Before you buy a Globe Tattoo, there’s things you should know

Before you head to the nearest Globe branch, there are a few things you should know first about Globe Tattoo:

(Link: Why Is Philippine Internet Speed So Slow, Though?)


 So you’re fed up with the speed of your present Internet provider?   Smart or SUN Broadband signals not working?   DSL not reliable enough?   Or you just want Globe Broadband as your first ever Internet service?

Before you head to the nearest Globe branch, there are a few things you should know first about Globe Tattoo:

  1. There are no guarantees to a fast speed.

 You must have seen many Globe commercials talking about breakneck speeds, of “up tos”—up to 2mbps, up to 7mbps, etc.  They keep on saying it is a fast alternative to DSL.

Well, right before you sign a contract with Globe, there are things the sales agent would have to say (if they don’t, remind them): there are four signals in a Globe Tattoo: GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA.   I think the default goes between EDGE and 3G.   Anyway, you should know that HSDPA is the fast signal speed, and the others are Dial-up speeds.   Depending on where you are right now, you might be enjoying fast speeds, or—and this is the majority of Globe users—tearing your hair out with the slowness of the Internet.   Right off the bat, the sales agent doesn’t guarantee fast speeds.  It’s in the contract, if you read it.

There are solutions to make your Globe Tattoo faster (Click here for an article on making Globe Tattoo faster).   But THAT is also NOT a guarantee you’ll have a fast speed.  Probably if you ask this to a sales agent, they’ll talk about congestions, or locations, or signal strengths.  All those factors play into the speed.   And you will have slow speeds even with HSDPA signal.  Even with 99% signal strength.    There’s no use talking to Customer Service, as they’ll also say they don’t guarantee a fast speed for a Tattoo.

 Buy the Tattoo for the Internet, not for the fast speed.

  1. It’s not consistent

So you do get a fast speed?  Must be your lucky day.  Globe Tattoo must be in a good mood.  That’s not a guarantee you’ll have fast speeds all day.   Chances are the Globe Broadband will slow down after a while, sometimes crawling.   Sometimes your page loading will be so slow (or at a standstill) you’ll be forced to “restart”—disconnect, reconnect—your Tattoo.

And while we’re at it, let’s not forget that sometimes Globe Tattoo disconnects for no apparent reason.  Remote Computer terminates the connection.   The Globe Tattoo promptly disconnects, detects the Device, and gets ready to be connected again.    Maybe some locations do not have this problem, but others in first-hand experience do experience it.   I got Dial-up speeds in Trinoma mall where once I got >1.0 mbps speeds.

The upside is that where you have generally slow Internet connection, sometimes Globe Tattoo gives you fast speeds.  The connection somehow becomes stronger, you get HSDPA and fast speeds (they don’t always come together), and you download fast.   You pray that happens, because when they do, you bless your stars for that lucky day.

And the sales agent might not mention that to you.

So if you’re using a Tattoo, don’t download directly.  Use a Torrent client program or something.  If not, your Download will be CONSTANTLY interrupted.

  1. There’s a Download Limit

 So you got a Prepaid Tattoo?  You subscribed to the Unlimited Surfing?  You subscribed to Internet guaranteed for days?   Well, one advice for the Prepaid users: there’s a download limit.   Let me explain: if you decide to download a file, or several files, there’s a limit to how much you download.   I remember the limit is 8GB.  If you download beyond the limit, or reach the limit, your Internet speeds screech to a halt.  YOU GET DIAL-UP SPEEDS. 

Okay, I’m not sure how much is the download limit of a Globe Prepaid (I chose to Postpaid).   You could check or Google Globe’s Fair Usage Policy.  Apparently it’s to curtail too much congestion of the bandwidth or something.  I think it’s to combat piracy (pirates DO download large GB files).

Here’s the thing: the sales agent may probably NOT mention that to you.  They’ll mention the Internet slowness, but not the Fair Usage Policy.   They won’t mention it to you until you ask it on the Customer Service.  I do not have first-hand experience of it, but Prepaid users scream and rail to the heavens about the download cap.   The download cap happens monthly.  And there are many ways to download.  If you stream videos, you download.  You just know that the download cap is reached when the Internet becomes super-slow.

