First off, Im NO expert... I read up, plan and experiment.
I've been feeding off alot of the posts here so I'd like to give back a little. What I have found and experienced during my last 6months is:
(Obviously) iBurst, just like 3G and rest is area dependant. If you have a single story wooden house w. sky-scrapers made of lead all around... you are screwed. Accept it and get DSL.
If you can see the tower from your basement, you are set... with maybe a couple extra digits on your first born minus X amount of brain cells (, allegedly).
A omni antenna helps SOMETIMES.
But sometimes having the signal bounce off a (large flat, windowless) wall in front of your window works better if the signal bounces straight to tower (dependant wall angle, and I couldn't believe it when I saw it, and thats the explanation that made sense to me).
When your modem is placed behind a window, in the middle of the window-pane and 10cm or so higher helps (I used books, no metals pls).
I recently moved to a new house, and seeing the crap coming a mile away I took a chance on the panel antenna R550. The closest tower to me is about half a kilo away to the west... behind a 20meter high sand dune %^&*. Next closest tower is 4km east, pretty much downhill and normal houses but no clear LOS... Using a panel antenna, signal strength is around -92dB west and -79dB east... but the west tower works better giving 70-95kbsDL 25-30kbsUL 65-90msPING 12-30msJITTER, vs 40-50kbsUL 10-25kbsDL ~90msPING ~100msJITTER.
What does that mean? It means I can raid with my resto-shamman on World of Warcraft without wipes (E&OE). AND WTF, everyone said dB's was everything (signal bouce of a houses vs a small hill?!).
Edit* Sitting behind a hill... wind plays a huge part... more wind less speed.... sigh.
Never EVER try to deal with iBurst directly... their technology seems to be working but they do have idiots on phones.
I swear high and low on RSAweb as a 3rd party seller and their support (towards me) have always been prompt, accurate and hastle free (sales not so much, they dont call back and inform bout whats happening with my lowly panel order... so much for having your cake and eating it).
1. I want to get iBurst account...
iBurst: "send application,then 3 days before activation"
RSAweb: "application before 12:00 and when u get home at 17:00 its on" and it was so.
2. My modem got abused by kids (gravity is a powerfull tool) and got second hand one from gumtree:
iBurst: emailed me a application for a new account after on phone for 7minutes(?!)
RSAweb: "Name?... Password?... (maybe ID too, dont remember...) UTID?.... done!" and it was so.
Lastly, in my opinion, if you are spending less than R500 a month iBurst gives the best deals, maybe with the iBurst mid-month double bandwidth thing its more (10GIG for R500, ye). Uncapped is a scam untill ISP's are willing to give out their contention ratio's. I dont blame them, its the only way they can compete in our Telkom run market.
"But thats me, and I could be wrong, and then its a terrible tragedy." --Tyler Durden