Geek Net

Shaped! Oh the humanity!

My Internet access account got shaped on Sunday afternoon, for the last day-and-a-half of the billing cycle, as we apparently burnt through 30 Gb (peak) in the month. No big deal — it may just mean Youtube is unbearably slow for 36 hours, and I’ll have to curb my practice of having lots of browser tabs all doing stuff at once.

On poking around in the account, I find that Netspace has again upgraded its plans without telling anybody — in fact following iiNet’s takeover of Netspace, they’ve aligned with iiNet’s plans. For the same price as I’m getting 30Gb peak+45 Gb off-peak (midnight to 7am), I could be getting 50 and 50 (with different off-peak hours: 2am to 8am).

I think even the shaped speed has been upgraded, from 56 kbps to 256 kbps. And it offers quota-free access to a bunch of sites in the iiNet FreeZone — including ABC iView. Neato.

There’s a gotcha in the small print: Uploads and downloads are counted towards the monthly quota on all current plans — the existing plan I’m on only counts downloads.

Normally it would be expected that uploads would be much less than downloads, but I don’t know what my upload traffic is like. Maybe my modem/router knows, but I don’t see the option anywhere to tell me. Netgear DG834G — anybody know?

Still, it’s unlikely to be anywhere close to 30Gb down+20Gb up… so I might switch anyway.

(Some people are raving about TPG’s unlimited $59.95 plan. It would cost me a connection fee, but worth looking into… though I don’t know if I could meet the system requirements. Apparently you need a PC with something called a 3.5″ 1.44MB diskette drive, and their support is limited to Win 98 Second Edition, 2000, ME and XP only.)

Update: I decided to go ahead and switch plans. Given the new plan includes uploads in the quota, the Usage tool is now quoting my total downloads and uploads.

Period/Classification Downloads Uploads Total
Normal Traffic – Peak 31240 Mb 16559 Mb 47799 Mb
Normal Traffic – Off Peak 2742 Mb 11320 Mb 14062 Mb

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

13 replies on “Shaped! Oh the humanity!”

Generally speaking, upload works out about 10% of your download. So if you downloaded 30GB then your upload was about 3GB.

Watching up-to-date television, eg *cough* torrenting, will skew that by its very nature though…

If you use Firefox as your browser, the Net Usage tool from will tell you how much you have used, both for downloads and uploads. I’m also at netspace and also on the “Home ADSL 2+ 75 Flat Rate” plan which gives you 30 Gig Peak and 45 Gig Offpeak.

If you do much torrenting, you can easily upload more than you download.
Halfway through our billing month, we have downloaded 9 Gig (plus 3 Offpeak) and uploaded almost 11 Gig (+9 offpeak).
And before anyone asks, Linux distributions are meant to be torrented, to reduce load on the servers.

You can use a nifty program called NetWorx which monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic. It gives daily, weekly and even monthly summaries of both download/upload usage. I really recommend it.

The problem with pligins or applications running on a single pc is exactly that – they only monitor that pc (who here has only 1 pc???? I have…. way too many). As Daniel mentioned in his post, it would be good if the router measured the data usage, or just go with the carriers tools – that is what they are going to bill you with anyway.

Yeah exactly Grant. Off the top of my head, in my house I’ve got (either permanently or regularly visiting) my two PCs, the Wii, a television, a Nintendo DS, a mobile phone and an iPad that all connect to the internet. Ideally the router would tell me how much each of these is pushing up and down the line.

I use Netspace also, and I got two emails from them about the change of plans. Personally I think in my case that the increased allowance (up from 40/60 to 70/70) is worth the trade off for uploads.

There are a number of ways to monitor your own usage. The Net Usage mentioned by Rod is the best, I think. There is also a tool for windows Sidebar, but I have forgotten its name. The third way (Netspace only) is to use this link and decipher the XML yourself – “” and login with your Netspace account details.

Equipment for four people includes 4 desktops, I server, 4 laptops, Xbox 360, Wii and assorted phones and even a Palm T/X. Unfortunately, the DG384 is pretty useless at telling what is going on with your internet usage. I would really like a router that can tell how much traffic was sent to each IP-address/mac address on the downstream side.

I was a bit annoyed they didn’t notify us of the changes, but I’m happy that I get a heap more d/l for my money.
Very happy that iView is now counted, hooray.

We have a 5GB Optus plan since May 2009 and we paid $49.95 for such a small allowance and I get fresh and fast internet at the 1st of each month! Unfortunately I always tend to exceed the 5GB limit by the 2nd to the 5th of the each month and I get unbearably slow internet connection and no YouTube for 25 to 29 days of the time! Can anyone please find some bigger data allowance but still affordable internet plans and staying with Optus?

Jeremy I was with Optus, paying $80 for 60GB a month, after randomly logging online and clicking on upgrade your plan it came up with a heap of cheaper and better plans. We now pay $49 a month for 120GB

Whirlpool is great for internet research (and if you have Foxtel try the bargaining thread, amazing results!!)

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