Advice Needed for Reliable Internet Service

robalec

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Jun 17, 2015
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Hello, I had a three week trip cut short earlier this year because I could not get reliable internet service.

For full disclosure, I was staying in a budget hotel in Gazcue area, SD.

With that said, can I get some advice on how to book a place with reliable internet?

Should I look for Air bnb deals where people rent out their apartments? If so, should I ask the renter who their provider is?

I really need to count on stable internet for work. Not just internet for facebooking, but for full scale browsing on alaptop. I lived in the Philippines for two years, and my service was reliable. If the Philippines can do it, then so can DR...I would hope...
 

the gorgon

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Sep 16, 2010
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Hello, I had a three week trip cut short earlier this year because I could not get reliable internet service.

For full disclosure, I was staying in a budget hotel in Gazcue area, SD.

With that said, can I get some advice on how to book a place with reliable internet?

Should I look for Air bnb deals where people rent out their apartments? If so, should I ask the renter who their provider is?

I really need to count on stable internet for work. Not just internet for facebooking, but for full scale browsing on alaptop. I lived in the Philippines for two years, and my service was reliable. If the Philippines can do it, then so can DR...I would hope...
they build Mitsubishi vehicles in the Philipines. so, think again about the idea that if the Philipines can provide decent internet, the DR should be able to.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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optimism is good. however, i would not be optimistic about internet in the DR.
I have no idea why you couldn't be. Internet through a mobile phone seems to work quite well and it is moderately expensive, provided of course you are in a place where there is good mobile signal, which generally is the case in Santo Domingo, most major cities and near main highways.

The function in your phone that allows you to "share" the phone's own data service with other devices you own is called "tethering". Most modern phones provide that feature.

Of course you want a prepaid local SIM card (nearly costless, you just pay for usage). Read the final messages of this thread for a relevant discussion. To summarize, for US$25 you'd get 3GB of pre-paid data and can use it over a month (can reload if need be, and there are other plans).
As for wifi provided by hotels and apartment, it varies widely from place to place, and even from room to room. Sadly this is a world-wide problem.
 

VJS

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Sep 19, 2010
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There are places with reliable Internet but its near impossible to know the details before booking. If you can get your host to publish a speedtest report, that could solve the problem I suppose. Or have a plan B, and plan C, for when your plan A turns out to have crappy Internet. Or just use the 3G on your mobile phone if thats enough for your bandwidth needs.
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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I?ve been dealing with this same issue, also for professional purposes.

I have not found a very satisfactory solution, but I have mobile internet from both, Orange and Claro, and mostly Claro does offer more reliable connection where ever you are in the country.

We have stayed three times in a budget hotel near Zona Colonial, and had slight issues with Claro as well, but it was sufficient for that short time.

Just to comment on mobile internet availability in the country, I have very strongly found out, that good reception does not always exist in logical places. That is to say, that a crowded place or shopping center is not a guarantee of good signal, at least from what I have seen. There are odd places where you can get 4-5 Mbps connection easily, and there are central places where you spend 5 minutes just loading Google Mail. I suppose this is one of the many illogical things of the DR...

As for the pricing information Virgo referred to above, just to point out, that better to pay good attention to the pricing scheme of Claro. They actually punish you for paying more. Supposing that any professional use of internet consumes at least 200-300 Mb of data daily, better to choose a small package, which costs only a fraction of a bigger Gb/time package, while the data amount does not drop in the same ratio.
 

