It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, which means that once again we're visiting the in-laws in Kitchener, Ontario. As I've mentioned previously, that means no internet. This time around it also made a great excuse to try Rogers new Portable Internet product.
Rogers Portable Internet runs over the Inukshuk WiMax network, jointly owned by Rogers and Bell Canada. The modem is the size of a small book. Setting it up is dead simple. Simply plug the modem into any available power outlet, and then plug the included ethernet cable into the modem and and the PC. It seems to take a little longer than usual to obtain an IP address, but other than that the experience is identical to any other broadband experience, and perhaps a little easier in that it doesn't require and router configuration.
The version I am using is Rogers Portable Internet High Speed. For $49.95 per month, it offers 1.5Mb/s download speed and 256K upload. A Rogers Portable Internet BASIC is also available for $24.95 per month that offers 256K download and 64K upload. Both services are capped at 30
MbGb total download in any month.
So what's it like? Not bad. A quick trip to SPEEDTEST.NET showed download speeds that were roughly as advertised, but upload speeds averaging less than half the advertised 256K. In use, it's good enough for email and basic web surfing. However, it was unable to keep up to with YouTube for streaming. And at 100K upload speeds, uploading photographs to photo sharing sites, like Flickr, is painfully slow. In addition, it seems as if weather affects the quality of the experience as well. While using it, a thunderstorm rolled in, and my connection vanished.
If you have no other broadband option, Portable Internet might just be the ticket for you. With its lower speed and bandwidth cap, it's limited, but certainly a better experience than dial-up.