Category Archives: Internet

Ping Testing

I don’t know about anyone else, but today has been a strange day on the Internet for streaming. I noticed that Amazon prime’s quality was horrible and the same was true on KODI. KODI might have been a little better because it could buffer more.

I ran and I had over 10 Mpbs and a reasonable Ping time.

Interesting enough, I received the following CC Contact Email today on another Ping utility.

Name: Matt Schmitz
Comment: Hi Chiriqui Chatter,

I was doing some market research on network tools and came across your page on Cable Onda Speed Tests on December 19 here: As an engineer, I have to say that you put together a well-researched, comprehensive list. Nice work!

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but Dotcom-Monitor (the company I work for) has an awesome Ping Test where you can instantly test network connectivity from 20+ locations around the world! We send ICMP packets to the host and measure the response time, logging any errors that occur. I don’t know of any other company that offers the same thing… not for free at least. You can try it yourself at:

Name: Matt Schmitz
Comment: Hi Chiriqui Chatter,


I ran several ping tests to and and got several. Tonight I am getting nothing but failures as seen in my last test.

Ping monitor

How is everyone else’s Internet today or tonight?


One day last week, I had about 5 hours of Internet outage. When the outage was over, I noticed that my Internet speed was running faster. Consistently it is now running 10 Mbps, when it used to be 6 Mbps.

Looking at the Cable Onda site, it appears they have made adjustments in their plans. The plan I was on has lowered it price, but also lowered the Internet speed. I am assuming that my bill will not change and that will account for the increase in Internet speed.

I had another neighbor who was paying for 9 Mbps and is now receiving 15 Mbps. No complaints here, I just don’t understand the changes.

However, knowing that something had changed, will mean I have to pay close attention when the next bill comes out. As long as my monthly charge hasn’t gone up, I am a happy camper.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Jump Into The Internet

More and more seniors are jumping into the Internet. Some are moving to countries like Panama to “Enjoy Paradise”, and need a cheap way to stay in contact with family back home. Some are introduced to FaceBook by their grand children. Some have heard that they can sell their junk on eBay and get more money than at a garage sale.

There is no question that in today’s world, the Internet has become a necessary part of life.

Unfortunately the vast majority of newcomers are not equipped with the knowledge of the traitorous waters they are entering into to protect themselves.

Maybe it is time for another warning that most will skip over without reading.

I do not care if you are a Microsoft Windows advocate, an Apple fan or a Linux maverick. None of the systems are absolutely safe. All have worked hard to make their systems safer, but there will never be a completely safe system as long as humans are using them.

I happened to stumble onto this article and it brought to light a new set of flaws I had not considered. I think most people that use AntiVirus programs never think about the vulnerabilities of those systems. Continue reading Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Jump Into The Internet

Planet Telecom Announces Expanded Coverage from Volcan Baru

I received a request to post the following:

DAVID, Chiriqui, Panama: July 26, 2014: Planet Telecom is pleased to announce the commissioning of our new internet broadcast site on the peak of Volcan Baru.

This new site will help us provide enhanced coverage to many areas where signal was previously weak or unavailable.
As Panama’s highest peak, Volcan Baru is an ideal site for internet transmission, it has the few obstructions, allowing us to provide clients with fast, reliable service.
The areas that will benefit most from this enhanced coverage include: Boquete, Caldera, Palmira, Poterillos, Cuesta de Piedra, Volcan, Cerro Punta, Boca Chica, and Puerto Armuelles.
By adding this site to our network of tower sites across Chiriqui, we will be able to serve more clients in “hard to reach” areas.

About Planet Telecom: Since 2009 Planet Telecom has been providing reliable, high quality, high speed internet service in the province of Chiriqui, Panama. In addition, Planet Telecom provides networking services, security and video surveillance systems as well as cell phone signal boosters.

For additional information, please check out our website:, email at or call us at 777-9200

Dropped My VPN for UNLOCATOR

Yesterday I canceled my WITopia VPN renewal in favor of UNLOCATOR. Today, I received an email from WITopia providing me the reasons for continuing my VPN service.

