FAQ: Internet

What are the choices for internet service in Mexico?

Most high speed internet service in Mexico is DSL (digital subscriber lines) provided over the telephone system’s infrastructure. The major telephone provider is Telmex and they offer a package deal for $389 pesos that includes a land line with unlimited North American calling, 10Mb internet service, and free Claro Video (like Netflix). Some of the larger cities are now providing fiber connections but this service is not as widely available as in Canada or USA. You can also get wireless internet service through cellular providers like Telcel or Movistar, or satellite service or cable providers where available. Just like North of the border, most of these services are asymmetrical, meaning the upload speeds are far less than the download speeds.

Is it advisable to bring your own router/modem to Mexico?

Although your router should work fine, modems (or combination modem/routers) are seldom transferable to another service provider. Not to mention that Mexico does have all the technology available here at reasonable prices, so there really is no reason to bring your own hardware.

Can I use my (Roku/Netflix/Firestick/….) with Mexican internet?

There is no “Mexican internet”. It is just internet. By definition, a worldwide interconnected network. So the internet you use at home now is the same internet you will use here in Mexico. The only difference you may see is connection speed or reliability, depending on  your location, may not be what you’re used to. But that could be true anywhere. Some service providers like Netflix, use regional controls to limit where their services may be accessed. This is a limitation imposed by Netflix, not by the internet itself or the provider of internet services. Generally speaking, you can use any service or get to any website you want, with the possible exception of some media outlets (NBC, CBS, Showtime, etc) that place these geo-restrictions on their services due to copyright or licensing rules.

Can I access websites or watch shows from back home?

Subject to the afore-mentioned geo-restrictions, yes you can. It is after all, the same internet here as it is there. But if you find geo-restrictions hampering your ability to get to certain sites, it’s possible to get around that by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. VPN’s work by “tunneling” your connection to another location, sort of like putting a small pipe within a larger pipe. Any flow in that small pipe is completely separate and not evident until it comes out the other end. Using a VPN you can “appear” to be in another country, thereby allowing you to view geo-restricted content that is only available in that other country.

What is the best VPN to use?

There are many choices from free browser extensions to dedicated VPN routers. Which is the best is something only you can determine for your own unique usage case. Generally speaking, as with most things you get what you pay for. Free VPN services can not only be sub-standard, they can actually be dangerous in the sense that they could be stealing your private information instead of protecting it. The subject of VPN’s is broad enough that we will be dedicating a separate topic to it in the near future.