27 November 2009

Battle of the Bandwidth

ADSL in South Africa ain't cheap... not by any stretch of the international imagination, but it is sure as heck getting cheaper!

First, I used OpenWeb - and I think for 2GB a month I was paying about R130, which was great - but I found that we never used 2GB completely back in 2006, so it was a waste. Then I moved to WebAfrica, and paid R70 per GB on prepaid, and found that this could last several months (and had an unlimited lifespan for roll-over, so it was great). About three months ago I switched over to Afrihost because they were offering a R29 per GB special, but you had to go on contract (and by then 1GB wouldn't last very long since both services I subscribed to had multiple users on the lines, so R70 per month was about 2.5GB per service, which worked out more economical for me). Afrihost claimed they were surviving off reduced marketing costs to subsidise the low bandwidth charges to their clients. If that weren't enough of a "bargain" by today's standards, they offered a very short-lived R14.50 per GB about a week ago, which I sadly only snapped one top-up thereof. NOW things are getting even more interesting - with others offering even cheaper than R29/GB (and even FREE ADSL - yes, read on)!

First, there's the news link that reports on the R20 per GB ADSL bundles available...
  •  MyISP is offering a really good ValueGig package; for R60 per month you get:
    • 10MB Mailbox
    • Fax to E-Mail
    • 50MB WiFi Hotspot Access
    • 3GB ADSL bandwidth
    • with the option to top-up for R45 per GB (which is still cheaper than most others), and this top-up rolls over, so if you hit 3GB on day x-1, you can use your 50MB to see you through, and then keep the top-up in check for the next month, and so on!
    • R20 per GB is probably the cheapest package on offer right now, and those 50MB WiFi are a cute bonus (even though it isn't worth much)... I'm seriously tempted to move over to MyISP - anyone know anything about them?

Then there's the FREE ADSL news...
  • MyISP (again) is offering users either free dial-up access, or 300MB ADSL per month for free!
    • Check out their freebies page for more information. Apparently, they've been doing this for years (since 2007), and as far as I'm concerned, they deserve to be supported if that is true - it's a wonderful marketing strategy, and very risky, so let's support them and hopefully see more people adopt this aggressive (and very risky) approach (hopefully the big ISPs don't cotton on and force out the little ones)!
    • What you get:
      • SaveMore:
        • 250MB ADSL usage per month OR free dial-up
        • 10MB Mailbox
        • Fax to E-Mail
        • 25MB WiFi Hotspot Access
        • Optional top-up costs R100 per GB (or R50 per 500MB). It's optional though, so unless they tie you into automatically topping up when you hit your cap, this is a good deal.
      • MaxiSave:
        • 300MB ADSL usage per month
        • 10MB E-Mail account
        • Fax to Email number
        • 25MB WiFi HotSpot Access
        • Optional top-up costs R100 per GB, and this one says you can exceed 300MB to a max of 1GB without cut-off. Data in excess of 300MB will be charged at 10c per MB, so I am guessing this means you use 300MB, and if you go over, they bill you up to R70 before you have to pay for the service, and if you don't cough up, you get cut off?
And finally, the uncapped option!
  • For R399 per month, you can get a completely UNCAPPED 384k line from SCREAMER TELECOMS - that seems to be the best deal I've heard of so far for uncapped, so if you run a communal set up (like I mentioned above), that's really next to nothing if you have high-use people... now if only the speeds and latency were better than the 384kbps stable :-/

SO there you have it! Please add a reaction so I know if this information was useful for you, and also please feel free to comment on your own experiences with these ISPs - I am very tempted to move from AFRIHOST, but they can't be beaten for service right now (IMHO) - I asked their customer care to add in an auto-top-up option like WEBAFRICA, and they DID! They listened!

No comments: