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Best Internet Options in Lebanon

About a year and a half ago we posted about the slow internet in Lebanon. Since then the average download speed has gone up from 2.66 mbps to 3.9 mbps. That’s some progress!  You can learn more about the speed of the Internet in Lebanon here and test out your connection to see if it is slower or faster than the country’s average. You’ll notice that the average is up because there are now better options for mobile connectivity – the average download speed on mobile is much more than the country’s average at 7.3 mbps.

However, since our last post Lebanon has slipped back from 166th slowest nation to 173rd place at the time of this post. What is keeping Lebanon behind? Here’s one article on that.

These results confirm our own experiences in Lebanese after spending hours upon hours trying just about every option for good Internet in Lebanon. Here are the result of our ta3b….

What are your Internet options for in your apartment?

This depends on how long you will be in Lebanon and how much you want to pay….

ishtirak-Each neighborhood has someone who will install shared internet in your apartment. Just ask a neighbor or a local store owner for the person in your area, contact him and he will run a wire from the rooftops to your apartment. This is a small, local operation that is cost effective, but slower since one connection (and one IP) is shared among neighbors. This is a good option if you have a limited budget, don’t need to Skype or stream content, and you won’t be in the country long. It’s also good if you need to download a lot, but you don’t care if it takes all night. You can get it started and be done in a day.

3G/4G– Forget about getting a connection for your apartment and just use 3G/4G on your phone while you are here. With this option you can download or stream videos and Skype with no real problems, however using video and downloading can get costly. You can get 5 GB for $29 a month on your phone and share your connection with your laptop if you need. It’s nice to know you will have a reliable connection wherever you are even in coffee shops that can have slow connections. But, beware if you go over your allotted GBs for the month you will have to pay $.07 a MB and it can easily get costly.

If your phone and the type of SIM card you purchase can use 4G, then you will have access to 4G speeds at the same price. Check out Alfa’s 4G prices. If you want, you can go to the Alfa Headquarters you can purchase a router that will allow you to create a WiFi network in your house using a 4G data SIM card. Make sure you ask for the router – not the dongle. Or you can just make a Personal Hotspot from your phone. This option is quick and easy to get started, but is the most expensive.  Beware if you use up all of your GBs for the month you can’t add any more and you will have to pay about $.05 per MB until the month renews.

DSL – If you are planning on being in Lebanon for a year or more you could get DSL in your home. This is the cheapest option, but involves the most paperwork. It will take 3-6 months to set up and a significant amount of bureaucracy hassle, especially if there isn’t already a phone line in your home. You can easily stream videos with DSL. However, you should know that in certain areas outside of Beirut the wires are bad and the connection can be slower and randomly drop. This can cut downloads and make Skype calls drop.  Sodetel is one DSL provider in Lebanon.

No matter what option you choose make sure to bring your passport with you to get started.

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