Internet in Thailand

Connecting to the internet in Thailand
Updated 2022-05-06 14:59

Having reliable internet is a priority for many foreigners living in Thailand — not just for work reasons if they are 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 a wide range of 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.

If you are going to be in Thailand for the long-term and are a regular internet user, then it makes sense to get a SIM card and WiFi router at home, which tends to be the cheapest option available and means you can jump online 24/7 wherever, whenever. You can also set up a wireless WiFi hotspot at your home or use an ethernet cable.

If you want to get a home internet package, it is a good idea to ask your landlord what they advise once you have found a place to live. They will 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.

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

How to get internet in Thailand

It is straightforward to get hooked up to the internet in Thailand, and there is very little waiting time. Upon arriving in Thailand, you can purchase a SIM card with high-speed internet at the airport for as low as THB 300. You will only need to give them your information such as name, country of origin, and passport copy as they need to register the number under your name.

Moreover, for those who want to stay for long in the kingdom, it will be a not-too-long process. They will need to show proof of a work permit to get it in their name. Deposit is not an issue on this as most internet providers now do not ask for it. 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 will set a schedule for them to go to your place and set up. Most stores will have very helpful English-speaking staff, especially in places in malls 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 in Thailand

If you don't feel the need to have internet at home, you may use public WiFi provided in malls, restaurants, cafes, and hotels — especially in popular tourist destinations. You can either use your phone or bring your own laptop and use their WiFi connection. Internet cafes charge by the minute or the hour, and prices vary depending on whether you are in a tourist stretch, a central business district, or a suburban area.

Internet speed in Thailand

WiFi and cellular speed in Thailand have significantly improved over the years. In fact, in 2020 the country ranked in second place out of all ASEAN member states when it came to internet speed — with the fixed broadband download speed estimated at166.81 Mbps.

Phone data can reach up to 10 GB for a low price. As long as you are within your data in your package, you get it at the maximum speed that the company can provide, however, when you have finished your data, they won't cut the internet. Instead, they will give you a lower speed that is not enough to browse photos.

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