Unli or no Unli.

Verdict: Be Informed

So there you have it.  You watch commercials and coo over the fast speeds of Globe Tattoo, and the testimonials of the Next-Gen users.   But remember that Globe never tells you everything about the Tattoo, and the Sales Agent selling you the Tattoo will not tell you everything.  So my best advice is to read this article, Google Globe Tattoo, read forums, and be informed.

Don’t buy Globe Tattoo until you are well informed.

Update 12-14-2012:  I have realized (at least have known for some time) that the disconnection by the Globe Tattoo can be partially blamed for the extension cable.  I used the one at CD-R king and it disconnects even USB drives.  So I’m looking for an extension cable that could work AND while I can’t use it at home, it’s a different thing at work.

Here’s a success story when using it at work.

Update 8-18-2014: There have been several things happening since I lasted posted this.  For one thing, I no longer use the stick at home because I was offered in early 2013 a Pocket Wifi.  The Pocket Wifi, like the Tattoo, is fast when needed… but there have been many times that it doesn’t connect.  You have to go outside to get a signal, or place it at a window.  However, it no longer disconnects, since it’s not a USB type stick.  I also have Mobile Data sometimes in my phone, which is also erratic in connection, but surprisingly more stable than the Pocket Wifi.

All in all, I still have no stable connection at home.   For those who’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned using DSL, here’s why.


The Long Update, 9/9/2014:

After much soul searching and investigation, I came to the conclusion that the slow Internet that Globe tattoo gives me (even with the Pocket Wifi), was due to an existing Fair Usage Policy.   To recall, every day has a 1GB cap.  Every month has a 3GB cap.  You go beyond this, the Internet slows down.   So I tested this.

A few less than 5-minute videos later (and this came from the Udemy website, which provides online courses), the Internet had slowed to a crawl.  In those few five-minute videos, I’d already spent 1GB of allowable usage.  You see, while Globe tries to pat us on the back, telling us of the many wonderful things we can do with 1GB worth of usage, I can think of several things it can’t allow:

-A more than 1GB Android game

-downloads for the Emulators of the Android SDK (for Developers)

-Streaming five-minute videos (one class)

-An online game which requires constant connection

-Online movies like Netflix (streaming costs lots of GB)

-Online radio (still streaming)

-New legal PC games which require download of additional data online

-Ubuntu Linux (the ISO) available online

I just learned over their Customer Service that Unlimited Internet does not exist anymore.  So Unli Surf?  A fantasy.  Unlimited Internet?  Not practical.  It only seems like unlimited surfing if you browse pages.  But geez, it’s no longer 1995 (I used that year because I remembered the E-heads song).   People don’t go to the Internet to “browse pages”.    What can 1GB of video streaming allow?  A few Youtube videos?   How do you expect to watch international movies when they’re not available in retail stores?  I don’t mind subscribing to Netflix or Spotify to get my Music or Movies.  Even iTunes.  But consider other countries: do they put limits to how much people can watch movies online?

This is not a long rant.  A rant is an endless plethora of words mostly with no grounds on fact but simple vitriol at an existing grievance.  This, however, is a well thought-of rebuttal of Globe’s justification of the Fail Usage Policy (that’s not a typo).   They only see the side of preventing piracy, when legitimate Internet activities are held by a leash–no, chains on the neck and feet.

Anyway, my advice in this update: go to; The username is usually defaulted to admin, no password.   Then check the statistics.  This is where you see your overall usage, whether you’ve exceeded the 3GB data cap (which resets every month) or the 1GB data cap (which resets every day).  I watch every stream I make with this web page.  Thankfully when I watched the Samsung Note 4 launch on live stream, I managed to keep the data usage below 1GB.   If you want to complain to NTC, bear in mind that the government agency summoned Globe to answer complaints on the FUP last February… and look! we still have data capping.

That’s it.