Uncapped Internate Usage

Update February 2019: A lot has changed since I wrote this article! Atomic Access launched and all their packages are uncapped and you can not get up to 1Gbps!

I have been living in South Africa since June 2006. I had left the UK, and I had left my 4mbit cable internet line behind. It wasn’t until I arrived at the sunny shores of Cape Town did I learn what a “cap” or “internet limit” was. To me the internet was always on.

4 years down the line, companies are releasing uncapped internet. MWeb have various uncapped internet offerings, but I thought I would try Afrihost a go as it was much cheaper.

I hear a lot of noise about uncapped, or cheap ISP’s “throttling” and or “shaping” your bandwidth, making them barely usable. I also hear things from other companies saying stuff like “their networks can’t handle it” and “the internet in South Africa won’t manage”. So I came to sign up for the uncapped Afrihost plan with skepticism, and planned to see how slow it was for a month. Then I would decide to either go back to Web Africa, or continue with Afrihost.

So what is the outcome so far?

I have to say I am quite pleased with the internet speeds. I noticed downloading files through HTTP slightly slower, but the 200kb/s I had was good enough for me. I’m yet to download something from my server in Texas, but I’ll keep an eye on it and post up the results when I have them.

Afrihost ADSL signup page

The Afrihost Uncapped ADSL signup page

Update 1 – A Week into Uncapped with Afrihost

My only notes so far have been a noticeable, but small reduction in speed over Web Africa’s WADSL solution. This has resulted in a slight reduction in the speed of a few of the bits and pieces I use frequently including:

  • Apple Software Updates – this is probably the most notable slow down. They used to download at 300-400kb/s every time with WADSL. Now we get about 200kb/s.
  • FTP between my server in Texas is a little slower.
  • HTTP between my server is also a bit slower, nothing to cry about though

And the benefits are pretty clear:

  • As the person responsible for all the office expenses, I like that I have one fixed fee (even if that is slightly more than I was paying before).
  • The fact you can do anything you want, outweighs the slight speed loss the office has experienced so far. Think streaming radio.
  • I watched a 2 hour You Tube video and I didn’t feel bad about it.

The only thing I am yet to test is Skype. So when I have a few more calls, I’ll post an update.

Update 2 – Things slow down

So things slowed down yesterday, so I did some tests. (Spoiler – Web Africa and Afrihost came out about the same)

First Afrihost Speed Test

First Afrihost Speed Test

Second Afrihost Speed Test

Second Afrihost Speed Test (right after the first one)

First Web Africa Speed Test

First Web Africa Speed Test

Second Web Africa Speed Test

Second Web Africa Speed Test (right after the first one)

As you can see, Afrihost shows up as “Internet Solutions” but Web Africa shows up as Web Africa.

So all in all it looks like SAIX is running a bit slower than normal and it’s nothing to do with Afrihosts Uncapped Service.


About Nicholas

I love helping people and solving problems. I am currently working on:
A Cape Town Fibre ISP – Atomic Access
A South African 2-for-1 Dining Deal Platform – Going Out
Borderless Blockchain Mobile Network Operator – World Mobile
From England and currently living in Cape Town, South Africa. Say hi!
Learn more about Nicholas.