Sunday, October 19, 2014

. . . upgrade . . .


this is the 3rd time that i (will) change my modems as well as the TV box.

now for those who wants to know, Switzerland by far is dominated by Swisscom, one of the largest telecommunication provider. theres quite a few but this is probably the most promoted company. in my limited knowledge, theres also UPC Cablecom (which boasts cheap and REALLY fast internet... but bad customer services), Orange... yeah. i think thats it. theres of course more but those 3 are the common ones i encounter when it comes to connectivity.

i started out with another provider (prepaid) before slowly venturing to postpaid as well as internet (internet came a bit later since the first apartment i stayed in had no way of installing your own internet as they already have one pre-installed and you had to buy monthly credits from the company who owned the building... sort of a hotel apartment). hence it was quite a while for me to get into the real deal.

after having a postpaid line for about 3 or so years, and the fact the i moved to a new apartment, i started venturing and gaining more interest in private connectivity. the internet here by far is the best. i've only experienced Brunei's capability (which still sucks until today) and Switzerland changed my adoration for the internet way more.

i started off with DSL back in 2010... that was already good. never had any faults nor complaints either from the internet to the tv box. there were moments when the modem's light turned red but it was always about re-configurations... updates or simply because the provider was currently in a process of change. which lead to fibre optics that came quite a few years after that.

above is the centro grande. as of 2013, my area was installed with fibre optics and at the moment i was at a high interest on trying out the new speeds. i called up and promptly ordered my set and it came in a mere few days. though i had quite a few bumps on installing it as i wasn't prepared for it, all went well in the end and i was happily surfing in high download and upload speeds. technically i couldn't tell the difference since its never been heavily used in terms of the maximum number of people. i had a few people come and stay but so far the speeds never dropped nor have i ever even turned it off for long periods of time. and since i don't need a land-line as i am on my hand phone most of the time, i decided to cancel it and remained with the internet and tv which has been a good choice as it has cut down the monthly bills that i pay.

now just last week, after getting an iPhone 6, i did what was deemed to be an impulse move which the results have by far been pretty okay. i upgraded my postpaid contract from CHF35 per month to CHF99 per month. a heck of a leap from the previous and definitely expensive. but hang on just a sec, i deemed the CHF99 to be cheap, because back when i was using CHF35, i spent actually more than that.

the CHF99 boasts of unlimited internet usage while the CHF35 charged me a specific amount after using my 250mb limit which was annoying me for quite sometime after being mediumly attached to social connectivity i.e. Instagram, Twitter and so on. i actually paid 100 to 200 francs depending on my usage. calling out was charged as well. messages too.

technically i rarely call and messages now are commonly typed through secondary messaging services or apps which deals more on the internet such as WhatsApp, LINE, Viber (which also includes free calls) etc. these apps eats your megabyte numbers like a fat kid goin' thru chocolate cake.

its only been a couple of days since i used the CHF99 contract and so far its been absolutely amazing. fast speeds compared to the previous and rare times of lags. so there is yet more to encounter and i am anxiously waiting for the first bill.

now back to home connectivity. i download and share my files quite frequently. i'm not the sort of person to do important business but its more for entertainment purposes. i've been dreaming of making my own server one day and accessing my files to and from home if possible. that dream has yet to be achieved but i have a feeling with the new modem, i might have a chance.

the centro grande had a usb port at the back which i thought could've been used to connect a portable hard disk or pandrive but sadly to no avail, it didn't work when i tried it out. when given a question to the provider, they simply told me that port was unusable for the moment and probably in the next few months or year, they will produce out another attachment device which then after connecting it to the modem, you can connect your hard disk or pandrive. phew. even explaining it to you, you might've felt a bit of a burden on trying to figure it out. simply, with the modem, you'd have to purchase another device that will be able to read hard disks.

now i haven't mentioned on the extra modem i connected to my centro grande. i bought a western digital modem that supplies dual WiFi speeds of 2.4GHz and 5GHz (which again doesn't make any sort of difference as i've never stress tested it before with loads of people. frankly i thought it was a waste of money but i was in the spur of the moment... i can only blame and apologise to myself as well as my bank account). to spare anyone more complicated details and complicated explanations, lets just say i was thinking of boosting the internet experience as well as my sharing connectivity.

so now, apart from my new postpaid contract, i upgraded the internet modem as well as the tv box to Swisscom's latest offer, the Vivo M. you can check it out here. there are more choices of speeds but i took this as some sort of middle ground. boasting up to 1GB/s speeds which is actually 20% faster than what i have ordered to be install BUT nonetheless... i think 40MB/s is just a median amount for a mediumly frequent internet user such as myself.

so introducing the new changes that will be installed...

this is a more detailed view of the box(es) compared to the mysterious pic
that i recently uploaded on Instagram

i have to give speedy response a plus to Swisscom. once you ordered, they will send and activate it as soon as you even barely have time to comprehend what your going up against for the future. the boxes are somewhat smaller than that of the Centro Grande which made me stop a few times on the way home from the post office. and definitely lighter. when i took it out of the box, it gave me that Apple packaging kind of feel which might be some sort of a nod to the brand as it is also widely used here only being approached closely by Samsung.

upon opening the box... more hints of an Apple design both on the TV box as well as the modem. now i wanted to tease you on picking out which one is which but i forgot that i took a broad picture and any idiot will know which device plays its role (hint: remote control... duh).

Swisscom managed to crack a smile on my face when i took out the TV box. as you can see just beneath upon holding the tv box, they stated the obvious of loving our national leisure time activity. bravo Swisscom. another thumbs up for such a cute way of attracting customers (as well as squeezing out our money). the size is undeniably similar but larger than an Apple TV. hopefully Apple doesn't come out busting Swisscom's ass on copyright regulations or whatnot as they are famous for doing that. All in all, TV Box was good to go and in perfectly sturdy condition... as for the modem.

this came at quite a shock. for the first part when i took it out of the box, seemed like someone just randomly cut a hole from a box to put into a box hastily. let me be specific and show it to you...

its somewhat terrifying to know how this package has been handled but so far no broken pieces was found. phew. i was quite worried because the modem itself was 3 times heavy than the Centro Grande.

what really terrifies me is that the metal notch that you see was simply hanging onto the cut out (read: CUT out) hole just like that and supposedly if the package was flung around here and there in the delivery van, it would've broken off ! this was also in my point of view the most important part as it will connect the fibre optic wires that will leak in those previous internet speeds... so Swisscom... well. you wouldn't be reading this anyway but still if any of your staff does come by it, you might need to rethink about the packaging. maybe put in pads or better protection for it.

that is my only issue.

they will start reactivating and changing the settings for my new connection and asked me to connect the new parts by this 23rd. so from there, i will probably take some more time to see as well as understand what the hype and difference will affect me.


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