Zuku Fibre Review: Thou shalt not turn your smartphone into a WiFi hotspot

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  • 5 years ago
  • Posted: October 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

I have talked about Zuku Internet here and here; and concluded that Zuku Internet is simply the best in town – its extremely fast and incredibly cheap. In the second article in which I talked of Zuku Fibre for Businesses, I promised to visit a friend with Zuku Fibre for the residential homes to also test before deciding if I want in. I did this last Thursday and to my disappointment there is nothing to write home about – as I didn’t experience any downtime the entire time I was there. In this business of blogging, when it’s all good, it’s not fun.

Quick Review of Zuku Fibre

Although it was all good I have to give you a quick review anyway. The Zuku Fibre my friend is subscribed to is the 10 Mbps bandwidth that also comes with Zuku Premium TV (101+ Channels) for Shs 4300 a month (see Zuku Internet is incredibly cheap making it the best Internet offering in town).

For the 10 Mbps, Zuku Fibre promises a download speed of 10 Mbps and upload speed of 2.5 Mbps. During my test of the Internet, I achieved a maximum download speed of 12 Mbps and a minimum of 6.5 Mbps. Upload speeds averaged around 2.9 Mbps most of the time – all with zero downtime. I wanted some downtime so that I could ask my friend to contact Zuku and evaluate how helpful they would be in responding to a downtime complain. We weren’t in our best of brains anyway, we could have just called the customer care and feigned some technical hitch with the Internet.

Based on my friends experience though, Zuku Fibre seems to deliver an overall reliable Internet throughout the day and night without any particular downtime that could worry any heavy user. Movie streaming and even downloads are hardly interrupted; video viewing is excellent, and gaming online is seamless.

Personally I test Internet reliability by playing the one minute bullet (lightning) time controlled chess where you have to move pieces extremely fast – in lightning chess you don’t have a second to think before making a move. Woe unto you if your Internet is off even for a second; you will lose. For instance, when I play such a high speed chess during the 7 PM to 10.30 PM via my Safaricom Internet – I lose more games than I must – not because I am such a bad chess player but because Safaricom will always ensure that my time runs out thanks to the on and off Internet at those hours.

When I played 30 games with the Zuku Fibre, my spirits were lifted higher than the heavens – I won 26 games – now that’s a record (if you are a chess player and you want to challenge me, you know what to do).

The beauty of Zuku Fibre did not end there

Kenyans are generally a broke people. This is why it is one of the few countries with Sambaza – Sambaza Airtime, Sambaza Bundles and Sambaza Bonga Points. When you have a society where 99% of the resources is controlled by one percent of the population (exaggerating a little bit), you don’t have to be surprised to learn that simple things as 5 shillings airtime or 10 MB data bundles must be shared – that even the reward points earned from usage of the airtime and bundles are again shared.

But this sharing is rather difficult all the time. For example if you have 50 MB data bundle as the head of the house and you have three more people e.g. spouse and two high school kids in need of the same bundle, how do you sambaza and still remain with sufficient bundles to do your private browsing?

I have been faced with a similar predicament when two friends came to pay a visit. This time, they wanted me to share with them my Internet by turning my phone into a WiFi hotspot. I obliged. It was one of the worst mistakes I have ever done to my precious bundles. Never ever, and I repeat, never ever turn your smartphone to a free WiFi for other smartphone users unless you are a charitable organization.

I had about 400 MB of data by the time I turned my phone into the free WiFi hotspot. The hotspot was on for approximately two hours. We browsed as we chatted, laughed, drunk (no alcohol), made merry and got happy. Then the friends left. Normally, I use about 125 MB per day and that’s after playing chess almost all day, blogging a bit and watching one or two videos. However, within the two hours of our merry making browsing, we had used close to 310 MBs. How? None of us watched any videos nor played any games, heavy or not. Pictures were not downloaded at all – just viewed on Facebook and Instagram.

So how did my 400 MBs almost run out? The problem was that the two mobile phones that were receiving my Internet *knew* that they were on free WiFi – and every time a smartphone smells free WiFi, it goes into auto update mode. All the Apps and software updates are automatically downloaded, and that’s how I ended up wasting the 310 MBs in less than two hours.

And that’s the beauty of Zuku Fibre. The whole time I spent at my friend’s place I was connected to the Zuku Fibre with both my laptop and phone (which took the advantage of the free Internet to update all the apps) and at no time did I get worried that I was misusing my friends Internet. And I wasn’t alone, we were five friends all connected to the Zuku Fibre via the friend’s WiFi router (hotspot).

And by the way, do you browse using the Safaricom, Airtel or Orange USB dongle (modem) with your laptop? The problem with that is that it is rather hard to share the Internet (although you can by going through a painstaking Wireless Setting Configuration that doesn’t work with my version of Windows 7 and probably won’t work with yours) so many users would rather wait for their turn to use the same dongle.

With Zuku Fibre, everyone in the house will be connected to the same Internet simultaneously to access the Internet that never runs out.

Conclusion

Zuku Fibre offers a truly seamless and unlimited Internet that in most part doesn’t have any issues. You can browse, stream videos, play games without having to worry that your data will run out. Even though with data bundles you should never turn your smartphone to a WiFi hotspot, with Zuku Fibre you can share your Internet with as many friends you possibly can – up to an optimum of 25 devices for the 10 Mbps bandwidth.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Analytics Ltd
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Odipo Riaga is a Technology Blogger interested in emerging tech such as VR and AR, AI, Life Extension, Exponential Biotech, Immortality, Cyborgs and many others.
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