Zain 4G / LTE Rant

It seems I wasn’t the only one noticing that as of the last few months my Zain LTE Router is no where near what it used to be.

People may say that 4G does it for them, its good for quick browsing and going through normal internet usage, but not heavy duty lifting, not major downloading or gaming what so ever.

Below is the full comment of Tenthfire that really broke down all the issues I was facing as well as details that I honestly didn’t delve into.

I am very disappointed with Zain LTE this year with their approach on their internet. If you check the highway their advertisement was “extremely fast speed and good for gaming” or some similar words.

This year Zain LTE decided to buy cheaper routers compared to last year. These new routers are extremely worse than because that their range is 2/4 compared to the one 1 year ago. The router malfunctions more and the chip is much worse than before. I have to say that 0 tests were made on the router.

I will try not to go into details, but if you play League of Legends, Dota, WOW, Diablo, etc do not get this router as it is extremely unstable.
Last year being one of the first people to have Zain LTE in the country with the modem + 80GB limit (now increased to 300G in 2014) I will tell you my experience.
Usually my ping in gaming is 180-1000. Mostly 180-400 which is extremely unplayable and you get frustrated.

I managed to figure an IP that had a more stable ping than others and managed to configure my router with minimum traffic and to get IP, getting 130-140 ping.
On 2014 they changed router and chip and also programmed their servers in an extremely poor way where it rejected people with old routers / chips. This caused a massive amount of disconnection and customer service have no way of helping you. The people on customer service have no idea how internet work or what the basics of latency are.

Anyways on 2014 I got a new contract hoping that their internet will get better. They increased the limit from 80GB–> 300GB which is amazing.
Zain LTE, however, after a few months starting in March decided to cancel 3G service , so now all cell phones are forced to get 4G LTE.
There is an increased pressure on 4G LTE and the server is extremely over used. The speed went around 3GB / slower per 4 months.
I am sad to say that now the speed of Zain LTE at 3.14.2014 with tests is 5-12 GB/ second on download and less than 10GB in upload from the normal standard which was 40GB+.
IF you buy a normal DSL your ping / internet will be more stable and faster.
I have done some tests on certain IP : 149.147.19.119 37.37.162.104 37.36.132.137 31.203.192.129 37.203.192.129 37.39.173.140 188.236.211.62 188.236.37.152
and many more.

I also made a list of the problems Zain 4G LTE service is having from 2014 (especially Feb and March):
1. Assigning two people the same “IP ” (usually when several computers connect to a router they are given different “IP”).
This is bad, because if that person with the same “IP” downloads something your speed will get slower and if you’re gaming you will lag.
2. Disables Youtube Comments and enables Safety Mode.
This is an extremely annoying problem only seem from their filter / internet problem. Youtube loads extremely slow as well and a lot of problems.
3. Unable to browser specific websites from an “error” which can be solved by turning off your router for 30 seconds – 2 minutes.
This gets annoying when I have to close my router to access sites like XXX website because the router is “stuck” and it happens a lot. Sometimes it gets me an error while going on google. This is only with their service. I have tried normal DSL and other internet services which are much better.
4. As I said before their router radius is extremely low and signal level affects ping.
Radius is usually 0.5 floorX 0.80 floor (LXW) meaning it is worse than any other types.
5. Router shutdowns if you download 3 things simultaneously.
Lets say I download 3 from Itunes 3GB each I can crush my router and their server. It will build up some level of “clog” on that IP address that it will be slow. You will need to change your IP address.

Their simple network structure is sad and if I was to rate it from 1-10 I would give it 0.
I do not recommend this internet for any person who wants a stable network or for gaming. I do not recommend 4G LTE from any company as it is extremely unstable and fails to bring minimum international standards. Calling this network 4G LTE is a simple joke.
This is only 1/5 of the server problems I see. If I was to include more problems on their server and networks it would be extremely cruel.

How they can solve most problems:
1-Fix network stability ( I believe a multi-million dollar company can figure out how to do this).
2-Do not overload yourself with people when your network is extremely weak.
3-Offer certain configuration for gamers.
4-Fix disconnection problems.
5-Find a better engineer for your routers and their components.
6-Do more testing on your routers before buying them from China.

Applecentric

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This post has been a long time coming, and at this point I think it is somewhat appropriate. I have been a Windows user for a very long time, some Linux and Solaris thrown into the mix for a little while but never really Apple. So over the past few years I got introduced to Apple, the first one being the Mac Mini from last year which was an impressive little guy. If you asked me back in 2006 if I would be using a Mac I would say that is blasphemy but now I will happily admit it. Over the years I think that Apple’s hardware has improved drastically and you get the better hardware for a better price unlike before, and OS X and higher is much better then its previous versions with better compatibility. Still I’m really annoyed that they don’t have NTFS built into OS X but I think its just Apple being their usual stubborn self so people can’t use the same external USB/Hard Drive between Apple & Windows Machines. I have been using my iPod for a while now, pretty much since the iPod Touch came out and the useful applications and games. So a few years later I got into my first apple, and it was as if I was walking into an unknown zone. Overall I think Apple does have a winning product but you can’t knock Windows just yet, it does have its good uses and I know you Apple fans do get crazy but it wouldn’t be dominating in the market if it didn’t do something right. A lot of you know how much I love Android products but I do love my iPad, I will admit which platform is better for which application, and Apple knows how to integrate all their products but its annoying how much they lock out other companies from innovating on their platforms. I prefer my Android over iOS by far but I wouldn’t mind it syncing with iTunes so I can get my music, of course there are ways to get around it but I’m too lazy to go through the hassle. Luckily for me I started using Spotify to a large extent and so I depended less on iTunes but still on an Apple device iTunes is worlds better then on Windows, for one thing it works.

