I have been having internet issues with my Home Fibre connection for a long time now.
I have also not shied away from airing some of them, and the team at Home Fibre has done its best to address them, but not to my satisfaction because it can only do so much, and the help I’m given under a leash called ‘business decisions.’
For instance, we complained about Safaricom introducing speed caps, and it all boiled down to the company trying to clamp down resellers.
It was a good move on their side to protect their interests, but high-usage customers were sacrificed during the development.
These customers have since stopped complaining (probably because they have moved to another product or have gotten used to living with a 1 TB allocation), which, of course, is expected because Kenyans have a knack for forgetting things very fast.
That aside, Safaricom has been issuing dual-band Home Fibre routers for some time now.
This is to say that if you got your first Home Fibre connection in the last one year or two, then you have a better router with great features and improved software.
For a long time, yours truly have been using a router issued by the operator from 2017. It had a 2.4 GHz band only, and was very vulnerable to interference from other frequencies.
This meant that my connection could get very slow in my busy flat especially in the evenings when all people are home from work.
It could slow connections down to a halt, and that is exact moment when I aired my frustrations, mostly on Twitter.
All these issues considered, I had a chat with a Home Fibre customer care representative who explained the whole scenario to me. The guy advised that I get their modern dual-band routers, and that is what I got in just under two hours or so after booking a ticket.
The new routers have two bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The latter is newer, meaning less devices are using it. Basically, it is less crowded, hence devices linked to it have stable and slightly faster connections.
Additional benefits are as follows: the router can go up to 100 times the wireless bandwidth because it is able to pick from two bands; in some cases, it has a dedicated network for video streaming, which most of us do; the two separate networks imply that interference is minimal; and the two bands operate simultaneously.
However, you should remember that the 5 GHz band has a shorter range than 2.4 GHz. This means that the former is poor as you move away from your router, whereas the latter is more consistent even when you move away from the device.
Ideally, just get connected to the 5 GHz band if you are near it. Often, routers are in our living room areas, so that is where you should use the band most. Also, connect other devices such as the TV to 5 GHz because TVs are mostly near routers. In your bedroom, however, you can still use the 5GHz connection if it performs well over there, else just stick to 2.4 GHz.
There are modern routers with three bands (two 5GHz) that are even better in terms of bandwidth allocation. Safaricom does not have them, yet, but we hope it will start issuing them out in the future. Hopefully.