Converge ICT Review One Year Later – Playing Ragnarok M: Eternal Love

Converge Fiber Review One Year Later

This is an update to my review of Converge ICT’s Fiber Internet service when we first got it last year.

If you’ve been keeping up with the comments on that first review, you will see that while I initially loved Converge’s service, my experience has changed and I’m not really happy about the service now.

CONVERGE ICT REVIEW – WHAT’S CHANGED?

The disconnection problem that I experienced during the first few months has become more frequent. What disconnection, you ask? I watch YouTube until I fall asleep, that’s just my way of unwinding while keeping up with my favorite YouTubers and getting other news. About once a week or once every two weeks, the internet would be down, usually past midnight, and it would be down for about 5-10 minutes. I tried restarting the modem, I tried not doing anything to the modem and just waiting, and whatever I do, it doesn’t solve it until the internet decides to come back on its own in about 10 minutes. It did not happen that often, so it’s not a big deal. At first, I assumed that they were resetting or rebooting their equipment during those times, but whenever I called Converge tech support, they would always deny that they did anything like that. So, if it’s not them, then where is the problem coming from?

Customer Service / Tech Support Experience

This just kept getting more frequent as time went on. I kept calling customer service and up until a few months ago, it was still relatively easy to get to speak to a tech support rep. Then it got more difficult during the day, so I tried calling Converge late at night (past midnight) and I still managed to get to a rep within a few minutes of waiting.

I  asked to get an overview of the calls I made, and based on their records, I have been calling them almost every month to complain about the disconnection issue. Sounds about right. And every time I ask for an update, they will say the same thing – they checked remotely and they did not see anything wrong.

This seems really weird until I started looking at the Converge FB groups and forums, and based on what I read, I was starting to suspect that maybe the modem provided by Converge is starting to conk out or is getting too hot. Modems are not supposed to do this because they should be designed for 24/7 use. According to the people on the forums, Converge’s modem can’t handle being both modem and wifi router – they suggested using the Converge modem as just a modem and getting a separate wifi router – but I want Converge to get to the bottom of the problem first and be certain that the problem is with the modem router before I go and spend money on a standalone wifi router.

So I called Converge again and they didn’t want to replace the modem and wanted me to do ping, traceroute and speedtest (wired vs wireless). I tried to do that over the holidays but the connection was so unstable that I don’t think it’s accurate (more on that below). I was getting 1.6 Mbps speeds (too slow!) and sometimes 16 Mbps. Buti nalang alam ko gawin yan, paano kung clueless yung ibang customer, like my parents, paano na sila?

Here are the test results from tonight:

WIRED

C:\>ping google.com

Pinging google.com [172.217.27.142] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=526ms TTL=48
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=525ms TTL=48
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=360ms TTL=48
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=345ms TTL=48

Ping statistics for 172.217.27.142:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 345ms, Maximum = 526ms, Average = 439ms

C:\>tracert google.com

Tracing route to google.com [172.217.27.142]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 2 ms 1 ms 3 ms MYGROUP [192.168.1.1]
2 402 ms 230 ms 10 ms 10.220.228.1
3 10 ms 2 ms 9 ms 202.69.174.89
4 7 ms 9 ms 9 ms 172.20.11.4
5 10 ms 2 ms 4 ms 202.69.174.61
6 * * 11 ms 161.49.1.154
7 10 ms 4 ms 4 ms 161.49.1.202
8 12 ms 4 ms 10 ms 161.49.9.6
9 27 ms 27 ms 27 ms 72.14.197.156
10 38 ms 39 ms 36 ms 108.170.241.112
11 30 ms 30 ms 30 ms 209.85.249.158
12 42 ms 40 ms 41 ms 172.253.50.221
13 46 ms 46 ms 47 ms 66.249.94.69
14 43 ms 41 ms 42 ms 72.14.239.100
15 46 ms 41 ms 47 ms 108.170.244.97
16 47 ms 47 ms 47 ms 209.85.142.13
17 44 ms 44 ms 44 ms tsa03s02-in-f14.1e100.net [172.217.27.142]

Trace complete.

