The availability of high speed internet has come a long way in Costa Rica. Only a few years ago was high speed internet nothing more than a wish. Today however, there are several options for high speed internet in Costa Rica. While high speed internet isn’t available all over the country, it is available in more places than you might think. It can even be found in the far off Caribbean city of Puerto Viejo
What to Expect
It is worth mentioning that while the high speed internet in Costa Rica is fast, it is nothing like high speed internet back in the States or more developed countries. The connection is also far from stable. Because there are regular power outages, there are regular internet outages. Very few places, if any, have some sort of battery backup; so be prepared to be patient.
If you are a web worker, you might have to make some adjustments in your work flow. While the internet here is high speed, it is still slow enough that you will have to make some changes in the way you work.
This is especially true if your work involves large uploads or downloads. If this is the case, try to find some sort program or service that lets your pause and resume downloads. There is nothing worse than being an hour into a download and losing all the progress because of a power outage.
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What It Costs
Prices for the internet very from place to place. Some places will charge US$1 for 15 minutes, while others may charge US50 cents a minute. If you will be staying longer or need more time than 15 minute blocks, there are places that offer rates for higher use. These prices range from US$8 a month to US$30 a month.
Printers, Faxes, and Scanners
Extra services such as printers, scanners, and faxes are hit or miss. Smaller cafes that offer the internet as a luxury are likely to not have any such device. If you are lucky, they will have a black and white printer. Most anywhere that has any of these product will have extremly out of date version. So, don’t expect to easily find an internet cafe that has a photo quality printer or a hi-res scanner.
The above isn’t so much true in San Jose. San Jose has an abundance of well put together and up to date internet cafes. These types of internet cafes can be hard to come by, but they do exists. Your best bet in finding one is to talk to an expat in the area or students from the local university. They are the most likely to know where the best internet cafes can be found.
Copiers and Mass Printing
If your work involves mass printing of things like business cards, flyers, and newsletters; you are in luck. Business printers can be found in even the smallest of cities in Costa Rica. Granted, some are more hi-tech than others. For example, some smaller “printers” will only be a personal computer, black and white printer, and a very old Xerox machine.
More up to date printers can be found in larger cities and all over San Jose. If you need hi-res work, multi color printing, stickers, or other specialty products, you will most likely have to make a trip to San Jose.