TOP INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS IN KENYA
Kenya’s Mobile internet is dominated by three giants, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom. Safaricom has dominated courtesy of its widespread reach and support from the government which is a majority owner. On the other side, Airtel and Telkom have continuously offered competitive prices to customers within their reach.
When figuring out what type of internet you need and which provider is right for you, these are the essential questions you should ask yourself.
Jamii Comm has recently launched Faiba 4G Extreme Bundles which have wowed all Kenyans for their unbeatable prices. Many have made a move to join the network and more others are hoping the rest of the companies will offer better internet as a countermeasure.
1. What speed and reliability do you need?
2. Does the service come with bundled resources?
3. Are security issues addressed by the ISP?
4. What level of customer support comes with the service?
Choosing a provider for business Internet service is more difficult than ever. By looking beyond basic cost comparisons, you’ll find a great provider for your company. In the meantime, the following are the leading ISP (not in order of superiority )
Zuku is a brand under the Wananchi Group which provides both tv and internet at affordable prices. It has over 40% of the home internet fiber internet market in Kenya. Speeds range from 1mbps to 50mbps which prices are from Ksh3000 to Ksh10,000, plus all their internet is unlimited.
They do not have unlimited internet but they offer bundled offers. They have recently introduced set top boxes that will provide wireless internet through their 4G network plus tv services. They do have fiber to home internet in Nyayo Estate Embakasi for Ksh3000 a month for 5mbps.
Wifi is set up in the house through wireless router that is portable. Their WIFI routers are ZTE-MF60 (Ksh4,000) which connects around 8 users and The Office which connects around 35 users.
They offer unlimited internet with data cap. You can get a WIFI router that is wireless and portable. This will help set up a WIFI connection at home. For ksh1,000 a week you get 10gb data cap afterwards you browse at 256kps if you are past the limit. For Ksh3,000 you get unlimited internet with a 30gb data cap for a whole month.
4. FAIBA INTERNET
Faiba is a brand under Jamii Telcom. They offer business internet although they also offer home internet services in select locations in Nairobi
For some years now, Nairobi and Kenya, in general, has been recording a sharp increase in the number of Internet users, the majority being mobile. The influx of smartphones has brought about heavy internet usage among Kenyans. If you are like me and consume GBs of data daily or weekly, you know that relying on data bundles from service providers like Airtel, Telkom, and Safaricom will cost you a lot of money. This is where unlimited Internet service providers in Kenya come in.
|ISP||Reasons to choose|
If you transfer big files, stream videos or download lots of stuff online, you’ll find their packages are way cheaper than normal conventional data bundles. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you the best home Internet service providers in Nairobi that have unlimited data plans and offer ballistic speeds for your peace of mind.
Home Internet service providers in Nairobi
1. Faiba Internet Kenya
Faiba is without doubt the leading home internet ISP in Kenya, but before you shout that it is expensive when compared to main rivals, You need to see their latest packages first. You’ll notice that their 5 and 10MBps speeds are among the cheapest in Kenya.
The reason why I say Faiba is the best in terms of home ISPs in Kenya is down to two things: coverage and support. If you have been keeping tabs with their news, you probably know that by now they cover all major towns in Kenya, as opposed to a while back when you could only enjoy their services in posh estates of Nairobi and Mombasa. Unfortunately, talking about coverage, that is where the fun ends. Faiba home plans are only available at Faiba ready locations. For the most parts of the country, i.e towns, we only get Faiba business packages.
When Faiba was launched, it became an instant hit among heavy internet users in Nairobi because they could now save a lot of money – fast and unlimited permanent internet connection at a fixed price. Back then, JTL really called the shots in terms of pricing, with 10MB/s going for 10K flat. How expensive it was. At the moment, however, Jamii Telecomms know the competition for subscribers like you and me is growing stiffer each day. This has pushed them to lower costs of internet packages to market standards, sort of what every other ISP is going with.
Coming to my second reason why I think you should go for JTL, I believe we all know how important swift technical support services is important in any business/service. Faiba has an excellent track record in this, evidenced by the very positive feedback the company receives from its customers.
I’ll admit that compared to its main rivals, Faiba prices are higher, especially the Installation Fee which will set you back Kshs 15,000, but you might be willing to overlook this if you need a reliable Kenyan ISP with a track record of customer support and service reliability.
Feeling the heat…Faiba
Faiba has recently increased their speed allocation, with no difference in price. As the competition for home internet subscribers in Nairobi heats up, things are just getting even better for us. Faiba now claims they have a blazing 1GBps home internet in Kenya, but personally, that would be overkill. However, depending on your needs, this might just be the plan you need, so go ahead and see if Faiba is available in your area by clicking here.