Tarheel

Well-known member
Dec 19, 2005
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In my experience in the DR, I have never had reliable internet service. Some better than others but nothing close to a US or first world service. I understand Japan has super fast internet. Is that true?
 

robalec

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Jun 17, 2015
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3GB of prepaid data is not enough. I develop web applications. I need lots of data. And, I work on a laptop, not a phone.
 

robalec

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Jun 17, 2015
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Thanks for the info. Were you able to tether mobile internet from Claro to your laptop?
 

robalec

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Jun 17, 2015
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Thanks, do they still sell the USB sticks? I could plug that in my laptop with the 3gb plan, as long as I can get 3-4 mbps. That wwould be a workable solution. I would be mobile, and not reliant on the hotel / apartment / coffee shop wifi.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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Just to comment on mobile internet availability in the country, I have very strongly found out, that good reception does not always exist in logical places. That is to say, that a crowded place or shopping center is not a guarantee of good signal, at least from what I have seen. There are odd places where you can get 4-5 Mbps connection easily, and there are central places where you spend 5 minutes just loading Google Mail. I suppose this is one of the many illogical things of the DR...
Keep in mind that the data speed is also affected by HOW MANY simultaneous users are near you...remember they are all share some resources from the same network! This is a technology limitation worldwide...for example if tens of thousands of people in a stadium try to connect to their phone Internet at the same time it is not going to work well (and even worse if each tries to make a phone call). That could be the cause of the problem you mention...it has NO practical solution.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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Thanks, do they still sell the USB sticks? I could plug that in my laptop with the 3gb plan, as long as I can get 3-4 mbps. That wwould be a workable solution. I would be mobile, and not reliant on the hotel / apartment / coffee shop wifi.
They probably do, but it isn't necessarily a good idea. You can put the data plan to your phone, and through "tethering" feed the Internet from the phone to your laptop...you can do it through a personal hotspot, bluetooth or a USB cable...essentially your phone comes with the functionality of the USB stick...with the added benefit that the Internet goes with you when you only have the phone.

Tethering has worked for me everywhere in the DR and elsewhere. It's a very simple thing these days.

Look at the other thread I linked. 3GB for $25 is the most you can buy at any one time, AFAIK...but nothing stops you from adding more, when that runs out. Say, you could use 12GB for US$100. That is data transferred between your device and elsewhere in the net. I am not sure why web development would consume a lot of data (web code is just text, right?), but I am not a developer myself.
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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They probably do, but it isn't necessarily a good idea. You can put the data plan to your phone, and through "tethering" feed the Internet from the phone to your laptop...you can do it through a personal hotspot, bluetooth or a USB cable...essentially your phone comes with the functionality of the USB stick...with the added benefit that the Internet goes with you when you only have the phone.

Tethering has worked for me everywhere in the DR and elsewhere. It's a very simple thing these days.

Look at the other thread I linked. 3GB for $25 is the most you can buy at any one time, AFAIK...but nothing stops you from adding more, when that runs out. Say, you could use 12GB for US$100. That is data transferred between your device and elsewhere in the net. I am not sure why web development would consume a lot of data (web code is just text, right?), but I am not a developer myself.
With all due respect, the rates for GB that you state above are multiple times those I pay (the most I have paid is about 4.4 USD / Gb), it most certainly does not cost 100 USD to have 12GB data. That would make it absolutely non-feasible for me.

I have used USB-sticks professionally for years (both Claro and Orange sell them), have no experience using mobile phone as an "intermediate", but have had zero issues using USB-sticks.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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With all due respect, the rates for GB that you state above are multiple times those I pay (the most I have paid is about 4.4 USD / Gb), it most certainly does not cost 100 USD to have 12GB data. That would make it absolutely non-feasible for me.

I have used USB-sticks professionally for years (both Claro and Orange sell them), have no experience using mobile phone as an "intermediate", but have had zero issues using USB-sticks.
Is your service prepaid? It seems this poster will be in the DR for a limited time, so pre-paid seems to be a prerequisite. You could also post a link to a page describing the service you have.

The USB sticks are falling out of favor since the phones offer similar functionality with greater flexibility, AND you can access the Internet directly from the phone when you only have the phone on you (most people don't go around with a laptop everywhere they go). With the personal hotspot you can feed multiple devices through your phone, and even allow other people to connect if you wish (all without wires). The hotspot created by your phone is just like any wifi network. Any device with the hotspot password (which you set) can connect without complicated setups, just like connecting to any other wifi network. And you have the option of tethering through the USB cable or bluetooth if for some reason you don't like the personal hotspot scheme.
 

