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in Broadband by Expert (19.6k points)
is anyone using the recently advertised $59 ZOL Home broadband service?? If so may you kindly share your experience , paying special attention to Speed&Stability and if its worth moving from other ISPs e.g Telone, Powertel, uMax etc.

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4 Answers

+4 votes
by
Have had it for about a week now and its very very impressive...and having come from Powertel you can imagine how different the web surfing experience feels like! Some points:

1. If you live close to a base station (<2km), then you can get the indoor unit and setup is really smooth as you simply open an account at ZOL, they configure it there and you get home, plug it in and voila.
2. Should you require an outdoor unit, they'll give it to you. Expect installation in less than 2days.

3. I'm your average web user and am very happy. As in opening content heavy sites like Facebook, Business Insider etc is lightening fast...sometimes even peak at 5mbps! BUT, heavy users will encounter throttling. For example, loading Youtube in the daytime is very doable if you pause the video maybe for 15secs whilst it buffers yet at night you click and it instantely plays without midway buffering. I actually think ZOLs shaping system serves every reasonable web user well. I tried downloading one well seeded torrent just for testing and the speed was between 512kbps-1mbps...yet if I tried opening an image heavy webpage speeds would be around 1-3mbps then again trying a youtube video speeds will be back to 512kbps-1mbps. So if you want to download heavily, look elsewhere. Unless you're patient ofcourse

4. Final words: I can't say too much on reliability as I've had it for a short period of time but so far so good. Im actually in love with their shaping system as it means those perky network hogs will be kept at bay allowing for better overall quality for all subscribers. I actually would recommend moving from your current ISP now, or at least suspending their current service as whispers would have it, (may not be true though), that the free equipment promo will come to an end at the end of this month. Also ZOLs coverage is now really unbeatable...one of the outdoor installers mentioned to me that most Econet base stations are now basically ZOL base stations too as remember Econet Wimax was converged with ZOL!
by
Oh and I should add that the shaping really seems only to take place during standard peak hours and in off peak its really non-existant.
by Expert (19.6k points)
seems like its a great deal  for someone like you or any other casual user,..but i'm a very heavy user. With my current connection i do close to 250Gb downlink and ~80Gb  uplink per month, so for now i dont think the  ZOL deal will suit my needs
by
WOW :O 330Gb per month!!....And to think I was feeling weird for using just 1gb in the last 25hours!...lol

May I ask how you manage to rack up soo much in usage?....And which ISP do you use that lets you go so high?...I'm kinda afraid to test my connection to its limits as indeed it is "unlimited" but who's to say after 20gigs they won't throttle me down to dial up speeds as I did sign on the dotted line that said *terms and conditions apply*...HA!
by Expert (19.6k points)
i most do Smartphone ROMs, Movies, TV Series, Linux n Windows Distros, Watch  live Sports, Youtube n Audio streaming, yah that sums it up. I'm with a very infamous ISP but i managed to do a little hack on their modem which gives me a constant 2.5Mbs. I always have something running...lol
by
Wow...your modem is gonna catch on fire!..lol...And I think I know which ISP this is...their service is very "sweet spot" dependant (as in right location brings amazing speeds) and I guess if you couple that with your modem hack then indeed you can rack up such usage.

Off topic a bit ,but, kinda amazing thanks to local laws how we can download so much and not get into trouble...well unless you download local content...yet in America even a 10mb mp3 can get you into hot water with your ISP! Go Zim Go!
by Regular (2.2k points)
Hi Time. What brand (as in manufacturer) is ZOL's indoor CPE and does it come with a router? Thank you. Also, what are the conditions attached to the current free CPE and installation promotion that ZOL is running?
+1 vote
by Guru (57.6k points)
There traffic shaping seems very aggressive. I have the 20mbps package and get 5mbps consistently to local servers but only 2mbps any international server and thats pretty much anytime of day or night. Im not greatly impressed by that but at least its consistent

