There are a range of options for buying internet and telephone services in New Zealand.
Most internet connections are through phone lines with ADSL2+ available in most parts of the country. Some areas have cable connections through Vodafone. 3G mobile broadband is available through most of the country. 4G is available in cities and major towns and coverage is steadily increasing.
Many rural properties rely on satellite connections for broadband internet access or access dial up services through their phone line.
Chorus is the company responsible for the lines and they are currently building an ultrafast broadband network. Around 87 per cent of New Zealanders, in over 390 towns and cities, will be able to access ultra-fast broadband by the end of 2022. You can check the current availability of this service in your area on the Chorus website.
Chorus sell access to the lines through approximately 70 retailers and most people buy their phone and internet connection through the same company.
WiFi Box for Campervans and Cars
An onboard WiFi box can be purchased for campervans and cars. They are good for connecting multiple devices, however, they are quite expensive and, just like phones, only work when there is a signal. It is better to use a data plan on cellphones and tablets.
WiFi in Accommodation
One of the selling points for a lot of New Zealand accommodations is “Free WiFi”. That’s because they know how hard free WiFi is to find! However, don’t expect a very fast connection with free WiFi.
Sometimes it is worth paying a little for good WiFi. It’s usually cheaper to pay over a period of time rather than per MB. One Internet service worth having if you are staying in one of the hostel networks, like Base and Nomads, is Global Gossip. You can either pay NZ$4 for 24 hours or NZ$12 for 7 days. This means you can connect to unlimited WiFiat any Global Gossip hotspot within that time period. Additionally, if you get yourself a YHA membership, there’s free WiFi at 25+ YHA hostels around the country.
WiFi in Towns and Cities
The best way to get WiFi in a New Zealand town or city is to buy a coffee! Many cafes have free WiFi that is decent enough for uploading photos and videos. Some cafes have time or MB limits on WiFi. Also, internet cafes are an obvious solution, be prepared to pay NZ$3-NZ$6 an hour.
Spark customers on a pay monthly phone plan can use the 1000+ free WiFi zones all over the country.
Other Places You Can Find Free WiFi
Some have good connections, others not so much.
- Libraries (sometimes)
- YHA hostels for YHA members