C:\>ping yahoo.com

Pinging yahoo.com [98.138.219.231] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=210ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=218ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=218ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.138.219.231: bytes=32 time=218ms TTL=49

Ping statistics for 98.138.219.231:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 210ms, Maximum = 218ms, Average = 216ms

C:\>tracert yahoo.com

Tracing route to yahoo.com [98.138.219.231]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms MYGROUP [192.168.1.1]
2 8 ms 6 ms 11 ms 10.220.228.1
3 9 ms 4 ms 4 ms 202.69.174.89
4 7 ms 1 ms 1 ms 172.20.11.4
5 10 ms 4 ms 4 ms 202.69.174.61
6 9 ms 4 ms 8 ms 161.49.1.154
7 9 ms 4 ms 4 ms 161.49.1.30
8 41 ms 40 ms 38 ms ten0-4-1-3.100.br03.hkg15.pccwbtn.net [63.218.211.221]
9 190 ms 190 ms 189 ms TenGE0-2-0-6.br03.lax05.pccwbtn.net [63.218.72.174]
10 175 ms 176 ms 175 ms any2ix.coresite.com [206.72.211.120]
11 180 ms 182 ms 181 ms UNKNOWN-216-115-104-X.yahoo.com [216.115.104.79]
12 208 ms 206 ms 207 ms ae-7.pat2.dnx.yahoo.com [216.115.96.115]
13 216 ms 216 ms 215 ms ae-6.pat1.nez.yahoo.com [216.115.104.118]
14 215 ms 215 ms 220 ms et-19-1-0.msr2.ne1.yahoo.com [216.115.105.181]
15 217 ms 216 ms 216 ms et-1-0-0.clr2-a-gdc.ne1.yahoo.com [98.138.97.73]
16 216 ms 214 ms 215 ms po255.bas1-1-flk.ne1.yahoo.com [98.138.0.97]
17 217 ms 218 ms 216 ms media-router-fp1.prod1.media.vip.ne1.yahoo.com [98.138.219.231]

Trace complete.

Wired Speedtest to Smart Communications Makati server

WIRELESS

C:\>ping google.com

Pinging google.com [172.217.27.142] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=49ms TTL=48
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=46ms TTL=48
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=41ms TTL=48
Reply from 172.217.27.142: bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=48

Ping statistics for 172.217.27.142:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 41ms, Maximum = 49ms, Average = 45ms

C:\>tracert google.com

Tracing route to google.com [172.217.27.142]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms MYGROUP [192.168.1.1]
2 9 ms 3 ms 4 ms 10.220.228.1
3 10 ms 3 ms 4 ms 202.69.174.89
4 7 ms 3 ms 3 ms 172.20.11.4
5 11 ms 4 ms 5 ms 202.69.174.61
6 9 ms 4 ms 10 ms 161.49.1.154
7 10 ms 5 ms 4 ms 161.49.1.202
8 38 ms 19 ms 12 ms 161.49.9.6
9 28 ms 30 ms 29 ms 72.14.197.156
10 39 ms 38 ms 38 ms 108.170.241.112
11 32 ms 29 ms 30 ms 209.85.249.158
12 41 ms 41 ms 42 ms 172.253.50.221
13 48 ms 46 ms 84 ms 66.249.94.69
14 43 ms 40 ms 41 ms 72.14.239.100
15 45 ms 46 ms 43 ms 108.170.244.97
16 94 ms 100 ms 104 ms 209.85.142.13
17 128 ms 124 ms 120 ms tsa03s02-in-f14.1e100.net [172.217.27.142]

Trace complete.

C:\>ping yahoo.com

Pinging yahoo.com [98.137.246.8] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 98.137.246.8: bytes=32 time=361ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.137.246.8: bytes=32 time=600ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.137.246.8: bytes=32 time=599ms TTL=49
Reply from 98.137.246.8: bytes=32 time=601ms TTL=49

Ping statistics for 98.137.246.8:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 361ms, Maximum = 601ms, Average = 540ms

C:\>tracert yahoo.com

Tracing route to yahoo.com [98.137.246.8]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 3 ms <1 ms 1 ms MYGROUP [192.168.1.1]
2 12 ms 3 ms 3 ms 10.220.228.1
3 9 ms 4 ms 5 ms 202.69.174.89
4 7 ms 4 ms 4 ms 172.20.11.4
5 10 ms 4 ms 4 ms 202.69.174.61
6 12 ms 3 ms 2 ms 161.49.1.154
7 22 ms 29 ms 19 ms 161.49.1.42
8 152 ms 153 ms 150 ms any2ix.coresite.com [206.72.211.120]
9 159 ms 161 ms 159 ms UNKNOWN-216-115-104-X.yahoo.com [216.115.104.79]
10 180 ms 177 ms 180 ms ae-6.pat2.swp.yahoo.com [216.115.100.91]
11 183 ms 194 ms 179 ms ae-5.pat1.gqb.yahoo.com [216.115.101.111]
12 183 ms 182 ms 182 ms et-19-1-0.msr2.gq1.yahoo.com [66.196.67.111]
13 184 ms 188 ms 203 ms et-1-0-0.clr1-a-gdc.gq1.yahoo.com [67.195.37.93]
14 516 ms 488 ms 533 ms et-16-6.bas1-2-flk.gq1.yahoo.com [98.137.120.6]
15 465 ms 440 ms 480 ms media-router-fp2.prod1.media.vip.gq1.yahoo.com [98.137.246.8]

Trace complete.

