Does Thailand Have WiFi? (Costs And Alternatives Review)

Does Thailand Have WiFi? (Costs And Alternatives Review)
May 8, 2019 Sandis Mukans
Thailand WiFi Review

It is possible to travel without getting a WiFi in Thailand, but as tourist SIM cards and pocket WiFi’s are so cheap, and the 4G internet is reasonably fast and accessible almost everywhere in Thailand, I can’t think of a reason why would anyone choose to do so.

So, does Thailand have WiFi? Thailand has fast and reliable WiFi coverage provided by three of the biggest mobile networks in Thailand –  AIS, True Move and DTAC. WiFi in Thailand is available in most public spaces. The best alternatives to public WiFi hotspots in Thailand are Thai SIM card or a pocket WiFi rental. Public wifi in Thailand is for free.

In this article, I will do a review on the best pocket WiFi rental offers in Thailand as well as share valuable tips about WiFi in Thailand for tourists.

When you are finished with this article, I also recommend reading my other article – Best SIM Card In Thailand For Tourists: Cost To Buy And Mobile Networks.

Is There Free WiFi in Thailand?

WiFi in Thailand is free of charge, but in most cases, it is available with some limitations. For example, a time limit.

Is There Wifi In Thailand Airports?

Here is the list of Thailand airports where the WiFi is available for free of charge:

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport – BKK)
  • Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
  • Phuket International Airport (HKT)
  • Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
  • Krabi International Airport (KBV)

Follow this 5 step guide to connect to a WiFi in Suvarnabhumi Airport:

  1. On your mobile device, choose a WiFi network named .@AirportAISFreeWiFi
  2. Click Sign In
  3. Click Register
  4. Fill in your information
  5. Check the Terms and Conditions checkbox
  6. Click Register
  7. Click Confirm

Be aware that during the WiFi registration process you will be asked to type in either your passport number or your ID number.

Also before clicking that Confirm button it is a good idea to make a print screen of the username and password that will be given to you during the registration process.

Note that your WiFi connection will be valid for two hours.

Is There Wifi On Thailand Trains?

Most of the Thai trains don’t have the WiFi, but a decent 3G network coverage will be available to you during most of your train rides in Thailand.

Trains number 9 (Bangkok – Chiang Mai) and 10 (Chiang Mai – Bangkok) have a free WiFi available in their dining cars.

 

WiFi In Thailand For Tourists

I can think of three options on how to use WiFi in Thailand:

  1. Buying a Thai SIM card to use in your phone
  2. Buying a cheap phone together with a Thai SIM card to use it as a mobile hotspot
  3. Buying a pocket WiFi device

 

Buying a Thai SIM card to use in your phone (phone has to be unlocked)

First I would like to mention that to use a Thai SIM card, your phone has to be unlocked. To find out either your phone is locked or not you should ask it to your operator.

I always prefer buying a SIM card because it is cheaper compared to other options and I don’t have to pick it up and leave it at the airport.

Note that for such services in Thailand as for Grab Taxi, Foodpanda and others you will need a local phone number.

 

Buying a cheap phone + Thai SIM card to use it as a mobile hotspot

This and the next option is the best for those whose phones are locked.

For example, if you’re a client of AT&T and you’re still paying for your phone, most likely it will be locked, and you won’t be able to use the SIM card of another company in your phone.

Therefore getting a cheap phone together with a Thai SIM card might be the best option to use internet and WiFi in Thailand.

 

Buying a pocket WiFi device

I prefer buying a local SIM card over the 4G pocket WiFi device, but this is an okay option as well.

To be precise, you’re not buying it – basically, it is a WiFi rental for Thailand.

One thing I can recommend is purchasing services from KLOOK – it is reliable and cheaper platform compared to others. Here is a link to their 4G pocket WiFi device with the airport pick up and drop off.

Getting the pocket WiFi will always cost you more than to buy a local SIM card.

For example, to rent a pocket WiFi for 15 days, it will cost you about 2000 Baht (62 USD, 56,03 EUR, 47 GBP).

Meanwhile purchasing a tourist SIM card for 15 days would cost you about 600 Baht (18 USD, 17 EUR, 14 GBP).

So renting a pocket WiFi in Thailand is three times more expensive than to purchase a Thai SIM card for the same period.

I want to add that it is possible to buy a pocket WiFi device, but it would cost you about 3000 baht (94 USD, 84 EUR, 71 GBP) and I doubt it something you would use after your visit to Thailand.

 

Best Pocket WiFi in Thailand Review

What makes it the best pocket WiFi? I would say a combo of good WiFi coverage and the price.

If you agree then look no further and get AIS Pocket WiFi.

You can get it from AIS official website ais.co.th, but I recommend purchasing (meaning renting) it from KLOOK.

Both options will allow you to pick up the WiFi device from the airport, but KLOOK often has a better price for it.

