Choosing the right broadband to stay connected

Broadband allows a significantly higher volume of data to be transferred at the highest speed using an ADSL connection

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BLOOMBERG

IN TODAY’S digital era, not having a decent Internet connection will easily disconnect you from all that is happening around the world.

Many depend on the Internet to stay connected with their loved ones and friends, and spend time watching their favourite YouTube posting or Netflix series.

TIME Fibre offers the lowest rate with the highest speed for home broadband. (source: timeinternet.my)

The broadband was developed to replace dial-up connection in the early 2000s.

Broadband allows a significantly higher volume of data to be transferred at the highest speed using an ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) connection.

According to the iMoney 2019 Broadband Survey, over 66% of home broadband users in Malaysia said they were satisfied with the quality of their home broadband service.

The survey highlighted that TIME Fibre customers were the happiest with 93% of them saying they are satisfied with the service.

Unifi also has happy customers with 63% of respondents satisfied with the service, taking into consideration that majority of the broadband users are unifi subscribers.

Generally, a 100Mbps broadband package average cost is between RM99 and RM129 per month in the Klang Valley, while the average cost of a 30Mbps package is around RM89 per month.

If you are someone who prefers something with fast download and upload, fibre Internet will be the best choice for you. (source:maxis.com.my)

The survey also discovered that one in six Malaysians are paying more than what they should for a broadband.

Additionally, 82% of the respondents stated they would switch their current broadband package for one that is more affordable and offers more value for money.

The average broadband prices in the country have reduced by an average of 49% through the introduction of mandatory standard on access pricing.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said that entry level fixed broadband packages have increased from 10Mbps to 30Mbps while the price has dropped from RM139 to RM79 per month.

Now that prices have gone down and the speed gone up, it is vital for people to choose the right broadband packages to suit their lifestyle and preference.

From surfing the Internet and social media to checking emails and sharing videos online and downloading them, there are various packages offered which cater to different types of Internet users.

Here are some of the things you might want to consider before getting a wired Internet service for your home or your business.

Which Type of Connection Do You Prefer?

There are three types of common Internet connections offered by Internet service providers (ISPs) in Malaysia, which are ADSL, fibre and wireless.

If you are someone who does not mind having a slower connection, you can opt for ADSL.

This may be the most economical for an average user as the download and upload speeds are usually different.

If you are someone who prefers something with fast download and upload, fibre Internet will be the best choice for you.

Fibre Internet services are generally more expensive as it replaces the copper lines with fibre optic cables, which are more stable and work without any disruptions under most weather conditions.

The wireless broadband connections are for those who mostly uses the Internet on the go, as well as on multiple devices. It usually comes with a prepaid plan that has a short contract period.

How is the Coverage of Your Area?

Now that you have the type of connection sorted out, the next thing to consider is the coverage.

It is important to check if your area or location is covered by an ISP or even Google Fibre, as the broadband cables are still not available in some secluded small towns.

A quick search on the ISPs official websites will show you the availability of the broadband service. Some ISPs allow you to filter your search to specific types of houses such as condominiums, landed homes or offices.

How Much Speed Do You Need?

Internet users can be divided into three general categories which are light users, moderate users and heavy users.

According to an article by Ringgitplus.com, light users can settle for 1Mbps to 3Mbps speed, while moderate users may opt for 5Mbps to 10Mbps and heavy users can go for 10Mbps or more.

It is important to identify which type of application you use the most. Those who use the Internet for YouTube and Netflix are classified as heavy users as these require high-definition video streaming.

For those who spend most of their time on Facebook, Twitter or checking their email for work, they can easily opt for the 1Mbps to 5Mbps speeds.

If you are unsure of your current Internet speed, you can use the famous speed test platform by Ookla which is available on the Internet.

Which One to Go for?

There are many broadband plans in Malaysia today. In fact, most of the home broadband packages offer reliable and fast Internet connection to help you stay productive and connected.

Some of the ISPs available are Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), TIME dotCom Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Astro IPTV and P1.

Based on an analysis by iMoney.com, TIME Fibre offers the lowest rate with the highest speed for home broadband. However, the coverage is limited to high-rise buildings.

TIME Fibre offers 100Mbps download speed for just RM99 per month.

The TIME Fibre 1Gbps currently offers the fastest Internet speed readily available in Malaysia.

If you are staying in a landed property in the Klang Valley, look at the plans offered by TM unifi services. A 100Mbps speed service from unifi costs about RM 129 per month.

There are home broadband packages offered by DiGi.Com, Celcom Axiata Bhd and ViewQwest Sdn Bhd, but such services are in limited areas.

Once you have selected a package, the next thing to do is to call or do an online registration for the service chosen.

The registration process would not take too long and you can almost immediately start subscribing to your preferred broadband deal and enjoy the unlimited connection to the Internet.