National Articles

What Everyone Should Know About Internet Connection

Uncapped / Unlimited

That have such a nice ring to it but it's actually pretty capped and limited in the fineprint.

Company A stated for example that, after 10Gb of data, the speed will be trottled at 128Kbps, that is 0.128Mbps and even a 7Mbps modem from a decade ago can beat this crap trottled speed.

Company B stated that, after JUST 5Gb of data, the speed will be trottled at 384kbps (or 0.384Mbps) and while it's double "faster" than above, it's still as slow as hell.

What help it you pay a hefty price for "uncapped or unlimited" if you can buy as much data as you need or want at MUCH lower prices and use all of that at the maximum available speed?

Connection speeds

Marketing smart talk always promise superfast internet connection and while it may be technically true the reality and truth is that it's in most so overloaded, congested and "regulated" that even a VW Beatle may be faster than a Ferrari that must tow a 5 ton truck.

It's actually even much worse than that and almost amounts to plain lies and deceit.

Networks and Hardware

ADSL, LTE and specific fibre networks are capable of very high speeds and the routers or modems as well at download speeds of 150Mbps up to 300Mbps and most even cheap 3G can easly reach 21Mbps.

Fiber Basic can reach up to 5Mbps, Fiber 100 up to 100Mbps and Fiber 1000 up to 1000Mbps

LTE at home can achieve speeds of up to 50Mbps. It's not quite as fast as Fibre, and because it's airborne, a little more prone to external factors such as bad weather and distance to tower playing a part in the speeds you get. That said, it's still much than ADSL and far more reliable.

The real-live speeds

A report from MyBroadband that is based on 383,479 speed tests shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 22.18Mbps. MTN had the highest average download speed at 26.95Mbps, followed by Vodacom on 26.78Mbps, Rain on 21.67Mbps and Telkom on 19.83Mbps.

ADSL provides on the other hand speeds of up to 8Mbps and ADSL2+ is capable of delivering speeds of up to 24Mbps.

Above download speed tests are however misleading because it test download speed between point A and B while actual and real downloads are at minimum at least 3 points but can even involve dozens of different points.

If you can drive from your home to your town in 5 minutes, it don't mean you can drive to ANY town in the world in 5 minutes.

Actually, this also demonstrates how lighting fast the REAL internet BACKBONE is because, if your test speed is 35Mbps but you can only download at 1Mbps, you would mostly be able to download at 1Mbps regardless if the source (or other town as per example) is 10 or 10 000 km away or you use a 14Mbps or 300Mbps modem.

The graph below provide a more accurate picture of true download speeds as it's based on tests from many different points

With a Telkom LTE modem that's capable of 150Mbps and with a Telkom Tower right next to my doorstep, the HIGHEST download speed that I achieved was 3.2Mbps at night.

With a Vodacom LTE also capable of 150Mbps but tower futher away, even an old 21Mbps dongle download sometimes faster while a 14Mbps CellC modem outperforms both from where I am but near a Vodacom tower I could reached almost 4Mbps also at night, never during the day.

Fact of the matter is that the operators always try to convince us with marketing smart talk to buy new modems, to subscribe to faster speeds, but they don't care about the eliphant in the room, overloading and congestion of the networks that render such "superfast" capabilities and speeds useless.

A faster and stronger engine capable of 1000Km/h is pretty useless in a town with ever increasing traffic congestion unless you live near the Kyalami racetrack where you anyway won't be able to reach even half of that speed.

What is a router

A router is basically a translation device that connect two different networks together with ADSL or Fiber cable at the one side and your Pc, Laptop or whole home network on the other side. Some routers aloo have a modem or need a modem to connect to a broadband or wireless network.

What is a modem

A modem is also a translation device but a bit different "language" and expect for older modems, modern modems only connect to a broadband or wireless network from a tower nearby.

Physically in most cases, if there are network cables that must be plugged in, it's a router and if no cables are needed, it's a modem.

Primary / Secondary

The terms primary and secondary is just used to explain the following better and you can also regard the power cable from Eskom as your "primary" power and the connections to various devices in your house as secondary power, which is useless without the primary power from Eskom.

Primary Internet Connection

Connection to the internet is via broadband (cellphone towers), cable (ADSL and fiber optic) and satelite (like DSTV) while wifi is NOT a primary internet connection as that many people think as wifi by itself is useless without broadband, cable or satelite connection.

Secondary Internet connection

Computers used to connect to each other via cables to create a private / secondary network and a router sits between this two networks to translate the data between the different network "languages" and if the other network is broadband, there is also a modem involved.

What is Wifi

Wifi is similar except that it create a secondary network based one wireless technology that don't need cables. A wifi modem is two devices in one that on the one hand connects to an external network (broadband tower or other wifi network) and on the other hand create it's own secondary wifi network circle around it so it's actually the modem that connects to the internet and not the wifi itself.

Hotspot or free wifi looks like primary connection but it's not there are still a modem at Steers or such places that connect via broadband and then create a secondary wifi circle that nearby devices can connect to.

With above information in mind it gives a very different perspective to our very low data prices or what?


Jabu Madlala

Jabu Madlala

Smart ArgIoT

Born in the township and township entrepreneur

Follow Me: