Internet comes in two basic forms in the DR, wireless (using the cell towers) and hardwired. You can get either of these in a prepaid payment plan or postpaid (like what most of the plans in the US).
Mobile Wireless Internet
This is one of the more convenient internet options (even for long term visitors) and the only one that makes sense if you are only staying here for a couple weeks to a few months. This plan works off the Claro Cell towers and requires the use of a USB modem that is provided by Claro. The modem comes free with the postpaid plans and is free with some of the longer term prepaid plans.
Wireless internet is available throughout the country with varied results. This is a 3G service that has speeds up to 3.5MB, but in reality you can expect between 500kb and about 1.5MB. On good days I have reached up to 2MB download speeds. Your speed is determined by many factors including how close you are to the tower (how good your signal is), how congested the network is (how many people are using the network varies by the time of day and the day of the week), weather, and the condition of the equipment. As with most services in the DR, keeping the equipment running at its full capacity is not a real concern. When you complain about the speed the answer is a puzzled “but you are able to connect right?”
Postpaid plans can be paid at various locations around the country. The main Claro offices take payments but the numerous small offices do not, however in most towns there is a bank that you can use to make your Claro internet payments to. These plans lock you into a 18 month plan.
For these plans you have a maximum download for the month, you pay more for the higher download limits. The 100MB, and 1GB max download services will cut you off completely when you reach the limit for the month. The 3GB, 5GB and 10GB plans will drop you down to a 250kb download speed for the rest of the month after you reach your download limit. All plans come with a free USB modem. For the 1GB plan you can pay an extra amount for a wi-fi router (ZTE MF30 or ZTE MF29) with the 3GB, 5GB and 10GB plans one of the Two modems comes free.
Claro Postpaid Wireless internet Prices
- 100MB – $295 RD
- 1GB – $595 RD
- 3GB – $995 RD
- 5GB – $1,395 RD
- 10GB – $1,995 RD
Claro Prepaid Wireless internet plans
The prepaid wireless plans are for people that want to get internet for a short period of time, for vacations or visits of only a few months.
For these plans you will need to pay for the modem (on all but the 3GB and 5GB plans) and you have to buy the router if that is needed. For these you pay for a certain amount of download (GB maximum) and it is good for a short period of time. For instance, if you buy the 1.5GB plan you can use it all you want until your bandwidth is used up, then you need to purchase more if you want to continue using the internet. If you do not use all of your 1.5GB within 15 days you lose the bandwidth. You can recharge your internet online.
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If you are planning on living here for a while, do not need to be able to use the internet all over the island, only in your house, and live in an area where it is offered, hard wired internet is a much better deal. You can get plans that give you up to 10mbps with no download maximum (monthly cap on your downloads). You can also add phone and TV to the same plan. The price chart below gives the Download speed and monthly price in Dominican Pesos
- 1 mbps – $695
- 1.5 mbps – $995
- 2 mbps – $1,295
- 3 mbps – $1,795
- 4 mbps – $2,200
- 6 mbps – $2,850
- 8 mbps – $3,350
- 10 mbps – $4,295
If you don’t plan on using a laptop and accessing the internet as you travel the island, live in an area where hardwire is available, and plan on being here for 18 months or more, the hardwire option is by far the better plan. If your internet plans do not fit those three requirements it is better to get the wireless internet and for short term visits it is better to use the Claro Pre-paid Wireless.
Helpful Claro Help Desk Numbers
Claro asks that you use this number to recharge your plan (809)200-3799. You will need to be able to speak Spanish to do it though. Another option to find out how much of your plan you have used and to recharge is to try (809) 220-1111 and click 1 when you get to the options, this will get you to the “English” speaking help desk and you can go from there.
Your account is based off your passport number so you will need to have that handy when you call. Also, even if you only have internet and do not have a phone, the chip and therefore your plan has a telephone number attached to it. Usually they give you that number when you get the service, this is another number you can use to access information about your account.