Hello, I’m Harii! I’ve lived in Germany for 3 years. I was born and raised in Japan, and I came to Europe in 2018 for my husband business.
The Internet of Germany has a very bad reputation. Very slow, long time until available, etc..
BUT! I fortunately found the actual situation is not so bad!
Next day after I came to Germany, Internet at my home got available. So quick! In addition, I’m satisfied with the speed as of now. My Internet provider at home is Vodafone.
In this article, I honestly tell you my experience with Vodafone over the past three years. I’m happy if this article helps you to choose an Internet provider in Germany.
- Vodafone’s actual internet speed
- Plan Fees and actual Speed
- Good and Bad points of Vodafone
- Cautions and ways to escape a 2-year Contract
- Tips before you decide your internet provider in Germany
Stress-free Internet provider in Germany
My internet provider at home is ‘Vodafone’. They offer their services all over Germany.
Surprisingly, it took just only one day after I moved to Germany to get available! All I had to do was plug the wifi router, sent by courier, into the antenna terminal at home. So easy! The terminal for the cable line is like below photo.
The router installation took only a few minutes and required no installation work.
You can choose free Wifi router or paid high-spec one. I use the free one. I feel free one is enough for normal use.
Wifi speed is also fine. Here are the results of the speed test.
It is said that 30 Mbps for download is sufficient for comfortable use.
1 Mbps is sufficient for text-only communications such as e-mail, 10 Mbps for general Web page browsing and standard-definition video, and 30 Mbps for high-definition video browsing. Large file transfers are also no problem if you take your time.What is the estimated Wi-Fi speed? – BUFFALO
In fact, I can enjoy, almost without problems, surfing web pages, making calls via App, watching Netflix and Youtube.
You can also choose a location other than your home to which the Wifi router will be sent. We completed the application online before we moved in and sent the router to my husband’s company, so we were able to use the internet immediately the day after we moved in.
My internet plan and price
My Vodafone internet plan is Red Internet & Phone 250 Cable.
|Red Internet & Phone 250 Cable|
|Price||44,99 € (19.99 € for the first 6 months)|
Currently, we are able to use the internet without stress with this plan. For your reference, our family’s internet usage is as follows.
- Internet surfing
- App Videochat
- Zoom Videoconferencing
- Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing
- Watch Netflix/Youtube
Zoom and Teams videoconferencing can sometimes get heavy or stop when the camera is turned on. But it stops infrequently and is not interrupted when the camera is turned off.
If you have a lot of videoconferences or play a lot of data-intensive Internet games, a faster plan (Red Internet & Phone 500 or Vodafone CableMax 1000) may be better.
If you apply online, you will receive a discount coupon for some plans. And the discount is quite big! I recommend you applying online rather than in-store!
Bad Points of Vodafone
I have wrote a lot of good things about Vodafone, but there are some not-good things about them. It is that the internet sometimes cuts out. Especially when there is construction work going on in the apartment. However, it is usually restored after a few minutes, so I personally don’t mind so much.
Vodafone comes to visit me once or twice a year to check my internet connection. When I told them that I sometimes lose my internet connection, they told me
If that situation persists, I’ll try to add more fiber in the cable, so call me anytime!
He was nice:) This visit seemed to also serve as a solicitation for a smart phone.
How about a cell phone contract? I could offer you cheaper plan! How much are you paying a month now?
About 5 euros a month.
Oh..that’s very cheap. Then you don’t have to switch to our service. Haha..
He was a good man, not pushy:)
Everyone, who has come so far, spoke English.
Different states have different service providers.
Incidentally, Vodafone’s cable service providers vary from state to state. Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Baden-Württemberg are operated by “Vodafone West GmbH” and the other states are operated by “Vodafone Deutschland GmbH”.
They are another company, but both are in the same Vodafone brand.
Perhaps the difference has come about as a result of the merger and acquisition of two cable TV companies, ex-Unitymedia and ex-Kabel Deutschland.
Therefore, the services in Berlin might be different from ones in Hesse I live. To learn more about the service company, click here.
Caution! 2-year Contract of German Internet
When signing up for internet in Germany, pay attention to the “2-year contract”!
You have to keep paying for 2 years of internet even if you cancel the contract before 2 year. For example, if you cancel your contract after 18 months, you will still have to pay for the remaining six months! Most internet providers in Germany, including Vodafone, basically offer a two-year contract….
My Red Internet & Phone 250 Cable plan allows me to cancel monthly after 2 years of contract. (Perhaps another plan or other providers are similar in many cases?)
How to Escape the 2-Year Contract
It is common for Expats to go back to home-country suddenly. Even such a case, do I still have to pay for two years?
In Germany, the two-year contract is very strict and you cannot cancel the contract in the middle “with some exceptions”
The exception is when you are moving out of Germany. However, the procedure seems to be quite complicated, a 3-month advance notice and proof of leaving, etc…Please refer to this Vodafone community page for details.
Caution! The Reason you should avoid 2-years contract on your phone.
Just like home Internet, smartphone also have a two-year contract.
In Germany you may hear often such below offer.
You get a great deal when you sign up for the internet and a phone set together!
Your internet provider will offer you like that, but You should not do this. This is because you may not be able to escape the 2-year contraction on your cell phone even if you move abroad.
German law states that a two-year contract can be terminated in the middle “if it is no longer possible for the provider to provide the service”. Since smartphones can connect to the Internet even abroad by roaming, it seems to be a border line whether or not this applies to cases where the service cannot be provided.
I could find on the Internet some people who were able to cancel their smartphones as well. On the other hand, I also found many cases of struggling termination, even some local people who can speak German!! It seems depends on luck, whether you can cancel the contract or not.
If you use prepaid SIMs, there is no contract limit, so you can quit at any time you like.
Unless you are permanent resident, I strongly recommend that you choose prepaid SIM!
Why does the German Internet have such a bad reputation?
As I have introduced so far, the Internet in Germany is much better than what I had heard.
Why is it totally different from what I had heard in rumors?
So I did a little research. Apparently it is due to the different types of Internet connections. There are two main types of Internet access in Germany.
- Cable TV line – Fast. Basically no installation work is required.
- DSL (telephone line) – Slow. Requires installation work to open the line.
I use the cable TV line. DSL basically requires installation work and takes about one month to open. Internet speed is relatively slow, and the price is a little higher than a cable.
In some old houses in Germany, cable connection are still not available and DSL is the only option….
Apparently, this DSL was the cause of Germany’s internet bad reputation.
Other Internet providers in Germany
The following is a list of major Internet providers and their Internet connections in Germany.
- Vodafone・・・Cable, DSL, Fiber
- Telekom・・・ DSL, Fiber
- O2・・・DSL,Cable, Fiber
- 1&1・・・DSL, Fiber
Although there are providers that offer fiber-optic cables, they are still not widely used in Germany.
The penetration rate in Japan is 83%, while in Germany it is only 7%. (As of 2021. Reference: statista.de) Frankfurt has a penetration rate of 1%…. (As of 2020. (Reference: I AM EXPAT )
As far as my friends around, many people use Vodafone for cable or Telekom for DSL.
The German internet is not so bad!
The internet in Germany isn’t quite as bad as I’d heard! However, if you can’t get a cable connection, the situation might be worse, so you should also check the internet connection type when you are looking for an appartment.
You can easily check on Vodafone’s website, if a cable connection is available or not. Check it out!!