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Old 2012-05-03, 09:44 PM   #16
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Wireless and Satellite are two different platforms, if have access to Xplornet wireless or any fixed wireless network that is the better option. Satellite is for people who have no access or line of sight for fixed wireless.
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Old 2012-05-05, 09:36 AM   #17
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Was considering Xplornet but didn't like the small dish they had and the limitations (bandwidth dropping during peak times etc). Went with a terrestrial service with no monthly limit and 300KB speed. Really happy with the no limit... often find 400-500GB per month with normal internet usage and windoze updates, would have cost a fortune via satellite.
I was surprised when the explornet fellow showed me a 24" dish for an uplink/downlink system... Thought they would be using a 36" or larger for Ka. maybe that has changed now.
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Old 2012-06-06, 09:29 PM   #18
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Just wondering if anyone is on the new 4G Fixed wireless (Wimax?) and how they like it?

I live in the South of Metcalfe (Ottawa) and have been an Xplornet canopy 2.4ghz customer since 2007.

My contract has been done since 2010 and i've been patiently waiting/hoping and praying that bell or rogers would extend service to my area.

I have had many a frustrating phone call to Xplornet's crappy customer support because of not getting half the speed I pay for all of the time.....really $67/month for 1mbps.....when I should get 3? And I have to get a static ip to TRY and use my playstation on your over subscribed slow network! Thieves...!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway rant over.....

So fast forward to today, Xplornet still is the only ISP in my area other then dial up.

I signed another 3 year contract for their 4G fixed wireless network with a 7 mbps download (supposed) and a 30gb per month limit........

It is about $10 more a month then I pay now for HOPEFULLY twice the speed.....

Please someone who has the 4G fixed wireless tell me that I haven't made a mistake?!

What kind of realistic sustained speeds can I expect?

Will the speed be cut after my 30 day money back period is over???

I'm excited that hopefully and finally I'll get good/consistent speed for my money....and that I can dust off my Ps3......But also very worried that I'm going to get taken for that famous empty promise Xplornet ride again....
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Old 2012-06-08, 11:47 AM   #19
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Squints,

I'd like to hear about your speeds and overall performance on the 4G wireless.

Don't wish too much on Rogers, because you may get what you wish for I recently moved from rogers portable to the rocket hub and it's terrible. Partially because I'm far from the tower, but mainly because the tower is oversubscribed (according to Rogers).

I'm seriously considering signing up for 4G fixed wireless, but having heard all the horror stories about xplornet I'm hesitating.
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Old 2012-06-08, 12:33 PM   #20
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Will do jjyec currently waiting for the installer to call me to set up an install date.
I tried the rocket hub from both Bell and Rogers and they don't work at my place.
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Old 2012-06-28, 08:45 AM   #21
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I switched from RipNet (wireless) to Xplornet 4G WiMax a couple of weeks ago. It took two weeks to get the whole thing just right (I should write up a full summary of my adventures). But at the moment things seem to be working reasonably well. I'm on the top-tier 10/1Mbps package (unadvertised) because I need the 100GB/mth bandwidth (teenagers ).

The thing with speeds is that there are a lot of factors in play. There's the obvious line-of-sight (I have very clear LOS), and distance (I'm pretty far away though), and other factors that'll come into play once in a while. For me, that means that my speed test results are all over the map, anywhere from 2Mbps to 9Mbps, with an average of 6Mbps.

Other than a short period where I had pointing issues, I've had no down time (I have a monitor program of my own design that logs any). Normal browsing seems snappy enough, and I don't get any lags doing things like YouTube watching. But it's early days for WiMax in this area, so who knows what the future will bring as more RipNet customers switch over (they *all* will be eventually, like it or not).

Brad.

P.S. Important note on Xplornet: They use NAT, and the current modems have built-in firewalls that block *all* incoming connections and can't be turned off. If you need any incoming connections, you're in for some hassle. I can post specifics if anybody wants to know.
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Old 2012-06-28, 09:29 AM   #22
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@_Biff
I guess it depends on you definition of Good Results?
I currently am on the old Surfbeam xplornet system and I had used VPN, Remote Desktop and webex to varying degrees of success.

VPN was not that great but I suspect its due to my companies VPN service adding layers and layers of security and authentication.

Remote desktop - light years better then the VPN service

Webex - MS Live Meeting - both work fine. There is some lag while the screen refreshes but they work.

Also I wanted to note that I do the remote desktop every day for my work and it works well. A bit slow but 100% usable. At the same time my wife is connected via VPN, plus I have 4 other computers connected to the internet so I am confident in the saying that these services can and do work today.

