Last Friday, I finally got my Maxis Fiber Broadband that I registered for up and running and I had the chance to do some testing these few days. The results? Well, for some, it might be expected, but whether or not I should recommend it to you guys, depends on a few arguments.
As you all know, the Maxis fiber package I subscribed for is offering connection speeds up to 10Mbps at a monthly rate of RM118 per month (promo rate). Unlike Unifi, it doesnt come with an IPTV service. It comes with a TMnet fiber optic gateway, the same used with Unifi (even has the TM logo on it) and a Thompson router. Hmm…there’s a brand you don’t hear everyday… most striking about this router, besides that is a whole lot bigger than the D-Link Unifi router is the fact that it has 2 USB ports on it. I tried to ask the installer what it is for but he didn’t know but later I found out it is to connect a printer to share with the network.
Mind you they are not only using the same infrastructure but also sharing the same fiber optic gateway(or modem as some call it). The UniFi router is connected to LAN1 of the gateway and the Maxis Router is connected to LAN2 and they are both operating at the same time. Cool huh?
Here is a comparison between my Unifi connection and my Maxis Fiber connection.
However, because I’m using a pretty old school laptop at the time (32 Bit processor) I think the results somehow got effected. I tried to run the speed test on my iPad using the speedtest.net iPad app and I got over 12Mbps for the Maxis connection. What ever it is, I downloaded a video from Youtube at 1.1 -1.2 MBps which is crazy fast. A normal 5Mbps UniFi connection can only get maximum 600KBps download speed.
Note : MBps = Megabytes per second, Mbps = Megabits per second, KBps = Kilo Bytes per second, 1 byte = 8 bits, meaning in theory a 10Mbps connection should get a transfer rate of = 10/8 MBps = 1.25MBps
Anyway, speed is not the whole story. Sure I got about 10Mbps download speed. But there are a few things to consider before calling this awesome. First, check out the ping time.pretty high huh? Strangely, I’m not sure why Unifi’s pig is high too. Why ping time is important you might ask? well, it’s the time it takes to send and get back a response form a server. It is particularly important for gamers as they need a quick response time while shooting up opponents online. A number below 100 milliseconds is acceptable, anything above it is slow. However, if you’re not a gamer, don’t worry about it, a few milliseconds of wait time doesn’t make a difference on Facebook.
But my biggest concern is the connection stability. The connection sometimes lags especially during peak hours. Although not extremely bad, but having your Facebook message fail to send is quite annoying sometimes. But again, it doesn’t happen that often. For example, you still can watch a long HD Youtube clip without any lag and Live streaming sports channels also works OK with minor glitches in between (not sure if it’s the software or the connection)
As for torrents, there is no advantage above Unifi. the average download speed is pretty much the same as Unifi, only Unifi has a bit more stable connection to peers. I’m not sure if they have throttled down the torrent download speed, but Maxis doesn’t make any difference in torrenting as I see it.
Before going into the bottomline, lets recap the pros and cons of Maxis fiber.
- Faster than the standard Unifi 5Mbps
- RM118/month (RM138 if you register now)
- no IPTV if you don’t want it (rumors tell me that there will be an IPTV service for Maxis soon)
- Unstable connection at times
- Maxis has a reputation of bad service (as if TMnet is any better)
- Anonymous router brand. Lots of not so good reviews from earlier users.
So, if you are not a gamer, not concerned about a few milliseconds of lag, or just feel cheated by having to pay for Unifi’s IPTV when you don’t want to watch it but at the same time watch a lot of Youtube and Streamyx is just too slow, then I can recommend you to register for Maxis, even though it’s now RM138 per month. You get a cheaper and faster connection that Unifi. But if you are already satisfied with Unifi, stay with it because the gains are not that much and not worth the trouble. In short, register if you use the internet for normal surfing and watch a lot of Youtube. The lag is negligible.
If you are a heavy online gamer then definitely a NO. Full stop. I don’t want you guys to get kicked out of any servers because of your lag.
If you are still worried about the connection stability, well, remember when Unifi first went into service. People were also complaining about the stability. Don’t even start mentioning Streamyx….But later on the service became better and now it’s doing fine. The question is do you think that Maxis has the capacity to improve its service just like TMnet? If your answer is yes, then sign up and save hundreds in internet bills in the next 2 years (the contract is 2 years) while getting a faster internet connection. If not, save yourself the headache and ignore it. Investing in a new and unproven service is always a gamble where you might or might not gain from it. In the end the final choice is yours.