Costa Rica Internet – Tips on Accessing the Web

What is the Costa Rica Internet like? Where can you get Internet access in Costa Rica? Today I’m going to cut through the clutter with my personal guide covering providers, performance, pricing, and digital divides between urban and rural access. As an ex Costa Rican resident, I’ve had my fair share of good and bad experiences with the internet plan in Costa Rica, but today I’m speaking to expats as well as travelers to discuss the internet access options in Costa Rica and hopefully save you all some headaches.

costa rica internet

Internet Services in Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica offers a diverse range of internet connectivity options including Wi-Fi, broadband, and mobile data solutions, with infrastructure improvements across urban and rural areas to enhance access and speed.
  • The quality of internet service in Costa Rica is influenced by crucial factors such as speed, reliability, customer support, pricing, and continuous infrastructure development, with the urban-rural divide still presenting challenges.
  • As Costa Rica advances technologically with the upcoming deployment of 5G networks, internet safety remains a priority, with the use of VPNs and secure Wi-Fi networks recommended to protect personal data online.

Unlocking Internet Access in Costa Rica

Unlocking Internet Access in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, a variety of internet service options are available to meet different online access needs and preferences, encompassing Wi-Fi as well as broadband services. The importance lies not just in the availability of internet services, but also in securing the appropriate type with sufficient quality to navigate the digital realm effectively.

On average, users in Costa Rica experience internet speeds around 22 Mbps. This speed can fluctuate widely depending on one’s location and choice of an internet provider. Amongst several providers delivering these connectivity solutions are:

  • ICE
  • Claro
  • Movistar
  • Cabletica

Such service providers within Costa Rica are making continual efforts to upgrade their systems and infrastructure with an aim to furnish diverse high-speed internet offerings throughout this country located in Central America.

Understanding Fixed Broadband

In Costa Rica, a variety of internet service providers including ICE, Tigo, and Movistar deliver broadband services such as fiber optic, DSL, and cable to customers seeking online connectivity. The fastest among these technologies is fiber optic while providers like ICE offer ADSL with speeds varying between 128/64 Kbps to 4096/768 Kbps.

Cost effectiveness also plays an essential role in the selection of internet services. For instance, Claro offers packages ranging from 5 Mbps up to 200 Mbps starting at a monthly price point of $21.99. Prices for cable internet tend to align with the speed tiers offered that span from a modest 256/64 Kbps up to more robust offerings at 4Mb/1Mb rates. Leading cable companies in the market such as Amnet and CableTica extend high-speed cable Internet options across Costa Rica catering diversely priced alternatives for consumers.

Mobile Data Solutions

In the modern mobile-centric landscape, mobile data solutions have emerged as a versatile and frequently more cost-effective alternative to traditional fixed broadband services. As an example, ICE introduced Kolbi’s 3G service in 2010, providing various reasonably priced data packages designed for individuals residing in regions where access to high-speed internet is scarce.

Kolbi’s pricing model for its 3G prepaid mobile data offering proves financially efficient with costs incurred on a per Kb usage taken from the customer’s preloaded credit balance. This approach positions it as a compelling choice both for temporary visitors or those lacking legal residency who are nonetheless seeking dependable internet connectivity.

Wi-Fi Connectivity Across the Country

Wi-Fi Connectivity

In Costa Rica, Wi-Fi is a common means of internet connectivity and is particularly prevalent in public locations such as eateries, accommodations, and cafés. The availability of free Wi-Fi hotspots by RACSA along with the high-speed internet provided through FONATEL’s Connected Public Spaces program has expanded access to wireless connections.

Users must exercise caution while connecting to these networks. It’s crucial for them to differentiate secure from insecure connections to evade threats like frauds or cyber-attacks. Offerings such as those from WiMAX deliver alternatives for high-speed internet in certain city regions, granting customers an ever-increasing array of choices for online connectivity services.

