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What is an ISP?

ISPs are a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to connecting your home or business to the internet.

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, updated on February 13th, 2024       

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Internet service providers, or ISPs, help make the broadband connection at your home or office possible, but what are they and what do they do? It’s important to know about the functions of an ISP before you buy your first internet plan, which you can find out all about right here with Savvy in our helpful guide.

What is an ISP and what do they do?

An ISP, or internet service provider, is a company which offers internet access and related services to individuals, businesses and other organisations. ISPs play a crucial role in the functioning of the internet by connecting users to the global network.

Here's a snapshot of what ISPs do:

  • Internet access: the primary function of an ISP is to provide users with access to the internet. They do this by maintaining a network infrastructure that connects users to the internet backbone, which consists of high-capacity data lines and servers.
  • IP address allocation: ISPs assign unique IP (internet protocol) addresses to their customers. IP addresses are essential for identifying devices on the internet and routing data packets to their destinations.
  • Data transmission: ISPs transmit data between users' devices and the websites, servers or online services they want to access. This involves routing data through their network to ensure it reaches its destination efficiently and securely.
  • Technical support: they also provide technical support to help customers troubleshoot issues with their internet connections or related services. This is essential in cases where a connection drops out or a complex problem is unable to be solved by the customer.
  • Bundled services: in some cases, an ISP might also provide bundled services in addition to your internet plan. This may range from bonuses like free streaming subscriptions or entertainment packages to home or mobile phone plan bundles.

How do I compare the best ISPs in Australia?

Comparing ISPs is crucial when searching for the plan which best suits your needs. The main factors to consider include the following:

  • Available plans: evaluate the plans offered by different ISPs, specifically the speeds and data allowances included on these plans. Consider your usage patterns and select a deal which provides the service you need.
  • Price: compare the prices of plans, taking into account any promotional rates, setup fees and other contract terms. Take the time to consider any possible costs before signing on the dotted line and look for the cheapest available plan which meets your needs.
  • Coverage: check the coverage area of the ISP to ensure they offer service in your location, which is especially important when comparing home wireless broadband plans. For example, rural areas may have limited options.
  • Contract terms: understand the contract terms, including the length of the contract and any penalties for early termination. Many plans will come without fixed terms, providing you with greater freedom month-to-month, so assess your preferences for a plan.
  • Equipment: check whether the ISP provides necessary equipment like modems or routers and whether there are associated fees. If you have a modem already, check whether it’s compatible with your new ISP and if they’ll charge activation fees for you to use it.
  • Evening speeds: it’s important to have a grasp of what your ISP’s performance looks like at peak times, such as in the evening. If, for example, your NBN 100 plan is said to cap out at 95Mbps download in the evening, you may wish to go with another provider who can offer the full 100Mbps speed.
  • Bundled services: some ISPs offer bundles which include internet and phone services. In other cases, this may be with certain energy deals also. Assess whether bundling services is cost-effective for your situation.
  • Extras: as mentioned, some ISPs offer additional services like included entertainment packages. Consider these extras if they align with your needs and determine whether they’re worth it for you.
  • Technical support: research the quality and availability of customer support. Prompt and knowledgeable support can be essential when issues arise, particularly when they’re urgent.
  • Customer reviews: read reviews and ratings from other customers to gauge the quality of service and customer support provided by the ISP.

By thoroughly comparing plans and ISPs based on these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the best provider for your internet needs in Australia. You can do just that through Savvy, as our simple online comparison and quote process makes it easy for you to compare available offers in your area side by side.

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Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!

Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.

