The Best Internet Service Providers For 2020

The Best Internet Service Providers For 2020

In the most recent global index by internet speed monitor Ookla published in March 2020, the Philippines came in 104th out of 176 countries in the fixed broadband speed with an average download speed of 23.80 and ranked 116th out of 141 in mobile broadband speed with an average download speed of 14.24.

Clearly, the broadband situation in the Philippines has a lot of room for improvement but if you are in the market to sign up for a broadband service today, what options do you have?

Today, users have a choice of more than one type of broadband connection available for commercial use in the Philippines which cater to different lifestyles and needs. While the broadband speed is ultimately the number one consideration, its efficiency may vary due to various factors that the different broadband providers address differently.

Before jumping the gun and making your decision based on the download speed, read our back-to-basics guide to determine which will suit your preference, budget, and set-up first.

Types of Internet Connection In The Philippines

1. DSL

DSL which stands for Digital Subscriber Line is the most basic broadband connection type using a wireline transmission technology to transmit data over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses.

Pros

The most affordable and has the most availability among all the three. Basically, it’s the standard connection in the market right now and is the go-to connection for basic to moderate internet use due to the fact that it doesn’t have a data cap and its connection speed is decent enough for browsing, streaming, and downloading.

Cons

Higher download speed can be extremely expensive and are mostly packaged as internet plans for businesses. To date, the maximum download speed available for consumers is 6MBPs.

SpeedUp to 20Mbps
Availability5/5
Streaming/Browsing3/5
Gaming2/5
Value for the money2/5

Should you get a DSL connection?

You could never go wrong with a DSL connection. As mentioned, it’s sufficient enough for any type of activities or works on the internet and its coverage pretty much extends almost anywhere in the country.

For a home with at least 3 devices connecting to the network on the average, a 6MBPs connection can already suffice. You can upgrade for a higher speed if your work requires higher bandwidth, but it can come with a hefty price tag.

2. Fiber

A state of the art connectivity technology which uses fiber optics to convert electrical signals that carry data into light then sends it through transparent glass fibers that are about the diameter of a human hair.

Pros

The download speeds offered by Fiber connections are extremely fast and is basically the gold standard for internet connections in other countries. Its minimum speed is at least three times faster than a regular DSL connection with almost the same price range. Whether you’re just doing simple browsing or gaming, a fiber connection will most likely provide you with a seamless experience.

Cons

Fiber connection is still in its early stages in the Philippines, thus limiting its availability to key cities/areas in the country. Limited coverage is a bane for a large number of Filipino internet users who would not have the opportunity to use the connection for now.

Should you get a Fiber connection?
If you’re located in Metro Manila. Cebu, or Davao, a fiber connection is perhaps the fastest and most practical connection that you can get.  Today, while the coverage is provider-specific, it’s safe to say that its coverage has gradually reached most parts of the urban areas in the country. It’s only a matter of which provider has more coverage in the respective areas. 

SpeedUp to 1 Gbps
Availability3/5
Streaming/Browsing5/5
Gaming5/5
Value for money5/5

3. Wireless broadband

This connection provides the internet through a radio link between the customer’s location and the service provider’s facility. Wireless broadband can be mobile or fixed.

Pros

One of the strongest points of wireless broadband is its portability. You can get access to the internet anytime anywhere as long as your provider’s coverage is extended to that location. It doesn’t have to be plugged-in into the power outlet all the time to function, making it a viable backup in cases of a power outage or outdoor connectivity.

Cons

Stability isn’t exactly the best in wireless broadband. It uses 4G technology in transmitting data to the devices, but it isn’t as reliable as a wired connection (DSL and Fiber). Since it’s greatly dependent on mobile internet, any kind of obstruction can affect its reception.

Another downside to wireless broadband is that service providers set a certain data cap to their subscriptions. Heavy video streaming and gaming aren’t really suitable for this type of connection.

Should you get a Wireless connection?

There are only two scenarios where a wireless connection would make sense:

  1. If you’re in need of a backup connection for your work. This is most common with online workers to ensure that their job doesn’t get disrupted by blackouts.
  2. If you only need light access to the internet for communication purposes, light browsing, and occasional streaming.

SpeedUp to 100Mbps
Availability5/5
Streaming/Browsing3/5
Gaming1/5
Value for money3/5

Stability

The reliability of an internet connection may vary according to the location and the provider of the service. Some providers have better coverage in certain areas where their competitors don’t. Some locations may have limited serviceability in general due to its proximity to the providers’ service box.

Besides the state of the country’s digital infrastructure, another big part of your decision lies in the broadband provider and what they offer.

