Your ultimate guide to talking Internet tech

Your ultimate guide to talking internet tech

You just want to connect to the Internet and do the things you need to do like banking, study, browsing, shopping, gaming, watching Netflix, whatever the case may be.

After lots of research, you find an Internet service provider with a plan that looks like it might fit your needs, and you reach out to get connected.

What happens next can sometimes be an overwhelming conversation with lots of tech speak. It just leaves you confused and unsure about what the hell just happened.

At SkyMesh, we have an all Aussie tech team on the phones who do go out of their way to avoid tech talk.

Sometimes, it’s just one of those necessary evils.

To help us all along in the land of Internet conversation, we’ve created this A – Z jargon-busting cheat sheet.

Below are some of the more frequently used terms you’re likely to encounter when talking Internet connections and use.

INDEX


A is for Attachment

Let’s start with the basics.

When you email a photo, a document, a video or some other sort of file, this is known as an attachment: an email attachment to be specific.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the size of your email attachments.

Those pics of the kids you’re sending to family in the big smoke could be using up a whole heap of your data allowance.

Try not to email attachments bigger than 5MB.

While you’ll be able to send a maximum attachment of 10MB through SkyMesh mail servers, you don’t want to waste your data (or that of the person you’re emailing) unnecessarily.

It is technically okay to send large attachments but keep in mind that some email service providers will have different limitations.

If you have large files, we recommend compressing (zipping) them before sending.

Alternatively, use a file sharing service like Dropbox that stores your files in the Cloud, so you just need to share a link in your email rather than a hefty file.

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B is for Bandwidth

When we talk about bandwidth, we’re talking about the maximum amount of data your computer can send or receive in a set amount of time. It’s your Internet speed.

It’s measured in units of data per second. You can check your nbn Internet speed here.

Related reads

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A cookie is a piece of data created by websites and stored on your computer.

Websites use cookies to keep track of how you use the site when you visit.

They’re also the reason you see those ads all over the Internet for the new boots you’ve been dreaming about owning! You may have looked at them a few times on one particular website. Then what happens? Cookies from that website visit enable that retailer to follow you around the Internet, sending you ads about those very boots!

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BONUS ALPHABET LETTER:

C is also for CLOUD

Seriously, other than those fluffy white things in the sky, what on Earth is a Cloud?

Where is this Cloud you speak of?

What do you mean: “it’s in the Cloud”?

All good questions!

The Cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet and another computer.

When your files are in the Cloud, they’re living on the Internet. This neat trick means you can access those files from anywhere you can get online.

Say you visit your friend Jill and you want to show her a hilarious video of something your crazy chihuahua did last weekend.

There’s no more: “I’ll email it to you when I get home”.

If you keep your files with a Cloud Computing provider (like Dropbox, for example), you can show Jill that crazy Chihuahua on the spot. You just need an Internet connection and a computer or smart device.

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Cloud computing is the storage of your files securely on the internet

D is for Data

What is data really anyway? It seems so intangible, but it is actually very measurable.

Every time you use the Internet (on your computer, phone or any other device), pieces of information measured in bytes are transferred to you (downloaded) and/or from you (uploaded). This information is the data we’re talking about.

Every Internet plan comes with a data allowance (even if that allowance is limitless), which means that there is a certain amount of data your ISP will give you to use.

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Data is talked about in a few ways:

Peak data

Peak data refers to the data available to you during certain hours of the day as set by your ISP and the nbn™ co. During peak data hours, there is less available bandwidth for use.

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Anytime data

Anytime data is a SkyMesh offering that takes peak data allowances to a whole new level. You can use your Anytime data around the clock, giving you an extra bit of flexibility in how you manage your data usage.

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Off-peak data

Off-peak data times happen between:
• 1am and 7am every day for SkyMesh Sky Muster™ customers and
• 12am to 7am for our Fixed Wireless customers.

This is the time when the least number of people are online, and so there is much more bandwidth available for use.

You’ll notice that some SkyMesh nbn plans offers you both Anytime data, as well as a more considerable amount of off-peak data each month.

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Unmetered data

Unmetered data allows users on a particular style of plan to access some browsing, email and system updates without eating into any of their data allowances.

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Limitless data

Limitless data is the holy grail that every Internet user is seeking.

It means that you never have to worry about going over your data allowance. It’s the Netflix bingers’ idea of heaven!

There is only so much bandwidth available on the satellites powering Sky Muster™ and Sky Muster™ Plus which means limitless data is not an option here. However, SkyMesh is always working with nbn™ co to improve your access to the available bandwidth.

For people who can access Fixed Wireless technology however, the story is a different one and limitless data is definitely an option for them.

