High-Speed internet access in Costa Rica is good enough to do streaming among other things.
It’s pretty much easy and convenient to get internet access here, thanks to the modern telecommunication infrastructure in the country.
In fact, Costa Rica has the second-best and highest internet coverage in Latin America. That should convince you that you won’t have problems with connecting to the internet from Costa Rica.
Traveling to another country is always fun and all. But many people are worried about the internet connection while traveling. Since they want to be able to access the internet without problems while traveling. And honestly, it can get boring or even scary to not have any internet access in a foreign country.
So, we’re going to talk about internet access you can get while traveling in Costa Rica. How good the internet is, where you can get internet, the cost of internet access, and so on.
Internet access in Costa Rica
First, I want to open with the general situation of the internet connection in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, you have several options that you can choose to gain access to the internet.
Every internet connection goes through Grupo Ice and its subsidiary RACSA, which are owned by the state and the only providers of telephone, data communications, and internet in Costa Rica.
So, what are your options? There are three of them, free Wi-Fi, internet cafés, and home internet. RACSA has built much free Wi-Fi in popular sports throughout Costa Rica. Places like shopping malls, airports, tourist spots, hotels, restaurants, and many more have free Wi-Fi access for everyone.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of an internet café, it’s basically a place where anyone can rent a computer to access the internet. You can rent it for an hour, five hours, or however long you want.
It’s generally very cheap and depending on the internet café, some offer great services like food and drink, private area, membership, etc.
It’s easy to find an internet café in Costa Rica since people love to visit and spend their time in one. You can visit every small town in Costa Rica and find at least one internet café.
As for internet speeds, it varies. You can get internet speed as slow as 56k modems, to something really fast with high-speed access.
For home or office internet, you have plenty of options. The cheapest option is dial up, though I don’t think you want this option. ADSL is another cheap option and much better than dial up. You can use the internet by using your phone line.
A cable modem is a decent alternative and is available for people who have access to Amnet or Cable Tica.
WiMax is a new broadband service that is available in Costa Rica. You can get internet access via a wireless antenna and it’s pretty good.
Wi-Fi and home internet
So now we know that you can get access to Wi-Fi in Costa Rica. And for the quality, it’s safe to say that it’s the same just like everywhere. You can get fast speed in a big city and much lower speed the further away you are from any big city.
San Jose is the best place to get high internet speed. Even better than the government has begun to install fiber optic all across the country. It’s going to take time before they can cover every area though.
That being said Wi-Fi is readily available in the country. Airports, cities’ central parks, and other crowded locations are always equipped with Wi-Fi connections. You won’t have any difficulties connecting to the internet.
Remember that public places have an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. So, while you can access high-speed internet with free Wi-Fi, security is a big concern. Many hotels offer free and secure Wi-Fi that comes with their room rates. But you must be careful since some hotels’ Wi-Fi can only be accessed in their reception or lobby area.
It’s also recommended to avoid hotels that charge you money for Wi-Fi. Because in this day and age, many people are relying on the internet for their work. Charging more for Wi-Fi is outdated and many places have received complaints about it.
Some people have reported that they can get around 10 megabytes of the internet in rural areas. That is pretty good considering that some of them live very far out like on the slopes of Volcano Irazú.
Of course, you can’t rely on free Wi-Fi when you’re in rural areas. It’s common for people to make a contract with an ISP to get internet access. The longer the contract, the cheaper the prices are going to be. For 10 megabytes, you might have to pay around $55 per month. You’ll get an antenna that can easily be installed in your place.
Internet cafes in Costa Rica
Internet cafés are a good alternative when you can’t get internet access anyway else. And they’re so easy to find, almost every medium-sized town has at least one internet café. You can ask your taxi driver and they will take you to the nearest café.
Many internet cafés in Costa Rica has gone out of business. If you’re planning to come back to Costa Rica again, you might have to find a different internet café since the other one is no longer operating.
Obviously, internet cafés with high internet speeds will be more expensive than ones with slower internet speeds. The rates vary from $1 to $8 an hour. You can apply for a membership and get a lower price.
Cell reception in Costa Rica
Cell reception is pretty good in the country. There are three biggest carriers that you can choose: Movistar, Claro, and Kolbi. Choose one that works best for you depending on where you are. Some people have reported that Movistar works best almost everywhere in Costa Rica.
You can pretty much always get 4G or 3G everywhere. 3G is more common in rural areas where 4G is not possible to get. You’ll get LTE most of the time.
You can get 10 to 12 megabytes of the internet for download easily. On average, you’ll have to pay around $30 a month for internet and calls. You can also use your US phone. Make sure that you change up the SIM card and that it’s unlocked.
You can use WhatsApp, Skype, or even downloading files with no problems. You can watch any TV show that you want and talk to anybody using the internet.
Most people in Costa Rica use WhatsApp to communicate and if you prefer Skype, you can use with without issues.
Streaming movies and watching US TV channels
Many people have asked this question before, can you use a streaming service like Netflix and watch US TV channels? The answer is yes.
Netflix is available in Costa Rica and it has more Spanish stations and movies compared to the one in the US. The rest are available in English, so you don’t have to worry about that. Everything else is the same as anywhere else. Apple Box and Amazon Prime can also be used in Costa Rica.
Watching US TV channels might be a little bit more difficult though. You can connect to Sky TV and gain access to US TV channels. You can even get local channels like the ones in Ohio for example.
Hulu is also accessible and probably the easiest method to watch US TV channels. You can pay more for additional channels like CBC, CNN, Fox, BBC, and whatever else you want.
Not everything is going to be the same mind you but should be good enough. So there you have it. Costa Rica has pretty much every internet connection that you might need.
Remember to always keep your data safe while accessing public Wi-Fi and read the pricing and contract before you pay.