Internet providers in South Korea provide a service vital to many Koreans. The South Korean state is renowned for its fast Internet speed and free public hot spots. However, if you’re planning to live here you cannot rely on hot spots for your daily internet dose. This is where internet providers come in (literally) and hook you up to the electronic super highway.
Did you know? Over half the world’s WiFi hubs are in South Korea!
Around 75% of all Korean households are connected to the interned through a broadband connection. Broadband is more efficient than dial-up, which makes it a popular choice. There are an array of broadband products such as DSL, Cable Model and Satellite.
While it’s a myth that Korea has the fastest internet, the fastest is in Eastern Europe, it does have the greatest penetration rate in the world. This means that is most wide-spread. But, if you’ve taken one ride on the subway in Korea, you already know that.
Some companies offer a month-by-month pay system, similar to how a prepay card works on a phone. This is perfect for those of you who don’t want to sign any binding contract or do not plan on living in Korea for a long time. Take note that when breaking a contract you are expected to pay for the remainder of the months in your contract in one batch. If you are leaving the country but planning on returning, you can freeze your contract for three months.
If you’re not looking to sign up for a monthly service and would rather connect to the internet from time to time without any binding agreements, you have a number of options. South Korea is littered with PC bangs (PC rooms) and Internet Cafés. You will find one on almost every corner and you can simply walk in and go online for as long as you would like to at your own discretion.
The array of internet services in South Korea is of confusing range. There are many internet providers who offer all types of packages. You can opt for anything from a basic dial-up connection to the fastest 5G broadband. After you sign the contract you can expect them to come install the internet the next day, in an agreed-upon time slot.
In South Korea, every Internet connection must be traceable to a Korea ID or a corporate registration number. If you have yet to receive your Alien Registration Card you will not be able to sign up for Internet. You can bypass this by asking a Korean friend or a coworker to sign the contract for you. The wait for a Korea ID card is approximately one month.
There is a lot of choice, but we advise you to go with the most popular choices among Koreans. The best-rated Internet providers are KT and SK but there are other smaller companies that manage to stand up to the competition.
Korea Telecom is the most popular of the internet providers in South Korea. It offers broadband DSL services as well as cable. The cable is called Megapass. KT also offers hotspot access, called Nespot. if that is not enough for you and for some reason you need a high-speed Wi-fi on the go service, they offer WiBro for your laptop/netbook/tablet or phone.
Find the online at the official website here or by calling 100.
SK (formerly known as Hanaro) is the second most popular of internet providers. Similar to KT, Hanaro offers broadband Internet as well as a cable option called Hanafos. You can find the cable service here and the official Hanaro web page here. To reach them, dial 106.
United and Chollian are smaller internet providers that offer basic dial-up access. This service is inexpensive, you should not expect to pay more than 30.000 KRW per month.
Rates vary from company to company but also based on the duration of your contract. The longer your contract lasts for, the less you will have to pay on a monthly basis. For an Internet only (broadband, no phone, no cable) the cheapest possible price is 17.000 KRW. This price is for a two-year contract. You will also pay a modem-rental fee which is between 3.000 KRW to 5.000 KRW. Expect to pay an installation fee of around 30.000 KRW.
As you might know by now, the South Korean government takes it into his hands to cleanse the internet of evil before making it available to its citizens. This results into not only the ban of pornography and websites promoting violence and drug use, but also subscription-based services like Pandora, and until a year ago, Netflix. Bypassing this is possible, through a proxy. There are many VPNs can be installed as a stand-alone program on your computer or, the more popular option, as an extension/add-on to your Internet browser.