Test the Fastest Internet in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

500mb

The local coding school “Coded” is hosting an event tonight with Fasttelco to test an ultra fast internet connection that they claim to be the fastest in Kuwait. The connection will be a 500Mbps fiber connection and everyone is invited to come and try it out. To test that speed you can either bring your own laptop and connect it to one of the available ethernet cables or you could use one of their test laptops. If you’ve got a huge file you’ve been wanting to download or upload then this might be a good way to do it. For more information click [Here]


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Best Internet Provider in Kuwait 2015

Posted by Mark

wimd

nima

Winner: WIMD (kinda)
Every summer I would go back to Canada. And in terms of mobile telecommunications, it would be like travelling to the 90s. The few people who had cell phones, had flip-phones. With antennas (remember antennas?). No one had any idea what the hell a SIM card was. The one company that had SIM cards wouldn’t give you one without you signing a plan for at least one year. Meanwhile at Heathrow airport, you could get a temporary SIM card from a vending machine. Total bush league. My point, in case you’re missing out, is that regardless of how ‘first-world’ a country is, it’s not above being completely backwards due to greedy complacent big business interests and/or excessive government bureaucracy.

Which brings me to internet in Kuwait. Over the years, I’ve had Fastelco, Qualitynet, WIMD. The internet in most parts of Kuwait is capped due to the ancient copper cables that connect everyone together. Unless you live in Salwa or South Surra, you’re going to be limited by your internet company. Now this brings us to an interesting point. Back in day, you didn’t need high-speed, since all you would do is pretend to be a girl on mIRC and talk to other men pretending to be girls on mIRC. But now, content providers are trying to go fully cloud-based, and when that’s the case, 4Mb isn’t going to cut it. Based on Mark’s results from WIMD, I decided to give those cats a try, and the results were much better. I get 14 now.

But even WIMD is limited in that all they really do is bypass the copper cables that go point to point nationally. You’re still using Qualitynet or Fastelco or United or whatever. When they go down because a fucking whale in Egypt took a huge shit on the undersea cables, you go down too.

The gripe is that for the amount of money people pay to internet companies is not proportional to the quality of service we get. Still, when it comes down to it, unless something changes dramatically with the technology or the government locally or regionally, WIMD is still the best, despite the technical issues that pop up from time to time. They’ve been kinda enough to reimburse me for my lost days of access. I appreciate that. When it works, it works and it’s the best.

All of this, is specifically for home users. If you’re a ‘corporate user’ you’ll get gouged by the OUTRAGEOUS prices you will be quoted. In the eyes of the internet companies in Kuwait, no matter how small your company is, you NBK to them, fat and rich. It’s criminal.

Runner up: LTE
I was one of the last one of my friends to switch from 3G to LTE. I held onto my shitass iphone 4 for years past the point I probably should have. Near the end of its long life, I was charging it literally constantly. During phone calls the battery life would countdown in real time and I would panic like it was a timebomb in a Bond movie. It would literally burn my ear from how hot it would get. Now that I have a sexy new phone with LTE, I am surprised by how incredibly fast it is sometimes. And with the personal hotspot, I always have a decent backup plan. Also, it’s what most smaller companies use now rather than get abused (please don’t write comments about me belittling abuse until you see the prices they charge and then gfy).

mark

Winner: WIMD
When I first signed up to internet at my apartment, I had DSL and I was getting 1Mbps since that was the fastest my line could handle. Then a couple of years later for some reason my line started handling 2Mbps, it was amazing since it was twice as fast. Out of the blue a couple of years later, something happened and my connection speed dropped, my line could no longer handle 2Mbps and I was back on 1Mbps. It was horrible. Then Mada came along offering 10Mbps and I jumped onboard. It was super fast… until everyone discovered it was super fast and then it became super slow. Luckily I found out about WIMD and I signed up to their 10Mbps plan and I’ve been using them ever since.

It’s been three years now and really the only major issue I had with them is when a residential building got constructed down the street blocking my line of sight with their tower. But that was an easy fix, we just moved my receiver to the far end of the building. They’re really the best solution for people who have shitty phone lines. At KD350 a year for 10Mbps they’re more than double the price of DSL providers but when your alternative is 1Mbps, KD350 is actually an incredible deal.

Runner up: Mobile Internet
Although Nima focused on LTE I am just grateful with have decent mobile internet and at reasonable prices and it doesn’t matter from which telecom provider. LTE or 3G I don’t care, they’re both great since they allow me to stream music in my car. I also love the fact we get such high download limits including unlimited options.

