Byte Me Article 331 – Update to Bush Internet Connections

12th August 2017

Bushies Caught in the ‘Net’

Two and three weeks ago I wrote articles about Internet connections for people in the Bush.  The response that we have had from this has been amazing and it has highlighted several questions that are very popular.  This article is geared to address the most popular questions.

The most popular question has been around the use of Internet based accounting systems such as the online or ‘hosted’ versions of MYOB, Reckon and Phoenix as well as the popular Xero Internet based accounting software.  This software will run over a Satellite connection although I would not want to use it.

Accounting software requires switching often between many different screens, especially if you are the person entering the invoices in the first place.  This will work well over ‘town’ connections such as ADSL and NBN FTTN.  It will also work well over NBN fixed Wireless and standard Wireless Broadband if it is setup right.  These connections are low latency – however any form of satellite is high latency.

Which connection is best for Internet banking?  Again, a low latency connection is great here but any form of satellite is not.  The same applies to gaming over the Internet.  If you were trying to play any of the popular Internet based games over a satellite connection then you would be at a distinct disadvantage over anyone else on a low latency connection.

What is the use of satellite based Internet?  It is still the ONLY source of Internet that people is very remote areas can get.  If you cannot stand on the roof of you house / shed and make a mobile phone call at all – then satellite Internet may be your only option.  I am saying ‘maybe’ here because we can also offer better options if there is a nearby hill that you can make a mobile call from.

Telstra’s new Nighthawk M1 was also the subject of many questions.  This is a new Wireless Broadband device that has recently been launched by Telstra as “the fastest mobile broadband modem ever”.  This is entirely misleading for many people considering this device – especially those in remote areas.

In remote areas, the name of the game is reception and the only way to get good reception is with the right roof mounted external antenna.  The Nighthawk M1 has very ‘dodgy’ TS-9 connectors for external antennas which rely on a bit of friction on a 2mm thick slide on fitting.  There are many way better Industrial 3G/4G/4GX modem/routers around with proper screw based SMA connectors that are designed to work with external antennas.

It comes back to simple physics but a Nighthawk M1 operating from inside a house can be 10 times slower than the setup that I am advocating.  Be wary of these mass marketing campaigns as the Nighthawk M1 is a great device in situations close to a tower were ANY wireless broadband modem would work well.

Another popular question was that of getting Internet signal into a donga or tin shed.  In these cases, you must have an external antenna with cables to bring the signal into the building.  You can then rebroadcast this from a Wi-Fi capable modem/router to computers and Wi-Fi devices.  It is the same for mobile phone calls with an external antenna and a ‘repeater’ style device inside the building.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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