Broadband comparison and pricing

While all of them offer high-speed internet connection, choosing which one would be suitable for you will still boil down to the internet’s availability and reliability in your location.  

PLDT

PLDT 20mbps Fiber Internet

PLDT 20mbps Fiber Internet

Faster fiber internet speed for only ₱1,899 a month

Fast 20 Mbps with no data cap

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) is the most well-established internet service provider. They have a wide array of internet services that you can choose from and is one of the providers that have the widest coverage.

 Their main offering is their wired internet service which is available in almost all areas – urban or rural.  To date, their service has gradually shifted to Fiber connection, providing much faster download speeds to its customers. 

PLDT offers both postpaid and prepaid services, giving customers the option to choose whichever may suit their needs and lifestyle. 

Fiber
UNLIFIBR PLAN 1299

10mbps (unlimited)
₱1,299
UNLIFIBR PLAN 1699

20mbps (unlimited)
₱1,699
UNLIFIBR PLAN 1899

30mbps (unlimited)
₱1,899
UNLIFIBR PLAN 2899

100mbps (unlimited)
₱2,899

Whole-Home Wifi (Phone + Fiber Bundle)

Comes with 3 TP Link + Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
WHOLE HOME WIFI PLAN 3099 

100mbps (unlimited)
₱3,099
WHOLE HOME WIFI PLAN 2099

50mbps (unlimited)
₱2,099

PLDT Home Wifi (Prepaid Wireless)
Famload 599
80GB for 15 Days
₱599
Famload 999
130GB for 30 Days
₱999
Famload 1499
200GB for 30 days
₱1,499

Globe

Globe Telecom, one of the biggest competitors of Smart and PLDT, is known primarily for broadband offering is its wireless connectivity services.  To date, they have further expanded their catalogue for wireless internet, one of which is their 5G offering. Their wired connection, on the other hand, is their least popular product due to its limited availability in certain areas. Either way, Globe’s main services are for the most part as reliable as other wired broadband’s offering, in fact, they offer some of the fastest download speeds in the market today. 

Globe Air Fiber 5G ((Wireless Connection)
This plan is bundled with a 6-month subscription to the following streaming sites:
Netflix
DisneyLife
FOX+
HOOQ
Amazon Prime
iFlix
Globe Air Fiber 1899

Up to 20 Mbps with 2TB Monthly Data Cap
Connects up to 16 devices
₱1,899
Globe Air Fiber 2499

Up to 50 Mbps with 2TB  Monthly Data Cap

Connects up to 25 devices
₱2,499
Globe Air Fiber 2899

Up to 100 Mbps with 2TB Monthly Data Cap

Connects up to 32 devices
₱2,899

Globe At Home Air ((Wireless Connection)

This plan is bundled with a 6-month Amazon Prime video subscription
Globe At Home Air Plan 1299

Up to 5 Mbps with 400GB Monthly Data Cap
₱1,299
Globe At Home Plan 4499

Up to 10 Mbps with 500GB Monthly Data Cap
₱1,599
Globe At Home Plan 1699

Up to 20 Mbps with 600GB Monthly Data Cap
₱1,699

Globe At Home - Go BIG (Wired Connection)

This plan is bundled with the following services:

3-month iWant, iflix, and Amazon Prime Video subscription

Free Landline with Unlimited Calls to Globe and TM for 24 months
Globe At Home Plan 1699

Up to 20 Mbps with 600GB Monthly Data Cap
₱1,699
Globe At Home Plan 4499

Up to 200 Mbps with 1.5TB Monthly Data Cap
₱4,499
Globe At Home Plan 6999

Up to 500 Mbps with 3TB Monthly Data Cap
₱6,999
Globe At Home Plan 6999

Up to 1 Gbps with 6TB Monthly Data Cap
₱9,499

Converge

Converge ICT FiberX 1500

Converge ICT FiberX 1500

Same unlimited data & monthly fee, but higher 25 Mbps speeds (from 20 Mbps).
Fiber-fast Speed Now up to 25 Mbps![/product

Coming onto the mass market as a fiber-only internet service provider, Converge aims to provide pure end-to-end fiber internet connectivity at a nationwide scale. It is perhaps one of the game-changing internet providers in the country. This is mainly based on the speed that they’re offering are faster than the average speed that its competitors offer at an attractive price point. The downside is, they’re not yet available in areas outside Metro Manila. 

