One thing many visitors and people planning to move to Thailand want to know is this — is internet in Thailand reliable? Overall, unfortunately, we have to say “No, it’s not.”
Visitors to Thailand may initially be taken in by the ready availability of internet. It is everywhere and, much of the time, in hotels, restaurants and cafes, it’s free. But, being available isn’t the same as meaning it’s reliable internet.
Four things you’ll often find with internet reliability in Thailand:
1. ISPs will periodically just turn internet connections off. Some people say it’s to reset equipment. Others say its to stop the rampant downloading of torrents, which uses tons of bandwidth. Whatever the reason, some ISPs will turn the internet connections off a couple of times a day or more, and they’re off for a few minutes. Highly annoying when you’re in the middle of work or trying to download something.
2, Internet speeds are very slow in Thailand. Compared to Europe, where I spend a lot of time, and other countries in Asia like Hong Kong and Malaysia, Thai internet is slow and, for downloading, it’s abysmal.
3. Location has a lot to do with reliable internet in Thailand. If you end up just at the end of a signal, in a coffee shop, hotel or even in your own apartment, it can be miserable for getting and keeping a decent internet connection and there’s nothing you can do about it.
4. If you get internet connection in the building you live in, 99 percent of the time it will be shared which means, at peak hours, you could have a couple of hundred people on it,and that slows it down to a crawl.
5. More than 100,000 websites are blocked in Thailand with more being added every week. Just about as restrictive as China now, Thailand has a world-wide reputation as one of the biggest censors of the internet., meaning some websites you want to access may just not be accessible from Thailand. In the past, CNN, BBC, The Economist, Blogger, YouTube and Facebook have been some of the websites Thai censors block.
The only reason I’m writing this is this morning, as usual, I’m having internet problems. I use the internet in my building which has two providers and, frankly, both are pretty abysmal so it’s a toss up which works the best that week. I do however pay for both, just to be on the safe side.
Today, like many a day, I just spent an hour and a half getting kicked off the net every three minutes. Imagine how much work I didn’t get done. My building manager finally hit the ‘Reset’ button on the internet connection and now it’s smoking. That will last until folks start coming home from work then…..well, your guess is as good as mine.
Now, if all you want is internet access to be able to check email and get on Facebook then, yes, most of the time Thailand internet is reliable enough for that, so you’ll have no problem even if the speed isn’t what you’re used to at home.
However, if you’re wanting to do work online and need a 100 percent reliable internet service then, with Thailand, unfortunately you’re in the wrong country.