The Digital Divide: Urban vs. Rural Internet Service in Costa Rica

Urban vs. Rural Internet Service

In Costa Rica, the landscape of internet accessibility is notably uneven. Urban centers enjoy enhanced infrastructure and better connectivity opportunities, offering higher internet speeds essential for using online resources and services with ease. Conversely, rural localities contend with constraints in both coverage and bandwidth, mainly attributable to prevailing geographic and socioeconomic barriers that influence the development of infrastructure.

High-Speed Internet in the Capital

In Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, there exists a commendable provision of internet access typified by high-speed connectivity. This technological prowess stems from the widespread deployment of fiber-optic networks throughout the city. The diversity of connectivity options is ample, including but not limited to ISDN and ADSL technologies as well as WiMAX. Examples such as ICE’s Lineas DUO service, along with plans like Acelera Home and Acelera Pymes provide residents with multiple choices for speed and network services.

San Jose stands on the cusp of an even more connected future due to ongoing advancements in technology—specifically through 5G trials that have already commenced within its bounds.

  • These tests are spearheaded by Liberty Latin America.
  • Their goal is targeted at rolling out a full-fledged commercial 5G network before year’s end.
  • As these efforts unfold, they promise to significantly boost the existing high-speed internet infrastructure available across San Jose.

Expanding Coverage to Rural Areas

In Costa Rica, individuals living in rural regions are experiencing a transformation of their internet access scenario. The PNDT (National Telecommunications Development Plan) has the objective to broaden connectivity across the nation, emphasizing closing the digital gap that exists. This effort is formidable. Nevertheless, it’s being undertaken by government agencies which are currently deploying telecommunication towers intended to enhance internet speed and availability in Indigenous areas.

These outlying communities still encounter impediments due to sluggish speeds and sparse internet coverage. These challenges stem from infrastructure deficiencies coupled with the wide dispersion of these populations. Despite these hurdles, there’s an unwavering commitment: ensuring every corner of Costa Rica gains access to high-speed Internet service so that not one area remains disconnected.

Choosing Your Ideal Internet Service Provider in Costa Rica

In navigating the digital terrain of Costa Rica to select an optimal internet service provider, one’s decision is pivotal in shaping their online experience. Aspects such as speed, cost-effectiveness, dependability, and overall value should be taken into account.

Prominent providers like Claro, Kolbi, and Cabletica serve as principal providers of internet services within Costa Rica. They present a diverse array of plans designed to meet the varying preferences and financial considerations of users across the nation.

Evaluating Internet Speed and Reliability

Evaluating Internet Speed

Selecting an internet provider, the critical considerations include both speed and dependability. By May 2023, Costa Rica had achieved a median download rate of 73.04 Mbps for fixed broadband services and 28.60 Mbps for mobile connectivity, indicating significant advancements in boosting the country’s internet speeds.

Consistent and trustworthy internet service is equally important to users. Speaking, those utilizing services within Costa Rica experience steady connections with providers demonstrating promptness in addressing any service disruptions or problems that may arise.

Comparing ISP Plans and Pricing

When selecting an internet service provider, pricing plays a pivotal role. In Costa Rica, various providers such as Claro, Kolbi, Liberty and Cabletica are available for choice.

The breaking of the telecommunications monopoly in 2008 due to market liberalization has enabled these providers to introduce a wide array of plans. This includes services bundled with phone lines that showcase the healthy competitive nature of the current market.

Currently on offer are internet speeds ranging from 5 Mbps all the way up to over 200 Mbps. Monthly fees for these services vary from around $24.99 up to $60 per month based on which provider and plan you opt for. With this broad spectrum of options, there is an internet package suited to every user’s financial capabilities and usage requirements – be it someone who surfs lightly or one who consumes large amounts of data regularly.

Customer Support and Service Quality

In selecting an internet service provider, the caliber of customer support is just as critical as speed and cost considerations. It’s essential for providers to show that they can efficiently handle network traffic peaks, which are often observed during periods when usage intensifies. In 2020, Costa Rica witnessed its telecommunications operators adeptly contend with a 40% surge in network traffic caused by heightened reliance on internet services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monitoring quality standards within this context, the Superintendence of Telecommunications of Costa Rica (SUTEL) verified that throughout these periods of increased demand in 2020, operators sustained adequate capacity across their networks. Each principal internet service provider in Costa Rica managed to deliver no less than 80% of their advertised minimum download speeds. Tigo notably provided customers with full contracted speed at all times during the day.