On a personal note, if you are lucky and live in a place where there are Faiba, Safaricom, and ZUKU, I’d advise you to get the three ISPs in your home or office. The cost would not be as high as when you’re subscribed for some 100 or 250MBps, and you’ll also have no downtime. If you host your own android app or website, this can be worth the investment, but again, just my two cents.
Here are the Home Internet service packages offered by Faibacurrently:
2. ZUKU Internet Kenya
This is the most popular home Internet service provider in Kenya among the middle class. ZUKU packages are cheap, reliable and even though the service is only available in Nairobi and Mombasa, they cover most areas of these cities. As of writing this, ZUKU has the fastest home internet speeds in Kenya at the moment, with their new advanced plan maxing out at 250MBps.
Zuku have recently revised their speeds again, offering even better speeds for the same amount you are already paying. See the table below for updated prices.
ZUKU is owned by Wananchi group and offer Internet, TV and internet telephone connection all under one package. Apart from being a 3 in one – (TV, Internet, and phone), people also love ZUKU because of their bandwidth. Their base package is almost 3 times faster than Faiba’s own starter package of 5MB/s. In places where a permanent internet connection(Fiber) is not available, ZUKU has a number of WIFI locations across these two cities to ensure customers can still enjoy their services. If you want the best alternative Kenyan ISP to Faiba, this is the company to go for. Their speeds are irresistibly cheap, even their 100MB/s costs 9,999 kshs only.
Here are the Home Internet service packages offered by ZUKUcurrently:
The speeds I’ve given a red strikethrough represent the packages ZUKU previously offered at the same amount.
|HOME BASIC – 30MB/s
||Free ZUKU to ZUKU calls and over 62 TV channels||4,499 Kshs|
|HOME PREFERRED – 50MB/s
||Free ZUKU to ZUKU calls and over 62 TV channels||5,699 Kshs|
|HOME PREMIUM – 100MB/s
||Free ZUKU to ZUKU calls and over 62 TV channels||9,999 Kshs|
|HOME ADVANCED – 250MB/s||Free ZUKU to ZUKU calls and over 106 TV channels||19,999 Kshs|
How to get ZUKU internet in other towns apart from Nairobi and Mombasa
As much as you guys outside these two cities really wish to enjoy ZUKU unlimited internet in Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kisii and other major towns in Kenya, that’s not possible at the moment.
Your best shot at anything close to the unlimited internet would be the current Telkom home plans or if you are lucky, Safaricom home internet might be available in your town. You know what, why not do that by clicking here to see if you can get Safaricom home fiber connectivity to your home, or if you have the time read on below where I have extensively talked about their home plans.
3. Safaricom Fiber to home
Safaricom, the biggest mobile network service provider in Kenya, debuted their fiber to the home Internet service. I know they used to have a similar wireless plan back in 2010, but it was nothing compared to the current home fiber plans. This is definitely a surprise package and a direct competition to Faiba and ZUKU internet, who are currently the big fish in the business.
Most people expected Safaricom’s unlimited internet packages to come at a premium cost but my life this is the cheapest home internet package currently in Kenya.
Recently, and something no other ISP has bothered to offer, Safaricom rolled out the free one month access for buyers of Gold and Platinum packages. If you can afford these plans, and Safaricom Fiber to home is available in your area, you wouldn’t mind enjoying their Internet free for a month, will you? Here’s a summary of their packages.
Comparing this pricing with ZUKU’s, the difference really comes down to where you live. They both offer really competitive prices to beat and each plan is fully unlimited with no hidden caps. If you are wondering how much bandwidth you need for streaming video or just daily internet usage, it’s not really that crazy as many portray. A speed of 3mbps will stream 720p videos in standard definition. Moving on, from 5mbps you should stream 720 and 1080p videos in full HD.
If you were on cellular broadband, a 30 minute Youtube Video played in SD or 480p will consume around 400Mb. I would, therefore, advise you to get the unlimited Home Internet connection from Safaricom instead of relying on their data bundles because you will be bleeding airtime really quick.
Now keep in mind that other factors such as the number of users sharing the same network will affect this, this is the main reason people step up to gold and platinum plans. These speeds will enable you to stream videos in 4K Ultra HD, though I think it is important to remind you that you need a TV that can play videos in 4K quality. (Let’s argue about that some other day).
Safaricom fiber to home coverage
Another thing I like about Safaricom fiber to home has to be their free installation. Sure you don’t get to keep the router for good, but it is the service you want, right? To register and subscribe to Safaricom fiber to the home, dial *400# and follow the prompts.
While most parts of Nairobi are covered, Safaricom really needs to expand their coverage in other towns because at the moment, they cover very few areas even in big towns. See if your area is covered here.
