Considering buying Spectra. Need some advice

#1
Hello,

I'm from Bangalore and am considering buying a Spectra connection. I need some advice and reviews of their after-sales service, technical help/solutions, downtime etc from people in Delhi who have been having it for a time now. For example I read that the fiber stops working if it starts raining (wth?!)

I know Spectranet has hopelessly terrible reviews from 2016 but I'm hoping they turned around their business model with the rebranding to Spectra.

My usage purpose: Gaming, Streaming, general-purpose downloading of content

Any help appreciated!
Thanks.
 

varkey

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#2
I can't speak about the service yet, but I did apply for a new connection yesterday in Bangalore (Kasturi Nagar). They recently started service in my area, and looks to be outside their normal system of bringing up an apartment or township under service.

Initial experience was a bit un-pleasant, I requested for a call back on the number given on the banner which they had put all around my area, but never got a call back. I then went to their website and used the live chat option, they were pretty prompt and gave me a call to discuss the options. I went for the 1 Gbps unmetered plan for Rs 1249 + tax with 3 month pre-payment (free installation).
I asked for waiver of the security deposit as I already had multiple gigabit routers, but they said its for the entire system including the router and fiber termination equipment etc so it cannot be waived.

Made an online payment of Rs 6422 ( 1249x3 + tax + 2000 (security deposit)). The chat representative also gave a promo code which gave Rs 250 as instant cash back if paid through Paytm (the code is SPECTRANEW).

Got a call for KYC document collection the same day (I placed the order online around 4 PM yesterday). Post document collection, today I got a verification call from their Gurugram office. After a while received some activation/installation codes which I need to give to their installation guys. They haven't called yet to schedule installation.

Will keep the thread updated on how it goes.
 
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igloo

Not just Internet.
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#4
Where you read this? Rain doesn't effect fiber lines like they do with copper/ethernet lines. Fiber lines are averse to corrosion so nothing in long run also.

Pre 2016 spectranet was on excitel like model. Using ethernet for last mile via cable franchise.

Current one manages everything themselves till customers home via fiber so the difference.
 

Sushubh

Administrator
#5
My experience with fiber has been pretty messed up. Probably because of the operator.
ABS goes down so frequently. During power cuts. During rain. Excitel has been rock solid on ethernet.
Of course as I said... it all depends upon how the local infrastructure is. Technology does not matter if your local LCO is an idiot/asshole.
I look forward to replacing ABS with Spectra in the coming months. I wish they had plans with lower speeds (lol). I really have no need or the hardware to support 1gbps at my place. Sure my load balancer and router are both gigabit/ac capable. But the wireless extenders are not. And I do not want to spend more to get speeds that does not get used 99% of the times.
 

varkey

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#6
.... I wish they had plans with lower speeds (lol). I really have no need or the hardware to support 1gbps at my place. Sure my load balancer and router are both gigabit/ac capable. But the wireless extenders are not. And I do not want to spend more to get speeds that does not get used 99% of the times.
Well, you don't *need* to upgrade your other equipment if you don't need the higher speeds, I mean considering Spectra's pricing, here in Bangalore, its pretty much same as what I pay Act for a 100 Mbps/350 GB plan. (Not sure what the price difference is in Gurgaon though)

So if Spectra can provide quality service at higher speeds I am all up for it, and knowing that I have higher bandwidth available when/if needed.

Coming to my installation, the fibre cabling is done, there was some hiccup with the fibre splicing or something, but they have fixed it now. The optical power level at my house where the fibre terminates is some -20 db (I am not sure if that's too low or good enough).

Waiting for the guy to come to activate the connection.
 


varkey

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#7
So my Spectra connection is up and running. Experience so far seem good.

They provided an ONT device from a company called Dasan, and also gave a gigabit router - D-Link 825 (https://www.amazon.in/D-Link-DIR-825-Dual-Band-Gigabit-Router/dp/B078L5J7G1).

The service engineer (different from the wiring/fibre technicians) came for installation with the above devices after the fibre guys were done. Internet was up already, but went through an activation process by going to http://1.254.254.254 which redirects to Spectra. Needed to enter the customer id and an OTP which came by SMS yesterday, along with user account creation for their billing/support portal.

