A good and reliable Internet connection is pretty much essential these days. You need it for all sorts of things, including the ability to make real money online. Unfortunately, the state of ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in Kenya is very nearly pathetic. After some readers asked us to recommend good ISPs, we realised that we could not actually recommend anyone without giving a caveat. How sad, eh? So we decided to do some research and establish the truth about which company may actually be the best ISP in Kenya.
Our admittedly very limited research focused on the so called ‘big’ names:
Why did we do this?
Well, almost everyone we talked to felt that the ISP state in Kenya is just not right. Very few if any of the Kenyan ISPs do things right and the customer is at their complete mercy. It should be the other way round – they should be at our complete mercy.
This is our own little contribution towards that future. We hope to publish updates in the future as and when the situation changes. Please note that our review was limited to residential internet access and not the so called “corporate internet”. Many ISPs are totally different depending on what type of customer you are. Sigh.
The Best ISP
Unfortunately, and sadly, we did not find any one company that we could call “the bast”. Some seem very good, but all have painful problems associated with them. Sad tu sana, eh?
1. GOOD ISPs
It may come as quite the shock but currently Safaricom seems to be the among the best overall ISPs in the country. Safaricom offers internet via mobile modems, WiMAX, and fibre. Overall, people speak very well of Safaricom.
- Very fast Internet
- Fairly stable and rarely goes down
- When things go wrong, the customer often does not know who to cotnact for support – and the Safaricom customer care line rarely goes through. However, Safaricom seem to genuinely care about improving their customer care.
- Safaricom is expensive.
Airtel is another company whose reputation is mainly good. They currently offer internet via mobile modems.
- They are affordable
- Their service is mostly reliable
- Speed is really slow, sometimes becoming pathetic (i.e. the region of about 6Kbps or lower)
C. Access Kenya
Many people who deal with Access Kenya are quite happy. However there are some people who would highly recommend against them.
- Fairly stable service
- Fairly ok customer service
- It is a bit pricey
- Relatively low speeds
- It feels like it is an ISP that is slowly fading away to the competition as far as residential customers are concerned.
2. BAD ISPs
These are ISPs that we would not recommend for anyone, unfortunately. Of course these companies do have happy customers so they must be good to them but you should engage with them with extreme caution.
Orange’s bad reputation comes fro their mistreatment of customers. Complaints range from:
- In the past, they have changed their rates suddenly and unexpectedly and inexplicably
- There have been reports that a customer’s bandwidth runs out faster than it should
- Slow speeds
- VERY poor support
KDN is famous for its extremely poor customer service. They seems to focus on serving corporate customers at the expense of residential customers. However, they are known for offering good services (for while) but when things start going wrong (they always do), they really get bad.
Personally I have been using Zuku at home for a while. In spite of this, I find it extremely hard to give a positive review of their service. Why? Because as a customer, Zuku will give you a special kind of pain: internet that is so shaky it disconnects every few minutes and extremely unhelpful, inaccessible and poor support. Dealing with Zuku sometimes feels like being scammed. Proceed with caution.
3. Other ISPs
We have no direct experience with the following, but their reputation seems to be good:
It is said that Internet services in Kenya can be one of two things, but not both:
- Reliable OR
The sad truth is that, at present, if you want an internet connection that is reliable, even enjoyable, you must pay premium rates.
What are your experiences with ISPs in Kenya?