Have you ever had the internet die on you at a critical moment?
I have—more times than I’d like to count. One such story involves Germany…and a girl. A girl who was really, really keen to spend the day with me (and feel free to interpret that any way you want—it’ll still be correct).
But I had online work deadlines. The kind you don’t skip. And instead of spending our time in a far more pleasant fashion, we burned it trying to find a cafe with decent internet access so I could upload a document.
It took the whole day. And trust me, there were better things we could have been doing.
Losing access to the internet can be a pretty big problem sometimes. Work. Family. Close friends. Sorting out travel plans when something goes wrong.
You’ve been in a similar situation, I bet—and if you plan to use the internet while you travel, you’re in for a world of frustration.
I teamed up with TravelWifi, the mobile WiFi solution for travelers, to show you how to avoid getting caught offline when you need it most.
12 Countries with the Slowest Internet in the World
It’s not guaranteed you’ll find it nightmarish in these places. Your mileage will vary wherever you go—but generally speaking, these are the countries with the slowest and most chronically unreliable WiFI-accessed internet, based on the average broadband connection speeds for each country, according to SpeedTest.net.
1. Venezuela: 3.31 Mbps
Ah, lovely Venezuela. The Caribbean beaches. The Angel Falls. The warm, friendly people—and the absolute worst internet you’ll find anywhere.
Not only does it suffer the slowest broadband speeds in the world, they’re also some of the flakiest—and the reason behind both is infrastructure. Venezuela is in the middle of an economic, political and social crisis, and every part of the country is suffering, including the tech industry. Right now is a bad, bad time to visit as a tourist (although tragically, your tourist dollars could do a lot of good there).
If you go, expect the unexpected—and be prepared to scream at your laptop a lot.
2. Libya: 3.81 Mbps
If the phrase “Qaddafi regime” doesn’t immediately put you off, and you’re unperturbed by a lively mixture of 90% desert and near-constant violent insurgency, Libya has a lot to offer the modern adventurer, like the ruins of legendary Cyrene and the archaeological site of Leptis Magna.
It’s also the home of a lot of truly horrific internet access. According to some accounts, Libya’s internet is unique in that it’s gotten worse over the last half-decade, not better.
However, if you’re in Libya, you should regard problems getting online as the least of your worries—the Department of State has a travel warning in place for the whole country right now.
3. Algeria: 4.10 Mbps
Another handsome North African country with a security issue, Algeria currently carries a high risk for foreign travelers of kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism, especially in the border regions.
Also, the internet is shambolic. Since the government has recently taken to restricting or shutting down the internet to tackle terrorism or, bizarrely, crack down on students cheating in their exams, it’s an unreliable service for its 8 million internet-using citizens. If you go, you’ll probably be in the same boat too—but remember it’s a vast country, so depending on where you go, internet coverage can range from terrible to really terrible.
4. Lebanon: 4.51 Mbps
A fascinating country, where the Middle East meets West and ancient meets thoroughly modern, Lebanon´s troubled history (some of which is still underway) means it’s yet another country that the US Department of State wouldn´t want you visiting right now.
Regarding connectivity, Lebanon is in a curious situation—it’s at the receiving end of brand-new underwater fiber optic cables, theoretically giving it some of the fastest speeds in the world. However, on land, most of the country’s fiber-optic network has yet to be installed or turned on—meaning the quality of your internet access is not guaranteed.
5. Bolivia: 4.81 Mbps
The first country in this list to get a completely green light from the State Department, Bolivia is also arguably the most stunning—a vast landscape of soaring mountains, wide plains and remote villages it’ll take you days to get to. It’s a wonderful place to disconnect and take a digital detox—which is a good job, really.
Bolivia’s public telco has just announced plans of a new fiber network stretching over the country. Meanwhile, the country’s first satellite is allowing 4G LTE services as fast as 100 Mbps in a few select places—but for the vast majority of everyone else, the average is slow enough to hurt (especially if it’s a shared connection, eg. in a hotel).
