When the Pocket WiFi was introduced years back, 3G was the speed to be. Also called a Hotspot MiFi, Portable Hotspot, or Mobile Hotspot, these were not only portable, they were pocket sized. However, small things do come in small power, too, and the capacity to connect to a 3G, later on a 4G or LTE network, became limited as you entered places were cement walls were as thick as bank vaults. Introducing the Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi router, truly a better alternative to pocket WiFis; one friend bluntly said, “better than sex.” That depends. LOL!

UP THE 27TH FLOOR

My good friend, Ica Serafica of www.icaserafica.com, one of the new fashion designers in town who studied, apprenticed and worked all over the world, including several years with London’s top fashion brands, set up shop in Mile Long three years ago. When the government took over that contested commercial space and booted out all its tenants with only a 3-day notice, she was lucky to have been able to move quickly into an empty unit fronting De La Salle University along Taft Avenue. The problem was the height – up on the 27th floor.

My telco-oriented friends and I know that the higher you go, the weaker the telecommunications signals are. Up on the 27th floor, our mobile phones were fluctuating signal strength, and tethering cell phones to computer were painstaking.

I set up a Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi router for her and after loading it up with credits and subscribing to GoSurf999, giving her 8GB data allocation for a month, we started testing it. Lo and behold, LTE strength. Though not in the mid to high Mbps speeds, it was doing about 10-15 Mbps download and single-digit Mbps upload.

Of course, the marketing in me renamed the SSID to “www.icaserafica.com” so that anyone nearby can see the website name.

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EXPO AND EXHIBITS

I work with Goautodial Inc., a 7-year old Filipino I.T. company that provides a cloud-based telephony solution to SMEs all over the world. In two instances we participated in expositions and exhibits, I brought along my Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi unit just in case of lousy in-building free WiFi connectivity.

The first was two-day Techtonic 2017 event which was held at the SMX Convention Center in the Mall of Asia last July 28-29, 2017. Inside a thick concrete building which was probably build around a metal cage, cell signals for data could easily be fraught with irritation. LOL! There was free WiFi but as the number of people attending the event went up to the hundreds, speed was intermittent. So, we set up the Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi for our use with the SSID “goautodial.com”.

Surprise! We were doing around 40 Mbps inside a concrete box!

We also brought it to the recent Digital Media Summit 2017 organized by the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) held at Camp Aguinaldo. Our phones’ signal were not good as far as internet access was concerned but the Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi was giving us 8-10 Mbps. Not that fast but the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) camp was an area with low data signals for both telcos; at least, our WiFi router was giving us a more stable access.

SETTING IT UP

The Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi unit comes with simple instructions that’s not a tech-nosebleed to follow. You’ll need a PC or laptop you can connect the yellow CAT-5 cable. Once connected, configuration means changing the admin user ID and password, as well as the SSID (or name of the WiFi) and password.

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The next thing to do is load the Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi unit with Peso credits. Since the unit comes preinstalled with a Globe SIM card, all I had to do was whip up my GCash App, buy a thousand Pesos worth of load for the given SIM card phone number. Once done, you can go to the SMS portion of the configuration/admin screen and, like a mobile phone, text 8080 with GOSURF999. Follow the text-back instructions and that’s it.

TODAY IT’S EASIER

Addendum to this review is the recently introduced Globe At Home app – available for download from the App Store or Google Play – that allows you to both monitor available credits and usage, as well as select which GoSurf plan you’d like to avail.

THE VERDICT

I’ve tried pocket WiFis in the past, and using my smart phones at places where telco signals aren’t that strong. “50% STRONGER” is a true label for this Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi router, and for those in areas where data signals are weak, I suggest you buy this, now selling at P1,999.00 which comes with free 10GB data. The beauty of prepaid is that there are no monthly fees and definitely no installation fee, too.

For more information or go straight and purchase the dang thing, click to https://shop.globe.com.ph/products/broadband/globe-at-home-prepaid-wifi.

Photos by @theworxpresso @raffypekson

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