POA WI-FI Internet
A partnership with Liquid Telkom, Poa is one of the latest ISPs in Nairobi, targeting two parts of Nairobi, which is why it had to come last on the list. Poa is currently available in Kibera and Kawangware only, with their packages starting at Kshs 10 for 1 hour unlimited access. If you live in these areas, you could take advantage of their very affordable rates for 24 hour and monthly unlimited internet connection in Nairobi.
Poa understands that most ISPs in Nairobi don’t have coverage in low and middle-class estates in the city, so they decided to instead target these places instead of competing with other popular internet service providers in Nairobi.
How much does POA WIFI cost per month?
|1 hour Unlimited||10 kshs|
|1-week Unlimited||350 kshs|
|24 hour unlimited||50 kshs|
|1-month Unlimited||1,500 kshs|
Even though I wanted to try their plans using the web address they gave, that was a dead end. Let me know if it is finally up, but you get the point. If you are in Kibera or Kawangware and want to buy POA unlimited Internet, you have to use their Facebook page at the moment. Below is a screenshot of their Facebook page showing their location, or just click the link to check them out.
ISPs without unlimited Internet in Nairobi
4. Telkom Kenya* (formerly Orange)
Telkom actually had an unlimited internet plan for its users up to mid-2016 when it got scrapped. Their data plans are one of the most client friendly in terms of cost. The company took the bulk of internet consumers before Airtel and Safaricom in the early days, but the competition is now starting to heat up or is hot already. In spite of that Telkom Kenya remains a widely used ISP for heavy internet users in places with no ZUKU and FAIBA coverage. I know they have a fixed line Internet service which requires that you have those telephone lines dropping at your house, but the best they can give with that is only 2MB/s.
If you really want to enjoy their fast speeds, these daily, weekly, monthly and 90-day offers are cheap and very reliable.
|XCELL WEEKLY||990||15GB||7 DAYS|
|XCELL MONTHLY||2,990||30GB||30 DAYS|
|100GB INTERNET BUNDLE||9,000||100GB||90 DAYS|
Telkom Home Internet plans
Back in July, and probably due to the increasing number of Home ISPs in Kenya, Telkom rolled out what they call home internet plans. These packages are suitable for heavy internet users, and people who generally stream a lot of content. Depending on your needs, compare the plans below and find one that suits you. My opinion? I’d say go for the monthly unlimited plan.
Not really unlimited, but 50GB is quite generous. What’s even better, after you have used up your allocated bandwidth, they don’t cut you off entirely or reduce speeds to mediocre 128Kbps like they used to do. Telkom will let you browse the Internet at speeds of 1MBps after reaching the monthly 50GB cap. If you live alone, or maybe just the two of you, you can get away with a shared 1MBps. However, if we are talking about a complete family scenario with teenagers who are always around Instagramming and streaming Youtube, the speed will be much slower.
|HOME PLANS||ALLOCATION||PRICE (KSHS)|
|30 day fixed||35GB||2,999|
|90 day plan||100GB||5,999|
|One month Unlimited 4G||50GB then 1MBps after that||3,999|
Also while trying out Telkom Kenya’s monthly plan, I really loved the fact that they give you some 10-20 minutes overlay to renew your data plan after your current subscription has expired. Normally with other ISPs, your remaining data bundles will vanish but this is not the case with Telkom Kenya. If you renew your plan during that short period, you still have your existing data bundles on top of the renewed bundles.
5. Airtel Kenya
A company that provides competition for Telkom Kenya in Internet provision, Airtel has won the hearts of Kenyan smartphone users with their cheap daily data plan popularly known as unliminet. This service is tailored for clients who do a lot of social media and messaging, but not so much for heavy internet use. If you are using Airtel as your ISP, you’ll want to step up to their monthly plans, which, just like Telkom, happen to be super affordable and dynamic as well.
Airtel Unliminet modem daily, weekly, and monthly prices are as follows:
|One day unlimited||500MB||99|
|One week Unlimited||5GB||699|
|One month Unlimited||20GB||2,999|
Airtel unliminet is designed for people like you, who are always online, do live streams and download a lot of audio and video. Once the data allocated is exhausted, browsing speed is reduced to 256KB/s, but still get full speed Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and Instagram. For mobile, this speed can be okay for you, but if you are using airtel to browse the internet on your laptop or PC, it’s too slow. You might, therefore, want to restore full browsing speed, and Airtel has something called booster packs that you can purchase at these rates:
|Booster Pack||Price per the main bundle|
6. Express Wifi by Facebook and Surf Kenya
Unlike any of the ISPs mentioned above, Surf has its own unique approach in terms of how their service works. Facebook partnered with Surf, a local company to come up with the Express WiFi package. They have installed routers at bus stations and other popular places in towns all around the country, and I actually got to know about this service because of my not-so-good habit of scanning for open WiFi networks while in town.
