Are you looking to get a new Internet connection? Let’s look at the commonly available options- broadband (wired or wireless), dongles (locked CDMA or unlocked), WiFi dongle (single or multiple users) and lastly, using any 3G smartphone as a WiFi hotspot to connect, given 4G connectivity is still out of reach for the majority.
It goes without saying that broadband offers the best speeds. However, its not portable. When we want to connect to Internet on-the-go, dongles have failed us. And of course, we simply cannot rely on mobile 3G connectivity at all.
While the demand for portable Internet connectivity is huge, there are not many reliable offerings. Meanwhile, almost all ISPs claim that their portable devices can download HD movies in minutes, the fact is, the speeds will frustrate you even while surfing.
Tata Docomo Photon Max WiFi Duo
Catering to portable connectivity, Tata Docomo has introduced its Photon Max WiFi Duo. The device offers WiFi connectivity to up to 5 devices. It is powered by a 4400mAh battery, which can be used as a power bank and comes equipped with 32GB microSD card slot that allows personal and shared cloud storage capabilities. So, should you invest in it?
Specs: 4400 mAh power bank | 32GB MicroSD slot with personal cloud and sharing capabilities | Shared connectivity of up to 5 devices | Wi-Fi | Free roaming across India | Claims speed of up to 9.8mbps
Price: Rs 2,899
Post paid plans
The device is currently available at brand stores in New Delhi and Mumbai only. However, it offers free roaming across India, but is available in post-paid plans only. If you already have a broadband connection at home and a 3G mobile data plan takes care of your online needs on-the-go then don’t read any further.
If you don’t have (or want) broadband connectivity and considering to buy a dongle then this might interest you.
Why should you be interested?
The Photon Max WiFi Duo is better than most WiFi dongles. First, it can be used independently. You are not required to plug it at all. Just charge the device once and the battery will easily support up to around 10 hours. Second, its highly portable. You can place this palm-sized device anywhere in your home or can carry it in your bag. I carried this device in my trouser pockets to connect while walking or while travelling in Delhi Metro.
Tata Docomo claims to offer download speed of up to 9.8mbps and upload speed of up to 3.6mbps. The truth is far from this. I got a maximum average speed of around 1.2mbps for both download and upload when connected to two devices- laptop and smartphone. I used this device in these locations in Delhi/NCR- Sohna Road, Gurgaon; Noida sector 22; my office at ITO; IGI Airport, around New Delhi railway station, CP area and South Delhi.
The Photon Max WiFi Duo offered decent speeds (around 1 mbps) in most parts of Delhi that I mentioned. In most areas in Gurgaon, the speed was okay. The experience was not great in Noida. I suffered frequent drops and the speed was slower. Some areas around IGI Airport were completely cut off. However, you can work with it while you are waiting for your flight at the airport.
While travelling in Delhi Metro, you can expect connectivity only when the train is above ground. Of course, the speeds were lower and you can expect frequent signal drops.
You don’t need to download any app or software to use it, the OTG log-in feature provides much needed relief.
Overall, the actual speed offered is better than 3G mobile broadband and other dongles but less than broadband. So, decide for yourself.
Who should avoid it?
If you live in a basement or if your office work station is in the basement, then you will hardly get any reception. So, avoid it.
Well, if you connect more than three devices, then the fourth device will paralyse the entire network. The Photon Max WiFi Duo offers good experience for a laptop and two smartphones. For heavy applications like SAP, it can cater to only one laptop.
Should you buy it?
Buy it if you need better speeds than a dongle and 3G mobile broadband while on-the-go. Overall, the device offers good value and ease of connectivity.