What? Are you crazy?? That’s what you’re thinking isn’t it. First off, why I am writing this post. I want to share my unbiased experience switching from Internode to TPG. Let me assure you that this is not a sponsored post!
As you no doubt would have recently heard, iiNet have bought Internode. I’ve been a loyal customer of the Node for over 6 years, but living out of the city areas means i’m on a Telstra DSLAM on one of Internodes Easy Reach plans. Due to the “Telstra price squeeze” (in which their retail division undercuts their wholesale pricing by a significent margin) i’m paying much more for less data than if I was on an Internode DSLAM. Which prompted me to look for something with better value. Don’t get me wrong, I was perfectly happy with Internode all that time and had no complaints at all, but I wanted better value, and more data allowance!
The only other ISP with a DSLAM in my area was TPG. Now I know TPG have a bad reputation especially in the area of disconnects, slow speeds and most of all customer support. I hit the Whirlpool forums and it seemed that a vast majority of these were customer premise problems, not directly TPG related. I rarely call customer support so that part didn’t phase me too much. After a month of deliberation, I decided to take the plunge and opted for their Unlimited ADSL2+ with Home Phone bundle. Naked DSL would have been a more attractive offer but strangely enough it was $10 more than the bundle.
Signup and connection
I opted to sign up online. Due to the fact that i’m signing up for their Home Phone bundle, I wasn’t able to churn to TPG and was required to pay the initial signup fee of $99 + $20 deposit for Home Phone. After signing up online, I played the waiting game. The quoted ETA was 10 – 15 days, with the phone line connected within 5 days later. 11 days later, my ADSL was connected.
The phone line was connected 5 days later. I don’t use the home phone all that much so I didn’t perform any more exhaustive tests than making sure I could receive calls, and dial out.
Synch speeds remain the same as what I got with Internode, roughly 16-17 Mb/s down and 1 Mb/s up. I ran speed tests and packet loss tests overnight and through the day, especially through peak periods and got on average a 0.1% packet loss over 5000 pings. Downloads regularly peak at 1.6 MB/s (note the differing notation between Mb/s and MB/s). Pings to the closest gateway come back at around 19 ms.
Browsing pages seems just as fast as with Internode. Youtube videos also stream just as well. I have an Astraweb account and Usenet downloads peak at 1.6 MB/s at around 10 connections.
Conclusion and final thoughts
One thing I did notice is that TPG really provide a barebones service (hence the pricing). The mailbox they provide you is a POP3 mailbox (I was used to being able to hook up my iPhone and Mac simultaneously through Internode’s IMAP facility). No mail forwarding service is provided either. There is also no online ADSL line profile changer, you’ll have to call tech support and get them to do it for you.
At the end of the day, i’m very satisfied with the service TPG have been providing and would recommend them. This is MY experience with TPG and may or may not reflect what other TPG customers are seeing. Having unlimited data is a godsend, which enables me to rent movies through iTunes now without worrying about how it’s going to impact my monthly quota.