The following article was written by Bob VK4UD
WIRELESS INTERNET, FRUSTRATION, GOAT TRACKS AND DATA SPEED
Being in a situation recently where I had no access to a telephone line, I consequently had no landline phone or internet. The only solution was to go for wireless internet. I signed up for a Telstra Bigpond nextG mobile 7.2 wireless modem router with wifi (wireless network connection to computer).
Costs: $45 for 5 gigabytes @ month for the 1st 12 months then $90@ month for the next 2 year or reduce data to make cheaper (Prices are falling, so hopefully will be cheaper by then). Reneg on the deal after 12 months and it costs $180 penalty. Penalty reduces by $10 @ month after that.
They do supply the modem "free", which they value at the highly inflated value of $299. One only has to browse the computer magazines to see similar spec. units for half that price. Now Telstra are a pain in the butt to deal with but unfortunately they are the only one that has the goods (that perform) in the area of wireless broadband. The other companies, don't even think about unless you happen to live in a capital city CBD and do not intend to move out of it. They just do not work up to expected level that their advertising would have you believe. I spoke with a lot of people who had been using wireless broadband for a while in many different locations and the story was always the same.
Anyway, I have been using it for about 3 months now and generally reasonably happy with it. Until a couple of weeks ago, when a problem arose with the modem. Laptop could see modem but could not talk to it on the wifi. Ok bit of testing determined that my next door neighbor could see it but not talk to it (I gave him the security code).
Took my laptop up town to the Riverside Parkland to see if I could talk to the Bundaberg Regional Council hotspot located there. No problem! So my computer was in the clear.
Next tried it using a lan cable between the modem and the laptop. Eureka!!! it works. (There are 4 lan cable ports on this modem/router). Ok that has narrowed the problem down even further, but I do like the freedom of wifi. (Read that as I like to lay in bed and read a computer screen instead of a book). Another session with Bigpond's friendly Pakistani help line and we finally convinced them there was a problem with their hardware and they would be sending a new one out to me.
Look at modem and note that the internet led indicator is not lit up???? Back to Pakistan on the phone. "Oh no Sir, we send you new modem, and we disable old one. Well now isn't that just bright!!! Ever tried to reason with people who work in overseas call centers and have laid out scripts to read out in response to trigger questions.
Well could you please turn it back on until The replacement arrives. "Oh no Sir, the system is not set up to do that!" Well I need internet service, what are you going to do about it?.. Solution.... Back to the "goat track" on a tempory dial up connection until it arrives.
Well 9 days later arrive it did (Xmas holidays during this period), hooked it up, configured it and away it went all fine business.
My prepaid mobile phone had been sucking up recharge vouchers like they were going out of style at $30 a hit. Also includes a phone number that other people can call you on and an answering service for when you are away from computer. Absolutely magic stuff and good value.
Logic would say, poke more signal strength into it and see what happens. So we get a step ladder and long extension lead and relocate modem onto the peak of the house roof.
Now didn't that make a difference. Back to "Speedtest"and we are hitting between 2 and 3 mbs. Now we are talking! Relocated modem back on desk near 2 metre radio.
I have 2 antennas I use for 2 metres. One is a quarter wave vertical that sits on the apex of the roof using the roof as the groundplane. The other is a 2mtr 70cmtr dual bander, one of about a dozen or so that were made up at a club workshop a few years ago.
Out with an adaptor lead to connect the modem to the dual bander and back to Speedtest. 2.5 to 3.5 mbs with a maximum peak up to 5.2mbs.
At those speeds watching reasonable quality full frame video becomes a reality. Set to maximum resolution and really is just like the HD TV, but it cannot keep up to it for long without stopping to buffer up the memory.
Signal Strength = Speed = Happy