6. Egypt: 5.15 Mbps
You may have seen Egypt in the news in recent years. Is it currently safe to travel there? This is what I have to say about that.
But what I can tell you is that the internet has come a long way from the 2011 complete network shutdowns—most Egyptians now have access to ADSL, and while it’s not fast (most mobile networks are actually faster), it’s workable.
A bigger problem is recent crackdowns on specific websites and publications. Censorship and internet freedom are ongoing issues, but that’s happening all over the world.
7. Suriname: 5.23 Mbps
You’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome to this South American, former Dutch colony—in every sense. Online access? Not quite so much.
Less than half of the population of Suriname are on the internet, so once you get outside the cities and into all the signal-destroying rainforest of the interior, your internet-time is probably going to take a tumble. Console yourself with some of the tastiest fruit juices in all the Americas.
8. Uzbekistan: 5.30 Mbps
Famous as part of the epic Silk Road route, this Central Asian country and former Soviet republic is stunning. Just don’t plan on telling anyone about it until you get back home. Broadband is slow, but much more disruptive is the current total block on Voice over Internet Protocol Services like Skype, WhatsApp & Viber.
9. Mozambique: 5.51 Mbps
This Southern African, Portuguese-speaking country is still developing (and is currently one of the poorest countries in the world) but it has so many beautiful sights to offer that tourism is growing quickly.
Countrywide, speeds aren’t so good, but if you’re in Maputo, you’ll find way faster data rates and a lot of cafes and wireless spots to choose from. Not too bad, on the whole.
10. Nicaragua: 5.75 Mbps
Nica is a hot destination for travelers right now—it’s highly affordable, it’s filled with jaw-dropping scenery, and the internet is…okay, back to the scenery. And it’s cheap!
Frequent power outages continue to be a problem, but Nica is an increasingly attractive prospect for remote workers—although if you need practical speeds of more than 2 Mbps, you’ll definitely need a mobile solution, not a wired one.
11. Honduras: 5.86 Mbps
Honduras is currently shaking off its reputation as a violent corner of Central America—and has much to offer.
Thanks to the government’s Internet para el Pueblo initiative, there’s free WiFi available at most central parks and plazas. The big cities have faster speeds than the national average—elsewhere, frustratingly lower.
12. Pakistan: 5.95 Mbps
Both Pakistan and neighboring India have been having severe internet blackouts or slowdowns this year. In India’s case, it’s due to government shutdowns—29 of them in 2017 so far. India´s (almost) saving grace is that it has a fast internet service, an average of 17 Mbps, which Pakistan has yet to catch up with.
Pakistan’s internet speed woes can be blamed on one thing: a recent undersea cable system collapse. While repairs continue, expect the internet to crawl.
Using Mobile WiFi to Get Reliable Internet Anywhere In The World
In many situations, including transit through the 12 countries listed above, you’d be smart to rely on your mobile connection instead of the local broadband.
There are two ways to do it—but one comes with a ridiculous price-tag.
- Data Roaming. If this phrase doesn’t give you a stab of pure fear, you haven’t traveled enough. In an ideal world we’d all be rich and data roaming would be a wonderful thing: instant, speedy internet wherever we are in the world. The technology is terrific. The prices can bankrupt you.
- Mobile WiFi. Imagine all the benefits of data roaming at a single, 100%-predictable price plan that will never turn round and sting you with extra charges. That’s the dream for many travelers—and at last, practical, affordable mobile wifi has finally become a reality.
TravelWifi Gives You Fast, Unlimited Internet Almost Everywhere
TravelWifi’s mobile WiFi is a game changer.
Your WiFi device isn’t much larger than the phone you’ll use it with—and it’s a lot less complicated. There’s one button on the front, and when you press it, you’ll boot up a WiFi hotspot that will give you unlimited data every day you’re on their plan (with reduced speeds after 1gb).
It works almost anywhere in the world—including in six of the twelve countries listed above (specifically, Venezuela, Bolivia, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Nicaragua, and Honduras).
