Have you recently moved to Holland? Are you in need of an internet connection? Here are our top tips to get you started.
Choosing an internet service provider (ISP) can be tricky, even at the best of times. There are a lot of factors to take into account, several companies with multiple internet packages to compare, and endless reviews to read about every single one.
If you’ve recently relocated to the Netherlands and happen to be in this boat, then you’re probably starting to feel a tad overwhelmed – and tempted to sign up with any of the largest ISPs in the country to just get it over and done with. We get it.
Don’t despair: getting connected to the internet doesn’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. First, let’s take a look at some of the internet packages that are likely to meet your needs during your stay here.
If a low price point is your main concern, then you’re likely looking at a DSL connection. Tele2 has the cheapest option in the market at the moment, but you can also get great value from otherproviders, notably Telfort and T-mobile. The bandwidth of a DSL connection ranges from 20 to 100 megabits per second (or Mbps), which allow for multiple devices to comfortably share a connection for a moderate amount of high-definition video streaming, file downloads, and your average web surfing and social media browsing.
Check out these packages:
- Tele2 Light: ADSL connection with 20 Mbps bandwidth. Costs €22,00 per month for a 12-month contract.
- T-mobile Internet Only: DSL connection with 20 Mbps bandwidth. Costs €27 per month for a 12-month contract.
For heavy gamers, users who frequently download large files, and professionals who make a lot of video calls, your top priority is naturally the fastest speed possible. A fibre optic package is therefore your best bet, as it’s a far more reliable connection that delivers much higher speeds than DSL.
Several companies in The Netherlands—including giants such as KPN and T-Mobile—offer fibre internet packages with advertised speeds of up to 500 Mbps. That’s plenty of bandwidth to support unlimited heavy-duty activity on several devices at the same time.
- Curiously, despite having a maximum advertised speed of 300 Mbps, the Netflix ISP Speed Index ranks Ziggo—whose advertised speed tops out at 300 Mbps—as the best-performing ISP in The Netherlands during prime viewing hours. Needless to say, if you’re a huge Netflix user, you should definitely keep this in mind when choosing your ISP in Holland.
- Check out these packages: Ziggo Internet Max: Cable modem connection with 300 Mbps bandwidth, and includes cable television. Costs €34,95 for the first three months and €60,45 per month thereafter, for a total contract period of 12 months.
- T-Mobile Glasvezel: Fibre optic connection with 500 Mbps bandwidth. Costs €50,00 per month for a 12-month contract.
As a foreigner, it’s difficult enough deciding on which ISP to sign up with. It goes without saying that if you’re ever in need of technical assistance, it’ll make a huge difference if your ISP’s customer service is easy to deal with.
Your experience may vary, of course; there’s no company on Earth which can reliably guarantee customer satisfaction for every interaction.
However, according to Consumentenbond, a consumer protection non-profit organisation, a survey of 11,000 consumers found XS4ALL Glasvezel and KPN Glasvezel to have the best customer service in the second quarter of 2017. Both these providers also had the least incidences of service disruptions and downtime.
Ziggo also gets an honourable mention for having been ranked the best ISP for the last seven consecutive years by Tweakers.net, the most popular tech news and reviews site in the country.
If you’re technologically challenged or simply want the reassurance of helpful assistance when it’s needed, these are good options to consider.
Check out these packages:
- XS4ALL Pro: Fibre optic connection with 500 Mbps bandwidth. Costs €44,00 for the first six months and €63,50 per month thereafter, for a total contract period of 12 months.
- KPN Glasvezel: Fibre optic connection with 500 Mbps bandwidth. Costs €41,50 for the first six months and €51,50 per month thereafter, for a total contract period of 12 months.
It’s important to note that the packages recommended above may not be available or suitable for you. The following are crucial factors you need to keep in mind before you sign up with an ISP in The Netherlands:
Not every ISP will provide service in your area. However, as the biggest players in the industry, KPN, Ziggo, T-Mobile and XS4ALL are the most likely to be accessible wherever you are. You can check which ISPs are servicing your neighbourhood by using our free comparison tool, or visit each ISP’s website to check its availability in your area. All you have to do is enter your postcode and house number.
If you’re only going to be in The Netherlands for a short period of time, make sure you’re aware of the duration of your contract. For instance, some packages are only available for a two-year duration.
Which works best for you – DSL, cable, or fibre? To answer this question, you first have to answer others, such as: how important is it for you to have a fast upload speed? How many devices are you planning to set up on the same network? How much are you willing to spend on your internet subscription per month?
There are plenty of options to choose from if you’re an expat shopping for an internet service provider in Holland. Start by narrowing down the possibilities to the ISPs which are available in your area; next, consider the type of connection that’s right for your needs, and finally, spend a bit of time reading the fine print to understand what you’re signing up for.
If you found this article useful, you may be interested in our other handy guide in this series: What’s the Ideal Internet Connection for you?
Do you have any recommendations or tips for other readers? We’d love to hear your thoughts – feel free to share them with us in the comments below.