NBN in the Hawkesbury

What you need to know about the NBN

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the upgraded internet infrastructure that has been rolled out over Australia.

The NBN is a corporation owned by the Commonwealth of Australia. Retail Service Providers (Internet Service Providers) use the newly built NBN infrastructure to provide you with an internet connection.

Should I get the NBN?

YES! Your tax dollars have gone towards building this infrastructure and you should take advantage of it. It is much faster than previous technologies such as ADSL2.

The average person on ADSL2 can expect download speeds about 10X faster on a 100Mbit downstream plan and even if you don’t require the download speed the upload speeds which are required for things like video calls and sharing photos can be over 40X faster than the typical upload speed possible on an ADSL2 connection. Some NBN technologies can reach speeds even faster than this. Eg, 1000Mbps is possible if you have FTTP.

The NBN roll-out was heavily politicised and horror stories are often made headlines, however despite some of the issues the vast majority of people will get a much more stable internet connection that is much faster than what they previously had available.

I have a home phone – Do I need to use Telstra?

NO! Telstra does not own the NBN or the NBN’s infrastructure.

You are able to keep your home phone number and change to a different RSP if you desire. You’re under no obligation to use Telstra.

What NBN technologies are there?

The NBN uses a mixture of different technologies to connect your house to the NBN network. These technologies come under 3 different categories – Fixed Wireless, satellite or Fixed Line. Fixed line includes Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC).

Due to the semi-rural environment in the Hawkesbury with small lots as well as large farms in close proximity you’ll find just about every technology used in a small area. Just one street might have 3 different NBN types deployed.

Fibre to the Premises is the best connection type as you get Fibre optic connections straight into your home while the other fixed line technologies use a mixture of existing infrastructure such as your homes existing copper cabling used for your home phones or the coaxial connections used for cable TV.

Only ONE of the above technologies will be available to you depending on your address. Your neighbours may have a different NBN technology to what you have, so just because other people on your street have FTTC, does not necessarily mean you will also get FTTC.

To check what NBN technology is available at your address you can enter your address on the NBN’s website:


I’m not happy with the NBN technology at my address, what can I do?

There is an option to upgrade to a different NBN technology through the Technology Choice Program if you’re not satisfied with your connection type. As an example someone on fixed wireless may wish for an upgrade to a fixed line connection which would be faster and more stable. These upgrades will typically cost between $2000 and $10,000 but can also go much higher for properties far from other NBN infrastructure. These upgrades can take months to complete. You can apply for a free quote below:

Technology Choice Program

4G LTE vs Satellite

If you’re only able to get satellite at your address I would suggest having a professional check to see if 4G is a better option. Instead of connecting to the NBN network you would use an LTE modem and powerful antenna mounted on your roof to connect to the mobile networks instead. This would be provided through Telstra, Optus or Vodafone and their resellers.

Note that just because you can’t get a mobile signal inside your home doesn’t mean a 4G connection isn’t possible as a good LTE antenna is much larger than the antenna in your phone and mounted high on your roof the radio waves are less likely to be blocked by structures, trees, terrain, etc.

Satellite connections have a high latency, low bandwidth and low data caps meaning they should only be used if you sparingly require internet access or you have no other option. Starlink is another satellite technology being rolled out by SpaceX which provides satellite internet with a lower latency as these satellites are in low orbit, however this is still in beta at this time.

What is the best RSP?

The NBN RSP you choose won’t make much difference in terms of your bandwidth and service stability as all RSP’s need to meet a minimum standard. Some RSP’s may not opt to sell all speed tiers, so you may wish to check out the competition if one RSP will not sell the plan you want. They all have the same “coverage” and the RSP you select won’t change the technology used to connect you to the NBN network.

Some RSP’s may oversell their network more than others that may cause congestion during peak times but most users will not notice the difference.

The main difference between RSP’s is price, data caps and customer service.

My preference is Aussie Broadband as all their customer support are based in Australia rather than overseas. They also have a great app that allows for running diagnostics on demand which can be used to troubleshoot your connection if you suspect there may be issues.

Note that if you’re having internet issues your RSP is often not to blame. If there is a connection issue outside of your home it’s often NBN infrastructure to blame. You will need to raise the issue with your RSP who will then sort it out with the NBN on your behalf.

If you’re interested in signing up for the NBN with Aussie Broadband I have a referral code that can save you $50.

As a disclaimer I also get credit towards my bill for each referral.

Click the link below:

Sign up for Aussie Broadband

Or enter the referal code during sign up when prompted:


Is your computer slow? You may need to upgrade to an SSD

Solid State Drives (SSD’s) are a relatively new storage technology. SSD’s started to become common in consumer devices in 2011. Unfortunately, many computers today still don’t include them as standard to cut costs despite SSD’s offering perhaps the biggest performance increase for computers in the past 2 decades.

Solid State Drives are much, much faster than Hard Disk Drives. HDD’s are a mechanical device. This means they generate heat, noise and vibrations.

Hard Disk Drives have a number of platters that spin at high speeds while a head reads the data on the disk, kind of similar to an old vinyl record. There is little room for error in the mechanics, as this head floats on a tiny pocket of air above the disk, only a few nanometres apart. Even a particle of smoke between the head and platter could cause a collision and loss of data.

Solid State Drives are a non-mechanical part, as the name suggests. Because there is no need for a head to have to physically move as the disk spins, this means it can access data much faster… Roughly 10-20x’s faster!

