There are options for both broadband and wireless high-speed internet connections. Broadband is the cheapest and most reliable option, but it can also be difficult and time-consuming to install.
Ideally, you should make sure to rent an apartment in which a broadband connection is already installed. Installation can only be ordered by the registered owner of the property, and can easily take up to a week or far longer if the phone wiring in your building is not set up properly.
The differences in rates between providers are fairly minor. Typically, an always-on, high-speed broadband connection with unlimited downloads will cost from 450 RUR per month for the perfectly adequate 3072 kilobit/second uploand and download speeds, or up to 1300 RUR per month if you want the extreme speed of 30000 kilobit/second.
There are three main providers: Stream, Akado and Corbina. Stream, a sister company of MGTS in the Sistema Telecommunications Group, overlays their digital network on MGTS fixed line installations; Akado-stolitsa, a brand of Renova Media, covers the Central, Southern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Northeastern, and Northwestern administrative districts of Moscow; while Corbina, an Internet TV company is strongest in Northwest Moscow.
There are also numerous smaller independent providers available, such as NetByNet, Qwerty, and Onlime. However, there is no great variation in price and speeds available.
In addition, two of the main TV providers (Kosmos and Stream) have internet services available. If you purchase a TV subscription through them, it may be advantageous to get a package deal (although it usually doesn’t make sense, from a cost perspective, to purchase the internet alone). See our section on Televisions.
- Stream: http://stream.ru/ (Russian only)
- Akado: http://www.akado.ru/ (Russian only)
- Corbina: http://home.corbina.ru/ (Russian only)
Broadband internet bills are also paid in bill payment machines available in stores, metro stations, underpasses, or simply in the street. Most accept cash only, although you can visit a bank branch to find a machine that accepts credit cards.
Wireless internet access is provided through cell phone providers, who typically sell modems at cost and offer pre- and post-paid plans, with or without monthly subscription fees (similar to cell phone plans – see Telephone). A sample plan would cost 300 RUR per month, with 100 MB of traffic included, and 1 RUR per MB after that.
Wireless internet bills are also paid in bill payment machines available in stores, metro stations, underpasses, or simply in the street. Most accept cash only, although you can visit a bank branch to find a machine that accepts credit cards.
Out on the Town
Because internet at home is fairly inexpensive, the number of internet cafes has gone down. However, you can still find one with a little looking. The best places to check are malls – most have one. The following chain also has several Moscow locations:
- CafeMax, http://cafemax.ru/ – 5 locations, open 24 hours
Expect to pay 50-100 RUR per hour.
The number of Wi-Fi hotspots in Moscow is steadily increasing, and many restaurants and coffee shops provide Wi-Fi free or for a small fee. Locations include the American Bar & Grill (closest metro: Mayakovskaya or Kurskaya), TGI Friday’s (closest metro: Oktyabrskaya or Noviye Cheremushki), and most branches of the Shokoladnitsa coffee house.