How to get Express WiFi by Surf
Assuming you are in a place where Surf Express WiFI by Facebook is among your open WiFi networks list, just go ahead and tap connect.
Your smartphone or laptop should be able to connect, though this depends on how close you are to the router.
Instead of asking for Vouchers or a password, you only need your mobile number for the sign-up process.
Upon successful registration, Surf Kenya will give you free 500MB data on it’s network, valid for 7 days, though they should have told you about the limitations governing this. I found that even while accessing Facebook’s own native app, images will be loaded using your own data bundles, which to me, doesn’t make any sense.
Having used Surf a couple of times, I’m not really sure whether this is a good deal or not. Their data bundles are cheap, even allowing you to watch ads for free data, but I didn’t find anything too exciting with Express WiFi. It sounds weird buying data bundles that can only be used through a WiFi hotspot.
Either way, there are some of you who will find this ISP in Kenya suitable for their lifestyle or needs. If you cannot access any of their hotspots, you don’t need Express WiFi. Just get yourself normal data bundles from your mobile network, something you can rely on even when you are in the middle of nowhere.
Finally on these Kenyan ISPS and what they offer
These are the five major home Internet Service Providers In Nairobi that are suitable for heavy Internet users. Where does this leave us? Well, if you have all the three major unlimited isps i.e Faiba, ZUKU and Safaricom in your area, I’d go for Safaricom. The best plan to go for will depend on the size of your family. If you live alone, or are a family of three, the Silver and Bronze palns will just be fast enough for all users. However if we are talking an extended family with millenials Instagramming, streaming Facebook and Instagram videos, don’t compromise. Just subscribe to the Safaricom Gold or platinum plans.
What ISP do you use? will you be shifting to the new Safaricom to home fiber unlimited Internet? I know their prices are really good because honestly, why pay Kshs 2,900 for 20GB only when you can pay Kshs 2500 for Safaricom 5MBps? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I will try as much as possible to keep this list updated. If you found this post helpful while doing your research for a good ISP for your home in Nairobi, please share it.
List of Top Internet Service Providers In Kenya In Home Internet (Fiber and Wireless)
Internet is becoming a basic need in the current modern day society hence more and more people in Kenya and around the world are looking for a reliable and affordable internet service provider. Having a wifi connection in your home is a very enjoyable thing since you get to enjoy great internet on a variety of devices at the same time as compared to paying for each device separately. Various companies in Kenya are moving in to cover this huge market especially in urban areas.
Here is a list of companies that provide home internet in Kenya (as at 2015)
This is a brand under the Wananchi Group which provides both tv and internet at affordable prices. It has over 60% of the home internet fiber internet market in Kenya. It covers most of Nairobi and Mombasa. Speeds range from 1mbps to 60mbps which prices are from Ksh3000 to Ksh10,000, plus all their internet is unlimited. Do inquire if they have coverage in your area and check their website for the different plans.
This is the biggest telecommunication company in Kenya. Currently they don’t have unlimited internet on wireless but they do offer bundled offers. They do have unlimited fiber to home internet in Nyayo Estate Embakasi for Ksh3500 a month for 10mbps and are rolling out in a number of estates in Nairobi just tweet them and ask if they are in your neighborhood.
Safaricom also launched The Big Box which will provide wireless internet at home through its 3G/4G network. This comes together with free tv channels. 4G internet speeds now hit averagely 20mbps – 40mbps but depends on signal strength and congestion in your area. It will cost you Ksh10,000 but you get limited internet of up to 50GB bundle which will cost you Ksh4000 and expire in 30 days.
With Airtel you can get wifi set up in your house through their wireless router which is portable. Their wifi routers are ZTE-MF60 (Ksh4,000) which connects around 8 users and The Office which connects around 35 users. For around Ksh3,000 a month you can get 30gb data cap whereby afterwards you browse on limited speeds. Average speeds are around 1mps to 3mbps.
Orange Kenya used to offer unlimited internet but it was scrapped and replaced with a bundles plan. You can get a wifi router that is wireless and portable. This will help set up a wifi connection at home. Currently they have daily internet bundles, weekly, monthly and 90 day bundles.
5. Faiba Internet.
This is the most advertised internet service in Kenya with very creative advertising. Unfortunately they mainly concentrate on businesses instead of home internet. Faiba is a brand under Jamii Telecom. They do offer fiber to home internet services in select locations in Nairobi. For Ksh5,000 a month you get 5mps unlimited internet. Other packages are 10mbps for Ksh10,000, 15mbps for Ksh15,000 and 20mbps for Ksh20,000.