In many countries, you’ll even be able to use super-fast 4G speeds of up to 10Mbps for your mobile WiFi—faster than many standard broadband networks.
It’s also more economical with your data. If you use Tep+, their brand new call & messaging app, it uses up to nine times less data than other chat apps with no loss in quality (I’m looking at you Skype). This means less bandwidth and better quality connectivity at the same time. This way, wen you’re in areas with poor mobile coverage, you’ll still be able to make a call without the signal breaking up (and it’ll save your battery life too!).
All this, for a single price per day, with no extra charges, no surprises and no life-ruining bills a month later. Win, win, win…win?
COUPON CODE: If you want to pick up TravelWifi for yourself, just use the code ‘TRAVELFREAK‘ at checkout for a 15% discount off your final order!
You are very wrong becaus syria has the worst wifi in the world with 200 kbps
Yo add sri lanka we have very poor connections thanks to our sri lankan politics
I’m in cambodia and i know MekongNetvhas the fastest fiber optic internet and WiFi.
Oops sorry there’s no v between net and has
Oops sorry there’s no v between net and has
The country Sri Lanka Has even worse internet at 1mbps or less these days, for online classes, children in the village side have to climb up dangerous rocks and trees to study, why isn’t that on the list!
You must include sri lankan dialog
The author of this article is ignorant and stupid, I live in Algeria, and I have unlimited 100mb/s fiber optics.
As for the handsome North African country, you should review your country’s statistics of murder and rape. and have to educate yourself and know who is stealing the wealth of these African countries and financing the cartoonish terrorists.
pakistan net has improved? i didnt know its so bad for me here in pakistan
Finally, we do not need anyone to promote tourism in our country, first, Algeria makes its own promotion alone, it is a country that has a history, the country of Berbers and free men …
It is a beautiful and generous country and at the right time we, its children, will make it known in all the Galaxy and we do not need your blog, we are preparing ours: https://algerianfoodtour.com/
LMAO! Would hardly consider slow internet connection a promotion of your country.
I am Algerian and I just found by hazad on your article, which shows Algeria under the image that the thugs who govern us want you to believe!
The only thing true in what you wrote is the very low speed of internet, it is the worst in the world and I agree with you.
But know sir that you can spend the night out with your wife without anyone stealing anything from you !! what you can not do elsewhere …
Besides nobody will let you spend the night out here!!! and to say what you say about Algeria is just absurd!!!
There is no banditry here and especially no terrorism except the one of the secret police who makes arbitrary arrests of political opponents and makes false declarations that there are terrorists in Algeria to avoid the tourists especially in the Sahara, because they are extracting gold there and stealing it…etc!
We, the Algerian people, are civilized and peaceful people and I invite you to come and see for yourselves and stop believing everything you see on public television and in the newspapers of the mafia power in place.
We are fighting for democracy and to install a real government and a real justice in Algeria and know sir that you have written lies about our country!
I leave you with your conscience and to finish let me inform you that we Algerians, we also work at NASA, we also have great men …. Please do not believe everything you read on the internet!
Pls add Sri Lanka also. Most of the times 600KB to 1MB speed. Sometimes maximum 4MB/s
Donkey our speeds are 60mbps
go check ookla global index, we are in 130th place out of 140 countries. What a proud moment.
You were right about the poopy internet in Algeria, but bro i visited the country once…that country is fabulous, and i don’t get it, from where did you get that terrorists kidnaping and banditing thing, i visited 34 counties in the world algeria is the 4th safest country of those i visited, its even safer from Egypt and morroco and the people there are so kind and have pure souls even though they don’t speak English much only frensh, but still try thier best to help you find your way out, really cool people to be honest…stop writing stuff you don’t know man…
The usual speed connection in Algeria actually is 8mb (900kb/s in download), it’s unstable.
