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Connecting to the internet in Thailand

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Having reliable internet is a priority for many foreigners living in Thailand — not just for work reasons if they're a digital nomad or a start-up entrepreneur, but also as a means to keep in touch with family and friends back in their home country. Luckily, there is a long list of internet service providers in Thailand, especially in big cities like Bangkok. If you don't want to have to go to an internet cafe every time you want to jump online, then you have a wide choice of home internet packages and mobile data plans that could suit your needs.

As the world of technology is advancing rapidly, and as different providers and packages offer different services and deals, your best bet would be to do your research when you get to Thailand to find out what best meets your needs. Once you're in situ, you'll have a better idea of your budget and priorities — affordability, speed or consistency. If you're going to be in Thailand for the long-term and are a regular internet user, then it usually makes sense to get a broadband ADSL connection, which tends to be the cheapest option available and means you can jump online 24/7. You can also set up a wireless WiFi hotspot at your home or just use an ethernet cable.

If you want to get a home internet package, it's a good idea to ask your new neighbours what they advise once you have found a place to live. They'll have a better idea about service in your area and your building, as some service providers — even those with a relatively good reputation — may have slow or erratic performance depending on the area of the city or even factors like weather.

You can pay for an internet package on a monthly basis and there are some main players in this crowded field — 3BB, TOT, True and AIS. New players on the market may be able to offer a less congested network and more bandwidth than older neworks, so ask around when you get to Thailand to see who's offering the best service in your city at the time.

Process

It's very easy to get hooked up to the internet in Thailand and there's very litte waiting time. The only problem for foreigners who wish to set up their own internet is that it's tied to a phone line, which needs to either be set up with the landlord in their name, or you will need to show proof of a work permit to get it in your name. You may also need to pay a big deposit. Some internet service providers do waive the work permit requirement, but it depends on the provider.

If you have a work permit, once you have chosen your service provider, you will just need to walk into a store, tell the staff what package you want and they'll set you up right then and there. Most stores will have very helpful English-speaking staff, especially in places like Siam Paragon in Bangkok.

In most cases for a post-paid plan, you will need to bring a signed photocopy of your passport, and show your Non-Immigrant visa and work permit. Depending on the service provider, you may also need to show a copy of the owner's house registration, a signed copy of the owner's Thai ID card, and a photocopy of your lease.

Besides the monthly fee, there may be a once-off set-up fee. It usually takes just a few days until you are connected, and most providers will give you a free ADSL modem.

Internet cafés and WiFi

If you don't feel the need to have internet at home, there are numerous internet cafes all over Thailand — especially in the popular tourist destinations. You can either use the computers that are there, or bring your own laptop and use their WiFi connection or ethernet cable. Internet cafes charge by the minute or the hour, and prices vary depending on whether you're in a tourist stretch, central business district, or a suburban area. Many hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes also offer free WiFi hotspots, although some high-end hotels can charge quite steep prices for it.

 Useful links:

3 BB
Ji Net
A Net
KSC
CAT Internet
Inet

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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