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PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid ECQ experience

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Due to the enforced enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the majority of Filipinos are staying at the comfort of their homes.
PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid ECQ experience
PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid

Often, Filipino families only have one internet provider at home. Since nearly everyone is at home, most will connect to their respective home WiFis.

What if your family is big and you only have an average internet plan? 

In our case, we are using a Home WiFi with up to 30 Mbps speed and that's a decent home internet speed. However, there's a total of 8 people inside the house with at least 2 devices each.

As a result, our home network is congested.

My solution to this problem is to use the PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid. This is PLDT's PHP 995 Smart 4G LTE-powered home WiFi modem that can simultaneously connect up to 5 devices.

Setting up the PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid

The box
The box

Setting up the PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid is easy. All you need to do is unbox the device, plug the power adapter to the device, and plug the device to a power outlet.
Everything inside the box
Everything inside the box

It also comes with a SIM card inside and you'll see the number of your SIM in the prepaid SIM kit. You will also find an RJ45 Ethernet cable if you prefer to use a wired cable to your PC.

After plugging in, the device will turn on. Just wait for a few seconds. The Blue light means the best signal. Green means good and Red means bad. Blinking red means no SIM or signal.

In my experience, since Smart's signal is not that strong in our area, I only got the Green light.
You'll find the default password below the modem
You'll find the default password below the modem

Connecting to the WiFi device is easy. Just open the WiFi of your laptop, phone, or tablet and look for "PLDT_Home_####". Then enter the default password below modem.
The Dashboard
The Dashboard

To change the password and network name, just visit this link and log in. From there you can see the PLDT Home Dashboard, SMS, Quick Setup, and more. Select Quick Setup.
Quick Setup
Quick Setup

The experience

This device allowed me to connect two (2) of my phones and a laptop (1) at the same time. But, you can connect two more devices or five (5) devices in total.

I also like that it comes with FREE 10GB of open data valid for 7 days out of the box. Also, I'm glad that the device supports the 700MHz Band 28 frequency for better indoor signal reception.
Decent download speed
Decent download speed

The maximum download speed that I got is 10.9 Mbps with 0.70 Mbps upload speed and a ping of 18 ms. The download speed is decent and the ping is just okay. But, the upload speed is quite slow.

On its website, PLDT is marketing that the Prepaid WiFi has an average download speed of 19.33 Mbps and an upload speed of 9.16 Mbps. Sadly, I wasn't to get those numbers since the signal in our area is not that strong.

But, this is still faster and more consistent than the mobile data speed of my personal mobile phone inside the house. This suggests that dedicated home routers may still have better antenna designs due to their larger bodies than phones.

Since the signal in our area is only "Green or good", I only connected a maximum of 3 devices at the same time.
Two devices connected at the same time
Two devices connected at the same time

When you connect multiple devices, they will obviously share the speed. That's understandable.
The speed I got while inside the room away from the router
The speed I got while inside the room away from the router

I tried to go inside our closed room that is at least 6 meters away from the router and I can still get usable WiFi signal and speed.
720p YouTube clip
720p YouTube clip

Next, is I tried to stream YouTube clips and I'm happy to report that I got a close to lag-free experience at 720p resolution.

Quick thoughts

Sadly, I wasn't able to get the Blue or best signal in our area. But, what I experienced is just decent. It won't still be as good as Fiber plans, but it'll work well as a substitute or backup WiFi device.

In my experience, the PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid device lessened the WiFi congestion in our place. I was able to use it for work, a bit of play, and even watching Netflix and YouTube videos.

Those who do not have an internet plan at home may also use this. All you need to do is buy the device from PLDT for PHP 995 and load.

Speaking of load, the prepaid data packages of PLDT Home WiFi Prepaid are pretty affordable.

FamLoad improved packages:

FamLoad 199 - 24GB data for 7 days
FamLoad 599 - 80GB data for 15 days
FamLoad 999 - 130GB data for 30 days
FamLoad 1499 - 200GB data for 30 days

To monitor your internet usage, you may download the myPLDT Smart app. To easily load, use PayMaya.

For more about the device, you may read their FAQs here.
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