TATA Indicom Plug 2 Surf

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sourav

In the zone
I'm sure you already know about the Tata Indicom Plug 2 Surf -- with all these ads flashing in our face during the entire World Cup series. One ad goes like this: Bollywood celebrity Kajol walks in on an aspiring model and a couple of her friends. She inserts the Plug 2 Surf (a USB device) into the laptop and presto! They are connected to the Internet. Let's investigate this little device and see if it really provides for a happy ending (read a good solution for your net connection).

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USB modem

Driver CD & manual

Options

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Plug 2 Surf is a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) device, and it comes in 2 options. One is a standard Plug 2 Surf and the other is Plug 2 Surf Whiz. The main difference between the 2 is that while the first supports only Windows OS (including Vista), the latter supports several OSes (including Windows OS) except for Vista.

Setup

The Plug 2 Surf is an easy install. Just insert the mini-disc into your optical drive and run the setup. A restart after the install completes, and then you attach the USB modem and you're good to go. The "Plug 2 Surf" is possibly inspired from "Plug-n-Play" -- though it doesn't really work as one: you need to have the mini-disc present.

Tariff Plan

While considering the purchase of this device, it's mandatory to pick a tariff plan as well -- else the device is useless. There are about half a dozen tariffs to choose from, but all of them are time- or data-based -- quite an expensive deal actually. Here are the plans available:-

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The phone plan is standard, and pricing is pretty average, considering that you'd be using the device more for Internet access.

Features

The Plug 2 Surf has a list of features that make it more than just an Internet device. You can also use it to make and receive calls and send and receive SMSes as well. But it doesn't happen with the net connected, as it's just a modem and can do just 1 thing at a time -- either Internet or call or SMS.

The device uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module), so it's going to be easy to use your Tata Indicom SIM that you use in your phone. Just call the customer service and activate the scheme of your choice. Thus, you save the cost of a separate SIM

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The software that is bundled along with the device syncs the SIM with the PC. It lets you read and send SMSes as well. You can also add and edit contacts and make calls through the address book option. The SIM can hold 1,000 SMSes and phonebook entries each

Internet


The Internet connection of the Tata Indicom Plug 2 Surf is decent. It takes about 5 seconds to establish connection after you hit the connect button on the dialer. Surfing in the worst connected areas, I could still surf one site at a time peacefully. That would be about 4-5KBps. Move to a good network range, and Web pages open without much waiting. I conducted some Internet speed tests, and here are the results. We took one from McAfee "SpeedoMeter" and the other from CNet "Bandwidth Meter". In both cases the speed test results were around 15KBps. Even while conducting real-time download tests, the results were more or less the same while downloading from either http or P2P networks. The speed mentioned is 153Kbps, which translates to 19KBps

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Experience

I was expecting a plug-n-play thing. But the Plug 2 Surf didn't turn out that way. You need to install drivers, which come on a mini-CD, before you can connect. The mini disc could easily have been eliminated from the equation by just adding some memory within the device. There would be no hassles of running around with a CD, and that would have made it a complete Plug-n-Play device, just as shown in the advertisement. The memory provided could have been a 1GB or so just to make it a combination of Plug-n-Play Internet and a pen drive. But just like there are 2 sides to a coin, there could be issues with having memory installed. It could heat up the device more than it presently does. (CDMA network devices tend to heat up very easily.) So, adding memory could lead to an eventual malfunction and the device going faulty.

Conclusion

The Tata Indicom Plug 2 Surf connects through the most standard interface USB. And it sells for Rs.2,600 with a SIM. Add to that your tariff plan charges, which will be time- or data-based. The deal here is that you wish to have a net connection that you can take with you and use it with both you laptop as well as desktop PC. Finally, its build: it has a nice, black matt plastic.

Source:
http://www.techtree.com/India/Reviews/Tata_Indicom_Plug_2_Surf/551-83817-538-1.html
 

QwertyManiac

Commander in Chief
Lol yeah I was wondering the same thing, why are you saying 15kbps is good? Its lower than those old phreaking days modem rates! But then, speed tests aren't exactly accurate in the first place. You just started off a KBps vs Kbps war again :p
 

Kiran.dks

Technomancer
Yes. 15KBps is what one gets using Data cards. Expensive in long run.
For 1GB data transfer---> Rs.700 / month
Instead get a EDGE enabled mobile and subscribe to GPRS. The speed is the same. But lot cheaper. Rs350/month unlimited data transfer!
 

aneesh kalra

Mclaren F1 Long tail
This is not his orignal review he has just copy pasted it from techtree,having personally run the above on a laptop running vista business it is nothing but pathetic,high speed internet is all crap and it only is a little faster than dial up and clearly here the famous phrase upto 153 Kbps has been misued to the full extent and real speeds are in the order of around 64Kbps or 8KBps even in open areas.IMHO it is still not a good product from tata and we still are being charged exhobirant prices for overtly poor speeds.The above device is useful only where your laptop does not have a pcmcia slot otherwise a data card is still better you do not have to plug and unplug it although it may not give you any increase in speed.As a conclusion the wireless solutions from reliance and tata are still providing poor speeds for the prices being charged and as kiran said one is better off with a mobile for using internet on your laptop.
 

topgear

Super Moderator
Staff member
^^^^ That's shocking - I am also facing probs with reliance connction

anyway thanks sourav for this review
 

Abhishek Dwivedi

TechFreakiez.com
thx for da review...i was about 2 buy dat connection....but i'll not buy it....lolz...its realy a piece of shi*....now can ne one suggest me an EDGE enabled cheap cell phone and details on AIRTEL GPRS connection thru which i can connect 2 internet...
 
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sourav

sourav

In the zone
thanx for this, i did copy from techtree, you can see the source.

but, i am using this, it is not so bad, but you should not think it of as alternate to your broadband connection. if u compare this to broadband, this would be wrong.

i agree tariff plan is not correct and in comparison of spped and tariff, it is lot better than reliance.

If you are taking laptop, then please think off BSNL datacard. It is a lot better option in comparison to this. But i cannot to that as it is PCMCIA based and no desktop support pcmcia interface and as i have sometimes connect it to laptop and sometimes to pc.

N.B.: I made this so that everybody can know about this.
 

advitiyas

Right off the assembly line
still a long way to go, i think wi max/3g will be better. also there is a problem with conectivty. you keep losing conectivity every time u try to d/l some big file.
 

desiibond

Bond, Desi Bond!
ax3 said:
thanx 4 this review .......... will get it 4 my laptop ........

Dude. Better stay away from this. There is not unlimited data option.

My colleague got this and at the end of the month, got a bill of Rs.1500 saying that he exceeded 1gig limit. All that he used internet is for chatting, checking mails. Better go for service that gives unlimited data
 

ax3

Cool as a CUCUMBAR ! ! !
oops ...... i will have 2 think again .......

am looking 2 surf from my laptop ...... as my landline wires r 2 BAD & have an old exchange ....... so no chance of calling them .......
 
OP
sourav

sourav

In the zone
advitiyas said:
still a long way to go, i think wi max/3g will be better. also there is a problem with conectivty. you keep losing conectivity every time u try to d/l some big file.

my connection doesnot drop at all at any time
 

almighty

Ambassador of Buzz
Airtel MO rocks ....in 249 buck UL with 15-16 kBps :)
See the difference
My net speed with nokia 3230 (Non EDGE)
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