Frequently Asked Question

ADSL - Shaped and Unshaped, What does this mean?

Shaping refers to how the flow of information between your computer and the servers on the network with which you communicate is treated. For example, when you send an email, your computer opens a connection to a mail server in a remote location and the two computers "talk" in a specific language - these computer networking languages are known as "protocols".

Shaping is the act of giving one protocol (such as email) a higher priority than another protocol (such as instant messengers, like MSN). It should be mentioned that Telkom controls the network shaping on the SAIX network, not your ISP.

The shaped ADSL packages favor what Telkom considers to be "business protocols" over "non-business protocols." The protocols used for email, web browsing, and normal downloads accomplished with either a web browser or an FTP program are given priority over other protocols.

When the network is busy, protocols other than those mentioned here are treated as less important and, in effect, will simply operate slower. For most people, this doesn"t present a significant problem. However, for those who use their internet connection for things such as online gaming, international share trading, Forex trading, Skype, and other applications that use non-standard protocols, the effect is that the performance of their connection suffers and can sometimes be unusable for these purposes.

Unshaped packages treat all protocols the same and provide the best possible performance for online gaming, online trading, VOIP, telephony programs (such as Skype), and all other non-standard applications.