Thursday, November 6, 2008

Switched to Orcon

Our internet connection was switched over to Orcon today. First off I should say that everything worked! ( well almost everything )

  1. The router arrived at about 13:30
  2. The connection was made at the local exchange at about 15:45. 15 minutes earlier than promised by an email I received 3 days ago.
  3. When I arrived home, the Caller ID function on our phone was working. We can now check missed calls on our home phone which the wife thinks is FANTASTIC. ( hint: When ever you plan to spend extra on ICT then make sure the wife gets something out of it. )
  4. I unpacked the router, plugged everything in, switched my pc over to DHCP and logged into the admin interface. There was a wizard so I tried that. Before I knew it, I had internet connecting at 8012 Mbit downstream and around 1024 Mbit upstream. In case you would like to know how that translates into actual download speeds then have a look at the screen shot of my Kubuntu download.
  5. My laptop can connect to the wireless network. Setting up mac address access control was easy and did not requrie a full reboot of the router.
  6. Looking up my data usage is VERY EASY. All I need to do is browse to and look at my usage. Orcon seem to know who I am by how I am connected to them through the router. Very clever.

So what didn't work so smoothly?

  1. My PDA does not connect under the highest WPA2 security setting. It's an old one with older WEP based security. As I use the wireless network to vpn into the office on those call outs at 1am in the morning, I need the extra security so will have to make do without a pda that connects to the internet. If I am VERY lucky, I might be able to find a firmware update for the PDA. I think that's a job for a rainy day.
  2. As I am writing this email, I notice that my fantastic download speed as shown in the picture has dropped to 157Kbs. Not so hot really. Still its about 50Kbs faster than my old ISP so we shall have to see. ( PAUSING AND RESUMING the download seems to have increased the speed back to over 800kbs - Must be something to do with the connection to the ftp server I am downloading from. )
  3. I do not have, as yet, as password for my webmail / online account.
( Just tried a download using a Torrent in case the issues I was experiencing were related to the ftp server I was downloading from.)

It turns out the source ftp server in my first download was reducing my speed after about the first 50Mb. Have a look at this screenshot of my Kubuntu x86_64 download using Bit Torrent.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Orcon Home+ Platinum

I have signed up with Orcon Home+ Platinum for my new ISP service to my house. They promised ADSL+2 which means faster internet as well as a whopping 25Gb per month with $1 / gb thereafter. This should come in handy with all the Linux Distro's I download. I am also looking forward to a new router that comes with the deal. The router is included in the monthly fee so that's a bonus.

I chose the platinum plan because I liked the extra data, the included wireless router and the free homeline with all the bells and whilstles ( Caller ID, VoiceMail and Call Waiting. )

I was told it would take about 4 to 10 working days. In the mean time I have received an email telling me exactly the day on which the cut-over will happen. I hope the router arrives in time.