Data on the Sky Muster™ service is precious. Learn how to utilise your off-peak allowance for streaming via popular sites like Netflix and YouTube here.

 

 

Sky Muster satellite dish

E is for Ethernet

The Ethernet cable is probably the most common cable lying around everyone’s home.

It’s a bunch of standard wires that connect computers to a network. In your home that may be the computer to your printer, router and modem.

What it really does is allow each piece of technology in that network to communicate with each other.

For example, you’re able to print from your computer because the ethernet cable connects both devices.

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F is for nbnco Fair Use Policy

nbn™ co’s Fair Use Policy limits the largest plan that Internet service providers (aka us at SkyMesh) can offer. It’s all about making sure there is enough bandwidth to go around.

For example, the peak hour data usage of individual SkyMesh Sky Muster™ services is restricted to no more than 150GB in four weeks.

Believe me; this is a good thing!

How can we say that when it puts limits on how much data you can use?

The Fair Use Policy makes sure there’s room for everyone to get a good connection to the Sky Muster™ Internet technology.

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G is for Gateways

Gateways, also known as Earth stations, are ground stations that transmit data (the Internet, actually) to and from the satellite up in space.

The Gateways house all the antennas and equipment that convert the Internet into radio frequencies (RF). Both nbn™ co and SkyMesh refer to these RF as the Sky Muster™ signal.

nbn™ co has 10 gateways across Australia which are suped-up to make sure satellite connections can span the country!

Not connected to the nbn™ yet? No problems. Use the button below to check nbn™ availability at your place.

CHECK YOUR ADDRESS

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H is for HTML

HTML stands for Hyper-Text Markup Language, and all your favourite websites are made with it!

It gives every website structure by coding page sections, headings, links and blockquotes.

HTML code form the building blocks of a website.

Then you’d use CSS coding for more advanced website styling, kinda like choosing the tiles for the bathroom.

JavaScript is the final layer of building a website. It brings funky functionality to the site like pop-up boxes and image galleries. It’s a bit more like choosing the soft close draws in the kitchen, and a fridge with an inbuilt ice-machine.

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I is for IP Address

Your IP address is no different to the street address where you live.

IP stands for Internet Protocol, and the address component of that is a series of unique numbers. Those numbers then get applied to your computer or device to let it chat with other devices across the Internet.

So, how do you get an IP address?

Well, it’s assigned to you by your Internet service provider.

And here’s fair warning to the emotional folks out there… this is not a forever relationship.

Your IP address has a wandering heart and can leave you for something as simple as turning your router off and back on. You can wake up in the morning with a whole new IP address.

You’re probably wondering why it’s so fickle?

Well, that’s connected to any changes that might happen on your Internet service provider’s network infrastructure that impacts the way they assign IP addresses. Truthfully though, that’s a long, convoluted story for another time.

At SkyMesh, however, we’re pretty sticky when it comes to relationships.

We like to nurture them on all levels, including our IP addresses. So, by default, your SkyMesh IP address should stay the same unless we have a compliance reason for it changing. And if that happens, you’ll get a Dear John letter (well, a Dear John email actually) from us to let you know what happened and why.

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Rural Australian woman using the internet on the farm

 

BONUS ALPHABET LETTER:

I is for ISP (Internet Service Provider)

You probably hear the acronym ISP tossed around like confetti. It’s one of those things people say to you and just expect you to know what they’re on about.

It’s not true. Plenty of people are wondering what an ISP is.

ISP stands for Internet Service Provider, and these are the people (just like us at SkyMesh) that you pay to supply you with access to the Internet. At SkyMesh. take care of your nbn™ satellite and fixed wireless plans.

To further complicate this issue, since the introduction of the nbn™ co, people will also use the term RSP (Retail Service Provider) to mean the same thing as an ISP.

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J is for JPEG (or jpg)

Has anyone ever asked you to send them something as a JPEG?

They will have been asking you to send them an image, probably a photo.

JPEG is the type of file format and is referenced in a file name like: thisphoto.jpg

Most digital photos are produced as JPEGs but you may also see photos and images floating around the Internet in a GIF or PNG format. These are just referencing different types and quality of compression.

JPEG files are an ideal, high quality resolution for printing.

While PNGs are “lossless”, meaning you can edit them and not lose quality, they are still low resolution and ideal for web use, but not for printing.

GIF files are usually animated, like the moving images you might sometimes receive in a text message.

There are a lot of other image file types, but these cover the most commonly seen types.

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A jpeg is a file type used for high resolution images

K is for Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a bunch of resources put together in one spot by a company that has listened to the common questions and frustrations repeatedly asked by their customers.

The point of a knowledge base is to provide answers and solutions for customers to quickly access when they need the information.

