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The Internet here is AWFUL

When planning a trip to China, be aware that the internet is ridiculously slow. Generally, I get dialup speeds. That is, when I have internet. Often it will just die entirely. This is a common problem that everyone I’ve talked to has mentioned, so I know it’s not just me.

For things that do not require a login, I generally just use the internet without protection of a VPN or SSH tunnel. It’s way too slow and unreliable otherwise. But for things like Facebook and many of my email accounts, I run a SSH tunnel to my computer in Wisconsin and then use VNC over that SSH tunnel to connect to that desktop, and then use Facebook and check most of my mail  from there. That part is REALLY slow, so it takes a long time to check my accounts, but I don’t want to give up the security and check stuff without protection.

At the office we have a problem with the wireless networks; for the past week they’ve been going down every few minutes, and when they are up, they are very slow. I ran a test and tried plugging a cable into the router, and that improved the situation significantly. We should be getting wires to our desks soon.

At home, I’m extremely disappointed. Most of the time there is no internet at all. The odd part is that for a few days it worked until 10pm, then died suddenly and didn’t come back until the afternoon the next day. I have a good connection to the router 24/7, so it is my suspicion that someone downstairs is turning off a critical component that connects to the internet when their shift starts/ends and it’s killing the internet, though I wonder if other people are affected. Still, not having internet at home makes me feel like an inmate in my tiny apartment, and it’s hurting my ability to get things done, like update this blog.

My phone now has internet, and that has been good, but with a limit on the amount of bandwidth, I can’t get too excited. I use it for maps, google translate, communicating with people, skype, and checking one of my mail accounts.

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