users to commence playback whilst the remaining file is downloading in the background.

Describes the process of transferring files from your PC to another location on the internet.

The amount of storage space you get on a server to enable you to store emails or run a website.