Posted by Mark
I am going to start off by saying I am not a fan of Wataniya. I have been an MTC user since 1995 and I am very loyal to the brand. So, when I was contacted by Wataniya to try out their new W-net internet router I wasn’t very thrilled because I would rather it had been MTC calling me. But I still went ahead and met with the Wataniya guy who turned out to be cool and a Nintendo Wii fan and he explained to me what W-net was and told me that Wataniya had hooked me up with a 6 month prepaid subscription. I was thinking worst case scenario if the connection turned out to be crap I could take the router to work and hook it up over there since my office lacked a wifi connection which annoys the hell out of me whenever I take my Macbook to work. After using the device for over 2 weeks I can say I am impressed.
When I first opened the package I found the Quick Start Guide which involved 11 steps on how to setup the connection. I ignored the guide, turned on the router and connected to it via wifi on my Macbook. Thats it, I was connected to the Internet. Its a lot easier then 11 steps.
The Wataniya router works on the HSDPA network which is a 3G mobile protocol. Currently 3G isn’t covered everywhere in Kuwait so if you don’t have 3G in your area you will end up connecting onto the much slower EDGE network. So if you want to take full advantage of W-net you better hope you live in a 3G zone. I live in Salmiya and I have 3G here.
The most impressive thing about the W-Net connection is the download speed. I have a 512 DSL connection by Qualitynet and I usually download files at around 63 KB/sec. With W-net on the other hand I download at around 107 KB/sec which is nearly twice as fast as my DSL connection. The upload speed is slow though at around 15 KB/sec where as my Qualitynet hits around 35 KB/sec.
Loading websites feels slower on the Wataniya connection. When I type in a URL its always quicker to load on my Qualitynet connection. I thought it was because of the connection latency but I pinged 248am.com on both my Qualitynet connection and the Wataniya connection and the results were very close so I don’t know why the lack of acceleration.
PING 248am.com (184.108.40.206): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=0 ttl=45 time=321.393 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=305.564 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=2 ttl=45 time=325.444 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=3 ttl=45 time=356.846 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=4 ttl=45 time=376.722 ms
PING 248am.com (184.108.40.206): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=0 ttl=45 time=306.380 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=327.925 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=2 ttl=45 time=383.964 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=3 ttl=45 time=295.931 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=4 ttl=45 time=472.001 ms
For the geek users, you can customize the settings of the router to your liking just as if it was an ordinary router. It originally came set with the IP address 192.168.1.1 but my network runs on 192.168.0.X so I just logged in to the router settings and just changed stuff like turning of DHCP and changing the routers name. The router has an Ethernet port so you can connect it to the regular network or directly to your computer in case you don’t have wifi.
The price of the router plus Wataniya data line is KD135. The monthly charge for the connection is KD28, or KD300 for 1 year and KD565 for 2. I don’t know if you can order a different cheaper router off the web and use it with the Wataniya data line, I guess it could work.
Would I give up my DSL connection for W-Net? No I wouldn’t. I upload a lot of stuff all the time and 35 KB/sec is slow for me yet alone 15. I also browse the web a lot and like it when pages load instantly. The W-Net connection reminds me of my previous Shownet connection (which was Satellite based). It has a high top speed but slow acceleration meaning when browsing websites you don’t really feel the connection is fast only when you start downloading files do you notice it.
Would I recommend the W-Net connection? Yes in certain situations. For example in my old place in Salwa I couldn’t get a DSL line setup because the phone network in my street didn’t support it. My only option was a Satellite/Dialup combo which sucked. If I was still living there then I would definitely get W-net. Also for people who can’t get phone lines for one reason or another or for people who simply want an Internet connection wherever they go (camping, challet, anywhere with a power outlet) then this would also be a good option.
Am I going to take the router to the office? Nope, whenever I have files to download I just switch over to the W-Net connection and download them. Its really convenient having it because its cutting my download time in half. Anyway if you have any questions regarding W-Net just leave a comment below and I will try to answer it.