Afrihost 10Mbps uncapped ADSL Home account review

Afrihost recently launched the most aggressive 10Mbps uncapped ADSL pricing ever seen in South Africa. MyGaming was provided the opportunity to put one of these accounts through its paces, and the results were impressive.

The account was tested from a residential location in Johannesburg on a 10Mbps ADSL line. The modem used was reporting an attainable rate of 15,660Kbps (11.293Mbps) downstream and 1,108Kbps (1.082Mbps) upstream.

According to Telkom the line was synchronising at 10,015Kbps (9.780Mbps) downstream, and 1023Kbps (0.999Mbps) upstream.

Speedtests

To get a feel for the Afrihost 10Mbps uncapped ADSL home user account, it was used for 43 days.

During the testing period we hit the account hard, which included heavy browsing on YouTube and other media-rich websites, and downloading large data files from FTP and peer-to-peer services. Gaming related downloads also featured, with numerous Steam and Origin updates taking place.

Over the period, 197,933.678MB were downloaded, and 36,473.942MB were uploaded – a total of 234,407.616MB.

Having given the downloads a fair shake within the realm of normal usage for a single person, we put the line through a battery of Speedtests to measure its performance.

It was ensured that there was no interference on the network from other users. The test machine was running only essential programs to conduct the tests.

Averages were calculated from the results of tests from the MyBroadband Speedtest server (general SA speeds), as well as the standard Ookla Speedtest server for both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The regional tests were performed across the array of available Speedtest hosts.

SA Speedtests – average results – Afrihost 10Mbps Uncapped ADSL Home
Testing Server Location Download Speed (Mb/sec) Upload Speed(Mb/sec) Latency (MS)
MyBroadband South Africa 8.354 0.840 31
Speedtest Johannesburg 8.425 0.849 12.93
Speedtest Cape Town 8.177 0.848 34.4

From the results above, one can see the account performed as should be expected, achieving results at the top end of the scale, according to the potential of the ADSL line used.

The difference in ping between Cape Town and Johannesburg is to be expected, as tests were done from a Johannesburg location, and therefore through Internet Solution’s IPC in Johannesburg (Afrihost is an IS reseller).

International Speedtests were also conducted to gauge how the account performed over the long distances involved.

International Speedtests – average results – Afrihost 10Mbps Uncapped ADSL Home
Testing Server Location Download Speed (Mb/sec) Upload Speed(Mb/sec) Latency (MS)
MyBroadband International 5.889 0.772 214
Speedtest London 5.752 0.782 191.8
Speedtest New York 3.586 0.705 282.6
Speedtest Hong Kong 2.888 0.734 349.5

Observing the international speedtests, there was certainly evidence of a fluctuating download speed, but this could be down to a number of factors on the data packet’s journey from South Africa to international destinations.

In general, the Speedtests to London performed well, regularly topping 7.2Mb/s, but in some cases dipping to as low as 1.28Mb/s. All of these measurements were taken into account to generate an average for this battery of tests.

Upload appears uniform and measured highly in tests, suggesting that there is a lot more action on the downstream into SA than upstream out (must be all those Linux distro’s everyone is downloading).

Another good test of the line was to fire up some multi-threaded downloads. Tests to London servers did breach 7.6Mb/s, but appeared to hit a comfort zone at around 4Mb/s.

South African multi-threaded downloads ran flat-out, pushing the line close to its 10Mbps potential for the duration of the download.

Gaming and General usage

In terms of general day-to-day browsing and internet usage experience, the Afrihost 10Mbps Uncapped ADSL Home account performed superbly, delivering full line-speed on demand, with no noticeable lapses in service quality. Surfing around YouTube was a pleasure, as was the ability to do so while running other downloads concurrently (within reason).

Gaming services were solid. Both Steam and Origin made full use of the available line bandwidth – a pleasurable experience considering the memory of days past, battling with such digital download services, is still fresh in my mind.

Playing titles requiring international connectivity, such as Diablo III and Heroes of Newerth, produced pings within the acceptable limits of playability we have come to tolerate in South Africa. Diablo III comfortably puttered along at roughly 250ms latency during 4-player games with SA friends.

Heroes of Newerth can produce varying ping readings (anywhere from 250ms to 400ms+, due to the nature of the far-flung player base, but gameplay was entirely reasonable with a stable connection throughout most matches.

Locally, fast-paced titles such as Battlefield 3 which involve large numbers of players were also perfectly playable. Pings did fluctuate at times, from lows of about 35ms, to 180ms+; but for the most part the connection was smooth, allowing focus on gameplay without latency distractions.

Afrihost is offering their 10Mbps Uncapped ADSL Home accounts as part of a DSL line rental bundle for R897 per month (excluding Telkom voice line rental), or as a standalone data account at R997 per month. These prices are currently the lowest in SA for 10Mbps uncapped ADSL accounts.

Considering the overall performance of the account, coupled with the aggressive pricing options, Afrihost has certainly delivered a highly-competitive product to the ADSL market – one that any user considering 10Mbps uncapped should consider.

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Afrihost 10Mbps uncapped ADSL Home account review