Naked DSL - How it Works

Summary: All you need to know about Naked DSL and how it works. Naked DSL is becoming more and more mainstream everyday as consumers desert their home phone landline rental and switch to Naked DSL.

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Naked DSL is becoming more and more mainstream everyday as consumers desert their home phone landline rental and switch to Naked DSL.

If you've seen the advertisements but still need to know a little bit more, we've explained Naked DSL below and whether it might be for you.

First, let's pay tribute to the naming of Naked DSL. There are thousands of technology products on the market, but few sound as cool as Naked DSL. Hat's off to the technology marketers on this one.

The 'Naked' origin of the name means that you do not have to pay for the 'line rental' on a home phone connection to access the internet with a broadband plan (see diagrams below).

The 'DSL' means that it is a broadband service called 'Digital Subscriber Line' which means that you are getting broadband through your phone (that's the simple explanation), however you can also get Naked Cable Broadband from Optus.

Put them together and you have Naked DSL where your existing copper phone line provides broadband access, but you don't have to pay a fee for monthly line rental.

Typical ADSL Connection / Broadband Bundle

For a typical ADSL broadband connection, the normal copper wire phone line into your home is activated for broadband at the central telephone exchange and you can get a broadband service into your home. You plug an ADSL modem into the wall for your broadband, and you can still make regular phone calls through the line.

Broadband Bundle

With all home phone connections in Australia, you 'rent' the copper line to your house for a fixed monthly fee of say $29.95 per month so you can make phone calls, and you pay for the calls you make on top of this fixed amount, either by 'pay as you go' or by singing up to a calling plan.

You then also pay for your broadband plan. In essence, you've got three billing events - the line rental, then the calls you make on your home phone, and your broadband bill (you might get these all bundled into one plan / bill from your carrier). When all of these services are together in one package, this is called a 'bundle' and you'll get a discount of some sort, depending on the carrier.

The important thing to remember is that the central component of a standard broadband product is that you've got a fully functioning home phone telephone line for voice calls and an internet service, all active on the one line.

The Difference with Naked DSL

With Naked DSL, you save money by not having to pay for the line rental on a voice service. This means you don't have to pay the $29.95 per month for the phone line as you are removing your standard voice line service, hence the idea of a 'naked' product, one without a traditional voice service. The physical line stays in place, it is just not rented by you for voice services.

Naked DSL

You can still make and receive phone calls, but these phone calls are part of your Broadband DSL service in that making and receiving calls are part of the internet package, as you are not paying for a standard phone service. Your internet provider is now providing your new voice call service through VOIP (which means Voice Over the Internet) rather than the voice calls via the old telephone exchange (if you have used Skype, you've used this type of service before).

The great innovation with Naked DSL in recent times is that make these calls over the internet through a phone handset which looks just like your old home phone. The benefit of Naked DSL is that your carrier might now offer free local and national calls with some Naked Broadband plans as the calls are now routed via the internet and not via your traditional service.

Advantages of Naked Broadband

  • The benefits of Naked DSL can be found in the price you pay per month. The 'Naked' nature of this service means that you don't have to pay for your monthly line rental to access traditional voice service, saving you around $29.95 per month (the standard price for line rental).
  • The voice calls that you do make are routed via the internet so you benefit by accessing better calling rates than traditional services. Companies like iiNet let you make free local and national calls on their handsets, cutting your traditional phone bill down even further.

Disadvantages of Naked Broadband

  • You won't have your traditional phone service as voice calls will be provided over the internet connection. Remember, internet connections do drop out. If you don't use your home phone a lot, this may / may not bother you.
  • Many businesses now use Naked DSL as the local and national calls are included for free, making their telecommunications bills far more manageable. They still get a virtual phone number for customers to call.

Setting Up Naked DSL

The most confusing part of the Naked DSL product suite is what you imagine might happen to your phone line if and when you cancel your phone service.

The answer is that you won't notice anything physical. The copper line still exists into your house and your normal phone sockets remain 'as is'. You plug your new Naked DSL modem and VOIP router into the same sockets as a regular phone. The difference that you'll see is that when you do make phone calls, your calls will be routed over the internet. There may also be some set up costs with your new Naked Broadband plan and a line activation cost (depending on ISP and contract term) so be aware of that when deciding on Naked DSL.

Getting Naked

If you're ready to go Naked DSL and looking to save on your broadband bill:

Compare Naked DSL Broadband plans here...


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