When I went to get a prepaid sim card in LA, they were like how much bandwidth do you want a month, 1GB, 2GB or 4GB? That’s like the norm over there, only T-Mobile had a higher option which was unlimited so I ended up signing with them. If I didn’t have WIMD at home I would have definitely signed up to one of the telecoms for internet. They’re a great alternative to DSL since they’re so much more easier to setup and most of the time faster than DSL.


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Best Online Store in Kuwait 2015

Posted by Mark

talabat

nima

Winner: talabat.com
Man, do you ever wonder whether you’ve become a misanthrope because of the internet or the internet just feeds your misanthropy? Do you ever wonder what ‘misanthrope’ means? (if so, you’re the reason misanthropes exist).

These days I’m so lazy or unwilling to physically see other humans that not only will I not go to a restaurant to eat, I won’t even pick it up to take home. Not only am I unwilling to pick it up, but I’m also unwilling to get out of my car. Not only am I unwilling to get out of my car, but now, I’m also unwilling to speak to another human on the phone. I exaggerate of course, but not much.

And that’s why, the greatest website/app in the entire middle east is Talabat. Oh heavens, what a convenient little bastard you are. Somehow, some tenacious person convinced various restaurants to outsource online ordering to their website. And I’m sure some had reservations about doing it too. Among my circle of friends, we talk about new restaurants on Talabat as though we had actually been there without having to actually be there. So successful was this enterprise that it had been sold for what we in the FU industry call FU-money. Nary a week goes by without some restaurant relenting and joining this Khaleeji monolith. In my eyes, there is no competitor.

Of course, it’s not without its faults. Namely there are some crap restaurants with crap names and crap descriptions of their food (sandwish anyone?). But these are outweighed by the review section, which I frequently read not for actual reviews from people whose opinions are valuable, but rather for the hilarity of their review.

For example, “The food tastes disgusting and is not what the meal is supposed to taste like. Delivery took too long. Small portions. It just was terrible. 3 stars”. THREE STARS!!! AND THE FOOD WAS DISGUSTING BAHAHAHAHAH.

Or my personal favourite (translated), “the delivery was late. The burgers were cold. Totally unpleasant. 5 stars.” Hilarious.

Runner up: Blink.co.kw
The other day, I wanted to buy Batman Arkham Knight, conveniently checked the price online and conveniently bought it from PSN. THREE DAYS LATER the download finished. Very inconvenient. I could have just gone online and bought it from Blink. And replaced my toaster and bought some cups and wax for the car. But I didn’t, instead I had three days of disappointment, untoasted bread and an unwaxed car.

Shoutout to nespresso.com for having a website so slow, you’d think the server is on the bloody moon.

mark

Winner: talabat.com
Once you get beyond the first page, I think the website looks ugly and outdated. But, there is no denying that Talabat is the most successful online business in Kuwait and they’ve got KD50,000,000 to prove it.

Runner up: Blink.co.kw
The runner up really should be Xcite.com since their website looks a ton better than Blinks and they have much more products. But, I just find Xcite more intimidating to use and I’ve run into the oddest issues with them. Did you know up until a few weeks ago you couldn’t even browse their website from your phone. If you tried to you would get a message forcing you to download their app. They weren’t recommending you to use their app which is a common practice but instead they completely lock you out from their website if you were browsing from your mobile phone. So stupid. Thankfully after I complained about how ridiculous that was, they now allow you to browse their site from your phone. If you’re wondering why I don’t use their app instead, well I used to but then one day when I wanted to buy something I had to create an account which is fine but they started asking me what my nationality was and if I was married or not. I couldn’t tell if those questions were mandatory or not to answer so I just ended up filling all the fields with dummy information and created a fake account to try it out. Turns out the personal questions were not mandatory to answer, but then I ran into another problem. Once you create an account with their app you can’t log out and create another one. So now I permanently get greeted by the app as “Hello Jdjdjd Jdjdjd”. I should probably delete it and reinstall it but I’m just too lazy to do so.

Blink on the other hand, although the website is ugly as shit is actually easier to use and find stuff plus their prices are mostly cheaper in my experience. I think it’s probably easier to use because when you land at the website they ask you which section you want to browse. So if you click on video games you end up in their video game section with all the product highlights and side bar sections being gaming related. On Xcite you have to dig deep for whatever you want. I generally use Blink for two things mainly, buying iTunes cards or buying video games. They seem to have ridiculously good deals every now and then and even when they don’t their prices generally reflect Hawalli prices (ie cheapest market prices) without having to go to Hawalli myself and get it. Convenient.


