Saturday, March 13, 2010

So many net connections, so little connectivity

I'm a bit ashamed to admit this but right now, I have three internet connections in my house. It seems to suggest a confused mind. Actually, it just happened.

OK, Internet is to my life, what the sea is to a fish; without constant connectivity at 2 mbps, I will asphyxiate. Since I work from a home office, I cannot afford down time. I first got my Tata Indicom Broadband connection three years ago. It came cheap and the service is respectful. But it goes down anytime, especially when its time to skype with a client. And recently, I figured that there is no way to wi-fi it.. That's because I have a ethernet connection with no modem, this cable comes from a switch installed on the terrace of my building and I just have to plug it into my computer. The good thing about this arrangement is that it cuts short troubleshooting by customer service at my expense. They cannot request me to plug and unplug the modem, wait till it restarts, re-check the flashing lights and other general inanities. Once they have asked me to plug and unplug the cable they have shot their bolt and they have to quietly issue a complaint number.

But anyway, this is a pre-paid time-based connection with unlimited night usage, so it works great for downloads. It connects to my desktop and works when it works.

When I became a victim of its unreliability, I looked for options and there was the Tikona executive hawking WiBro. This connection was too expensive to use for downloads, but seemed a great back up when the Tata connection went down. In my haste to avoid MTNL, I sprung for it. Then I figured that my apartment faced away from their wi-fi access point and I could not get a signal. They promised to install an access point in my building, but it was nearly three months before it became active.

So I had to fall back on MTNL. And surprisingly found that it was pretty easy to get, provided you are prepared to visit the office a few times. It is reliable and their new unlimited and pre-paid plans are pretty good value for money.

MTNL and Tikona WiBro connections arrived at roughly the same time. Now I can't decide which to discontinue and till I do, I will hang onto both. I worked so hard to get them, I am very reluctant to let either go.

Now the Tata connection works when it feels like it, MTNL connection is on a dud Linksys router  which I can connect to 50% of the time after exertion and I have to remember to use up the 1GB download I get on my Tikona plan of Rs. 199 pm.

Go ahead and laugh if you want. I said that I was ashamed to admit this!