My Internet at home has been one of my biggest frustrations. For months (maybe even years), I ranted about it online. But ranting wasn’t the only thing I did. I repeatedly went to PLDT’s office, wasted hours on the phone calling their customer service hotline, wrote them letters, emailed and Tweeted them–all to no avail. This went on for months.
Our Internet is just horrible. On Speedtest, the ping is always 70 or above, and both upload and download speeds are at 0.01-0.10 Mbps. To give you an idea how slow that is,
- My Facebook News Feed is purely white.
- I can’t send or open emails.
- I can never play songs on Spotify (except when I select songs that are available offline).
- I can’t search anything on Google–unless I go to the rooftop and turn on my mobile data. (Surprise, surprise. The unit I used to live in doesn’t have any signal, too).
If I can’t do those simple tasks, I obviously can’t do more Internet-heavy tasks like:
- Uploading photos and videos
- Taking Skype video calls
- Watching videos
- Updating apps
I repeatedly tried my best to have someone repair our Internet, but it was all futile. I eventually gave up on it, had it cut, and settled for going online outside the house. But here’s where the problem lies: the small daily expenses added up:
- The Uber expenses going to coffee shops, malls, and co-working spaces everyday–especially during rush hour
- The actual expense of the food or coffee I consume while camping out in restaurants/coffee shops
- The hourly or monthly rates of co-working spaces
- Temptation! (Working in a malls with free Internet tempts me to shop for things I don’t really need.)
And the nature of my job is way too reliant on the Internet. I get to work from home on the condition that I’m reachable online. 99% of my output is delivered and done online, too. After considering my daily expenses, I thought to myself, “Teka, halos abunado pa ata ako!”
I knew I had to find a solution to my Internet problem.
- I tried to avail of Sky’s Internet. But after deciding on the package I wanted, they didn’t show up. I emailed, texted and called, but all to no avail. (In fairness, they showed up once. But the installation didn’t push through that day, and they never came back).
- I tried to avail of Convergence Internet, but my area wasn’t serviceable.
- I tried to avail of Globe’s Broadband Internet, but my area wasn’t serviceable.
- I tried to avail of Rise.PH, but as of writing, they don’t offer Internet for residences.
And then I visited my inaanak and my cousin’s house. (Naturally, I ranted about the lack of a reliable Internet service at home). My cousin pointed to a Globe device she had. They were so happy with it that in their home, they had two!
I went to a Globe store and bought a prepaid home WiFi box. It’s 1,999 pesos. It also came with free 10GB. That means I could use it the moment I got home!
These are what attracted me the most about it:
- It’s easy to install. You just plug it, and it’s good to go! I’ve given up on Internet service providers letting me wait for months just to install Internet at home. I’d have to keep calling to follow up.
- It has no lock-in period. Lock-in periods usually last for 12-24 months! Cutting the line requires an extra fee. And if you want to cut it before the lock-in period ends, you have to pay extra. (Even if they provide you an Internet speed much lower than the one you pay for!)
- Third, in case it doesn’t work in my home, I can always resell it online.
- Fourth and most importantly, it’s not like I had a choice! I tried all the Internet service providers, and nothing worked! This was definitely worth a shot.
Here are the contents of the box:
I rushed home, plugged it in, and connected my phone to the WiFi.
For the first time, I had AN INTERNET CONNECTION THAT ACTUALLY WORKS! AT HOME! This was life-changing. This was absolutely revolutionary. I jumped for joy and danced while working that evening. I knew life would never be the same.
- I could play Spotify songs without downloading them in someone else’s house.
- I could watch movies online. (No need to ask my friends for movies from their EHD.)
- My Facebook News Feed wasn’t a blank white screen.
- I barely had to wait for YouTube and Facebook videos to buffer.
- I could take Skype calls at home.
- I could finally answer emails and Facebook messages.
This saved me so much money and time. I could get straight to work from the comfort of my own home! No more hours stuck in traffic. For the first time ever, I was finally reaping the benefits of a work-from-home job.
It’s been months since I first used this, and it continues to be extremely useful for me. I swear by this product, and would highly recommend it to those who don’t have an Internet connection at home. For the most part, it has been consistently fast and reliable.
The only times it slows down are when I run out of load/data. I’d just have to reload, and it’s back on track again.
Here are screenshots of my Speedtest tonight. (Uploading all the photos in this blog post took around five minutes.)
