internet / 30/11/2009

Neotel: what you should know

A lot of people have been asking me about Neotel in the last fews months. The most important piece of advice I can give on the subject is this: do not sign a 24 month contract if you haven’t tested signal in your house. Or you just might get screwed. When I signed up a year ago, Sunninghill was an area with “excellent” coverage. You will soon learn what that really means. Bottom line, do not trust their website coverage map.

After many ups and downs, I eventually purchased an external antennae from Poynting. It has boosted my signal – which is now permanently on 4 bars. While the download speeds have improved, the upload is still poor. And several times a day, the connection just drops. I’m not sure if Neotel is doing this intentionally because before the antennae, my connection was fine. I suppose you could say it’s a small price to pay for good signal. Not at all impressed with the upload speeds. This is my speed test results after setting up the antennae:

neotel1

If you’re thinking of signing up wih Neotel, know this:
1. You can’t monitor / check your bandwidth usage.
2. Network isn’t established properly, yet. You will experience down time now and then.
3. You might have to invest in an external antennae for better signal (roughly an additional R 1,500)
4. You might find that when your connection drops, you have to manually reconnect (even though you set the device to redial automatically). I’m bringing this up because when I access the internet from upstairs and it disconnects, I have to trek all the way down to reconnect. It’s annoying.
5. I can’t vouch for the reliability of P2P, I’m not a pirate 😛



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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  • If you want decent Internet access, ADSL is the only way forward. Better yet, it’s damn cheap these days.

    Telephone line rental (phone, not ADSL access): R130pm
    384k ADSL access with 1GB data from Cybersmart: R169pm
    5GB account from Afrihost with R29p/GB topups: R145pm.

    For 6GB of data you’re looking at R444 per month (TOTAL cost), with no contracts. Yes, it’s 384k ADSL, but it’s always-on, rock-solid, and cheap. Wireless operators in SA all suck. Yes, all, there are NO GOOD WIRELESS OPERATORS here. If they’re not ripping you off with their stupidly high prices, they’re ripping you off with their stupidly high prices AND shitty up and download speeds (despite “theoretical” speeds of “up to” 3.6mbps), locking you in to 24 month contracts and charging ridiculous prices for wireless modems etc.

    Screw you, SA wireless “service” providers. Learn how to properly deploy and maintain your networks BEFORE coming to us consumer. Until then, you can stick your your overpriced and underperforming offerings where the sun don’t shine.

    Not that Telkom is any better. Unbundle the local loop, you bastards, and let people who KNOW what they are doing implement their own “last mile” solutions so that we can actively foster competition that will lead to faster speeds at lower prices SOMETIME BEFORE I FUCKING DIE PLEASE.

  • LOL Deon, you sure needed to let that out, didn’t you? 😛

  • James

    I tend to agree with Deon though…

    I just hope Telkom is brought to justice and are forced to lower the price of the landline purchase lockin for ADSL. The internet, while getting cheaper (thanks to Afrihost etc and NOT Telkom) is still at a massive disadvantage because we’re still required to lease that line from Telkom at what-ever rate they desire!