Here is the list of best pocket WiFis in Thailand:

  • AIS 4G Portable WiFi
  • Pocket WiFi Thailand TRUE
  • Sawasdee Wifi
  • Pocket WiFi Samurai
  • Pocket WiFi Smile

Here is the price comparison among the most popular pocket WiFi rentals in Thailand.

WiFi Rental

Price Per Day

AIS 4G Portable WiFi

USD 4.69

Thai Smile Connect Pocket WiFi

USD 5.49

Pocket WiFi Thai

USD 5.25

Sawasdee WiFi

USD 7

Pocket WiFi by KDO

USD 5

 

To make it a complete pocket WiFI review in Thailand here is the 4G coverage comparison among the most popular mobile networks.

Mobile Network

4G Coverage In Thailand

AIS Mobile

90%

True Move H

85%

DTAC

75%

CAT Telecom

12%

TOT Mobile

3%

 

What is the fastest pocket WiFi in Thailand?

The fastest pocket WiFis in Thailand are AIS 4G Portable WiFi and Sawasdee WiFi.

Here is the comparison of pocket WiFi speed in Thailand.

Mobile Network

Upload Speed

Download Speed

AIS 4G Portable WiFi

50Mbps

150Mbps

Thai Smile Connect Pocket WiFi

Not specified

Not specified

Pocket WiFi Thai

40Mbps

Not specified

Sawasdee WiFi

150Mbps

150Mbps

Pocket WiFi by KDO

Not specified

Not specified

 

Pocket WiFi Thailand Tips And Tricks

When renting a pocket WiFi in Thailand, you could also pay attention to the following things:

  • How many devices is it possible to connect to a pocket WiFi device?
  • Does the pocket WiFi rental company provide a power bank?
  • Does the pocket WiFI rental company provide a carrying case?

Although you could get the pocket WiFi in Bangkok’s airport, I would recommend getting one somewhere in the city. Don’t worry – tourist SIM cards and pocket WiFi devices are sold everywhere in Thailand.

Note that battery life for most of the pocket WiFi’s is only up to 10 hours and sometimes it is just too less. Therefore I recommend either using your power bank or ask for one when renting your pocket WiFi.

Some pocket WiFi rentals in Thailand might include a power bank in their standard pocket WiFi deal.

Be aware that most pocket WiFi rentals will charge you a security deposit of about 2000 Baht (62 USD, 56 EUR, 47 GBP). Of course, the deposit will be returned to you after you have returned the device.

As most of the mobile network operator booths are operating 24/7, it makes it an easy task to pick up and leave the pocket WiFI device.

Meanwhile, the best pocket WiFi devices will allow you to connect up to 10 devices; some will allow only 5.

AIS 4G Portable WiFi allows ten so bonus points for this offer once again.

How to activate the pocket WiFi device?

Follow this step by step guide how to activate the pocket WiFi in Thailand, and you will be set in minutes:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a couple of seconds
  2. When the screen has lit up wait for the flashing light
  3. Once you see the flashing light search for the WiFi network on your device
  4. When you have found the network enter the PIN that is written on the pocket WiFi
  5. To save the battery life of the pocket WiFi device press and hold the Power button to turn it off

 Note that pocket WiFi will create a hotspot of 10 meters around you.

 

How Many Free WiFi Spots Are There In Thailand?

Currently, there are more than 800 000 free WiFi spots in Thailand. In Bangkok alone, there are more than 450 000 free WiFi spots.

Here is the list of most common spots in Thailand where to get free WiFi:

  • Airports
  • Shopping malls
  • Public WiFi spots
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Libraries
  • Railway stations

You shouldn’t be too worried hot to get free WiFi in Thailand because nowadays it is very accessible and Thailand does have a good WiFi speed.

 

Does Thailand Have 4G?

Thailand has a decent 4G coverage, and it is being improved fast. Mobile network with the widest 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and the fastest WiFi in Thailand is AIS Mobile followed by True. AIS Mobile 4G coverage in Thailand is more than 90%, and its WiFi speed in its best WiFi package is up to 1 Gbps.

Compared to such mobile networks in Thailand as True, DTAC, CAT Telecom and other AIS Mobile have the best 4G coverage in the country.

To wrap things up, there are at least three reasonable ways how to access wifi in Thailand:

  • To get a Thai SIM card for use in your phone (it has to be unlocked to accept other SIM cards)
  • To get a cheap phone as an alternative to your locked phone and to use it together with a Thai SIM card
  • To rent a pocket WiFi during your stay in Thailand

I find the first option the best because it is the fastest, cheapest and reliable way how to get WiFi in Thailand.

By fastest I mean the accessibility of various SIM cards in Thailand. You

By cheapest I mean getting the SIM card and worrying about getting the unlocked phone or renting a pocket WiFi which costs 6 USD per day on average

By reliable I mean getting a SIM card from AIS Mobile which is the biggest mobile network in Thailand with the best 4G coverage in the country.

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