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Old 29th December 2010, 21:08   #1
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Smile wi5 from Zylog systems

Hi all,

Just thought of starting a thread to share my experience with the "wi5" service from Zylog Systems.

I am residing at Medavakkam. Was using BSNL broadband for 4 years without any issues. Then recently, it started getting disconnected often. And then one fine day, the line died mysteriously. Numerous calls to customer care, visits to the exchange, written complaints... nothing helped. Just a stark silence from BSNL. So after 2 months of trying these things, left with no other option, wrote a letter to close the line. Also recently found out that some others in our area also face the same issue.

Anyway. Called Airtel. The local Airtel guy informed me that they don't have a "line" on my street, so it is no feasible to give me a connection.

Great.

Survived on a USB connection (MTS) for a couple of months, and got sick of the choppy connection. Then an electronics store guy recommended "wi5" by Zylog Systems ( Wi5 - Welcome to true internet freedom ). It turns out they have both an office and a tower in Medavakkam itself, and their "tower" is quite close to my home.

Having tried everything else, I thought ok why not try this too.

Here's how it works:
- They charge Rs.500 for installation, and put a box (wimax reciever?) on the terrace. From the box you get an ethernet cable to the PC.

- They have single user plans and multi user plans. To connect a router and use the connection on multiple PCs, we need to go for a multi user plan.

- In single user plan, every time you have to log on using a username and password. In multi user, each first time you reboot the router, it will ask you to log in with the username & password.

- They have decent (not cheap, but decent) tariffs: Wi5 - Tariff Plans

- The best part about this is that it is prepaid. So I can actually not use it for a couple of months (say if I am traveling to US on a B1 visa) or even stop using it if I don't like it. My loss will just be Rs.500 which I paid for installation.


So, I went for it. I have two desktops, a netbook, a laptop and a smartphone, so of course I went for the multi-user plan. Hooked it up to the Cisco router which I was previously using with the BSNL connection. Went for the 512kbps unlimited plan (Wi5 - Tariff Plans). Been using it for a month now and I will have to recharge soon.

Here are my observations:
- They took two days to visit and set up the connectivity, though they promised to do it on the same day. Anyways.

- Pleasantly surprised by the connectivity. Not once did it disconnect in this one month! I don't know if it varies area-wise.

- I get a consistent speed of 250 to 300 kbps. Am on a 512 kbps plan.

- Tried up to three devices connected at once. No problem.

- No disturbance in bad weather / heavy rain so far

- For some strange reason, my Linksys/Cisco router refuses to broadcast wifi when there is connectivity. It does broadcast via the wired ports though. If I unplug the wi5 line, it broadcasts the wifi signals. I guess there is some IP address clash - I need to sit down and check the settings.

- Being a wifi service, it would have been great if they had some option for devices to connect to the network directly. Unfortunately they don't.


As of now, the service seems to be a great alternative to BSNL/Airtel, at least in the Medavakkam area. Not sure about other areas.

If anyone else have experience with wi5, please share here..
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