World of Warcraft: Axxess 626 reviewed
Axxess's 626 account offers unshaped bandwidth at an unbeatable price, but how does it perform in WoW?
An Axxess 626 account is an unshaped bandwidth offering usable with an ADSL line between 6PM to 6AM on weekdays, as well as all day on both Saturdays and Sundays.
The bandwidth is advertised as using the undersea SAT 3 cable as opposed to other cheap ADSL broadband solutions which use slower satellite bandwidth.
Axxess 626 is priced extremely competitively at R45 per GB on a month to month basis, or R55 prepaid.
Latency in World of Warcraft proved to be very volatile whilst using a 626 account. At times we experienced latency as low as 230ms, but other times this jumped to as high as a constant 1200ms.
On average one can expect an average latency in the range of 400 to 600ms.
As expected, we found that latency differs tremendously between realms. Oddly enough, we received a lower ping on highly populated realms than we did on the less populated realms.
Obviously, such a range of volatility in an online game can result in a lot of hair-pulling. Enjoying a low ping, but having to suddenly deal with an extreme lag spike in PvP, for example, is no one’s idea of a satisfying gameplay experience.
Latency generally stayed fairly low, but the spikes did become very annoying at times. Said spikes were nothing game-breaking, and we were still able to function properly. However the experience was rather disappointing for an unshaped product.
How it compares
Axxess’ 626 offers generally lower latency than Telkom’s shaped bandwidth. However, while the latency may be lower, it is also less consistent with lag spikes being far more frequent.
Axxess 626 is generally comparable to unshaped products from other ISPs with the exception that it suffers from regular lag spikes.
On the whole, we were left feeling rather underwhelmed after using the Axxess 626 account. While it most certainly provided a reduction in average latency, the frequent lag spikes and failure to provide any substantial improvement in gameplay experience makes it a bit of a disappointment.
While still offering decent value for those that only use the internet in the evenings, those looking for a good and inexpensive WoW experience may be better off looking at regular shaped bandwidth until Axxess can get the kinks worked out of 626.