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Mujawharaty

Posted by Mark

jewls

Mujawharaty is a new website where you can buy jewelry. I don’t have any interest in jewelry but I’m just glad people are launching ecommerce websites and not just trying to sell stuff on instagram. The website is still under development because there are a few sections not working but there are a ton of items on there already if you just wanna browse. [Link]

Also, there’s a new online electronics store that just launched called Beraven (and they also just started advertising on my blog). You can check out their website [Here]


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Ghaliah Sells 40% Stake for $20 Million

Posted by Mark

ghaliah

Ghaliah for those of you who don’t know are a locally established social media agency that launched back in 2011. Today they’re the largest digital agency in Kuwait handling the majority of the social media accounts of companies in Kuwait as well as manage most of the local celebrity instagrammers. Early last week they sold 40% stake in the company to a local investor (Al Bahar Group) for a sum of $20,000,000. That makes Ghaliah the latest web related startup in Kuwait to hit it big. The other two I could think of right now are Talabat and FishFishMe. Ghaliah will now be using most of the new funding to expand their services to New York and Dubai (they’re already in Saudi Arabia and Qatar) as well as introduce new services.

As I’ve said before, a good idea is a good idea even if you’re based in Kuwait. If anything, I think because of the amount of free time people have in Kuwait, it makes perfect sense to start a side business here (and many people do). On a side note does anyone wanna pay me a few million for my blog? Will include lots of Shani in the deal.


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Pay Your Rent Online

Posted by Mark

ajar

Ajar Online is a cool service which allows you to pay your rent online. The way it works is fairly simple, first your landlord needs to register the building and the tenants, then once a month he sends out an email or SMS to all the tenants reminding them to pay the rent. The tenants can then click the link included in those messages and proceed to pay the rent online using knet.

Right now every month I need to head to an ATM machine, withdraw the rent and then make sure to pass by the landlord at certain hours of the day to pay the rent. I always end up paying the rent late because I am either never home or out of the country so I’d love it if my building signed up to Ajar Online. Which is where the problem is with this service, even though I think it’s very practical and would love to use it, I can’t unless the landlord signs up to it. Would have been much cooler if I could pay my rent online and for a small fee they can send a mandoob to pay the rent on my behalf. Or if there was a form at least which I could fill in with my buildings details so their salesman can come and pitch the service to my landlord.

Check out their website [Here]


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Snapchat is Live from Kuwait Tomorrow

Posted by Mark

snapchatkuwait

After Dubai and Riyadh went live on Snapchat last week, it’s now Kuwait’s turn. According to an instagram post by Viva, Snapchat will be live in Kuwait tomorrow… but theres a catch. It will only be broadcasting snaps from Ahmadi. What this means is that snapchats taken in the Ahmadi area will be eligible to go live but not snaps from the rest of Kuwait. No idea why Snapchat chose Ahmadi but I guess it’s better than nothing.


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The State of LTE in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

lte

The website Open Signal has posted interesting numbers regarding the state of LTE around the world. Kuwait for example turns out has the third highest time spent on LTE networks but also has the second slowest LTE internet connection compared to everybody else. Check out the full report [Here]

Thanks Haneyl


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Internet Prices at InfoConnect 2015

Posted by Mark

wimd

I passed by InfoConnect earlier today to check out the internet prices and I’m not sure why but the prices have started increasing instead of decreasing. For example two years ago 10Mbps would have cost you KD140 while this year it’s going to cost you KD165. Check out the prices for the annual subscriptions below. Most of the providers were offering some sort of gift be it scratch and win cards or free speed upgrades etc..

internet-prices-2015-kuwait

InfoConnect is taking place at the Kuwait International Fairground until February 1st. For more information on the event click [Here]


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Is your internet slow?

Posted by Mark

slowinternet

I got a lot of emails over the holidays from readers (mostly Qualitynet users) complaining about how their internet has been really slow. According to two people, Qualitynet told them its because of a fiber optic cable that was cut. I couldn’t find any information on this but as a WiMD internet user myself, my connection has also been slow averaging less than 1Mbps instead of my usual 10Mbps.

So if you’ve been having connection issues, let me know below.


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