Tuesday, October 25, 2005

IBurst a vein - I Love you long time, and how to share that love


In the previous two blogs of this series, I detailed my telkom-replacement selection and installation process. Now I will tell you why I am growing to love IBurst, how you too can get the most love out of your IBurst connection, and also how you can share that love with all the people in your home.

This is the third blog in this series. To read the previous two, look at #1 "In the beginning there was a monopoly" and #2 "I am Committed"

Captive Audience
Telkom is too expensive and even if they halved their prices, they would still be completely overpriced. Saving for a wedding and not having any performance-related bonus scheme at work builds a strong case for having a strict budget. I chose IBurst because I have/had no other viable option. (see blog #1) IBurst's signal was very low but I knew that a directional antenna should remedy that, and as a result bye-bye ISDN and hello IBurst. Getting rid of ISDN is something I have done before and each time I have suffered greatly at the hands of these incompetent buffoons. Maybe I will lament my dealings and repeated attempts to cancel ISDN in a later blog.

Luckily I am a geek
I shudder to think what the average Joe-soap would have to do to get the optimum bandwidth after purchasing IBurst? Only my technical knowledge, an enquiring mind and the forums at mybroadband.co.za helped me accomplish what would be a nightmare for Joe-soap.

Deja Vu all over again
Without repeating what the experts have said on mybroadband.co.za, I will only list the main steps for tweaking your connection. To start your tweaking journey read this Newbie thread

Even if you have everything set up perfectly, you probably will not get the full 1Mb/s bandwidth you thought you were entitled to. This is because many ISPs (including IBurst?) take that bandwidth and share it among a set number of users. They do this because all of those users will probably not be on at the same time, and if they are, tough luck. This is called .

Tuning your Connection...
1) Using the Directional antenna should give you better bandwidth than using only the UTD modem. (I say "should" because I have had inconsistent results here) Also note that I said "bandwidth" and not "signal" you might get 5/5 lights on your modem in both cases, but with the Directional antenna you should get better bandwidth/download-speed.
2) You will need to make changes to your networking settings in your Operating System (Windows/Linux ..etc) to achieve the best speed. Do a search for 1352 on the forums on mybroadband.co.za IBurst forums to find the entries related to the networking settings. There is a software utility available to edit the network settings (Dr TCP)
3) Your Directional antenna must face the Base station directly (15 degree FOV, i believe?) and should ideally have direct LOS (line of sight)
4) If you increase the length of the cable between your modem and the directional antenna, you will lose signal strength and as a result lose bandwidth. Something like half signal for every 2 metres. So adding 6 metres will give you 12.5% of your original bandwidth (100/2/2/2)
5) The transmitter might not always be on the top of the base station tower, so seeing the tower is no guarantee of perfect LOS. Putting your Directional antenna higher might help, while keeping no 4 in mind.
6) If you have 5/5 lights on you modem, this is ideal, but it does not mean you will get full speed/bandwidth.

I hope this has helped someone to boost their IBurst connection. Good luck


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