Wireless Speedtest to Smart Communications Makati server

I don’t want to do anything to the modem because that might void any warranty with Converge. The second to the last feedback I got from Converge was that during remote testing, they noticed that the modem was running hot. Their suggestion? Turn off the modem and let it rest for 10-15 minutes when this happens. Ha? Turn my modem off and let it rest for 15 minutes for 10 times a day? Seriously? That’s not a practical solution.

November holiday outage

~ Nung araw ng patay, patay din yung internet ~

Late at night on November 1 (technically November 2 because it was a little past midnight), the internet went down. The LOS light started blinking red, and that’s never a good thing. From past experience, I knew that meant an outage either on Converge’s end or a cut line.

So again, I called Converge, but this time, I was too long waiting on queue that the phone system dropped my call. I called again and waited, and finally, after a total of 1 hour, a rep answered. They had just started getting reports of an outage in Sta. Mesa. Unfortunately, they would not be able to get a crew out to check until 10AM the next day! 10AM pa daw kasi ang pasok ng crew…

Okay, I understand it’s a holiday, but don’t they have anybody on call to work on emergencies like this? Apparently, it’s not just Sta. Mesa, but Manila and Quezon City were having the outage, too. The outage took too long to resolve  – it was reported at midnight, and we only got internet back at around 3PM. That’s 15 hours with no internet, on a long holiday when I had planned to catch up on Netflix 

After we got internet back at 3PM, it was fairly stable. BUT, by late evening, the internet was choppy again. I just started playing the recently launched (as in Oct. 31, 2018) Ragnarok M: Eternal Love.

I want to call Converge to get a rebate for the time that we did not have internet, but I’m just not going to waste any more time calling their customer service na wala naman sumasagot to save probably P50 on the internet bill.

USING CONVERGE FOR GAMING (I was only able to test on mobile)

The fact that I was able to level up at all to Level 20+  at that time is a testament to my bullheadedness despite the frequent disconnections, and the bonus exps, of course. When our outage last Nov. 2 was fixed, I tried calling Converge again on Sunday (Nov. 4) to complain about the very frequent disconnections. The internet was choppy. Not lag. Choppy. Maya’t maya nagdidisconnect. It was so bad that I just switched to using mobile data. Anyway, I couldn’t get through to anyone at the Converge hotline after 1 hour so I gave up. I just don’t have time to waste on the phone, waiting in the queue for someone to pick up! Good thing I spent that time playing Ragnarok, but still. However, from their automatic answering system, they announced that they had an outage at some other areas (Marikina and other places, I can’t remember them all).

Ano ba, lagi lagi nalang may outage? I don’t even know why they have an outage. No explanation. Did their equipment break down? Was a line cut again? Last time kasi the line further down the road was cut, “nasagi ng truck” as the crew told me.

I don’t know, but I’m starting to suspect that maybe they took on too many customers and they can’t handle it – not on the technical side, and not on the customer service/ tech support side, either.

Ragnarok Mobile on Converge ICT

Anyway, I gave up and switched to using data for the whole day instead. Sobrang hopeless nung wifi last Sunday. Every time I was disconnected, I took a screenshot. Four times in twenty minutes, disconnected for about 2 minutes then suddenly reconnected again. In between, the internet was slow. Whenever I was disconnected, I also checked the internet connection on another phone – I go to cnn.com or yahoo.com using Chrome and I get the No Internet screen.

I started playing on an iPad Mini 2, but the game just kept crashing after 30 mins of play, mostly during map change. Hey, even though it’s old, it still works for browsing, YouTube, etc…, but apparently, it’s too old to play Ragnarok properly. So the next day, I switched to my Huawei P9. The Huawei P9 can play Ragnarok with no issues even if it’s circa 2016. I saw onilne that the game requires at least an octa-core processor and 3GB RAM. While I was downloading the 1.3 GB game from the Google Play Store, I also kept getting the “Waiting for Wi-Fi” message for a few seconds (download would stop), and then it would continue again after a few seconds.

