We’ve been using Converge since 2017, and I have been chronicling our experience here:
Of course, the more we appreciated the speed and bandwidth, the more gadgets we had connecting to our wifi, and we had problems with connections dropping, etc…
A few readers have suggested that we buy a separate wifi router, but I didn’t want to spend extra money on it. I feel that the stock modem router provided by Converge should be good enough. Also, at that time, I still wasn’t convinced that the problem was with the Converge modem/router. Basically, I didn’t want to spend extra money because I feel that providing a good modem router to their customers is part of Converge’s responsibility and part of their package.
WHY WE FINALLY HAD TO BUY OUR OWN WIFI ROUTER
So, the more wifi connection issues we experienced, the more I called Converge, and finally, after almost a year of calling Converge every month and they just telling me that “everything is normal based on their checking”, someone from their technical team actually delved into our problem. He saw that we had 19 gadgets connecting to the wifi, and he said that it was too many, the stock Converge modem/router can’t handle it, and that’s why it’s dropping connections or restarting or overheating. I’m like, 19 is a lot???
We had family coming over from abroad to stay with us for the holidays, and it was important that our internet be working fine. Although I still personally feel that as a customer, I shouldn’t be shelling out extra money for better equipment because the one provided by Converge is too low quality, what else can we do?
Quick Overview for the non-techie:
The equipment provided by Converge is a 2-in-1 kind of gadget that is a modem and a wifi router in one. What we are going to do is to use the Converge gadget purely as a modem, and then use another gadget purely as a wifi router. This way, the Converge gadget will not get too “stressed” doing too much work that it can’t handle.
BUYING AND INSTALLING THE ASUS RT-AC1300UHP
We have an old Tenda router that we bought at Octagon years ago for around P1,700+, so I tried connecting that first. This is a manual process that involves a lot of going through the 22.214.171.124 settings, first connecting my pc directly to the Converge fiber modem via LAN, changing status to bridge mode, deactivating wifi, etc… I’m not going to discuss the whole process because it would make this post too long.
Tip: Install a Screen Capture extension on Google Chrome to take full page screenshots of your Converge settings before you change anything (I use Full Page Screen Capture). Save the screenshots. This way, you can put the settings back to the original settings in case you mess things up.
Anyway, after I successfully connected the Tenda, there wasn’t any improvement. If I recall, we also had problems with the Tenda before, and that’s why we only kept it as backup. It used to overheat a lot and drop connections, too. Okay, so that sucks. We threw it away now because I’m on Marie Kondo mode. Damn thing does not spark joy. 😀
And that’s how we finally bit the bullet and ordered an Asus RT-AC1300UHP router from Lazada for P4,750. Other sellers were selling it for P5,000+ and this was the cheapest for this model. Delivery took 2 weeks though! 🙁
I asked techie friends and the recommended router brand was really Asus, and they insisted that I get the high-powered one because of all our gadgets. I was like, are you sure? That’s 5k… can’t I just get away with buying the 2k Asus routers? NO daw talaga. Okay, fine. Buying the 5k router.
Time jump to two weeks later: the Asus router arrived. I read the short guide on how to connect it and it was so easy. I did not have to do any of the things I had to do with the Tenda. I just followed instructions, and everything else was taken care of by the Installation Wizard. It all took less than 5 minutes.
Since this new Asus router is dual-band, it has two networks: one is the regular wifi network (2.4 Ghz band), and another on the 5 Ghz band (5G). So, on our wifi gadgets, we can choose to connect to either MYWIFINETWORK and MYWIFINETWORK_5G.
Newer gadgets that have the capability to connect to 5G were connected to 5G, and older gadgets that can only connect to regular wifi connect to the 2.4 Ghz. This way, the “work” is split between 2.4 Ghz and 5G.
This is how we set it up. The Converge modem is at the back. The Asus router is placed on top of an upside-down hole-y plastic basket so it gets ventilation. The square Converge thing is inside the plastic basket to hide it because it was starting to look cluttered, we made sure that the wires aren’t bent or crushed.
What are the differences between regular wifi and 5G wifi?
Basically, 5G is faster, but has a shorter range. 2.4 Ghz is slower but has a longer range.
INTERNET CONNECTION AFTER INSTALLING THE ASUS ROUTER
The internet connection drastically improved. Wifi was so stable. No more disconnections, except for two times when Converge was actually down (the second time, there was a cut on the line at the San Juan Bridge).