Internet was activated 5 minutes after completing this. A wired speedtest directly with the ONT device showed some 850-900 Mbps against their own speed test server (http://blrspeedtest.spectra.co/). It was around the same maybe a bit less when going through the D-Link router (wired again). I felt that was reasonable.

Wired speedtest against Speedtest.net showed 500-600 Mbps, again when we are talking about Gigabit speeds, I don't think the these Speedtests show the actual picture. Wireless over 5 Ghz AC maxes at around 250 Mbps, that is more like a wireless limitation.

Now the only downer till now is that they seem to be throttling torrents. It maxes out at 30 Mbps (I am talking about well seeded torrents from top private trackers) it never goes above, I tried with multiple simultaneous torrents as well. With Act I was able to easily max out the link even for torrents, so this is a minor let down for me.

Pings look great within India


 
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Sushubh

Administrator
#9
So if Spectra can provide quality service at higher speeds I am all up for it, and knowing that I have higher bandwidth available when/if needed.
the thing in my case is that i prefer to pay two different service providers 750 each than 1500 to one service provider.

two connections mean that there is less chance of me ending with a dead service.

right now i have excitel and abs connected to the load balancer. i would love to replace abs with spectra when they start giving connections at my place. but i would prefer to pay a lower price for 100mbps than 1gbps which is more of a marketing gimmick as it would never even get utilized fully in the first place. i am not going to stream youtube/netflix at 4k in near future because i do not have compatible hardware. i do not have enough people using internet simultaneously at my place so at best i would be consuming like 1% of the speed 99% of the times. as another user of spectra pointed out, it is also practically impossible to achieve 1gbps on international servers. and popular services like netflix and Amazon Prime just do not require this much bandwidth even at best content quality.

about hardware aspect... let's see. my load balancer is the edgerouter x which has gigabit ports. my pc has gigabit ethernet so this is fine. my primary wireless device is a dlink router with gigabit ports i think so even that is fine. but the two wireless repeaters i am using on a different floor are both old routers (one is mi and one is a pretty old buffalo). mi has ac support so speeds on it should be decent. buffalo would give terrible speeds. my Pixel 2 should support pretty decent speeds over AC. mom's and dad's phone probably lack AC support.

my downloads mostly happen on a pi. ethernet port on pi maxes out at 10MBps over LAN. so 1gbps is more or less pointless for me at the moment. lol.
 
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Sushubh

Administrator
#10
the one thing i am very interested in finding out about spectra is the number of websites that are blocked. p2p websites for instance. what i love about excitel is that most of the services load fine on https. i do not have to turn on VPS for them. i also pay for an airtel adsl connection mostly for the landline but when i do end up using their internet, i end up hitting a blocked website so frequently that i just do not get tempted to switch to vfiber on their platform and pay more for the internet component.
 

varkey

Newbie
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#11
the thing in my case is that i prefer to pay two different service providers 750 each than 1500 to one service provider.
two connections mean that there is less chance of me ending with a dead service.
right now i have excitel and abs connected to the load balancer. i would love to replace abs with spectra when they start giving connections at my place. but i would prefer to pay a lower price for 100mbps than 1gbps which is more of a marketing gimmick as it would never even get utilized fully in the first place. i am not going to stream youtube/netflix at 4k in near future because i do not have compatible hardware. i do not have enough people using internet simultaneously at my place so at best i would be consuming like 1% of the speed 99% of the times. as another user of spectra pointed out, it is also practically impossible to achieve 1gbps on international servers. and popular services like netflix and amazon prime just do not require this much bandwidth even at best content quality.
Yep, that makes sense. Which load balancer are you using btw?

To be honest, I just wanted to try Spectra's offering and see how it performs. Cause Act is pretty good in my area. The un-metered bandwidth from Spectra makes the data usage cap a non-issue, not that I download a lot and do not plan to do either. Its just one less thing to worry about and can use as much as you actually *need*.

