Egypt, Cairo: Internet Cafes

Internet Cafes

Cairo is a highly connected city, with the internet rapidly growing in Cairo and many other Egyptian cities. Wherever you are in the city you can stay connected.

Internet access is not very expensive in Cairo and is available in the Airport, hotels, cafs, restaurants, shopping malls and more. Internet cafs (popularly known by Egyptians as net caf or cyber caf) are on most streets, with many more opening for business each month. If you need cheap internet access and you dont have your laptop with you, an internet caf would be the ideal place to go. They are quite cheap (an hour wont cost more than 5 LE unless it is inside your hotel) and they provide you with a computer, webcam, headphones, printer and scanner. They usually have all the latest programs installed but if you dont find what you need then you can always ask the attendant to help you. Internet cafs came to exist in the late 90s and became very trendy. Egyptian males in particular spend a large amount of time hanging out at these cafs playing virtual games with other customers, surfing the web and chatting with friends online. Though theyre called cafs, they dont actually serve coffee or any other beverages. Also, youre usually not allowed to consume liquids near the computers.

If you are traveling with a laptop another choice would be going to one of the many cafs that have internet access. There you can enjoy air-conditioning, comfortable seating, hot and cold beverages and even get a bite to eat. WiFi is very big in Egypt right now and has been for a few years; finding a place that has access wont be a problem. Most cafes in Cairo require an access card that you can buy at the counter, which costs 5 LE an hour, with different packages. However, some cafs still have free internet.

Another option that came to Egypts internet scene recently is USB Internet. There are different subscriptions like monthly payments or pay as you go. It is very easy to set up since all you need is to buy a sim-card at any of the mobile phone providers, charge it with credit and pop it into your USB device. If you dont have a USB device you can also buy one at these stores. At this point, you can have internet with you wherever there is network coverage in Egypt. The three mobile companies in Egypt Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat all offer these packages.

A final option if you are somewhere remote, would be your own mobile phone, but this would only be useful if youre staying in Cairo for a while. All you need to do is get an Egyptian mobile number, enable Internet access and voila! you have Internet with you at all times. If you are roaming you can also use the internet then, but watch out for roaming charges, as they can be quite painful.