The Future of Internet Service Providers in Costa Rica

As we look ahead, the prospects for internet technology in Costa Rica are promising, especially with expectations of rolling out 5G technology. Up until early 2023, the landscape of internet service providers remains unchanged as no new competitors have surfaced within the Costa Rican market.

Anticipating 5G Deployment

Despite considerable bureaucratic obstacles and pending agreements, Liberty Latin America has initiated trials for a 5G network in Costa Rica, expressing intentions to unveil a commercial version of the network before year’s end.

The route toward implementing 5G technology within Costa Rican borders has sparked disputes. The government’s choice to bar specific international enterprises from contributing to the development of its 5G framework has provoked legal confrontations and garnered reproach from various foreign diplomatic missions, underscoring the intricate challenges involved with rolling out novel technologies in telecommunications.

Emerging Internet Service Providers

As we stand at the early part of 2023, Costa Rica has yet to witness the entrance of new internet service providers that could signal progress in technology. Should this scenario evolve, it will alter current circumstances. Until such time arrives, Costa Rican users must depend on already established providers for their internet service needs.

Securing Your Connection: Internet Safety Tips

Securing Your Connection

The expansion of internet utilization underscores the necessity to safeguard your online presence. In Costa Rica, vigilance is crucial while accessing public Wi-Fi networks, and measures must be taken to ensure the protection of personal data on the internet.

Protecting Personal Data Online

When users in Costa Rica tap into unsecured Wi-Fi networks to reach private accounts or sensitive data, they run the risk of cyber incidents like theft of information. To safeguard personal information against unsanctioned access, it is critical that one connects only to Wi-Fi setups with security measures such as a mandatory username and password.

Employing a virtual private network (VPN) can bolster your defense against vulnerabilities associated with public Wi-Fi connections. By encrypting your online activity, a VPN maintains the confidentiality and integrity of your data even on networks lacking robust security.

Recognizing and Avoiding Scams

In Costa Rica, individuals must provide clear written permission before businesses can contact them for telemarketing or email marketing purposes. This rule plays a significant role in protecting consumers from unsolicited and potentially deceptive sales approaches.

Remaining alert is essential. After the Ministry of Health issued grievances, Facebook responded by imposing restrictions on 65 listings because they were involved in the unlawful commerce of medical and nutritional products. These measures target unauthorized transactions occurring within its network. By keeping abreast of such matters and exercising prudence, you can prevent becoming prey to these fraudulent activities.


Navigating the digital landscape of Costa Rica involves understanding the different connectivity options, evaluating service providers based on speed, pricing, reliability, and customer support, and staying vigilant about internet safety. With advancements in technology and efforts to bridge the digital divide, the future of the internet in Costa Rica looks promising. So whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or a business, making an informed choice about your internet service provider can ensure a seamless, secure, and satisfactory online experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get internet in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, a range of internet services such as ISDN, ADSL, and 3G cellular connections can be acquired through ICE/RACSA. These options are available from both ICE and Kolbi brands while RACSA provides additional choices like dial-up and prepaid internet solutions.

Does Costa Rica have good internet?

Indeed, Costa Rica offers high-speed internet with an impressive score of 91.08, catering well to digital nomads in need of fast and reliable internet speed for their remote work endeavors.

What are the main internet connectivity options in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, a range of internet connectivity solutions such as Wi-Fi, fixed broadband, and mobile data are available through leading service providers including ICE, Claro, Movistar, and Cabletica.

Select the service that aligns most closely with your requirements.

What is the average internet speed in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, the typical speed of internet service hovers around 22 Mbps. This can fluctuate based on the geographic area and the specific provider selected for internet service.

How does internet service vary between urban and rural areas in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, the infrastructure and connectivity options in urban regions lead to superior internet service with faster speeds compared to the more remote or rural zones where such services often lag behind.

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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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