Long ago, we were collecting free Wi-Fi internet accessing services in and around Kathmandu followed by recent list of entertainment and food stalls providing free (if not paid) Wi-Fi access in their premises (article here). And also in an another recent post, we did a coverage of Wireless Internet Service Providers (Wi-Fi dedicated ISPs) in Nepal. In this article, we try to cover or review Broadlink communication‘s WiFi services in questions and answers form.
Broadlink, estd 2006, is one of the Wireless Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nepal providing various internet packages and internet based VoIP service, Broadtel. Broadlink is also a member ISP of Nepal Internet Exchange NPIX (AS: 55427 and IP: 188.8.131.52) for trading over local internet traffic. Many people often say Broadlink is not cheap, and they have many restrictions over the use of wireless internet service they provide. Let’s explore some user generated questions (from our facebook page, twitter profile and ask section) and our approach to answer them: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Broadlink Wi-Fi.
1. What services do I get from Broadlink?
TS: Broadlink Network and Communications Pvt Ltd is basically an ISP providing Broadlink Wifi and Broadtel telephony services over the internet (VoIP). They have many hotspots in different 25+ cities, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Hetauda, Bharatpur, Manigram, and other cities (with extended service coverage).
2. Once were those days when people were enchanted and excited that Broadlink’s wireless internet will transform many lives in easy way; but never expected this to be expensive and crappy intermittent connection. Can you please elaborate Broadlink’s WiFi prices?
There are many prepaid wireless internet packages provided by Broadlink WiFi. Service plan packages (limited and unlimited) range from 256 to 960 Kbps claimed speed and plans can be changed any time from the user’s web portal.
The unlimited 256 Kbps plan costs around NRs 10k per year inclusive of taxes. For detail Broadlink WiFi package prices, see their Service Plan page.
The highest internet (fastest?) speed of acclaimed 5 Mbps with data download and upload limit of 3 GB is available for Rs 499 valid for a period of a month.
3. Is the standard of Broadband met by the Broadlink WiFi?
Yes. According to Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), Broadband in Nepal is defined for atleast 256 Kbps internet connection. Broadlink Wi-Fi packages starts from 256 Kbps to 5 Mbps. Their internet telephony service, Broadtel, which works on VoIP soft phone is also legit. (Read this: Nepalese Broadband gets ITU assistance)
4. How is their coverage of WiFi? Are they going rural or just making it as a requirement for NTA policies?
Almost all city areas in the Kathmandu ring road is covered by Broadlink’s WiFi connection (excluding some low-lying and high-building/dense-building areas). They still have problem in certain such areas in Kalimati, Putalisadak, Gangabu, Purano Baneshwor (according to user’s view in our Facebook page). Broadlink’s website says, 120 locations in Kathmandu Valley and around 70 locations outside the valley are currently functional. In the coverage area (map shown below, taken from Broadlink Network and Communication Pvt Ltd), click the name of the city to see how many towers of Broadlink WiFi are installed and what is the coverage in your city.
5. What are the differences between Broadlink’s WiFi and World Link’s Wi-zoom (or other ISPs wireless services)?
You got a point. Broadlink is the choice if you are mobile. Wherever you go, you can get instant connectivity if there is a Broadlink’s hotspot around. If you have WiFi enabled smart phone or a tablet device or even a laptop, you can get connected everywhere. No need to connect manually. It’s like using 3G connectivity from NTC or Ncell, but you need to be in the coverage of nearby Broadlink hotspot. This is not possible in World Link’s Wi-zoom which requires you to carry an external power-required antenna (connected primarily to your device via Ethernet). Wi-zoom is fixed wireless service (weird, isn’t it?)
6. Are customers happy with Broadlink WiFi’s connection speed and coverage?
Maybe you are the one asking this question here. We tested the unlimited 256 Kbps package while writing this article, the connection was okay to browse (desktop version of CNN & Nagariknews; and stream Blip.tv & YouTube) in Samsung Galaxy S II, Apple iPhone in Kopundole height. However, we were not happy on-not-getting full 256 speed on desktop.
Many of our friends in Facebook, have written that Broadlink’s WiFi connection is intermittent, connects then disconnects whenever it likes. What users should also notice that, it is a wireless connection so weather condition besides technicalities also prose to that. You can always call Broadlink’s toll free phone number 1660-01-21000 if you have any problem, however they are likely to respond to connectivity problem in your area (our experience).
7. Which banks and payment gateways are supported by Broadlink?
You can purchase the recharge internet voucher from Laxmi Bank and Nepal Investment Bank (NIBL) online service and from ATM as well. Maybe this is the time, they should include Nepalese payment gateways like PayWay, eSewa; and include major credit cards (many people want that really).
8. I can’t trust to recharge my balance from their Broadlink’s web services, it is not encrypted (no https). Why don’t you guys give tell them what is SSL and security over their wireless linkage?