If your computer is running off a HDD, you may notice it’s very slow, especially if this computer originally ran Windows 7 and has been upgraded to Windows 10. Windows 10 likes to access the HDD a lot which means while you may not be copying a lot of data, the HDD is still being read from constantly causing a bottleneck in performance.

If your computer is slow and it’s only a few years old, it’s probably time to retire the old Hard Disk Drive and upgrade to a Solid State Device. The process to upgrade is easy and won’t brake the bank.

Call us today if you’d like to learn more!

End of Financial Year 2018

End of Financial Year is almost here!

Perhaps it’s time to upgrade that old dusty computer on your desk that takes 5 minutes to turn on each morning and opening that email attachment takes longer than making yourself a coffee.

If you’ve had enough of your slow [insert major computer brand here], maybe it’s time for a change…

Enquire today about our premium custom built computers. We’re putting the ‘personal’ back into Personal Computers, with computers built specifically for your needs and budget.

Enjoy doing your work on a PC made from premium computer components with friendly local support!

If you’d like more information give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.

(02) 4567 8407

Christmas is coming – Why you should buy a desktop over a laptop

Christmas is coming…

That means thousands of Australian’s will wake up on Christmas morning and unwrap their shiny new laptop (AKA: Notebook computer) – or perhaps one of those new fancy All-In-One (AIO) computers with a touch screen.

Unfortunately in a few years many of these will end up in landfill.

This isn’t to say that all laptops and AIO’s are horrible, but we need to realistic.

When you go from THIS:




It’s obvious that a lot of compromises must be made.

A laptop is trying to give you performance similar to a desktop in a package less than 1/10th the size!

For some people laptops are a necessity, for example, some people need to take their computer on public transport to work or school. Obviously in these cases a desktop PC doesn’t make sense. However, for those that rarely travel with their laptop a desktop is a far better investment.

Laptops are often made from cheaper components than their desktop counterparts and will nearly always have less performance per dollar compared to a desktop at the same price. Laptops will also have very limited upgrade paths – if they have any at all.

If the cheap components inside your laptop stop working, they can be expensive to replace and the price of replacing main components such as the motherboard often just isn’t worth it.

On a laptop if your keyboard stops working you have to buy a new over-priced keyboard, wait for shipping and then pay someone like me to fix it. On a desktop computer if your keyboard stops working you can pop into your local department store and pick up a cheap keyboard and simply plug it in and carry on with your work.

In my opinion there’s no better way to get work done than sitting on a desk with the exact setup you want. Having multiple monitors, my mechanical keyboard and my high performance mouse allows me to get work done quickly and efficiently.

A laptop on the other hand can be awkward to use unless you’re sitting at a desk. Laptop keyboards aren’t very nice to type on and many models are missing a number keypad which is crucial for anyone that does a lot of data entry.

Although the term “laptop” implies you can use the computer on your lap, it’s a very bad idea as you’re blocking off the critical air vents the laptop needs in order to properly cool the components that are already running at high temperatures. Using a laptop on your lap, in bed, etc, will cause degraded life of components such as the CPU and you’ll likely experience thermal throttling – which is when the computer automatically limits performance in order to prevent running above safe temperatures.

I built my i7 desktop in Q1 of 2012. During that time I’ve upgraded the graphics card  and added a couple of extra hard drives as my storage needs increased. I still see little reason to upgrade going on 6 years later. My computer is still fast and I can still play the latest games with high graphics.

Meanwhile, laptops I own from the same time period are showing their age. While they’re ok for typical computer use, the original hard drives had to be removed and replaced with solid state drives in order for Windows 10 to run smoothly, the battery life is now very limited and old basic games can only be played on low graphics and don’t run very well.

So what do I suggest?

All-in-One’s? Forget it. Don’t buy them. If space is a concern you can buy what’s called a “Small Form Factor” (SFF) PC.


This is a far better solution as you’re not throwing all your eggs in one basket. If your computer monitor dies you can easily buy a new one. There’s a lot more space in the case with far better cooling and you can still fit a very powerful computer inside a case like this and retain the ability to upgrade components.

If a laptop is a requirement, for example you travel a lot and need your computer to come with you, I would avoid buying the top of the line models unless you REALLY need the performance, IE, you do graphic design, 3D modelling and other resource intensive tasks daily.

Rather than buying a $2000 laptop and expecting it to last 6 years, buy the $1200 model and then upgrade it after 3-4 years.  Overall you’ll spend roughly the same amount of money however you can afford to upgrade sooner.

You should always use your laptop on a flat surface and if you need to use it on your lap you should use a laptop cooling pad to ensure the air vents aren’t being blocked and your body temperature isn’t being absorbed into the case causing higher temperatures.

Buying a desktop is the ideal way to go. A computer can be custom built according to your needs and budget and if your needs change over time you have the ability to upgrade.

What about pre-built computers from Dell, HP, etc?

I won’t lie, they can be very good value, especially since they come with Windows while a custom build computer requires over a hundred dollars just for the operating system.

However I personally wouldn’t buy one. Their warranties are generally pretty short unless you pay extra for an extended warranty and even then those warranties may not match manufacturer warranties for individual custom built computer components.

As an example, many RAM manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on RAM and good quality HDD’s, SSD’ and power supplies can come with warranties up to 5 years and sometimes even longer.