13 October 2020

2 Months After: My PLDT LTE-Advanced Prepaid WiFi (CAT6) Experience

After almost 2 months of using the new PLDT Prepaid WiFi, I've finally decided to switch back to Globe. Find out why on this episode of the Misadventures of Roni G!

When the quarantine started last March and work from home became the norm, I needed a wifi because my mobile data, though unlimited is unstable. At that time I also felt, as with almost everyone, that the quarantine would be over by May or June so a prepaid wifi seems a logical choice. There's Globe at Home and then there's PLDT. The former was easier to buy and with just a few chats with an online seller, I was able to get a Globe prepaid wifi right away. 

My experience with Globe was ok, not great, but it gets the job done. My only concern at that time was 2 things, their HomeSurf promos and their lousy upload speed. At that time I don't know yet if the PLDTs Smart Signal is ok in our area but their Famloads promo was very enticing.

Compared to Globe which offers 70gb free access and 1gb per day of data for 999, PLDT offers 130gb free access for the same price. 

After a few months I got my hands on the new PLDT LTE Advanced Wifi. I booked around 1am August 1 and by morning it's already sold out. My experience with this modem was good, no work interruptions and the famload data allocation was just enough for the two of us at home.

September 1 was when it all started to go downhill. First, I read some tweets of people not being able to load their prepaid wifis. Then after a couole of days it became clear why. The famloads that made me switch from Globe to PLDT are no longer available. You are now left with the almost the same packages from Globe but a bit worse.

PLDT now offers Famload video 999 with 70gb free access and 1GB of Youtube daily. Only Youtube. It's like you'll be forced to watch 1Gb worth of youtube videos just to maximize your load. At least with Globe, the 1Gb per day alloctaion is not limited to Youtube. It also includes Messenger, Lazada, GCash, etc.

But that just half of my misadventure with PLDT. By September I also started experiencing dropped connections that I needed to restart almost every 10minutes. The modem still has a full signal but is no longer connected to the internet. Once you restart everything comes back online again. But just a few moments later you're offline again. This went on for days, and then I also found out that there would also be times where the modem restarts by itself. This also happens every 30 minutes or so. 

By this time it was already affecting work so much that I switch back to globe. Unfortunately I already sold my old globe wifi that I had to buy again. I came across an online seller selling a globe modem with admin access and I thought maybe I could look at the settings and maybe figure out my upload speed problem. Lo and behold, when I fixed the band to 28, the upload speed improved significantly! I'll post another video on how admin access improves your internet speed.

So now that I'm again content with Globe, I was still stuck with some data allocation from my old PLDT modem. I figured I could try and see if my problem with PLDT is the modem or the network. I tried positioning the modem in different locations in our house but still kept getting disconnected or the modem reboots by itself every few minutes. I gave up and started thinking of selling the modem. On one last experiment I remembered I bought a cheap external antenna and tried it on the modem. The performance improved with the modem now rebooting only once or twice throughout the day. I still get disconnected but after a few seconds it'll be online again, this time no need for a manual reboot. But that few seconds of disconnection though it might seem a small annoyance actually has a big impact when you're in a virtual meeting and then suddenly you no longer hear participants or worse, you're in the middle of a speech and then was cut off because of your crappy internet connection. That few seconds is also crucial in an online game just like Clash Royale where you play against someone in realtime. It really is frustrating losing only because of your connection.

Now I don't see PLDT reverting back to their Famloads double the data promo anytime soon that's why I'll be with Globe for a while. So for those looking for the PLDT CAT6 Modem, I suggest you look for other options, because for me it's not worth the hype. It's always out of stock anyway and online sellers are selling it for almost double its price. 

You still have other options like PLDT Fibr, Sky Fiber, Globe Fiber or Converge. But it seems when it comes to connectivity, the Philippines is cursed. Sky and Globe fiber are not available in our area, the only available PLDT connection in our area is DSL which is outdated and Converge, well, it seems like a scam since I already paid the initial fee but after a month of waiting, I still dont think they'll be installing anytime soon.

So to end this video Globe's prepaid WiFi service is far from perfect but right now in my case it's definitely better than PLDT Smart.

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