To access the internet, you need to sign up with an internet service provider (ISP).
Before you connect
- the service you need, such as standard ADSL, high speed ADSL or a wireless connection
- your usage habits, including the amount of data you will download each month
- the equipment your household needs to access the service, such as a standard ADSL modem or wireless modem/router.
Once you work out which services you need, check out all providers in your area and compare their plans.
Remember that some providers bundle other services, such as a home phone, mobile phone or pay TV, with your internet connection. Consider the total cost of all of these services and find out if one provider offers a comparable bundled service that could save you money.
When considering your options, consider:
- what the package includes
- after-sales services, such as technical support
- peak and off-peak data allowances, and how they affect each other when one is exhausted
- your account services, such as an email account, online billing and counters to show how much data you have used
- the contract length and cancellation fees
- the total minimum fee you will pay for the service.
For more information or more help on choosing an ISP visit the Broadband Choice ISP directory.
Protect your computer
To protect your computer:
- keep your operating system and other software up to date
- install a personal firewall that allows only essential inbound and outbound connections
- install anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software, and keep them updated
- turn off unsecured features in your computer´s browser.
If you have a query or complaint, first contact your service provider.
You can also contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about:
- billing and being overcharged
- being charged for services and products that you did not receive or request
- being overcharged for work carried out
- being misled or misinformed about contract terms.
Last reviewed 28/11/2011