Here is the content of that email.


I just wanted you to know that your account will not be charged again when your service expires on August 19th.

There are many reasons to use a VPN. I believe just about anyone who uses the Internet can benefit from a VPN.

You may want to use a VPN if:

1.You want to protect your data over the internet
2. You wish to encrypt VOIP traffic (internet voice calls)
3. You use the Internet on public networks, where other users on the same network can tap into your connection.
4. You don’t want search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. storing your every Internet search – forever
5. You wish you navigate the Internet anonymously and privately.
6. You don’t want your ISP monitoring and logging your internet activity – including every webpage you visit.
7. You wish to protect yourself from identity theft.

Just a few things to consider before discontinuing use of the VPN entirely.

Thanks for trying us out.


First let me say that my service with WITopia was stellar and their reasons are worth considering. My primary reason for using WITopia and UNLOCATOR is to be able to utilize NetFlix and other US services that are blocked in Panama. UNLOCATOR satisfies those needs with less speed degradation than a VPN.

Still the issues listed in in WITopia’s email are worth talking about. Continue reading Dropped My VPN for UNLOCATOR

Unlocator out of Beta

Unlocator has ended its beta environment and the free trial is over. I received an email the other day that I had it another 7 days and now was the time to pay the piper. I just did that. I went for the one year $49.95 option.

As I have written before, I have been using Unlocator since it began beta. I have been very happy with the service. It has been much faster than using my VPN because it does not encrypt the transmission both ways. It does not replace the need for a VPN, but if you use it to watch a service in the US such as Netflix, I have found it much better.

Another benefit over VPN is that it behaves much better with Gmail. I continually had problems with Gmail and the VPN because it saw me entering from different places and would make me sign in manually to verify it was me. Unilocator uses the local IP address.

While it is not free, it is reasonably priced. HERE is the link if you want to keep the service. Note also that they changed the DNS addresses, so if you are still using the old DNS, now is the time to change.

Internet Advice needed For A Reader

Any readers with experience that might answer this CC question I just received?

The info I have read about internet in your blog seems dated. I am wanting any new info on who the best provider would be for me in 2014.

I am on an island in the bay of Meurtos. About 7-8 kms from Boca Chica.

We have used a usb internet stick from Claro but it was hit & miss. Planet Telecom is out on Boca Bravo & with a small tower I could get line of sight & make it work. I think MoviStar has a system for internet too. Claro seems to have a 4 G modem router. I am not sure if it would work better. The stick we were using would be on & off. Some days it would work alright, some not much at all.
Satellite is an option & VOIP phone may be able to be bundled.

Any of your readers have any recent pearls of knowledge to share??

Happy new year to you & yours.

Why I Write About Technology

I realize I write many posts related to technology. Every time I do, I receive comments and emails that tell me that many readers tune out when they see one of these posts.

So why do I do it? Well, for one thing, technology has always been a large part of my life, both as a hobby and as a profession. However, a bigger reason is that if you are a person moving from the US or Europe or any first world country and have most of your family ties back in your country of origin, then you will have to become more familiar with technology than had you not moved.

Even though I realize you have to be a little conversant with technology or you would not be reading this blog, and even though I have written similar posts in the past, I will do one more.


As you can see from the recent posts, on Proof Of Life, the mail system in Panama is not very dependable. Most people use a Mail Forwarding Company to receive normal mail and packages. Not cheap, but dependable. I currently use Multiservicios International De Chiriquí.

Most of these types of services are similar. None are perfect, but if you find one you like, switching will rarely be worth the trouble.

For the amount of mail I get from the US, this has been the cheapest I have found.

To satisfy a Proof of Life address, I am now using a PO Box in David. I will use it only for Taxes and Social Security. I also will not count on it being 100% dependable. I am still waiting for my first letter from the US which was sent a month ago. Next week I will chat with the management. I hope they don’t go postal. Continue reading Why I Write About Technology