True. Broadlink customers can purchase or recharge the balance for their WiFi and Broadtel services, but sadly all the transactions is passed over the unencrypted connection which can be eavesdropped by anyone on the network. (NIBL – Nepal Investment Bank Limited, the bank from where you can transact with Broadlink, on the other hand, has a nice SSL encryption over their eBanking services.) Our suggestion until they implement SSL, do not try to perform online transaction over the wireless connection, wired one would be okay (sadly they themselves are Wireless), .
9. I went through the home page of Broadlink (ie http://broadlink.com.np) and browsed its source to learn about their web technologies used. I was amazed with the cheapest possible and worst things inside the source code. What on the earth are they thinking? They can’t hire any professional to make their websites?
Well, we don’t know how to answer this question. One can browse to see the codes edited over a span of time to include services. Moreover, the HTML and CSS did not pass the validation of web standards. One more thing, even the logged in users see on-page pop-ups every time (one thing which Google hates most).
10. Is Broadlink an Indian internet or telecom company like a UTL? I
You can see on the home page of Broadlink, the site powered by an Indian service. Other than this, we can’t tell anything.
11. Why are they blocking torrents and file sharing sites?
We have no ideas why we couldn’t access torrents and major file sharing sites over Broadlink WiFi connection. Rest ensured, we even read between the lines in their ToS and Privacy page, but no idea why they are doing so. (TPB and ISOHUNT didn’t opened, Dropbox did)
12. So, crappy even I am logged in to Broadlink’s website, I can’t get into the support page. Why are they tricking on us? Both the contact us (feedback) and support page, sucks. How to contact them?
13. My laptop can not catch the Broadlink’s WiFi signal inside my room, but signal is fairly enough for internet on my rooftop or varanda. How can I boost the WiFi signal to use inside?
If you want to utilize your unlimited data plan from Broadlink, and still have no signal inside your home. Ensure you have signal on your rooftop or varanda, and there is a way out. Broadlink has recently launched Signal booster device in a packaged kit, so called Signal booster kit which costs nearly Rs 10 thousand. Signal booster kit helps you to amplify the wireless signals from outside your home (eg roof or varanda) to inside rooms. You can also connect multiple computers using this kit. However, if you are a techie, we suggest you to go around New Road to purchase WiFi signal boosters (Wireless Broadband Router) which cost around at Rs 6000 only.
14. Is there anyway that I can use Broadlink WiFi to connect internet in my desktop computer? (Seriously I’ve a superb gaming computer from Dell.)
Sure. If there is a Broadlink Wifi signal inside your room or home, just purchase a small USB WiFi Adapter (costs as little as Rs 2 thousand only), plug it into your desktop’s USB and there you go.
If you have no Broadlink wireless internet signals inside your home/room, you can boost the signal (as answered in #13 above) and connect it in your desktop (via Ethernet or wirelessly via USB WiFi Adapter).
15. Is Broadlink still giving some free WiFi access to users?
Broadlink’s free WiFi was an initial investment to make up an infrastructure. They no longer provide free WiFi access, atleast in Kathmandu.
16. How can I check my remaining data and balance in my Broadlink WiFi account?
If you have been a customer, you would have already known that, right? Broadlink has a nice user login portal where you can see your internet data consumption and balance, plus you can control the active number of days your account is valid for.
17. I have an account with Broadlink Wi-Fi but I want to surf internet via this account on my laptop and mobile phone simultaneously. How can I do that?
Wireless home networking can be achieved using Broadlink WiFi just like any other internet connection (till now), just read this article: Wireless Home Networking
18. How to hack Broadlink WiFi? I can not pay for 2 accounts to use one in my office and one in home, seriously help me.
Are we answering that. Well, if there was only the first part in question “how to hack Broadlink WiFi” we would run into ahh. If you are referring hacking to exploiting features (and not security flaws), just read our #17 QnA. Hope that works.
19. Is my wireless connection from Broadlink safe? I mean since it is wireless, anybody can eveasdrop what I’m doing, right? Need your suggestion.
First, ensure you change your password time and often. Second, browse the secure version of the sites (https one) whenever available. Third, if you are creating a wireless network with your gadgets (via virtual router), confirm you have security enabled (WPA 2 encryption at its best). Lastly, log out from websites if you think it would be safe to (advisable, but mind that your apps on mobile phone will not be working without an active internet connection.)
Here we leave with a nice tutorial video from Broadlink, watch to understand how to proceed with online payment of Broadlink WiFi from NIBL.
[media url=”http://broadlink.com.np/laxmi/nibl.mp4″ width=”600″ height=”400″]
Questions regarding Broadlink wifi in Nepal, Broadlink wifi kathmandu, Broadlink wireless internet, Broadlink wifi Pokhara, Broadlink wireless reviews were collected from our Facebook page, twitter profile and ask page. Maybe this review of Broadlink wifi doesn’t cover all aspects of the services provided by the company. Image credits: All Broadlink images taken from broadlink website, WiFi USB Adapter from http://chinagrabber.com