DSL service in Karachi: Mohtashim’s verdict

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For the last 3 weeks, I have run the following three services in parallel at the office:

  • Cybernet DSL 256k (I got a max 28-32kb/sec down) – 14,000 PKR/month
  • PTCL DSL 1 Mbit/sec (I got a max 68-72 kb/sec down) – 5,000 PKR/month
  • Maxcom DSL 512 K/sec (I got a max 51-53kb/sec down)- 7,500 PKR/month

After several download tests, usage testing, and measurement of bandwidth, (I dont have the upload bandwidth numbers with me yet..sorry!) I’ve come up with the following conclusion:

For service reliability and setting proper expectations with the customer, Maxcom gets extra points. When there is a service issue , Cybernet (which used to be great at one point) usually just tells us its our problem that their service doesnt work. PTCL decides to go down at odd times and come back up in 5-10 minutes every so often.

Bandwidth consistency , Cybernet does a pretty ok job, though its not as fast as Maxcomm or PTCL.

Overall, PTCL works well for the home, but doesnt cut it in an office with 40 people. it just isnt reliable enough yet, even though its the fastest of the lot. would make a great backup connection.

Maxcomm still edges out cyber due to cost and better uptime. If I were running a small office, I would keep this as a primary connection with cyber or ptcl as a backup.

One last, personal gripe with cybernet: WordPress doesnt work well on it. That just ticked me off!

For a small office (20-30 people), I suggest go with maxcomm 512 and ptcl/one of cyber’s volume based package as backup.

For the home, the best options would be Maxcomm’s 256k package for 1800, or PTCL for 5000. As far as worldcall,etc goes Ive heard they are better now, but they block bittorrent downloading.

Finally, internet bandwidth in Pakistan is expensive. Too expensive. You cant escape it. So bite the bullet and pay the 1800, 5000, whatever. The cheaper packages never give you the promised connectivity and speed, so pay more and atleast spare yourself the frustration of sitting on a webpage for 10 minutes waiting for the flash stuff to load.

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5 thoughts on “DSL service in Karachi: Mohtashim’s verdict

  1. farzal

    what do you think about paying for point 2 point connection with Gerrys at 50K+ for 1Mbps ?

    DSL works on PTCL lines which will go down for days at a time.

  2. Imran Ali Rashid

    We’ve been using Multinet, Worldcall and PTCL for quite some time now. You probably need to look deeper into why PTCL is unreliable for you.

    Multinet is reliable and has good service but is exceptionally expensive in comparison to its competitors. They are charging us 8k for 256k shared with a contention ratio of 1:4. Though we do get 25KB on average, the cost is just too high compared to others.

    PTCL for us has been very reliable with the only issue being that the modem is extra sensitive to fluctuations. Currently, it disconnects even though it is on a UPS. Bear in mind that everything else on that UPS (including the multinet modem) is stable. There is one other caveat. The upload speeds are exceptionally bad and I’ve noticed that as I get to 15 KB/s, my downloads just stop. Those two points aside (yes, i know the first one is a killer but can be worked around with a better UPS), here’s some more on the download speeds:
    – Http downloads blaze away at 60-100 KB/s
    – ssh (and other non-http connection) are limited to 25 KB/s. I had 3 ssh connections with each downloading at 25 KB/s for a total of 75 KB/s.

    Worldcall is a mixed bag. Even with their 256k CIR package (yes, i get the bandwidth), I would not advise on using it as anything other than a backup. Its just not reliable enough.

  3. Fahd

    Personally i think guys for home users like me MAXCOM stands out because they have a very good technical support aswell, something worldcall (go4b) lacks by leaps and bounds. I had very bad experience with them, they just leave you sitting ducks.
    MAXCOM is good on the pocket, dont have any cap on how much GB you can download and its quite affordable.

  4. saad

    PTCL sucks please never ever get this connection i have had it n the service is the worst. Please don’t ever get it… trust me … as far as maxcom its really gud but even they are lagging in service dese days.. pakistani will always remain paki Bhain…..!!!

  5. Irfan

    WARNING!!!!

    Never go for Link.net there service is useless,
    if you complaint them they simply replied that there is congestion at your exchange,
    I am suffering from last four months,
    I am getting 50 kbps (not 50 kilo bytes) instead of 1024 kbps,
    after every 15 – 30 minutes there service will got disconnected,
    Viewing the steaming video on their service is dream,

    even there support personnel suggest me to change the service from DSL because there is no progress at there side at all,

    There support is the replica of PTCL,

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