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What I really think which is better in which:

Mac:

  • Graphical Items
  • Doesn’t Crash As Much, And Yes It Does Crash Under My Abuse
  • Very Smooth Interface, Very Nice Design Of Their Machines

Windows:

  • Network Management
  • Larger Software Compatibility
  • More Games, Alot More Games
  • Larger Variety of Manufacturers to Choose From

I haven’t really jumped into any video editing yet so I can’t compare between the machines, but most probably I will be trying it out on the Mac for sure. If you ask me which do I use more I would say its 70% Windows 30% Apple, and for work I can only use Windows. Apple can be used in Advertising or Media companies but everything else its Windows, too many work applications just aren’t compatible with Macs.

Switching To Feedly From Google Reader

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The signs are always there with Google, whenever the links to a product slowly start dropping from the main page you know that they aren’t a fan of it or giving it that much importance. Google Wave went because it didn’t work as a product, Google Buzz ruffled too many feathers even though I liked it, and then Google Reader was suddenly coming to an end. July 1st is the cut off date for Google Reader, I know these days a lot of people aren’t reading blogs as much but we still visit a lot of websites and my online dependency was on Google Reader to keep things organized. The announcement honestly shocked me so looking for an alternative was a scary idea, I got so comfortable with Google Reader I didn’t know if I would find an alternative. After doing a little research I went with Feedly and I’m very happy I did.

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I tried Feedly a few years back and Google Reader at the time was more comprehensive and useful as an RSS Reader, but within those years they stopped the development of Google Reader, and Feedly is miles ahead. The integration is seamless, a very smooth and clean interface and I honestly like looking at it. It works on both Android & iOS, and its web based which is very simple, and moving onto there is extremely simple, just sign in.

What I Love About:

  • Its Fast, really loads fast
  • Multiple Layout Options, so you can see it anyway you want
  • You can mark things read in different ways which works great
  • Integrated with Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest, and most major social networking sites
  • Works on desktop, iOS, & Android

Link: Feedly

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Zain Network Slowdown

CellTower

Is it just me or was Zain’s network acting weird yesterday. My data network kept dropping every 20 to 40 minutes plus it would drop from 3G to Edge a lot during the day. And today has been acting strange as well. At first I thought it was my phone but I restarted a few times to be sure with no changes, and my other phone was acting up as well so things were odd. It seems that Zain might be making some changes to the network because other people were experiencing these issues since yesterday.

Synology Debuts First 8 Bay NAS Server, the DiskStation DS-1812+

Synology keep coming out with more and more lovely machines, they just unveiled their first ever 8 bay NAS server in the shape of the DiskStation DS1812+, a high-speed/high-capacity device targeting prosumers and SMBs. It can expand to a total of 18 Drives with the help of two DX510s, so with its current drives it can handle up to 32 TB without the expansion drives which is a ridiculous amount of space.

The new model is powered by a 2.13 GHz, dual-core processor and includes support for USB 3.0, high speed network transfers with link aggregation as well as support for emerging 4TB hard drives. RAM is expandable, up to 3GB.

According to Synology’s internal tests, transfer speeds average 202 MB/sec read and 194 MB/sec write speeds in a RAID 5 configuration. I still have the DS1511+ and still about 40% storage left but this looks very enticing, for some reason these days I’m attracted to desk type storage. There is a 12 bay version but I thought it was overkill and this one seemed more reasonable. I know others have mentioned the homebrew software which you can install for storage, I have used those before but honestly Synology does both the hardware and software so well that I don’t waste any of my time on it, it just work all the time with almost no issues at all. This one is price at $999 which isn’t bad at all but the current problem is that 4TB drives are priced at $300 which are a bit over the top so, it the drives which will eat up your wallet. But as a storage solution this is probably the best out there at the moment.

Link: Synology

Password Gained!

Its one of those things that you never really think would happen to you and then it does, and you have to deal with it. A lot of people have had their usernames and password comprimised by Playstation Network and were recommended to change their usernames and passwords if they use it in other locations. Now it has happened to me and luckily I managed to recover the accounts, surprisingly it happened to three of my accounts: A Bank, Amazon, and Hotmail.

In my case I did use my username and password but I honestly didn’t think of changing anything though I’m usually very paranoid about these things. I try to keep as many different usernames and password for different sites as possible not including what I use for my machines which is very different.

