Monday, April 27, 2009

Orange's Internet Everywhere to my rescue

Orange's Internet Everywhere rocks. As their motto is 'the fun gets faster', I am surely feeling it though am not on broadband. For you folks who dont know what am talking about, its the Orange internet offer that is driving me crazy(in a good way).

When I came back from Russia my first order of business was to get myself an internet connection. I choose Telkom(thru landline) which i came to deeply regret(why is a topic for another blog). Since then I have been looking for suitable Internet option to suite me(a software developer who is always looking the next great thing...) until I came across Orange's internet everywhere.

Orange is offering different bundles in pre paid and post paid, all of them at affordable prices.

For prepaid* you have the option of:
bundle(Mb) budle price(KSh) Price/Mb
daily bundle1506
*The cost of the modem is 4500Ksh

For postpaid** the options are:
Bundle(Mb)Monthly Bundle Price(Ksh)Package PricePrice/Mb
**After choosing your preffered bundle, you pay the monthly bundle, cost of the kit and a deposit twice the choosen bundle

The orange modem is a sleek black flash kind rectangle with the orange logo on it's front. It is no larger than the traveller flash disk, only that it is a little long and more square. In short it is easy to carry around without getting in the way.

Orange's Internet Modem
Orange's Modem

The modem emits a green light at intervals depending on its status: 2 blinks in 3 secs, showing it is searching for network, a blink in 3 sec to show network presence but not connected and if the green light is always on the internet is connected. The modem at times get pretty hot but not in any level to be dangerous.

Connection and Speeds
The conection is fairly stable, with no nuiscance of disconections and reconnections. Even while working for long hours(6 hrs) with 'heavy lifting' the connection is still stable although the modem can be quite hot although it does not affect the speeds or connection.

One thing that I am absoloutely loving is the speeds that come with it. The modem has a max download speed of 236.8Kbps and upload of 228.0Kbps. Although I have never cloaked any of these speeds, while using speed test it clocks a round ping of about 620-650 ms, download speed of 0.25Mbs(~250kbs) , and an upload speed of 0.09Mbs(90Kbps), while pinging servers in Nairobi. Pinging a server hosted in NY(optimum Online), it clocks a round ping of 992ms, downlaod speed of 0.07Mbs(~70Kbps), and an upload speed of 0.07(70Kbps). These speeds however fluctuate with time, with night times having the best speeds while slowing down during the day. One thing I can confess is that their speeds suck during the weekends, as I had problems downloading a 600Kb file at one point.

The modem has one major downside, its so hard to get it working the first time and especially if you have prior connections, be they wireless or LAN. I can now confess, that although am pretty good with comps when it comes to installations and use of new software and hardware, till now am finding it hard to get th modem working on my desktop, although it works pretty well from my work's laptop.

The modem comes with an Internet Everywhere dashboard which enables you among other things to moniter your data use. Its quite interesting as the dashboard provides an option of adding netwoks other than the orange network. This provides a means of adding the networks of other service providers eg Zain while at the same time using the orange modem(I am not sure if this can work), or using a third party modem like duxbury with any network carrier. This is quite interesting as it opens the platform for other carriers to use the orange software and modem.

Something quite sad with the management panel, is that it tracks the internet use on a particular machine rather than the total usage of the modem. If you use the modem on different comps, it just monitors usage on each comp separately and if you want to know your overall usage, you must add all the usages to get the full picture. If any of you orange guys might read this post, please do something, coz keeping tabs on all comps where I use the modem can be quite labourous.

All in all, any of you guys in Kenya looking for an affordable internet connection, Orange is a 'better option' than any of the other guys out there.