- 29 ms for ping is pretty decent for me.
- 2 Mbps download speed is so-so.
- 4 Mbps upload speed is really fast, and it’s what matters more to me than download speed. (I upload a lot of photos on WordPress and on Facebook for work.)
I should also mention that the speed changes per location. When I first did a Speedtest using this device, it was in UP Town Center (where I bought it). The speed was at 30+ Mbps. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
I’m not sure if this is good enough for you. But because of the Internet debacle I’ve had, this is definitely so much better than what I expected from a prepaid, plug-and-play Internet.
On top of what I previously mentioned, here are some other pros I noticed:
- It has flexible packages. Let’s say you’ll be out of town for a few months and won’t need this device. You don’t have monthly fees to worry about, versus broadband Internet. There is also a variety of promos and loading options.
- It’s upfront. I get so pissed off at promos branded as “unlimited,” but they throw in a “fair use policy,” which, for me, just means the promo isn’t really unlimited. The Internet doesn’t just mysteriously slow down. The promos for this device are more upfront. You see how much data you have left, and how much data you’ve consumed. You get what you pay for.
Naturally, there are also areas for improvement. I really wish Globe would offer cheaper promos.
So far, the cheapest promo available is 50 pesos for 1GB. To reload, you turn on the device, connect your laptop/tablet/phone to the WiFi, and go to http://192.168.1.1/.
- You subscribe to promos and check your balance by sending out SMS through your account there. Send “GOSURF 50” to 8080.
- It will look something like this:
The other available options are GoSURF 299 for 2GB and GoSURF999 for 8GB. If we compute that:
- GoSURF299 = 149.50 for 1GB
- GoSURF999 = 124.88 for 1GB
There are days when I consume 2GB-4GB per working day. That’s already 100-200 pesos! (Still cheaper than camping out in coffee shops and restaurants for the entire day–but I’m on the lookout for cheaper promos!) Also, this is because most of my work is really done online–and my work sometimes lasts until 3 am or 4 am. (I assume others would probably be ok with 1GB per day.)
Review of Globe’s HomeSurf15
Recently, Globe released a data package offering 1GB of data for 15 pesos. I was really excited about this! I first saw it in Rappler:
Users of Globe’s prepaid Wi-Fi service, Globe At Home Prepaid Wi-Fi, can now avail of a very wallet-friendly data package offering 1GB of data for just P15…However, users can’t outright register for the promo. You’d have to register first with GoSURF50, which costs P50, and gives 1GB of data for 3 days. Once registered, you can then avail of HomeSURF15, which offers the P15/1GB rate valid for one day. On the plus side, you’ll be able to register for HomeSURF15 for as many times as you want until your GoSURF50 registration expires in 3 days.
I was so excited to try this out! I immediately downloaded the app from the App Store. As expected, I saw that there was already an option to subscribe to the HomeSURF 15 option.
After clicking on it, I got this:
After hitting proceed, I was led to my SMS app.
The problem is, I’m a SMART subscriber. Naturally, the code for Globe wouldn’t work on my phone.
I tried using my brother’s Globe phone to subscribe to HomeSURF 15. I used his phone to send “HomeSURF15” to “2917…”
Still, it didn’t work.
Lastly, I tried using my browser. I tried availing of the HomeSURF15 the same way I availed GoSURF50: sending the promo code to 8080. Again, it didn’t work.
For now, I am still using GoSURF 50 for 50 pesos per GB. The HomeSURF15 promo would have been useful. Too bad it didn’t work for me.
Final Thoughts (October 22, 2017)
Despite the areas for improvement, this is still my top pick. It helped save me so much time and money. It’s also been generally reliable for the past few months–save for one time when Globe LTE was down. This beats other even more expensive packages that require lock-in, installation fees, and the like.
Update (2018): Cheaper Load Options
I’m so happy! I first published this blog post in 2018. I wrote about how I was hoping they’d have cheaper alternatives. For the past few months, I’ve been using Globe HomeSurf349, which gives me 10GB. That’s just 34.9 pesos per GB, and I only reload around once or twice a week. (Versus having to type codes and get promos multiple times a day).
You just send “HomeSurf349” to 29XX-XXX-XXXX (the number assigned to your Globe Internet device).
They also have HomeSurf599 for 15GB, but that means 39.93 pesos per GB. That’s going to cost me more money, so I’d rather stick to HomeSurf349.