Latency is there just as JamesK describes, but again the tools do work, just don't expect them to work like you are sitting at a 100mbps connection.
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Old 2012-06-28, 09:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
They use NAT, and the current modems have built-in firewalls that block *all* incoming connections and can't be turned off
Since they're using NAT, you couldn't have any incoming anyway, unless you figure out some way to forward from their NAT.
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Old 2012-06-28, 09:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
They use NAT, and the current modems have built-in firewalls that block *all* incoming connections and can't be turned off
Since they're using NAT, you couldn't have any incoming anyway, unless you figure out some way to forward from their NAT.
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Old 2012-06-28, 11:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
Since they're using NAT, you couldn't have any incoming anyway, unless you figure out some way to forward from their NAT.
Getting accurate information has been difficult, but my understanding is that the NATting is done in the modem itself. Though some think it's done in the tower. I know the modem *does* have configuration screens in the firmware to allow firewall tweaking, but Xplornet's variant has those locked out, even for installers.
Mind you, if the NATting is done on the tower, then the modem config is moot. :-)

On RipNet, only a couple of ports were blocked, but most were open for use. I didn't realize up front that Xplornet blocked everything. I ended up springing for a static IP, which made things all the more challenging, but I seem to be all good now.

I'm just mentioning for people switching to Xplornet from something else, that if you're relying on incoming connections of any kind, you're going to be in for a lot of hassle. The WiMax modems currently being installed (BreezeMax Pro 6000) doesn't allow for static IPs (firmware problem?), and the older BreezeMax Pro 3000 that *does* allow static IPs is in very short supply (I got the last one from our local installer, and they're not manufactured anymore).
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Old 2012-07-08, 04:13 AM   #26
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I am currently a RipNet customer and the service is degrading rather dramatically lately . I realize that I will have to switch eventually, but I have been reluctant due to Xplornet's reputation and overly aggressive traffic management. It is really a shame since the RipNet service had been great prior to the degradation. I consistently had full advertised speeds (5Mbps down, .5Mbps up) and there did not seem to be any traffic management. Now the service goes down practically every night and is often down for 12+ hours at a time and the upstream is frequently so bad that I cannot even send an email attachment.

Quote:
On RipNet, only a couple of ports were blocked, but most were open for use. I didn't realize up front that Xplornet blocked everything. I ended up springing for a static IP, which made things all the more challenging, but I seem to be all good now.

I'm just mentioning for people switching to Xplornet from something else, that if you're relying on incoming connections of any kind, you're going to be in for a lot of hassle.
The NATting is really a shocker. Is there any way to configure port forwarding? Also, what problems did you have with the static IP (what's the point of a static IP if all incoming connections are blocked)? Have you used the service with a VPN and if so, were there any pitfalls, and how was the performance?

Thanks

Last edited by grumpy42; 2012-07-08 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 2012-07-08, 07:52 AM   #27
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I get the impression that the WiMax stuff was setup up similar to the old Canopy and the satellite. The NATting is probably done in the modem itself, and when I read the specs on it, it's definitely capable of things like port-forwarding. It's just that they don't allow the consumer access to the modem (it's password-protected, they change the default, and the installers don't even have it). People *say* it's a technical issue, but I'm pretty sure it's a business decision to let them sell the few customers who want open ports to pay for a static IP.

Now, the static IP works great. Everything's passed through and I have complete control. They don't block anything for static.

*But*, all the installers have to give you is the BreezeMax Pro 6000 CPE, which currently *can't* do static. Again, they say it's a technical issue, but its unclear what that is. It's just that if you do a RipNet swap now, you'll get a 6000. What you *need* is a BreezeMax Pro 3000 (older model). That can do static with that, but they're very hard to come by.

That's your dilemma. Start the conversion process, demand a static IP before you'll let an installer come out, and hope for the best. Or get the 6000 now, and live without a static IP until they figure out how to configure the 6000 to allow one. Or hold out until either the 6000 is "fixed", or a 3000 becomes available (may be a long wait). Or decide you don't really need incoming ports. Or investigate non-Xplornet options.

Speed-wise, when I run the usual tests they're all over the map. I have very clear line-of-sight without obstruction, but I'm pretty far away. I get a good signal strength, but I've never gotten 10Mbps and my usual tests range anywhere from 1.5 to 8 Mbps, usually averaging around 6. I'm not unhappy, because I'm getting RipNet speeds at the same price, and it's generally reliable. And web pages and the like are snappy and large downloads don't peter out.

The traffic management for WiMax is more tolerable than the old system. In a nutshell, they downgrade Torrent port traffic (I don't do torrenting so I can't comment on that), and if a tower shows decreased overall performance they'll downgrade the top 10% of users in 15-minute chunks until the traffic clears.