Downloading Ragnarok Mobile Eternal Love

While I was playing mobile games, my dad was watching YouTube, as usual – and he didn’t seem to notice any problems. I know it’s because YouTube buffers, so these kinds of disconnections are just not as noticeable there.

Monday – Nov. 5

  • Daytime – internet was okay
  • 6PM onwards – internet was bad again, I switched back to using data

Tuesday – Nov. 6

The internet seems to be better now. Played most of the day using wifi and it was generally okay. Sometimes it lags, but it’s better now, back to normal, even though normal hasn’t been great lately. (Pls. see ping, traceroute and speedtest results above).

FYI, while I was “playing” all day, the nature of this mobile version of Ragnarok is that you can sort of “bot” your character. While I need to be “present” to choose the quests and to talk to the NPCs, once I’ve received all my quests, for example, to “kill 300 goblins”, I can just set my character to auto-kill goblins. You can even point to a location and your character will automatically run there. This frees me up to do other things, I don’t need to micro-manage my character, and then I just check back on my character from time to time to see the progress. The downside is that my phone is “occupied/busy” and I don’t answer texts or messages asap. 

I feel that playing on a PC is a better experience, but having it on mobile frees me up to do other things while playing. Yes, yes, I have heard all about the Blizzard Diablo Immortal fiasco and seen the videos and the memes. Keep in mind that I am not a hardcore gamer. I think the last time I played a PC game was in the early 2000s, hahaha. On a PC, I’m stuck sitting in front of it. With mobile, I can take my phone wherever I am and play whenever – when cooking, when writing, when making coffee, when doing chores – I just glance on it from time to time. But honestly, the screen is too damn small and I miss keyboard hotkeys. Clicking on things on a 5 or 6-inch phone screen is difficult and I quite often press the wrong thing. I don’t chat on Ragnarok Mobile because it’s not great – the mobile keyboard pulls up and covers the whole screen, etc… I’m mostly playing because of the nostalgia factor 🙂 And also to take advantage of the double and even x10 EXPs that are available now only for a limited time. Leveling up is so easy – I’m already level 52 in just 4 days!

DO I STILL RECOMMEND IT?

For watching YouTube, web browsing, and other casual stuff that are not time-sensitive or that do not require a super reliable and stable connection, it’s okay. When it works, it works. Downloading is fast, uploading big files is fast, torrenting is fast (can reach up to 2 MBps). Generally no issues with YouTube, Netflix, etc…

But if you’re serious about online gaming, or have mission-critical requirements for internet, I don’t recommend it. There are times when the internet is just not stable and it’s unpredictable, and that can be really frustrating.

There have been so many times when I have switched to using mobile data instead (Globe Prepaid) when the Converge internet is problematic. My mobile data is surprisingly more reliable! So I suggest always having a backup internet connection to use.

I don’t know if the terrible internet connection and service we had during the November 1 holidays was just bad luck on Converge’s part – a confluence of equipment failure (just a guess), and bad timing (more people using the internet over the holidays, crew on leave, minimal staff). But, it’s not such an isolated case anymore. Napapadalas na kasi.

And I still need an answer from Converge about what is causing my internet disconnection problems. Ano ba talaga? Please really investigate it so we can find a solution, hindi puro “the connection is okay based on our remote testing”. I’m willing to buy a wifi router if that’s the solution. Pero kung bumili ako at ganyan pa din ang problema, sayang naman.

Unfortunately for us consumers, we don’t really have many choices when it comes to ISPs, so we just have to deal with what’s available to us and put up with all their issues. It would be so great if their services improved, though.

Switching to PLDT?

As for switching to PLDT, I can’t even get anyone on the damn phone. Last week, I called 171 to try to talk to someone about our old Caller ID unit that has started to have problems. We’re still paying P99/month for caller ID but not really getting our money’s worth so I wanted to ask if we can have the unit replaced or upgraded to whatever they have now.

Calling PLDT is more hopeless than calling Converge. Their phone system was just giving me the runaround – whatever number I press, there is no available option to talk to a person! Wasted another hour trying to call PLDT and trying all the options, still no live person. Most of the time, I ended up with an automated voice giving info or a filing an automated report for an outage (which I didn’t want to do because that would be false reporting). So that’s a NO on PLDT for now, until they get their problems sorted out. Better stick with the one I know muna. I don’t even know if PLDT Fibr is already available in our area.



I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!

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xoxo,

Karen

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