FiberX
FIBER X 1500 (unlimited)
Up to 25 Mbps 
₱1,500
FIBER X 2500 (unlimited)

Up to 75 Mbps
₱2,500
FIBER X 3500 (unlimited)

Up to 150 Mbps
₱3,500

FiberXtreme
FIBER X 4500 (unlimited)
Up to 300 Mbps 
₱4,500
FIBER X 7000 (unlimited)

Up to 500 Mbps
₱7,000

FiberXtreme
FIBER X 4500 (unlimited)
Up to 300 Mbps 
₱4,500
FIBER X 7000 (unlimited)

Up to 500 Mbps
₱7,000

Skycable 

The most prominent cable TV provider in the Philippines in the 1990’s which is now providing broadband services in the country. Since they’re quite new to the business, their coverage may be a bit patchy, reaching only limited areas at the moment. If you’re in the market for an internet service bundled with cable TV, this may among the best one that can provide you both. 

Here are their service packages:

Sky Fiber Unli Broadband Plans
5 Mbps₱999
25 Mbps₱1,499
50 Mbps₱1,999
75 Mbps₱2,499
150 Mbps₱3,499

Sky Fiber Unli Broadband Plans  + All-In Box

With access to iWant, TVplus, and bundled with SKYCable
25 Mbps₱1,499
50 Mbps₱1,999
75 Mbps₱2,499
150 Mbps₱3,499

Sky Fiber Unli Broadband Plans  + Home WiFi Plans/center>
30 Mbps₱1,799
60 Mbps₱2,799
120 Mbps₱3,799

Sky Fiber Unli Broadband Plans  + HD Cable TV Plans
5 Mbps (with Cable TV that has 4 HD | 30 SD Channels)₱999
15 Mbps (with Cable TV that has 12 HD | 41 SD Channels)₱1,599
30 Mbps (with Cable TV that has 12 HD | 41 SD Channels)₱1,999
60 Mbps (with Cable TV that has 17 HD | 54 SD Channels)₱2,999
120 Mbps (with Cable TV that has 17 HD | 54 SD Channels)₱3,999
200 Mbps (with Cable TV that 24 HD | 106 SD Channels)₱5,499

Dito Telecommunication

In a bid to break free the country from the long-running duopoly in the telecommunication industry, another key player will soon operate to provide the country with another option for their internet needs. The 3rd Telco called “Dito” will soon open their doors to subscribers this year. 

Little is known about what their internet service packages are, but they’re gradually establishing the groundwork for them to fully operate despite the recent lockdown.

 

More information will be posted once they’re available.

Main products and coverage comparison

Each provider has their own set of unique selling point, understanding which among the providers can cater to your area’s internet capacity is the key to getting the best internet service tha

ProviderMain ProductsCoverage Areas
PLDT

  1. DSL and fiber connection with unlimited internet

  2. Wireless connection (LTE) but data capped
    Prepaid wireless (LTE)


All Major Cities and Selected Areas Nationwide
Globe

  1. Data capped wireless broadband (Air 5G and LTE), 

  2. Fiber (Unlimited Internet)


All Major Cities and Selected Areas Nationwide
Sky Broadband

  1. Fiber Unli Broadband

  2. Broadband with Cable TV


Selected Major Cities and Nearby Areas
Converge ICT

  1. Unlimited Fiber connection 


Selected Areas in Metro Manila

Primarily, the performance of a broadband service will greatly depend on the location. In order to get your money’s worth, you should not rely on the internet provider’s promised download speed alone. You can find more comprehensive information in our roundup of the best broadband offers in the country.

There are certain items that you need to tick off to find that internet service that’s a perfect match for you.

Ask your provider

  • Does the ISP have service in your area?
  • Can the broadband package of your provider of choice service your location?

Ask your neighbors or people in the location

  • Is the internet connection stable?
  • Does the internet consistently cut off randomly on a regular basis?

Ask yourself

  • Can your needs work around a limited data cap?
  • Do you (want to) download or stream a lot?
  • How often will you use the internet?
  • Are you willing to pay for a bigger data cap?
  • Can you settle for a lower speed in exchange of unlimited internet?

Understand your demand for internet

  • Does your internet practices or activities require a very fast download speed?
  • Is a fast download speed but with data cap more practical?
  • Is an unlimited internet but lower internet speed more practical?
  • How many will use the service in your household? The more people using the higher speed and more data cap you’ll need.  

Assess your lifestyle

  • Do you need a landline?
  • Do you watch TV and cable channels?
  • Are you more into streaming services like Spotify or Netflix?

With a little bit of an effort to get to know an internet service provider or a broadband service better, you’ll be saving yourself from a long-term agony of dealing with a sluggish internet connection. Lastly, align your expectations with your own assessment and the amount that you are prepared to pay monthly.

 

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