Internet troubles

The fact that my blog hasn’t updated in nearly a month is due in part to my slobbiness but it’s also thanks to a few ISP problems we’ve had in recent weeks.

A while ago our internet usage ran past the 16GB monthly limit, leaving us without internet until the end of the billing period. Our only phone was no longer registering its network (which is on the same telecommunications provider (OptusNet) but is entirely separate from our internet service) so we couldn’t renew it.

Needless to say we were feeling a bit unchuffed with OptusNet at this point. We didn’t really get the best possible usage out of the dinky little modem we received, anyway… it would run fine when it was not being used, but would cut out at ten-minute intervals in the evening time when all the daily activities had ceased and the family all wanted/needed to use the internet. It would then take about two and a half minutes to reboot the damn thing.

This is the second modem we’ve had from this company and it didn’t perform any better than the first, which was on a 6GB renewable limit rather than a 16GB-per-month basis. Stranded without internet, we bought 2 extra GB on the old modem… for $20.

Which turned out to expire in less than a 24-hour window.

This was where we started to get seriously flummoxed. None of us were using it for ludicrously bandwidth-consuming tasks – in fact, with the regularity of the modem dropping its signal for no apparent reason, there could hardly be any way at all we could possibly use up so much bandwidth in such a small period of time. Facebook was off-limits. YouTube streaming was cut to an absolute minimum, downloads were made in careful moderation, virtually no forum browsing or IRC surfing took place, Skype calls were stopped dead. We all made an effort to conserve our bandwidth… yes there were four computers all using the internet simultaneously but I definitely didn’t do anything stupidly consumptive with the limits that were in place.

Once that 2 GB limit was blasted into the stratosphere never to be heard from again, another $20 was splashed out on an extra GB of internet.

With me using it only to browse forums for help on my search for better alternatives to this desperate set of circumstances, and other web-related activities kept to virtually nil…

NetUsage is saying that we have less than 20MB left after just a day.

We wondered if there’d been some mistake. Was it possible that there was… a leak? That we had some kind of blood-sucking internet leech on our hands? That someone was tapping into our network and using it to download reams of animal porn or some other such filth?

To be perfectly honest, I see no other explanation unless one member of the family is doing some fiendish covert mass-downloading and eating up our allowance… it sure as hell ain’t me, though. I’ve been pretty much internet-abstinate for pretty much the last three days as of this post’s writing (23/03/12) – I’ve not been on Skype, checked my e-mail, blogs, webcomics or forums or anything like that. We’ve had to wait until today (March 25th) before the billing period expired and we can FINALLY go back to using the old (new) modem’s 16GB allowance. So we’re back online for the moment. But yeah, we could really do with a new ISP, stat.

It’s been mighty frustrating for all of us. Trying to transfer bank funds, or running an internet business, or maintaining credibility in a social circle of online pals (all of which are important… but not in any particular order of importance), turn out to be impeded somewhat when there’s some possible cyber-parasite eating away at your internet usage until you can barely fill up a readme file with what’s left.

Anyway, there’s a big ol’ post coming up soon which should hopefully entertain you guys enough to think about maybe starting to come back to this old place… if you hadn’t thought I’d died. :S