I've also noticed with the traffic shaping if you start a download that maxes your speed then you struggle to make extra/new connections (eg access facebook) and regularly fails needing to refresh
by Expert (19.6k points)
Thats really not impressive, i think i'll wait a bit and hope it improves
by Guru (57.6k points)
i should note that i have not been on there package that long, so its hard to say if this is the ultimate speeds, am working with there support channels to check whats going on and why
by
That sounds strange...you should really take their support to task to resolve this especially since you're on fibre. When I'm downloading say from dropbox and Im at my packages max (odu wimax), I can still make new connections easily...infact I've had to "re-train" my brain into knowing that I can surf and still download as before ZOL, once I started downloading, I'd have to stop browsing as it would be impossible to do both at the same time!...That's certainly not a problem one should encounter on fibre nomatter the shaping going on.
0 votes
by new here (250 points)
0 votes
by
I had abandoned ZOL last year because they sucked! After about 1 year with Aptics Wimax, paying $120 for a 1mbs unlimited link, I was foolish enough to get seduced by ZOL's emails, promising that they now ran the full infrastructure, Liquid was providing the back bone, Unlimited and at half the price of Aptics. I went yesterday and paid $99 for the 2mbs Unlimited package, and was given a free indoor unit (which is fantastic), but I chose to set up my Outdoor "AirSpan"  originally installed by ZOL) with the 5mhz Econet Baseband frequencies, and new ZOL password. Viola - I was connected

The service (from my house) is SHOCKLY BAD. Down speeds fluctuate terribly (at well below the 2mbs I paid for), but what will kill most people is the appalling up-speed. Forget about emailing a PDF over 500kbs. My GMail literally could NOT send simple graphics above 450kbs without timing out. I ended up tethering my trusted Telecel Droid and it sent in less than 2 secs.

Because of this terrible up-speed, there are many times when one types in a web address, and it will literally take 1-2mins for the query to get a response on a site. Once the site loads, depending on how the down-speed is at that time, its normally acceptable. But YouTube has always got to be on 144p for half decent (broken up) watch of a simple video.

To put this is perspective, on UMax, I never have this problem with my unit, however, I don't EVER want to pay $75 for 20GBs for a 1mb connection... so I forgot who I gave the ugly box too.

Aptics (on the 10mhz frequencies) is really good at my house. Up and Down is always way above what I was paying for ($120), BUT--- It regularly dropped out, so u never has a constant browsing experience without constantly checking the Airspan to notice that its DL SYNCRONIZING and then RANGING.  One can get work done, but uploading a youtube video without "resume" function is a "fingers crossed - if ur lucky" affair. However, my friends in Greendale and Zimre Park have almost ZERO up-speed on Aptics, they both left after 4 months of trying to sort it out and are both now VERY HAPPY ZOL customers.

On a positive note, in my frustration this afternoon, I decided to take my free mobile unit with me to Avondale to sit at a cafe and lament at my foolishness to ever go back to ZOL. I plugged it up and it got 3 (maximum) Bars. I was amazed at how fast and reliable  the indoor unit was in Avondale (pitty its pretty much useless at my home).

Having used ZOL fibre at a few location, I had hoped that the WiMax nightmare was over, but sadly I see #TeamZOL dealing with lost of unhappy customers, coz unlike UMAX, Zol didn't bother to tell me, or my sister who got it the day before, if Econet Basebands would be reliable in our areas... they took the cash, set the box up and prayed we all live in areas like Avondale - or greendale - or Zimre Park.

Because I have seen this SAME product both work well and terribly, I recommend everyone insist on taking the unit home/work 1st to test if you get your contracted speeds.  For the price, you can;t really complain though.
by Regular (2.2k points)
Hi Kuda. What brand (as in manufacturer) is ZOL's indoor CPE and does it come with a router? Thank you. Also, what are the conditions attached to the current free CPE and installation promotion that ZOL is running?
by new here (100 points)
I think it's a ZTE which doubles up as a wifi router N protocol.   Works pretty great
by
hi kuda. are u still using the aptics service and if so how do you rate it now?what are the price plans they offer?thanx
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