Choosing an ISP (Philippines)

Choosing an Internet Service Provider in the Philippines has been always like looking for a pepper sprinkle on a spaghetti spool. It has always been, darn hard!

We should also be on the look out for the following before we give the paper with our sign back to our internet provider.

1. bandwidth – know thy bandwidth.

I don’t quite get it when I ask some people how much bandwidth they have subscribed to, most often I get, “Sorry, I don’t know” for an answer. That is not acceptable. That is like buying air from the store. You should know what you pay for.

2. is it committed information rate (CIR) or burstable?

Another thing to note is how do we get our internet speed? Does our ISP commit it to us or they just slide it up or down depending on the usage of all subscribers (i.e. fast on off-peak, moderate to slow on peak hours). CIR means that our ISP is obliged to deliver us the internet speed that we have subscribed to. If you have signed for a 2 Megabit CIR connection, then that should be 2 Mb not anything lower. We also have to check our upload and download speeds. Doing a search on google for internet speed test will give you a lot of options where to take your internet speed tests. Bayantel’s webbie had before a test engine for real-time speed test. CIR means that the bandwidth should not fall beyond the agreed speed, period! CIR is also known as Guaranteed Speed.

Burstable speed among our ISPs is the most common offering, some at 512 kbps or sometimes higher. For the common subscriber base, Bayantel, Globelines, Smart bro has this type, not to mention that they have business grade lines also. Some call this type as Minimum Guaranteed Speed, burstable means that we get the subscribed speed, but it can get better or sometimes lower depending on the internet traffic.

3. Static or Dynamic Internet Protocol

Be always aware of the protocol that comes with your subscriptions. Globelines gave me a dynamic IP before – for general consumer. Bayantel usually gives Static IPs.
But why does it matter really? It matters if you want to run a service on your network. Like when you want to build a Web Server, or any small office server where one or two of the services installed on it are projected to be brought to the internet and the world wide web. Dynamic means that your public IP will change every time your modem or modem-router connects to the web while Static means you get to have a permanent IP, you are always known to the external network as the IP that was given to you by your ISP. It pays really when it’s already part of the package. Many services, more so with small businesses require static IPs such as interlinks between office or partner companies. So when asked, static or dynamic, get static.

4. lock-in period

Yes, Madame and Sirs, check this also. The shorter the better. Always remember that there might be a better provider out there so don’t lock yourself to a poor performer. Look for something better.

I have always hoped that Philippines will have, one day, a good competitor when it comes to the provision of internet connection. A company that provides a good bandwidth and a stable connection. Coming from my past experiences, it has been always worst. Disconnections, poor realiability and connectivity, broken pings, packets lost, etc. I have heard good reviews of players such as Eastern Telecom, which I really want to try in the future.

For the business end, when I was still working as Net/Server Specialist in one of the IT companies located in Ortigas, I recall that I have recommended Bayantel as an ISP to one of our clients, they barely passed the test on our CIR subscription. But really I can only recommend two, this is if internet connection is like life to your company, Bayantel either/or Eastern Telecom. Also try using OpenDNS (,, a free DNS solution for added security and as they claim, faster.

For the home users where internet is generally more of fun than work, same, Bayantel or Eastern Telecom. Wink! On their absence, you can get PLDT/Smart.

If you’d ask my opinion about wireless provision of internet connection (Globe Wimax, Smartbro), i’d honestly say, don’t for now. As of yet, don’t join the bandwagon. Try as much as possible to get a wired solution. That would be less headache. It has been quite a rough and wild ride with the wireless service. Outages, low bandwidth, electromagnetic interference, disruptions due to weather conditions, etc. all this are not really funny.

If you are looking for portable internet connectivity, Globe Tatoo will do. I don’t like the Smart version, it’s not that smart at all. Just like in their cellular service, they always find a way to eat your load. EVDO could have been better solution, but it was lost, i think due to ZTE scam. Also, i know one technology from DLink, where there is a PCI-E device which can be loaded with any SIM card, you plug it in your PCI-E slot and there you have your internet connection. Check with your favorite shop as they might have this already.

So that’s it. How then do you choose your ISP. Give me your feedback, we just might agree. Ciao!

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