Bit of a struggle when it comes to all things tech or bamboozled with setting up your broadband internet in Singapore? We've got your back!
We’re a little gadget obsessed here. From sussing out the best smartphone to picking the best wireless headphones, a ton of research is carried out before we commit. But when it comes to settling on an internet provider or a broadband plan that’s ‘the one’, it’s easy to succumb to choice paralysis — here’s where we help you out. We’ve been there, done that, switched providers and lived to stream another binge-watching session…
So, who’s the best service provider? (It depends…)
If you live on the internet (who doesn’t?), you’ll need a damn good connection. Settle for nothing less than 1Gbps fibre broadband. But if you’re not big on streaming TV shows and films, Netflix, binge-watching videos on YouTube, Skyping with friends and family and online gaming, there are more basic plans you can subscribe to, but with fibre broadband being the most common plan offered among the telcos, why not just jump on the bandwagon?
A top pick for most, SingTel usually bundles all its services into one: cable TV, broadband internet, home phone line, sometimes throwing in a mobile plan or additional entertainment bundles. But it’s also one of the pricier plans available on the market. A basic one-year plan with a home line may set you back $59.90/month and if you throw in a home line, router, cable TV subscription (with limited channels) your bill could go to $88.80/month. Football fan or film fanatic? You have to add on for that! That’s not forgetting activation and installation fees.
SingTel, plans start from $59.90
Heads up: When you first sign up with SingTel, you’ll need to self-collect the modem from a SingTel service centre and also drop it off when you discontinue with them.
For movie and TV lovers, and the Google WiFi-curious
Like SingTel, StarHub offers broadband home bundles that include StarHub TV as well. Plans start from $78.80 for a two-year plan but you can also keep it simple and subscribe to a basic 1Gbps broadband internet plan that starts at $39.90. You can top up a little for an iPad or the Google WiFi mesh router.
StarHub, plans start at $39.90
Affordable and also caters to gamers!
At $39/month for a standard 1Gbps fibre broadband plan, M1 has one of the cheapest plans in Singapore, among the major telcos. Besides the basic home plan, M1 is also one of the service providers with options for hardcore gamers. The more advanced plan for gamers starts at $52/month, and users can enjoy better streaming, faster downloads, and also look forward to less lag when gaming, even with multiple simultaneous users. The only downside to M1 is their website which is hard to navigate and pretty dated.
M1, plans start from $39/month
Best for gamers and for commitment-phobes
If contracts and whatever baggage that comes along with it put you off from signing up, a no-contract plan from MyRepublic is your bet. This means you don’t have to fork out money for terminating your broadband internet with them. It’s no surprise that their most popular plan is the no-contract $59.99/month, with an additional $150 off a new router but check out the other contract plans they have as well. As the other telco that offers choices for gamers, you can get a PlayStation 4 with your plan for a $69.99/month plan or a Razer keyboard and mouse set with your plan for $59.99/month. Pssst, I went with MyRepublic after all the research.
MyRepublic, plans start at $49.99/month
For fans of BBC and international video sites
The biggest pro about ViewQwest? It’s the only service to offer a virtual private network (VPN) which means that users are able to send and receive data across shared and public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Simply put, if you’re dependent on BBC iPlayer, Hulu and other overseas video sites (even Netflix), you now have full access. The VPN ViewQwest provides allows users access to these sites but you will still need to sign up for the service itself for some sites.
ViewQwest, plans start at $49.90/month
Best if you don’t need a bundle
Currently, the new kid on the block has the best deals around. Starting from $38/month for a one-year plan and $34/month for a two-year plan, activation and installation fees are waived, and you get a couple of NTUC vouchers thrown in as well. If you opt for a router or mesh networking, one-year plans start from $44/month. WhizComms offers you a no-frills, bundle-less package of course, but who needs the baggage?
WhizComms, plans start from $34/month
Real talk: you might need a WiFi extender to fix that patchy internet…
If you live in a condo, or your home was built with some pretty solid walls, it’s quite likely you’re going to end up with patchy internet. If you find that your WiFi signal tends to dip in certain areas (and it bothers you very much), invest in an extender — they don’t cost that much and are easy to use. Most models just require that you plug it in a socket for easy use, no external power adaptors needed, and then you can enjoy strong WiFi coverage in every room. You can also get a mesh-router system like the Google WiFi and have multiple access points that act as routers to ensure strong, reliable coverage across various rooms. Your Netflix binge will never again be thwarted by bad internet!
Make your home a smart home
Now that you’ve got great and stable WiFi at home, step it up a bit and tweak your home to be a smart home. Smart voice-controlled speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo are especially useful if you have smart-home controls in your house. Both speakers let you control music, a wide range of smart home products and more but it depends on your personal preference. The Echo may be better if you are a frequent user of Amazon Prime and has a wide smart-home device support and slightly superior sound quality but the Google Home is great as a home manager — you can check your calendar, keep up with news, manage reminders and of course Google for answers.
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