The wifi range was also farther. With the Converge modem router, the wifi did not reach our kitchen, and we had to install a wifi repeater there. With this Asus router, we didn’t need the wifi repeater anymore.
We used to have poor wifi connection problems when using our smart TV, Apple TV, Alexa and Google Home Minis. The Alexa and Google Home Minis were gifts from relatives abroad last year. I actually hated using the Google Home Minis because I would need to reset them all the time because they would lose wifi connection all the time. Now, I’m so happy the wifi is stable, and I have no problem with our Google Home Minis! I love making them play house music using Spotify. I have never reset them since we got the Asus router. I don’t even use my Bluetooth speakers anymore since we got the Google Home Minis. Both Minis can play the same music at the same time (synced) so if I have one Mini on one side of the house, and another Mini on the other side of the house, when I walk from one side of the house to the other, I’m still hearing the same music. This was a very useful feature last Christmas! Christmas music was playing throughout the whole house, it was great for parties (background music)! I want to make a review on them soon.
Did you know that Starbucks has their own Spotify playlists? Whenever I want to have that coffeehouse ambience, I just choose a playlist from here depending on my mood.
As for YouTube, Netflix, etc… watching on Apple TV, Smart TV, tablets, PC, no problem, none. No buffering, no poor connection issues. Connection was strong and stable, watching in HD on 42″ TVs.
As for playing Ragnarok Mobile, it’s better and the connection is generally more stable. Although I still experience some lag and die on rare occasions, I’m not sure if it is because of Converge internet or if the Ragnarok server itself is laggy, or if my phone is not responding quickly enough to my fly wings and potions.
We have also connected some IP cameras to the network and it hasn’t seemed to degrade the network. I feel confident that I can add more gadgets to the network and the Asus router can handle it.
The modem router that Converge provided is just not good enough for customers who have more than basic gadgets. While I am not happy about having to shell out extra money to buy a better wifi router, having a separate, good quality router provides a much better wifi connection and internet experience. I understand that the Converge modem router is “free” so of course, it’s not going to be the best quality.
After this, I realized that most of my complaints about Converge stem from their lousy modem router. Their internet itself seems to be stable. You just really need to shell out some money and get yourself a good wifi router. I feel like they should be informing their customers about this instead of just saying that there’s no problem. Tell customers that the modem router they provide can only handle x number of gadgets and cannot handle “heavy load” gadgets like internet cameras or Google Home Minis.
So far, I am very happy with this Asus router. No problems since I installed it more than 2 weeks ago. I’ve never had to restart it, not even once! It also has features like a USB port that can allow me to add a NAS (network attached storage) or other expansion in the future.
Now that we’ve bought a wifi router, I’m not going to say that I wished we’d done it sooner. The modem router provided by Converge worked fine, although not that well, and I didn’t know what I was missing. Also, the new Asus router is expensive at almost P5,000! I wasn’t going to spend that kind of money on a router until I was desperate. J was even suggesting that I buy the same router that he has, which costs P10,000+ and I was like, “No.” What the h, do I really need a P10,000 router? I’m not running an internet cafe here. I don’t even know why he’s using a P10,000 router when his home has far fewer gadgets than we do.
But anyway, you get what you pay for. I compared the Asus router models available and googled all the features, and finally settled on this model because it had the newer features that the cheaper models didn’t have. If I was going to buy a modem, I might as well get something that is future-proof, at least for the next few years. What I looked for was high capacity to handle many, many devices simultaneously (MU-MIMO); high speed (uses 802.11ac); dual-band to be able to use 5G; as a bonus, it has a USB 3.0 slot that can be used to 1) connect to a network hard drive if I ever want to set up Plex in the future, or used to 2) connect a network printer in the future.
Plex is like your very own Netflix, except you stream video from your own collection in your hard drive. Plex itself is perfectly legal. This is great for those who have a vast library of things to watch, so you’re not limited to only watching what’s available on Netflix, and best if you have a smart TV or a Roku or Chromecast where you can install Plex so you can watch on a big screen.
The most important thing I needed from the new router was the capability to handle many wifi connected gadgets. I live with family and relatives, plus the help – there are many people in our house. Imagine each person has at least 2-3 wifi gadgets – that’s a lot, not including the “house” wifi gadgets like smart TVs, Google Home Minis, Alexa, wifi cameras, etc… and so far, this Asus router is handling them all very well.
So, for the two weeks or so that I have used this router, I am satisfied with it 🙂 I will post updates if there are any changes.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!