At SkyMesh, our knowledge base is our Help Centre which you can find here.

Of course, you’re also always welcome to call our all Aussie call centre for help on 1300 759 637.

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L is for Latency

Satellite latency is the slight time delay you’ve probably already experienced when loading a page or streaming a video.

It’s completely normal, occurs irrespective of supplier, and is part of the Sky Muster™ technology.

The reason this happens is because the signal needs to go into space and back again, twice, each time you take an action on the Internet. It’s a hell of a long way to go on a round trip into space and back twice, but it still only takes the signal 600 milliseconds (0.6 seconds)!

In fact, all Internet network technologies experience a time delay in the sending and receiving of data.

Fixed Wireless connections may experience a time delay of around 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds).

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M is for Modem

Ever been on an overseas holiday and gone on a tour with a translator? You do this because you speak one language, and the people in the country you’re visiting speak a different one, right?

Your translator makes communication happen smoothly, so you have a great visit abroad.

A modem does precisely the same thing with all the components that make up your home computer network, enabling you to connect to the Internet.

All the devices you use speak different digital languages, but the modem is their universal translator making communication seamless.

You don’t need a modem for your nbn™ Sky Muster™ or Fixed Wireless service but your NTD has one inbuilt.

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BONUS ALPHABET LETTER:

M is also for Megabits

Did you even know that Megabits and Megabytes were different things? Many people don’t. They sound so similar that you really couldn’t be blamed for feeling confused.

In simple terms, here’s the difference:

  • Megabits per second (Mbps) = speed
  • Megabytes (MB) = size

If you download 25MB (megabytes) of data at the speed of 25Mbps (megabits) per second, it will actually take around 8 seconds to download completely.

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Rural family with Sky Muster internet

N is for Network

A network allows computers and digital devices to share resources such as hardware, software, data and information. It’s built up of wireless connections or optical fibres to enable the swapping of data between each device.

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BONUS ALPHABET LETTER:

N is for NTD

Your NTD (network termination device) is the box that is installed at your home or office and connects you to the nbn™ through fixed wireless or satellite Internet technology.

Think of it as your nbn™ connection box.

It stays at the premises when you leave because it’s really the property of the nbn™ co.

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O is for Outage

Outages are tricky.

Sometimes they happen because your ISP or the nbn™ co has planned maintenance on the network infrastructure.

In this case, it’s about making sure you get the best possible service long-term. It will usually happen at a time where the least amount of people will be impacted for the least amount of time. Keep in mind that it is still likely to happen during daylight hours if technicians need to see the towers.

Typically, we’ll send you an email to make sure you know what’s happening in advance.

Sometimes outages happen because the Internet is made up of a stack of moving parts, any of which could break. If that happens, it could mean that a customer (or many customers) experience an outage.

For example, a severe storm could mean that the Gateways can’t see the satellite and that disrupts the connection.

SkyMesh will always work closely with the nbn™ co to make sure outages are resolved as fast as possible.

We want to get you quickly back to doing the things you love to do online.

You can find any notices about outages here.

If you don’t have a secondary Internet connection – and find yourself ultimately without Internet access – you can call the SkyMesh SMART (Sky Muster™ Advance Repair Telephone) Hotline on 07 3123 5855.

NOTE: The SkyMesh SMART Hotline is a recorded message that will let you know about the current status of any outages. It’s not an express queue.

Related reads

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P is for PlayOn

You’ll notice that some SkyMesh Internet plans offers you an amount of Anytime data, and a larger amount of off-peak data each month.

You’ll get more out of your precious Anytime data if you make good use of your off-peak data and tools like PlayOn.

PlayOn is a service that enables you to maximise your off-peak data allowance by recording your favourite streaming shows while you sleep.

People rarely use their more abundant off-peak data, so there’s plenty of it to go around.

On top of that, most of our Sky Muster™ plans include a whopping 140GB of off-peak data. That means 45 hours of streaming glorious television in HD, or 20 hours in ultra HD!

This article we prepared previously might give you a bit more insight.

Use PlayOn with SkyMuster to record your favourite shows

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Q is for Quota

In this particular instance, we’re talking about your monthly quota of data (aka, your data allowance).

No matter which plan you choose, you will have a data allowance (that is of course, unless you’re on the top Fixed Wireless plan which comes with limitless data).

Sky Muster™ plans start with 50GB included in the amount you pay each month. This plan will give you 10GB of Anytime data and 40GB of off-peak data.

You can monitor your usage in your online account to decide whether you’re going to go over your data allowance.

If you think you might go over the quota of data included in your plan, you can choose to either:

  • upgrade your plan (if you think this will be an ongoing thing) or
  • buy blocks of data (to get you through for the moment).

