Guides

How to navigate Thailand’s Wi-Fi hotspots

Reading time: 3 minutes

When you picture Thailand, most of us instantly envision gorgeous beaches and lush jungles. What you’re probably not picturing, is a well-developed country with good Wi-Fi service.

True, Bangkok is a bustling metropolis, but most who travel to Thailand aren’t sticking around in the city – you want to go out to those remote areas and get a real taste of the culture! But how can you stay in contact with your friends and family without draining your data? Or more appropriately, how can you make your friends or family jealous by all the Snap chats and Instagrams you’ll be uploading of your adventures if you don’t have good Wi-Fi?

Don’t worry – we know where all the Wi-Fi hotspots are located in Thailand.

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Wi-Fi coverage in Thailand

There are 833,321 mobile open Wi-Fi networks in Thailand, according to free Wi-Fi application Wiman. That’s a lot of hot spots that have you covered, but how do you know where to go? Wiman breaks it down further:

To find these hotspots, look for popular areas, most cafes, malls, airports, etc. will have what you’re after.

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Best providers using Wi-Fi

So what do you do if you want Wi-Fi without having to search out these hotspots or post up in a cafe? Consider buying or renting a pocket Wi-Fi device.

The pocket Wi-Fi is essentially a tiny modem and router that you can carry around with you that provides 10 metres of coverage. It links up to five devices and lasts about five hours on a single charge, so it’s perfect for when you’re travelling in a group. Its covers all of Thailand, though Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai are where you can get the best reception.

You can rent one for a flat rate of about AU$7 a day. Best of all, you can preorder the device so it’s waiting for you at your accommodation when you arrive in Thailand.

As for mobile providers, AIS has one of the best network coverages of all. They have two types of Wi-Fi connection:

  • AIS Wi-Fi: N speed Wi-Fi.
  • AIS Super Wi-Fi: AC speed Wi-Fi.

You can select monthly or daily/hourly packages before you get to Thailand so you’re all set up when you get there.

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Wi-Fi scams to be aware of when visiting Thailand

Once you start Wi-Fi hopping your way around Thailand, it’s important to be aware of all the security risks and scams you’re exposing yourself to. A Kaspersky Lab report analysed more than 31 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world and found that 28 per cent is unsecured therefore putting your personal information at risk.

When you join a bogus Wi-Fi network, anything you type including your personal message, passwords and documents, can be intercepted by hackers. The report notes that travellers have the highest risk of getting hacked as they are at the mercy of public Wi-Fi when they’re mobile network connection is weak.

The best way to avoid being scammed is to use your own private network such as the Pocket Wi-Fi, and ensure it’s password protection. If you’ve decided not to use the portable Wi-Fi, it’s important that you stick to networks that are password protected. Even then, you should never go on your personal accounts or type in passwords to something like a bank app that would be damaging in the wrong hands.


Author

TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.

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