But then as they are throttling torrents, its a bit of a downer. I think I remember reading somewhere that Act also does throttling, but I have never experienced it.
 

Sushubh

Administrator
#12
using edgerouter x. upgraded from a pretty shitty tp-link which is now lying useless.

well yeah. if spectra can deliver stable connectivity and reasonable speeds without illogical blocks and throttling, i would love to switch to it as my primary connection and move excitel as backup. excitel and abs which i am currently paying for are both unlimited so unmetered usage has no temptation for me lol.

you really should consider getting a vpn connection. even if just for downloading. i started using a vpn for torrents few years ago and it has been just great. now i just have to deal with p2p sites being blocked by these internet companies. though turning on vpn in browser usually just take 2 clicks so it's a minor annoyance.
 

varkey

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#14
the one thing i am very interested in finding out about spectra is the number of websites that are blocked. p2p websites for instance. what i love about excitel is that most of the services load fine on https. i do not have to turn on vps for them. i also pay for an airtel adsl connection mostly for the landline but when i do end up using their internet, i end up hitting a blocked website so frequently that i just do not get tempted to switch to vfiber on their platform and pay more for the internet component.
I tried a couple of sites, it seems to be like you said. Over http/80, I get a block page, but if I use HTTPS it goes through.

 

varkey

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#15
@varkey do they give public IP or private IP? Also please let us know IP renewal period. Is it once in 24 hours or 12 hours or it won't change as long as you don't restart the router
It's the same NAT nonsense like Act, we just get a dynamic 10.x.x.x private IP address. I asked the service engineer whether they can provide a dynamic public IP and he was clueless, asked me to contact customer care. :confused: (n)
 
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varkey

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#16
using edgerouter x. upgraded from a pretty shitty tp-link which is now lying useless.

well yeah. if spectra can deliver stable connectivity and reasonable speeds without illogical blocks and throttling, i would love to switch to it as my primary connection and move excitel as backup. excitel and abs which i am currently paying for are both unlimited so unmetered usage has no temptation for me lol.

you really should consider getting a vpn connection. even if just for downloading. i started using a vpn for torrents few years ago and it has been just great. now i just have to deal with p2p sites being blocked by these internet companies. though turning on vpn in browser usually just take 2 clicks so it's a minor annoyance.
Interesting, will check out the Edgerouter X. Did you get it from India? How much? Seems to be selling at $50 in US. How does it compare to a Mikrotik Gigabit router, any experience?

VPN :unsure: Will check that out. But I mostly use private trackers (which thankfully aren't blocked yet) so the blocks haven't really affected me much, except when l needed to get things from the public trackers and torrent search engines.
 
#18
Speedtest.net results from a wired device connected directly to the D-Link router. Tests were done using sivel/speedtest-cli as the only wired device I have right now is a head-less NAS device (so throughput may have been affected due to hardware limitations on my side too)

How are pings and speed to servers outside India?
Could you try opening command prompt and pinging a server outside india such"ping sgp-1.valve.net -t" or "ping 203.117.172.253 -t" and let it run for 10 minutes to see if there's any packet loss ?
 

Sushubh

Administrator
#20
not sure what to review. it is a pretty old and very popular model so there should be lots of proper reviews out there.
i only got it because i was not happy with the size of the tp-link router i was using. this one is insanely compact. a friend was coming to india from states and he asked me if i wanted anything. at usd 50, this made a lot of sense.
it is somewhat complicated to configure compared to regular routers. but seems to be quite stable.
i am running it in load balance mode which means that both connections are used at the same time.
but internet goes down for as long as a minute when one of the two connections disappear (abs mostly). so it's kind of annoying. tp-link had the same problem but the time duration was very low.
there could be configuration changes that might fix this. but it's kind of complicated as you have to find scripts online and run it on the console. user interface does not really offer a lot of options for load balancing or failover configuration.

in short... i only got it because i had an option to get it at 50 dollars. i like it because of the small size. it does work fine as a router for both load balancing and failover. but only get it if you understand what you are getting and what you would use it for. and be ready to read a lot of online articles to find out how to implement advance features as not everything is accessible from the backend user interface.