TransACT ISP comparison (long)

Bill Clarke llib at
Fri Jul 26 15:22:55 EST 2002

i've recently got TransACT installed, and so now i'm going through the
process of comparing the ISPs (via their web-pages and telephone people,
and all interpretations by me, so take it all with a grain of salt).

There are currently 4 ISPs:
Apex     62472000
Galaxy   62393169
Netspeed 62828282
Webone   62420605

Prices are all fairly similar up to the 800MB/month mark (all I've
looked at, and rounded to the nearest dollar):

MB/month ISP	  $/month $/year cents/MB (MB/(c/month))
100	 Webone	  15	  162    15
150	 Apex	  20	  200    13
	 Netspeed 20	  200    13
250	 Galaxy	  22	  ?	 8.8
300	 Apex	  25	  250    8.3
350	 Netspeed 27	  270    7.7
	 Webone	  25	  270    7.1
500	 Galaxy	  30	  ?	 6
800	 Apex	  39	  390    4.9
	 Galaxy	  39	  ?	 4.9
	 Netspeed 39	  390    4.9
	 Webone	  39	  421    4.9

all ISPs charge 20cents per extra MB over the limit (except Galaxy for
the 800MB/month plan which is 16c/MB).

$20 connection (except Netspeed which is $22, and Galaxy may be waiving
the connection fee for a short time)

Webone also have an option of 6-monthly payment, but i haven't included
it here because it confuses the issue.  Galaxy don't list any yearly


that's it for the numbers, now what about the people and the service?

i rang up all four ISPs today (20020726) and asked a series of questions
about their ISP, like:
1: Why should I use you instead? / What sets you guys apart from the
other 3 ISPs?
2: What _exactly_ counts as `download' in terms of the monthly limit?
3: is it okay to have multiple computers behind a NAT/IPMasq gateway?
4: do you have a firewall, if so what do you block?
5: do you support (free) peer-to-peer within your network/TransACT?
6: do you provide any extra services: game servers, mirrors?

very short summary: Apex good, Webone and Netspeed pretty good, Galaxy
not so good.

all except the Galaxy guy were quite helpful, but i could have just got
a bad support person at Galaxy.  Netspeed were the only ones with a
TransACT telephone service (the strange ring tone).

"answers"  (quotes are paraphrases from what i remember them saying!)

1: why you: none of them were prepared for this question; the Netspeed
guy said "our internet bandwidth is (almost) never full", the Apex guy
said, "the prices are all fairly similar" (duh!).

2: download: galaxy counts _everything_ that goes to my computer, but
presumably they would never see traffic to a TransACT internal address?
Proxy hits don't count for Apex (afaict), they do for Webone and

3: NAT: all okay.  "since we're charging by the MB it doesn't matter how
many computers you have".

4: firewall: Galaxy do IPMasq-ing and block all but outgoing (so no web
or mail servers there!).  all the others are "open" (this is interesting
considering the recent discussion on Webone).  presumably they all
(except Galaxy) provide external IP numbers upon connection, but i
forgot to ask about this!

5: peer2peer: apex, netspeed both said peer2peer is free (internal
traffic is free) and webone said it probably is free (since it'd be
routed back to TransACT), galaxy said it probably is not free.  the
netspeed guy said something along the lines of, "TransACT will be
announcing something on this in a few weeks, maybe".

6: mirrors: netspeed provide an extra game server service ($5/month if
netspeed is your ISP, $10/month otherwise).  none provide mirrors.  the
netspeed guy said something along the lines of, "TransACT will be doing
this [mirroring] in the future, maybe".

the comment that Apex don't charge for proxy hits is interesting and
perhaps i should confirm this.  if they do charge for them, then there's
very little difference between Apex, Netspeed and Webone.

anyway, i still haven't decided who to go for, but that's partly because
i don't know what my usage will be.

/lib: Bill Clarke  ResearchScientist CAPResearch DeptCompSci ANU .au llib at  tel:+61-2-6125x5687 fax:x0010
PGPid:B381EE7DB7D3E58F17248C672E2DA124ADADF444 GNU unix LaTeX XPilot
Buffy DrWho Goodies StarTrek XFiles Origami SML SMP MPI mozilla tcsh
Asimov Bear Clarke Donaldson Volleyball Ultimate Cricket emacs C++ X
Jordan Kay Lackey Martin Stasheff DeepPurple H&C KLF Queen PinkFloyd

More information about the linux mailing list