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Using Echo Dot 2 in Shangluo University, Shaanxi, China

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Using Echo Dot 2 in Shangluo University, Shaanxi, China
« on: January 07, 2017, 04:57:37 pm »
Hello all.  I am an American ESL teacher here. I have been through most of the International threads and see that I may be the only member (new) using Dot 2 in China.I know most folks probably don't care but I thought I would post my experiences and how it performs here.

First, the installation was a nightmare but I believe that is because of the awful bandwidth I get during the day. I ran some speed tests and in the day download speed is down to less than 1mbps. At 6:00am it moves up to about 5mbps. Eventually got everything installed and it worked, sort of. Could give commands and alexa would try to carry them out but often failed. Lots of dropouts and lost connections. I tried every setting on my router but no improvement.

Then I got up at 4am, did some speed tests and when I would get above 3mbps, the Dot worked fine, no dropouts, no lost connections. Everyone is asleep and I can get some bandwidth.
So, the Echo Dot is a fun toy I can only play with in the early morning hours, the rest of the time it is too frustrating to use. Too bad for me but I am glad I can play with and will try making a skill at some point.

I purchased it on taobao.com (chinese version of amazon.com) for about 80 bucks. Don't know if it is a knockoff, or a second, returned, or what. Seems legitimate but when I emailed Amazon about my initial problems they said it is not for sale in or to China and would not work. It works fine if you have some bandwidth but yeah, cannot put local address although it gives local time as you can select Asia. I get local weather by using Big Sky skill.
Guess that is it.

Re: Using Echo Dot 2 in Shangluo University, Shaanxi, China
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 06:25:10 pm »
Interesting story.  I am amazed that a university has such pathetic bandwidth; I would expect 1mbps bandwidth from free wi-fi at MacDonalds, etc, but at a university; especially in a tech savvy country?

Have you explored making your cell phone a local hotspot and connecting the Dot to it's wi-fi?  Might work.

Also, ask the U's IT dept if there is another, faster network you can connect to?

Re: Using Echo Dot 2 in Shangluo University, Shaanxi, China
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 09:10:20 pm »
Hi Mike. Thanks for the response. It is a small insignificant university in the mountains in a small town (2 million) that has one KFC and no McDs and no pubs of course but lots of noodle joints with free wifi and we do have a cinema. They just upgraded our internet for the teachers and this is it - doesn't get any better than this. I asked one of the techs that was installing the new system about the slow response and he looked at my screen and said: Oh well you are going to those foreign websites - what do you expect?

I do have one other option I have never tried - I can buy a card and access the ChinaNet Wifi and perhaps get some decent bandwidth. I do have a question you may be able to answer. If I do that, I have to login in their wifi - once I have signed in then will the Echo Dot work through my router?

I will try your suggestion of using my phone as a hot-spot next. THanks.

Re: Using Echo Dot 2 in Shangluo University, Shaanxi, China
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 12:44:38 am »
In answer to your last question regarding passwords, see this similar link below I replied to recently;

http://www.echotalk.org/index.php/topic,1389.msg8142.html#msg8142