RT Cunningham


Wi-Fi Data with Cable, DSL, or Fiber Internet vs. Cellular Data

Wi-Fi Although I’ve had DSL Internet in the Philippines since 2006, I didn’t start using Wi-Fi with any device in the Philippines until mid-2015. I won’t mention the time I spent in the United States in 2013 and 2014.

Before 2015, we (Josie and me) didn’t have any device here that could connect by Wi-Fi. I was using a desktop tower and Josie’s cell phone was the old kind, without that ability.

Wi-Fi Data with DSL Internet

Josie and I returned to the Philippines in late December of 2014. A sister-in-law reconnected DSL in her name (it’s still in her name) shortly before we arrived. The connection came with a Wi-Fi router.

We brought some inexpensive tablets back with us from the United States, along with two laptops. We distributed the tablets to our relatives and I set them all up with Wi-Fi connections.

Josie and I didn’t start using Wi-Fi data until mid-2015. I can’t say exactly when, but it was after Josie returned from a trip to England. By then, she had a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I had a Samsung Galaxy S4.

For DSL Internet, I only pay about $55 USD (2750 pesos) per month . Our cell phone plans are about $6 USD (300 pesos) per month per phone without cellular data services (except free Facebook and Viber, which we don’t use). We can call and text people who use the main mobile networks (except Globe) and it’s unlimited.

Cellular Data

I don’t know how expensive cellular data is in the United States, but it’s relatively expensive here. The convenience isn’t worth the cost.

I checked with my cell phone service provider, Sun Cellular, and the only data plan that will go with our phones would cost us about $14 USD (699 pesos) per month per phone. We would be limited to 1.5 GB per phone for everything except streaming and downloading (and throttled from then on). We would be limited to 2.5 GB per phone for streaming and downloading (and then billed for overages).

We’re paying $67 per month for what we have now. Adding a cellular data plan to each phone would raise it to $97 and we would rarely use it. The only time I used cellular data (with my last provider) was during an extended brownout. And I only used it long enough to send a couple of messages through Facebook Messenger.

My DSL speed isn’t really fast (maxing out at 8 MB downstream) but it comes with unlimited data. If I count all the cell phone and tablet users in our compound, we’re using the Wi-Fi data effectively without any extra costs.

Using Common Sense

This is my opinion. Feel free to argue with me.

If you’re living in a home where you can get cable, DSL or fiber Internet, do it. Then use Wi-Fi to connect to it. Forget about cellular data if you can. Do you really surf the web or play games that have to connect to the Internet while you’re out and about? In places where open Wi-Fi is available?

If you’re not able to get a home-based Internet connection, then go ahead and get a cellular data plan that works for you. You may find the cellular data plan being more expensive than you expect.

In a perfect world, greedy cell phone service providers wouldn’t exist and every plan would include unlimited data at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, we’ll never live in that perfect world.

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By RT Cunningham
July 28, 2017