Friday, September 30, 2011

Smartbro Wimax Review

Last September 17, I bought a voucher from Cashcashpinoy on Smartbro Wimax 1Mbps (125MBps ***edit*** 0.125MBps ***edit***) subscription plus *free* modem for Php799/month, with lock in period of 24 months. I redeemed this yesterday, and since there were a lot of people in the Smart/PLDT center, it took almost 2 hours before I got my modem and subscription. I actually already have another internet subscription from another network, but since their connection is below average, I decided to try Smartbro Wimax.

The moment I got home, I ran to my room to test my new toy - a Motorola CPEi 825 Wimax modem. It was a breeze to install the product, but it took quite a while to find a signal. When it did, all the five signal bars were lit, which means I have perfect reception from my room. Oh and by the way, I first placed the modem on the window ledge to get maximum coverage, but since I didn't want to damage it (I heard it was hard to get customer service from Smart - haven't confirmed this yet, but I'm just playing safe. :D), I transferred it on my desk, which is still near the window so there was no difference in the signal bars. It took me a little more than 30 minutes to completely finish the setup (what, there were a lot of cables involved! :p).

When I started browsing though, was another story. I thought I'd try to check my connection's speed through one of the speed test sites. I noticed that my internet kept disconnecting and it was so slow. The speed test site even barely finished loading. I was really worried then because of the lock-in period. I could not last two years with that kind of connection. It was even slower than my 3G internet. :(

I tried all sorts of experiments to make the connection smoother and faster - I straightened the ethernet cable, updated the driver of my ethernet controller, restarted the modem - to no avail. But then at around 1130pm, the internet came to life! I had my torrent downloader on and it registered 60-80kBps download speed; although surfing was still kind of slow for me. I tried another speed test and it only registered 0.25Mbps download speed, which should be around 30kBps download speed only (is my assumption correct? Sheesh, I'm a certified EcE and yet I'm not so familiar with this stuff).

And so I tested this connection until around about half past 12 - way, way past my bedtime - and there were no downtimes unlike when I first fired up the modem; and yes, it was faster than my 3G internet, which is the way it's supposed to be.

In the morning, upon waking up, which was around 5:30, I checked my torrents and was satisfied that at least 600MB worth of files has already been downloaded, and there was another 300MB+ file about to finish, plus my 50+% One Tree Hill Season 7 download (7.5GB) has reached 70+%, which is not bad. True to their word, Smart's claim of it being more stable has been proven, at least in the first day of my subscription. I sure do hope this does not change for the worse though, I'm actually beginning to love my Wimax. <3

I'll still be observing it for the next couple of weeks and posting reviews every now and then, so stay tuned! :) Photos will be posted soon, I promise!