In general, I'm not unhappy. I wish I had faster speeds, and more consistent speeds. And I wish I didn't have to pay an extra $10/month for a static IP just to open a couple of ports. I'm still hopeful that eventually cable or DSL will come my way (it's real close), but until then it'll do.

Brad.

P.S. What RipNet tower are you on?
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Old 2012-07-08, 09:25 AM   #28
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I just realized I didn't answer your question about VPN. Yes, I'm VPN'ed into my work pretty much constantly. That includes running one or more Remote Desktop sessions to VMs at the office. I've also connected back to my local machine from a VM running on the remote side. No issues at all.

Brad.
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Old 2012-07-08, 07:49 PM   #29
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Thanks for your informative replies.

I can't believe that Xplornet would offer a NATted service with no provision for configuring port forwarding. I will likely be requesting a static IP. A static IP is not really as important as having a "public IP". I don't currently pay for a static IP, but I have found that it is "effectively" static (as long as MAC address of the router doesn't change) - my RipNet IP has not changed since I started the service.

Quote:
People *say* it's a technical issue, but I'm pretty sure it's a business decision to let them sell the few customers who want open ports to pay for a static IP.
It is also probably a means to curb p2p traffic (as if throttling such traffic to 300kbps wasn't enough )

Quote:
That's your dilemma. Start the conversion process, demand a static IP before you'll let an installer come out, and hope for the best. Or get the 6000 now, and live without a static IP until they figure out how to configure the 6000 to allow one. Or hold out until either the 6000 is "fixed", or a 3000 becomes available (may be a long wait). Or decide you don't really need incoming ports.
Well, I can't immediately switch (I need to build a new tower), so when I am ready perhaps the static IP situation will be rectified.

Quote:
Or investigate non-Xplornet options.
That's the real pickle - there doesn't seem to be any...

Quote:
The traffic management for WiMax is more tolerable than the old system. In a nutshell, they downgrade Torrent port traffic (I don't do torrenting so I can't comment on that), and if a tower shows decreased overall performance they'll downgrade the top 10% of users in 15-minute chunks until the traffic clears.
This is the part that really concerns me. Sometimes this really means that they will throttle the top 10% regardless of of the status of the tower. There is really no way to dispute their claims that the the tower is congested. And bless their hearts, "this traffic management policy will not cause transfer speed to fall below 100 kbps"

Quote:
I'm still hopeful that eventually cable or DSL will come my way (it's real close), but until then it'll do.
There will likely be flying cars before DSL comes my way...

Quote:
P.S. What RipNet tower are you on?
I am connected to the Kemptville tower.

Quote:
I just realized I didn't answer your question about VPN. Yes, I'm VPN'ed into my work pretty much constantly. That includes running one or more Remote Desktop sessions to VMs at the office. I've also connected back to my local machine from a VM running on the remote side. No issues at all.
Thanks, that is encouraging.

I am really peeved by the whole situation. I was required to switch to RipNet when Rogers Portable Internet was shutdown. That involved bringing out a bucket truck in the middle of winter so that the new antenna could be mounted to my makeshift 60 foot tower that was being used for the Rogers service. I have been intending to erect a more permanent free standing tower and I thought I would have some time. I certainly did not expect my new service to be terminated mere months after starting it (and RipNet gave no indication that they were selling a obsolete service) - well, it is not really terminated but it is increasingly unusable. So, I don't want to transfer to the new service until I construct the tower. The really frustrating thing is that the RipNet service was really quite good.
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Old 2012-07-09, 09:37 AM   #30
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I feel for you. I was on the Kemptville tower too, so I felt your pain.

Xplornet has two WiMax towers in the area. There's the "Kemptville North" tower, which is actually on Van Buren. It's a shorter tower, but has the advantage of a direct fibre line to it. I don't have clear LOS to that one, so I'm not on it (that's another long story for another time). And there's the "Kemptville South" tower, which is the same one that RipNet is on, on Cty 44. You already know you have LOS to that one, just make sure the installer knows that, and tries both to see which has the stronger signal (it may not be the "closer" tower).

It's frustrating for me because Cogeco has cable running to just a couple of km away. I'm *just* out of reach, but who knows if or when they'll extend it a bit further. Bell has said that my CO will be upgraded for DSL "soon", and the one before it (also just out of reach) was done a couple of years ago.

I agree on your thoughts about the throttling. Xplornet doesn't have a reputation for honesty and transparency in their customer dealings. We have no way of knowing what's really going on. For better or worse, one thing about RipNet over the years was that regardless of the technical issues, they were always pretty honest to deal with.
Mind you, signing you up knowing that tower had flaws was a tad uncool. :-)
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