To connect to the Internet, you can chose dial-up, which goes through your landline but is slow, DSL or cable/fiber optics with fiber optics being the fastest and wireless with a USB modem. For dial-up, you can download the software or purchase a CD to install it. For wireless, you can pick up the USB modem or have it sent to you. One benefit of wireless is that you can access the internet at home or while you are on the go. If you have service on your cell phone in an area, you most likely also have service for your wireless. Wireless connection is becoming very popular, not only in Houston, but the entire nation.To establish an internet connection with a DSL or cable/fiber optics company, you will need to call a service provider to schedule an appointment. To start service with any provider, you will need to provide proof of identity. They may also run your credit report. As an expat, you won’t have an established credit history and you will need to talk to the individual provider for your options, one of which is a deposit.
Most DSL, cable and fiber optics installations take between 2 days and 4 days. The installation by any company is usually scheduled for a specific day without a given time and it is recommended that you plan to stay at home to be available until the technician arrives.
The average price range for Internet access is $30-100 per month depending upon the type of service selected with dial-up being the cheapest, then DSL and wireless, followed by cable and fiber optics.
In most rental buildings or apartment complexes, a list of providers are already pre-wired and set up in the buildings will be offered. If you prefer a specific provider, it is important to pick your apartment accordingly.
Here is a list of the top internet providers:
- AT&T U-verse – 800-288-2020, http://www.att.com/u-verse
- Comcast (Cable) – 713-341-1000, http://www.comcast.com
- Netzero (Dial-up, DSL) – 888-349-0029, http://www.netzero.net/
- AOL – http://free.aol.com/thenewaol/plan_choice.adp
- Clear – http://www.clear.com/ (Wireless only)
- Cricket – 800-922-5159 – http://www.mycricket.com/broadband (Wireless only)
Another option are Internet Cafes which are available throughout the area. Here are some specific Internet Cafes:
- Silver Spoon Internet Cafe – 832-258-2584, 3928 Old Spanish Trail, just southeast of Downtown, http://www.silverspooninternetcafe.com/
- Wired Java & Internet Cafe – 281-550-1011, 9740 Barker Cypress in Cypress, NW Houston
- Mighty Mouse Internet Cafe – 281-872-1400, inside Greenspoint Mall in North Houston
- Moogles Internet Center – 281-893-0881, 5020 FM 1960 W. in NW Houston, http://www.moogles.com/
Many coffee shops let you access the Internet for free but you may only be able to do so, if you have an account with the specific provider through which they are offering this service.