Meemselle

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Oct 27, 2014
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In my experience in the DR, I have never had reliable internet service. Some better than others but nothing close to a US or first world service. I understand Japan has super fast internet. Is that true?
Yes, and so does Israel. Wicked fast.
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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Is your service prepaid? It seems this poster will be in the DR for a limited time, so pre-paid seems to be a prerequisite. You could also post a link to a page describing the service you have.
Yes, my sticks are both prepaid. I believe contracted pricing would be even cheaper (http://www.claro.com.do/portal/do/sc/personas/internet/internet-movil/#info-02).

Below the links to both operators:

http://www.claro.com.do/portal/do/sc/personas/internet/internet-movil/#info-02a

https://www.orange.com.do/web/internet/internet-prepago

The Orange page is missing a few advanced packages, including that of 6Gb for 450 pesos, it seems they have not updated it properly.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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Yes, my sticks are both prepaid. I believe contracted pricing would be even cheaper.

Below the links to both operators:

http://www.claro.com.do/portal/do/sc/personas/internet/internet-movil/#info-02a

https://www.orange.com.do/web/internet/internet-prepago
.
The cited Claro plan is POST-pago (not prepaid). It is unclear to me whether a short term visitor would qualify for this, and whether there is a minimum contract length (apparently you have to add 30% or so in taxes, but this also applies to the prepaid plan).

The Orange plan is prepaid BUT (1) you must pay RD4,090 (about US$90!) for the equipment and (2) you must recharge every week even if you didn't use up all your data allowance. See THIS. It is also unclear to me whether you can use LTE (4G) over the Orange plan. Even if you can, the Orange LTE coverage is currently smaller than Claro's it seems.

Still, it seems that for a short-term visitor, the prepaid through-your-phone scheme is preferable.
 

Garyexpat

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Sep 7, 2012
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3GB of prepaid data is not enough. I develop web applications. I need lots of data. And, I work on a laptop, not a phone.
Even though the internet services here in country are MUCH better than just a few years ago you will be hard pressed to find a "budget" hotel with fast internet. I live here but travel the country a lot and I find that most of the budget hotels are content to be able to advertise internet service even though it is typically very slow. I work from on line as well so I bought a hot spot and it works well,,,most of the time. My son got fibre optics with Claro in his new place and it is great.
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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The cited Claro plan is POST-pago (not prepaid). It is unclear to me whether a short term visitor would qualify for this, and whether there is a minimum contract length (apparently you have to add 30% or so in taxes, but this also applies to the prepaid plan).
Not correct.

It seems that the link takes you to the first part of the pricing table (I copied the link from the URL-bar, my mistake), so after going with the link, you have to click "paquetes prepago" (This should work: http://www.claro.com.do/portal/do/sc/personas/internet/internet-movil/#STPlanesTabla_1).

Please also note that I posted TWO links, one for "postpago" (the first link, this one was for reference only) and one for "prepago"

Yes, those prices do not include taxes. The end-pricing (with taxes) are visible on the package activation pages, so you always know exactly how much are you charged.

The Orange plan is prepaid BUT (1) you must pay RD4,090 (about US$90!) for the equipment and (2) you must recharge every week even if you didn't use up all your data allowance. See THIS. It is also unclear to me whether you can use LTE (4G) over the Orange plan. Even if you can, the Orange LTE coverage is currently smaller than Claro's it seems.
1. There are several modems available, the one for RD4,090 is not the only option, so this is not the whole truth either, and you can always reach a deal with a local small Orange vendor. I have never paid that much for any modem.

2. Yes, the packages are for less than a month, but with the data usage described by the OP (and that of mine), I don?t see how is this an issue.