This article will present a comparison of the best internet providers in Georgia (country) for home internet services, focusing mainly on the two juggernauts of the industry: Silknet and Magticom. Which provides the best internet connection? How do they differ in terms of customer service, speed, accessibility, and reliability?
The Two Biggest Internet Providers in Georgia: Magti vs Silknet-Geocell
As it stands today, the home internet provider industry in Georgia is heavily monopolized by 2 major competitors: Silknet-Geocell and Magticom. There are of course other smaller, more obscure providers here and there, but these two are the most popular and have the biggest nationwide coverage. They are also not too dissimilar from each other as their offered packages are almost identical. Both companies also offer TV and mobile packages that can be combined with home internet as well.
They have 4 different packages and cover almost all of Georgia. Installation is free for new subscribers. Their prices are based on the speed of the internet:
- 20 Mbps – 20 GEL per month
- 35 Mbps – 40 GEL per month
- 50 Mbps – 50 GEL per month
- 100 Mbps – 100 GEL per month
Silknet has a “SILK+” package where it is possible to choose a TV package (varying from 70 to 202 channels including regional and international ones), one of the above-mentioned internet packages, and also the ability to add 5 mobile phone numbers with various mobile packages.
It is worth mentioning that if you are a power user and need high-speed internet and are thinking about purchasing a 100 Mbps package, consider SILK+ because for an extra 20 GEL per month, you get 202 TV channels as a bonus alongside your internet package.
Magti also has 4 packages with various prices and internet speeds. Just like Silknet-Geocell, they also cover almost the whole of Georgia. Installation is free when choosing the Internet + TV Package. The standard pricing is:
- 20 Mbps – 30 GEL per month
- 30 Mbps – 37 GEL per month
- 50 Mbps – 50 GEL per month
- 100 Mbps – 100 GEL per month
When it comes to Magticom, they have a very similar offering as well, although without the ability to bundle mobile phone numbers, which is odd given the fact that Magti was primarily a mobile network provider for many years. The difference between the number of TV channels is minimal (79 to 217 channels including regional and international ones), as is the price for power users looking for a complete package; 100 Mbps plus 202 channels for an extra 22 GEL per month, as opposed to 20 GEL from Silknet.
Which and When to Choose?
It is evident that the offerings are almost identical except for the 20 Mbps and 30/35 Mbps packages. It would be rather difficult to outline a clear winner for the best provider from raw numbers alone, thus a deeper dive into their other offerings is necessary because this is where the main differences lie. Besides the above-mentioned bundles, they also have “booster packs” that add extra speed for a small fee.
For Magti, if you’ve been a subscriber to their 20 or 30 Mbps package for longer than 30 days and haven’t used a booster before, you can add an extra 10 Mbps for 3 GEL and an extra 20 for 5 GEL, up to 40 Mbps maximum. If you also have a Magti number with “Cocktail 60” or “Cocktail 30” activated, you can go up to 50 Mbps for an extra 8 GEL. The offer can be quite enticing because it makes it possible to have 40 Mbps internet for 35 GEL per month, or 50 Mbps for 38 GEL per month.
However, the time and previous booster usage caveat make it confusing to use. Also, the service can be activated till the end of 2021 (though it is highly likely it will be extended through to next year). This is where Silknet comes in with a much better booster, then drops their mic and leaves. This is because they offer a similar service, which will add an extra 20 Mbps to any package of your choosing (except for 100Mbps) for an extra 4 GEL per month, with no strings attached or weirdly timed caveats.
Internet in Tbilisi, Georgia: Home Internet Service
Analysis of the package prices and various other services these companies provide is all well and good, but what is the overall user experience like? Is the coverage any good? What about connectivity issues and customer service?
Reliability and Quality
Well, quite frankly it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss situation for both companies. Though both of them claim availability throughout Tbilisi, there are several districts where service is horrible. The best option would be to check your address with the company and find out if fiber is installed. Newer and renovated districts tend to have better connectivity than the Old Town, though some reviewers have claimed that even in some places in the Old Town there is good connectivity.
For any given area, you will find expats online claiming that they have a poor connection in a certain district using one provider, but there will also be users saying the opposite, that it works well and speeds are as advertised. To make sure your desired district has the best option available, check with the companies themselves by calling. In certain cases, you might be stuck with just one provider in the area.
This brings us to the question of customer service: is it any good? Reviewers claim almost unanimously that Magticom has terrible customer service, most of their operators don’t speak English, and that they have absurdly long waiting times – if they even pick up the phone. As for Silknet, there are occasional bad apples in the customer service, but the reception is usually positive as most of their operators speak English and waiting times are not too long. In some cases, you can have a technician at your place the very next day, which in and of itself is commendable.
Though it is important to mention that just like many countries overseas, you may be left without a choice as there is only one company operating in the district you live in. That is more common in the suburbs than in most central parts of the city.
The Final Decision
To conclude, the above-mentioned companies have some very compelling reasons to be named the best internet providers in Tbilisi. However, based on the information discussed, it would be right to say that Silknet has edged out a victory over Magticom in the in-home internet provider category. Their package prices are reasonable, along with their coverage and installation fees for new subscribers, and a particularly impressive booster pack that is practically free with its small fee.
Also, their customer service is much better than that of Magticom’s, which is almost universally disliked by the expat community due to the lack of English speaking operators. These attributes make Silknet a much better and more flexible option for home internet over Magticom.
Bonus: Free Options to Get Internet Connection (Public WiFi)
Although the above-mentioned options are great, when you’re out and about in the streets of Tbilisi and you need quick access to the internet but you don’t have a mobile pack, what can you do: ask a stranger to share?
In all seriousness though, internet infrastructure in Georgia has come a long way in the past 10 years. Nowadays most cafes, businesses, and both private or public institutions have free WiFi available for anyone to use, even throughout the streets of most major cities in Georgia. In Tbilisi, there is a free public (albeit slow) network available called “I Love Tbilisi” if you need quick access on the go.
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