My Internet in Belize: One Month with My Smart Mi-Fi

It’s been well publicized that Internet service in Belize is some of the slowest and most expensive in the world.  Last November, it was big news that the national phone company, BTL, would cut the price of 128k internet speed in half to make the net more accessible to Belizeans.

128k?!  Awesome!  Now I can really get busy updating my MySpace page on my Commodore 64 with plenty of time for a few games of Pit Fall before I go to bed (snuggling in my BattleStar Galactica sheets and clutching my Cabbage patch of course).

This mint condition Commodore is going for $700USD on Ebay!  Do they even sell floppy disks anymore?

Commodore 64

I use the internet a ton.  Somewhat sad but true, I am fiddling around on this machine pretty much all day long and I’m not the only one.  So I am often in search of a better and cheaper way to get connected.

Just over a month ago when I returned from my hiatus (YES, that is what I am calling it), I purchased the Smart Belize Mi-Fi for $150bzd.  I had success with my Smart USB stick in 2012 (and posted about the results here) but wanted more portability and well…Wi-Fi for my IPhone, to try out the newly unblocked magicJack and just to celebrate the fact that it is not 2006.

I LOVE the new ability to check in with FourSquare at Hol Chan Marine Reserve…

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or to check my emails on the water taxi to Belize City or post pictures of my monkey claw sunning atop Xunantunch.

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I now have the ability to TOTALLY annoy my friends by being REAL TIME.

Here is the little Mi-Fi unit.  Easy to pop in your bag or pocket and the battery power last for about 2 hours.

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Here are my results.  I LOVE TAKING THIS ON TRIPS or just to town.  LOVE IT.  Wi-Fi is available at some bars and restaurants (check my pages for more info) but definitely not everywhere.  Plus, you need passwords to get into most.

It is costing me about $80bzd or $40US a month and the speeds?  Right now I am getting…1.55Mbps download and .81Mbps upload.  Not so bad…and actually perfect for my work.  I love that it still functions when the power goes out (which has happened 2-3 times over the last month)…I am really really digging it.

Would love to hear about other internet options (prices and speeds) that you are using in Belize…then I can get to work on a much broader post!

For more information contact Smart Belize.

Currently the price for “internet credits” is:  $30bzd for 1GB (which they tell you is good if you only Email, IM and download/upload pictures) up to $90bzd for the 10GB plan (which gives you the time to Web browse – seems important, play online games, Video stream and lots of other options)

The credit you buy overwrites your current balance (so you want to wait until you are very low) and I must pay in person (no credit card options).  You also get a free 10% on top of your purchased plan.  So $90bzd buys you 11GB.

 





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  • Mike Horne

    Great information for those of us planning/hoping to join the party in Belize!

  • Belize Blog

    Why thank you.

  • Scott Ford

    Love your blog! Oh and the USA version of your mifi is called internet on the go, through sprint network, sold at walmart, same device different label, similar price actually! Works great for me also. And thinking seriously about a very early retirement to Ambergris or Corozal.

  • Scott Ford

    About your cats, did you transplant them there or did you acquire them on Ambergris? I wondered how difficult it would be to bring my two very spoiled female cats with me there? It will be a few years yet, probably 3 or 4 but plan on vacationing there a number of times soon to survey and get a feel for the area.

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    How hard would it be for you to use satellite, like DirectTV?

  • Anna Aguila

    I’m over in caye caulker and I was just roaming google for reviews on mifi with smart…looks like it works well! months later, how do you feel about it? still good?