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Rogers Portable Internet

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 30MbGb 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. 

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Mark Goldberg October 6, 2007, 9:25 am

    Alec – The service is somewhat weather dependent, but I rely on it for my cottage access. I have peaked around 2.5M down and 400K up, competing nicely with my urban cable modem service! Right now, Speedtest is showing 1661K down and 246K up in the rain.

    It is a great solution for suburban roaming and rural access.

    Happy holiday!

  • Larry Borsato October 6, 2007, 9:39 am

    Capped at 30 Mb download in any month? Do you really mean thirty megabits, or is that a typo?

    Welcome to town by the way. I'm in Waterloo. Just watch out for the Oktoberfesters…

  • Alec October 6, 2007, 4:18 pm

    Thanks Larry – 30G is the right number. And yes… I've run into a few festers… we're heading to Concordia tomorrow for the family day with the kids.

  • Michael Petrucci October 17, 2007, 1:06 pm

    I've been using Rogers Portable for a few months now, and I can definitely confirm and attest to the fact that the upload and download speeds are LOWER than those publicized. I can sit here on internetfrog and post all the proof all day long, BUT,,,, it is a great portable solution and that kind of makes up for the bandwidth issues…..

    Speed Test Results
    Download: 116,352 bps
    Upload: 44,496 bps
    QOS: 10%
    RTT: 155 ms
    MaxPause: 3641 ms

  • Jarusoba October 24, 2007, 7:39 pm

    My home is out of the coverage area but because I'm at the top of a hill, I could get a signal. However, the Rogers people didn't want to sign me up because my home address is outside their coverage area. After speaking with the supervisor explaining to him that I had tried it and could get signal, he still didn't let me sign up! I used a fake non-existent address in the covered area and a PO Box for billing and I succeeded.

    The service was as advertised in most of the time. But usually in the evening, it can slow down to a stand still because I guess the more users there are, the slower the speed. I have no complaints because my previous internet provider charged me almost $200 a month for satellite service and it sucked. Now with Portable internet, I can at least get a more decent speed and can use VOIP and webcam.

    I heard that the tower only can support 10M of traffic and each user is capped to 2M. I hope Rogers can increase the bandwidth. From my house, I can access signals from two different towers. I'm wondering if I subscribe to two services and use load-balancing router, whether I can get more bandwidth and speed? Anyone can give me any advice?

  • Anonymous September 1, 2008, 7:41 am

    It looks like a WiMax tower is already up (but not yet running) in Fall River, Nova Scotia (up on the hill behind the Sobeys). I visited the site the other day and is has an Aliant sticker on the door. Since they already have a huge cell-phone tower about 1km away, I'm guessing that this new tower must be for WiMax.

    The fibre optic cable is still coiled up on the pole just short of the building. So I expect that they're just a week or two to turning it on.

  • debbie August 30, 2009, 8:49 pm

    ..what is the internet sticker..I seen the ad on t.v.

  • debbie August 30, 2009, 8:53 pm

    …the ad says it's FREE

  • debbie August 30, 2009, 8:54 pm


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