But WTF are you saying about kidnapping and terrorism ? you’re lying ! you don’t know this country and you sir, are telling shit, it’s more secure than Morocco, you’re proving us that you have no idea about Algeria you’re just telling shit.
dude I’m ALGERIAN AND i CAN TELL YOU HOW BAD IT IS..YOU CAN’T SEARCH FOR A WORD WITHOUT TAKING A BATH BEFORE
incorrect the worst wifi in the world is
m c d o n a l d s
w i f i
Lol what a joke, 4mb would be heaven for me, Iraq has the worst internet, I pay $40 monthly for 600kbps-1mbps, y’all are living in heaven compared to me
Here in venezuela we have that connection speed but never reaches that high. I can sometimes do a connection speed test and it says 50 kbps on download and 20 kbps on upload and if you don’t believe me i can send u a pic
Ok Algeria has the worst internet connection in the world or at least it is in the top 5, and that’s due to corruption and monopolism (Algérie telecom is the only internet provider in the country), buuuut you could not be more wrong about the security issues no we don’t have that and you are more then welcome to pay us a visite #WelcomeToAlgeria . (the internet went off two times while writing this comment).
You guys i’m sure my country is the worst Algeria , has a totally chaotic internet connection, we don’t have Mégas we have kilos so…
And besides we don’t have security issues . Do a better work next time
You are a gamer ?
i’m sorry but lebanon should be number one, i live in lebanon and i’ve been all around the world. this country hast the shittiest internet u can ever imagine due to corruption everywhere, even in the goverment
….security issue, Algeria currently carries a high risk for foreign travelers of kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism !!!! What ?? I felt like it is not my country you’re talking about 😅 it feels so scary and horrible. Stop looking for informations in internet and use anything just to add words
When I’m in Nicaragua and I say good wifi they say to me “what’s good wifi?”
No I’m libya and I have 7mpbs at home
Please add Iran to the least as well.The average speed is 4.50
Ass**le, you can buy better speed…
I found this article confusing because you seem to be using the terms “WiFi” and “internet” interchangeably. But it’s two completely different things. The page is titled “Worst WiFi”, but the problem you seem to be describing is slow Internet speeds, which has nothing to do with WiFi performance. If you don’t use WiFi (like me) then it’s not an issue. (I’d much rather use an ethernet cable, but each to his own.) Also, the slow speeds you quote don’t seem slow to me. Between 3 and 6 mbps may not be as fast as what most ISPs offer today, but it’s not that slow. You can very comfortably use the internet at that speed with little loading time.
Please update that Pakistan has improved in the development of internet to 9.3Mbps and many new fiber optic companies are locally aunched which provides 10mbps to 100mbps.
pakistan net has improved? i didnt know its so bad for me here in pakistan
Yeah from 150mbps in finland to 0.90mbps download speed in Lebanon leaves you wondering should you go back. It’s really crap to live like this if you are a tech geek.
I’m so jealous that you’ve actually been to these places. I just got back from NYC and it felt like Bolivia. Plus and I was pissing and moaning about the shitty wifi on the train. Incidentally, the guy sitting across from me let me use his little portable wifi thingy, and I was impressed. Entered!
“Frequent power outages continue to be a problem, but Nica is an increasingly attractive prospect for remote workers—although if you need practical speeds of more than 2 Mbps, you’ll definitely need a mobile solution, not a wired one.”
Wired internet is available in most Nicaraguan cities with speeds up to 10 mpbs. In some areas fiber at 20 mpbs is even available.
It is not necessary to have a mobile connection to get these speeds.
So glad you didn’t list Nepal on your list. It was horrible, think 1992. But they just put in the line for broadband and it’s working so fast here in Changunarayan Village. I am so happy with it. However, I’m at the edge of the Kathmandu Valley-still in civilization. I cannot say how it would be in the Himalayas. I know it’s there, but not so fast. What that means is tourists and other travelers will not need to stay in the polluted capitol city. Many digital nomads would love to come to work in Nepal if only they could get fast internet. Now that problem is solved!
Hope people will be encouraged to travel to Nepal. Thanks for your interesting blog post. At least Nepal isn’t the last to get fast internet.