You can do both of these things yourself from your online account here.

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R is for Router

A router is located at the point where two or more networks connect.

Just as you would expect by the name, its job is to route traffic between the devices connected to the network.

In your home, this network will include computers, smartphones, tablets, printers, smart TVs, Google Home, pet cameras and much more. All these devices are connected using your router to the Internet.

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S is for SkyMesh, Sky Muster™ AND Skybridge

We know it’s tricky and confusing that these three words all start with Sky, and they’re all related to your successful Internet connection.

But they are all REALLY different.

SkyMesh is us! We’re your cheerful all Aussie experts who cannot wait to get you connected to the Internet as quickly and effectively as possible. Call us. Email us. Submit a web form to us. Any way you want to get your help, we’re here for you!

Sky Muster™ is one of the technologies that we at SkyMesh use to connect you to the Internet. It’s an nbn™ co product that we use to get you doing all the fabulous Internet things that you want to do.

Skybridge is nbn™ co’s installation partner.

It’s not a small task to offer physical tech support to all of rural and remote Australia. So, when you become a SkyMesh customer, nbn™ co (who own the infrastructure that we provide your service through) will get Skybridge to come out and give you a hand.

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SkyMesh Sky Muster service

T is for Throttling

Throttling – in the way it’s meant by ISPs – is the intentional slowing down of your connection when you go over your data allowance.

It won’t stop you from having access to the Internet, but it may slow down so far that your experience is incredibly frustrating.

When ISPs take this action, it’s so that network traffic and congestion can be managed, allowing plenty of bandwidth for everyone.

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U is for Unmetered Data

The Sky Muster™ Plus packages have this tricky little feature where you can get unmetered data to access content on the Internet like some basic browsing, email and systems updates.

What does this really mean to you? FREE WEB USAGE!

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V is for Very helpful and expert SkyMesh Staff

Let’s face it. The Internet is a complicated and overwhelming beast when you start to unpack how it works, and who wants to explode their brains with that anyway?

That’s why we’re here. We deal with the complicated and overwhelming bits, so you don’t have to.

If there’s something you can’t do using your online account with us – or you’re having technical troubles – our super friendly super nerds are only a phone call away!

CALL US ON 1300 759 637

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W is for Webmail

Webmail is the system that allows you to access your emails in a web browser anywhere you can get an Internet connection.

While we offer this service at SkyMesh, we also highly recommend Gmail and here’s why:

  • You can get 15GB of email storage for free
  • They have a great spam filter
  • You can set-up your own email domain so you can get have an email address that looks like this: your.name@your-business.com
  • There is a two-factor authentication process for signing in from a new device, making it harder to hack your emails.
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X is for X-rated Websites

If you come across X-rated or other illegal content during the course of online browsing, naturally the right thing to do is to report it to the Australian Government’s eSafety Commissioner.

The eSafety Commissioner can direct an Australian website host to remove any offensive content, notify the relevant Australian police force of any illegal material, and refer offending international material to the Australian Federal Police for action through Interpol.

In addition to making that all important report, here’s a few other tips on staying safe online:

  • keep your personal information to a minimum online
  • make sure you’re visiting reputable sites and be careful what you download, so you don’t end up with a virus
  • ensure you have an up-to-date anti-virus program installed
  • check out a few of these previous posts we’ve written on online safety.

Related reads

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Y is for Your Usage is Your Responsibility

How you manage your data usage is entirely your own prerogative and responsibility.

Check back at Q is for Quota for more information on managing data through your online SkyMesh account.

In addition to using your online account, you can install a third-party product like Glasswire on all of your Internet-connected devices. This enables you to track the data usage of each specific device. It’s a fabulous way for you to know where your data usage is really being used.

As a bit of a related side note, sometimes people don’t realise that their Internet-connected devices can (and will) do things when you’re not at home. The most common example happens when software updates automatically download and install on your devices.

You don’t necessarily need to be physically using a device for your Internet data to be used.

We just need to flag though, SkyMesh can’t help you troubleshoot any third-party products you use in conjunction with our service. We are happy to help you with any of your needs around our own service though.

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Z is for Zipping

As in:

  • file zipping
  • zip that file! Zip it good!
  • just zip it first
  • can you zip that and send it to me?

What is zipping?

Zipping a file compresses it so, it’s smaller and more manageable. Small files are easier to send. Zipped files also save storage space on your computer.

Both Windows and Mac operating systems can zip and unzip files without the use of third-party software.

A quick Google search will lead you to step-by-step instructions on how to work this magic.

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Not already a SkyMesh customer? No problems. Use the button below to check nbn™ availability at your place.

Can’t find what you are looking for?

Call now 1300 759 637 or  Request Support