$50 Woolworths eGift card terms and conditions
  • The Promoter is CIMET Sales Pty Ltd ABN 72 620 395 726. Level 18/570 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000. Econnex Comparison is powered by CIMET.
  • Promotion available on qualifying Broadband Plan purchases between 1st February 2024 to 31st July 2024 (“Promotional Period”) and may be withdrawn at any time by Econnex Econnex Comparison retains the right to change or alter the terms of this offer.
  • You (“Customer”) will receive $50 worth of Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards when you purchase a Broadband Plan via Econnex Comparison, subject to these Terms and Conditions.
  • Information on how to qualify to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card forms part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is considered acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Eligibility requirements
  • To be eligible to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards, you must purchase the Broadband Plan via the following link: https://app.econnex.com.au/broadband?rcCode=90709
  • You must switch to a new Broadband retailer. Customers who change plans via Econnex but remain with the same retailer will not be eligible.
  • Your Broadband Plan must be connected within 30 days from the date of purchase.
  • Eligible Recipients will receive the applicable Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards by email up to 120 days after purchasing the Broadband Plan.
  • Econnex Comparison is not liable if any Customer details supplied are incorrect.
  • Econnex Comparison is providing this offer in conjunction with the retail services offered on its platform.
  • Details of Econnex Comparison retailers can be found at the following link: https://www.econnex.com.au/approved-providers-list
  • You must be an Australian resident aged 18 or over. Econnex Comparison may request you to provide a copy of your valid ID for identification purposes.
  • The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards and Customer’s information (including the Customer’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the claim process, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the promotion.
  • Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter's discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
  • When the request for a connection cannot be completed, is unsuccessful, or a request is made for the cancellation of your Broadband Plan within the first 30 days from the date of connection, you will not be eligible to receive any gift card.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card is subject to any issuer Terms and Conditions.
  • Any ancillary costs with redeeming the gift cards are not included.
  • No responsibility is taken for any lost or stolen Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Cards.
  • If the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are unavailable, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards to a card with equivalent value, subject to directions from a regulatory authority.
  • If the offer is not able to be conducted as reasonably anticipated, due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to: technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the extent permitted by law: a. to disqualify any individual; or b. to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the promotion, as appropriate.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer from Econnex
Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions.
  • Econnex Comparison will transfer your Broadband Plan request and details to the selected retailer.
  • Econnex Comparison may contact you to clarify any details or discrepancies in the information you provided for your Broadband Plan purchase.
  • To cancel your request, you will need to contact the Broadband Plan retailer and inform them of your decision.
  • Please note that we do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands.
  • If you have any inquiries regarding your Broadband Plan purchase, you can contact us directly at 1800 013 000 or email us at [email protected]
  • Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions: https://www.econnex.com.au/terms-and-conditions/
  • By participating in this promotion, the individual authorises the Promoter to collect, hold, use and disclose their personal information in accordance with Econnex’s privacy policy, including providing such information to third parties such as contractors, service providers, suppliers and where required or authorised by law. Econnex’s Privacy policy can be found at https://www.econnex.com.au/privacy-policy
  • Econnex may, unless the individual tells us not to, use the information to communicate with them by mail or electronically by, for example, email, phone, SMS to issue direct marketing and commercial communications telemarketing calls.
  • To opt out of direct marketing access, update, or correct personal information you may contact us at [email protected]
Other Information
  • Woolworths Group Ltd ABN 88 000 014 675 is the issuer of the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card but is not the Promoter of the offer nor responsible for fulfillment of the offer terms.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards have a fixed term expiry as displayed on the front of the gift card and are redeemable in-store and online at Woolworths Supermarket stores only.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are valid for 3 months from the issue date and Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are not reloadable or redeemable for cash.
  • Econnex Comparison and Woolworths will not replace, expired, lost, stolen, or deleted Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards.
  • Check your Spam/junk email if you have not received a Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card in your inbox within 120 days after activation of your Energy, Electricity or Gas Plan.
  • Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Card is sent via email from [email protected] or [email protected]
  • For enquiries related to the application, gift cards, or adding or removing any details on the application, please contact the Econnex Comparison at 1800 013 000 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  • For the balance and transactions history on this Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card and Woolworths Terms and Conditions visit https://woolworths.com.au/giftcards or call 1300 101 234.
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