The only one they managed to get through to was the Amazon Account and I checked right away that nothing was ordered or changed in any of the details so I changed my password to something very difficult and hoping that it will do. The password is a combination of Letters, Numbers & Symbols making it very difficult to figure out unless they cracked my machine and are copying my usage of the passwords.

They tried reseting my password to hotmail several times but luckily it was sent to one my other emails so I managed to cancel it and notify hotmail and made changes right away.

Luckily the bank is a European Bank and head several layers of protection so they didn’t get too far with it and I was notified right away.

This was strange that it all happened in 24 hours so I changed most of my passwords and some of the usernames where I could, it did freak me out but I’m hoping these will hold. You don’t realize how much you are connected online and how vulnerable you are until something such as this happens.

Major Tip:

Make sure to have a complex password and use different passwords for different websites, that is the only thing that really saved me. I know it sounds difficult but the extra effort will save you, and make sure to familiarize yourself with the password recovery process of the websites that you constantly use and what you can do to protect yourself.

Review: Synology 1511+

I have gone through several storage devices over the years and now I have been using the Synology 1511+ and loving it. I still have my Netgear which has been operating fantastically, but I needed some more storage in another location and less expensive, Synology fit the bill perfectly. One thing to note I really am not a fan of Drobo after trying it out, its speed is always questionable and it has problems sometimes dealing with different drives, and its can’t be attached to the network easily.

Pros

  • Very well built
  • A long list of features
  • Amazing Web Based & PC/Mac Manageorgeous, PC and web-based management software
  • Works with 3TB Drives
  • Expandle with DX510 Expansion Unit
  • Hot-Swappable Drives

Cons

  • Its a bit on the expensive side

Synology builds a solid piece of hardware with useful things like 4 USB, 2 eSATA, and 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports. What makes their products truly great is their fantastic software. The feature set is too long to list here, but it’s basically a file/backup/web/email server, media streamer, and download manager jammed into a cubic foot box. You can have it up in running in 10 minutes thanks to its amazing software.

The same software can be used with different machines, so you can have several Synology Storage Units on your network controlled from the same panel. Its a very highly featured software and your able to configure your storage device in any way possible, and its still simple enough to set it up in about 10 mins. I am running it at 5 x 3TB Hitachi Drives for the past few months without any headaches at all, this is a very high performing machine and the best part is that it can be expanded up to 45 TB with two more additional units which just hook right up to the back of the 1511+.

I highly recommend any Synology model, and espeically this one is fantastic this one is awesome!

Price: $866
Link: Amazon

Rating:
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3D in 2 Minutes

This is how annoying 3D is, wrapped up in 2 minutes of ridiculous 3D. I prefer my movies in 2D, and movie studios learned that 3D doesn’t guarantee sales and box office hits. 3D is only good when done right, certain ways of producing a 3D movie is annoying to view and some aren’t recorded in the right way. Luckily they have learned their lesson in 2010 and some producers and directors don’t want their movies in 3D.

ReadyNAS 3200 – At Last

ReadyNAS3200

I have had my eye on this product for over a year now and at least I have managed to get my hands on the ultimate NAS Storage, the Netgear ReadyNAS 3200. Complete full redundancy with dual power supply, dual network connectivity, and a very well built system. I have had my ReadyNAS1100 for over two years now and it always felt a little bit lacking in regards to space, and they build very stable systems but a bit slow on the upgrades. When this machine out I was very happy but it was extremely expensive, so I just waited and recently it dropped from $12’000 which is the original price down to about $8900, and I got it for about $7800 after saving for several months and installing my hard drives on my own which makes for a cheaper solution but I had to put it through my own testing. I will go into further details of the machine’s capabilities at a later point. Its not for everyone, and very few people would want something like this but I have been working to get it for 6 months now since its price started dropping a bit and all the reviews and forums kept praising its performance, write/read speeds, and transfer speeds.

System Breakdown:

  • Running X-Raid 2
  • 12 x Western Digital 2TB Enterprise Hard Drives
  • 18 TB available for storage with full redundancy

iPad 3G vs. Wifi

There is no doubt what so ever that Apple have created an amazing product with the iPad, but there is one crucial point about this machine that makes it so successful, it is a content intensive product. There is something for everyone, games, utilities, productivity,media, movies, TV shows, and music and everything else you want on the go. You need to be connected most of the time to go through the media, in my case I downloaded a lot of comics and magazines, but for a lot of services and applications you need to be connected online. One part is that Wireless is very fast with a fast connection, and even at times it isn’t enough for the iPad, I have tried 3G and at best the performance is spotty at best and it depends on your location. Now all three providers (Wataniya, Viva, and Zain) will be releasing the micro-sim at the same time but will you really be able to use it normally. The other aspect is that you will have to pay a monthly fee for 3G connectivity, is it really worth it in this case, its not a phone but a tool to access the net. I for one love the iPad, sitting on my couch going through the RSS feed or playing a few games, or reading comics, its a dynamic tool but on the go I will just use the available Wireless in the area, 3G just doesn’t make much sense to me with the use of the iPad since you wouldn’t use it enough to justify the monthly costs.