It has been a week now since the last time I setup our home wifi. My work environment and addiction to the internet makes me realize that I need to setup an internet connection at our home. There are a few options in the beginning but then I realize that there were some limitations to the receptions at my place. Lets see what are the original options that I had and what are the pro and cons:
This was my first option. Lots of residential area around my place is using streamyx broadband due to its stable connection and so called consistence data rate. But then I came to realize that streamyx broadband requires you to have a land-line telephone connection for it to work and unfortunately my place doesn’t have a dedicated land-line. Thus, I have to abandon this option. Plus it is quite expensive for me to spend RM110 per month on a 1Mb data package with a ‘so called’ consistence download speed. Perhaps the most you can get if you subscribe a 1Mbps package at my place, probably you can get the max of 600Kbps of download speed.
Well, lets just say I can’t afford to have a postpaid data plan yet. Also, the connections and download speed depends on how good the mobile reception is. So far, the most stable 3G mobile reception at my place is from Celcom but then, having an internet connection at home doesn’t mean that I’m going to use it often since most of the time I’ll be at the office. Its just that it is convenient to have 1 at home just in case :). Thus, an ‘always connected’ internet state at home is not necessary for me.
In the end, I resort to this option. Once upon a time ago I used to subscribe to a prepaid internet broadband package by a local service provider (DiGi). At that time, that is the only mobile service provider which offer a prepaid internet broadband starter pack. The starter pack costs RM25 with preloaded 25 days of free internet surfing with unlimited download speed and quota. Once the trial period has ended, you need to topup the internet pass at least RM30 for another 25 days of access. The connection was good when you are around town, which makes you able to utilize the HSDPA connection and data access. But once you go to my place, all those beauty captivating moments over the net just goes bye bye~.
Recently I noticed that I can have the same prepaid broadband starter pack from other service provider such as Celcom InstaNet. The starter pack cost RM25 with preloaded download credit of RM5 and monthly access topup of RM50. Sounds affordable enough but somehow I’m looking for something more then this. Something more flexible and outside the box. This is when I found another option from Maxis, another service provider. They have a prepaid internet broadband starter pack which cost merely RM5 and a bundled of RM88 with a 3G USB modem. Alas, this package only available in Peninsular Malaysia!…..
I almost give up on looking for more when I stumble upon this National Broadband Initiative by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commissioner (MCMC). This is because recently my youngest sister just got her 1Malaysia Netbook under the same program at her school. So, I came across this Maxis SKMM prepaid broadband starter pack. It looks like it have everything that I need…but of course with a price and it wasn’t supposed to be legibly sold in the market….
This starter pack cost me RM50. Basically I got it online for RM40 and the postage costs another RM10. For starters, you will get a 30 days access with download limit of 700Mb. Not bad for a modest home use. But you can forget about movie downloading and online movie streaming. It will drain your download quota like a hippo drinking on an African drought season. Apart from the shown reload options shown above, actually you can have few more upgrade options like you can reload RM48 per month for a download quota of 2Gb. Isn’t that flexibly cool? :). I loike~
Moving forward, before I successfully setup a home WiFi I need to get hold of a few more gadgets. Look what else the cat drags home:
This wifi router is about the size of my palm but despite the small size (hence the name portable router) it gives an incredibly wide range of coverage. Talking about 10 meter radius, it is more than enough for me and virtually our house is now a ‘hotspot’. This amazing little beau can be powered by a normal notebook/netbook via USB port or by using a DC port. Owh! another good thing about this little router is that it doesn’t heat up easily even after a long 6 hours use. Cool stuff!
And not forgeting the most critical gadget, the 3G USB modem.
The reason why I have 2 units of USB modem here is because….I got unlucky. Yup! I bought an unidentified incompatible modem. In the end I resorted to my prehistoric USB modem and whadayaknow~….it works well with the router!
After a few days of testing the connectivity and reliability of this setup, sometimes I do get frustrated over the download speed that I got. Due to the limited maxis 3G spot around our house, I really need to find a specific spot to plug my router and currently I’m plugging it on top of my aquarium outside the house…that’s the best spot so far :P. Check out my download speed from there:
Pretty neat huh? :). I get an average of 1.4Mbps of download speed every now and then and because it is an ‘on demand’ connection state, I don’t need to worry about my usage. Now, for the final touch lets see how much did I spent on this set:
- Maxis SKMM Starter Pack = RM50
- 3G USB modem = RM78
- 3G Wifi Router = RM94
For a small amount of RM222.00, I finally got myself a pretty decent internet connection with Wifi accessibility at home now. If you’re thinking of a great internet portability at home, you may opt for this setup. However, before you decide on which starter pack you want to take please check the availability and the reliability of the service provider’s connectivity at your place. This may save you some bucks in the future. Happy surfing folks.