Stay Connected in Tonga
For those of us who constantly use the Internet for work or are addicted to social media, it’s hard to imagine not having access to WiFi. Travellers in Tonga might be surprised to find that the only WiFi connections they’re likely to find are in some accommodations and in cafes in selected towns. While we definitely recommend making more of a connection with nature or with the locals in Tonga than with the online world, if you absolutely have to access the Internet, this guide on where to get WiFi in Tonga should help.
Tips for Using WiFi in Tonga
- Accommodations are ever-changing, so don’t be surprised if you see an advertisement for “free WiFi” but it’s, in fact, not the case
- The most reliable way to get WiFi in Tonga is by connecting to the local phone networks – get yourself a local SIM card
- Cafes in Nuku’alofa, Neiafu and Pangai are where you’ll find the best public WiFi
- WiFi is not always free, where prices we have seen include “TOP$1 for 30Mb” and “TOP$15 for 1Gb”.
WiFi at Your Accommodation
The obvious go-to for WiFi is your accommodation in Tonga. Resorts, hotels and guest houses advertise WiFi as one of their many appealing features. However, visitors need to be aware that WiFi is often applicable to just the communal areas, that it’s not always free, and it’s not even always available. When you see an accommodation saying “WiFi” or “free WiFi”, don’t take it as gospel.
Accommodation with Free In-Room WiFi
- House of Tonga, Nuku’alofa
- Tanoa International Dateline Hotel, Nuku’alofa
- Seaview Lodge, Nuku’alofa
- Little Italy Hotel, Nuku’alofa
- Mystic Sands, Vava’u
Accommodation with Free WiFi Communal Areas
WiFi Through the Phone Networks
What we often find as one of the best solutions to stay connected in Tonga is to get a local SIM card. That way, you’re phone will have access to the Internet, plus, you can connect other devices to your phone using your phone a WiFi tethering hotspot.
There are two major phone networks in Tonga, UCall (TCC) and Digicel Tonga. They both sell SIM cards for around TOP$5 but have wildly different data, call and text plans, which you can compare in The Best SIM Card in Tonga For Travellers. One thing they have in common is that their data plans for accessing the Internet are much cheaper than roaming rates from overseas networks. Plus, they are much more reliable and convenient for WiFi than what you can find in accommodations and public areas.
Learn more about getting a SIM card in Tonga and about the phone networks in What Are the Tonga Phone Networks?
WiFi Through Modems and Pocket WiFi
Modems that connect to the ADSL network (basically the Internet landline) of Tonga can be purchased from TCC, also known as Tonga Communications Corporation. However, travellers may find a pocket WiFi, also known as MiFi, a lot more convenient to use. You’ll just need to purchase/rent a pocket WiFi from a TCC (UCall) or a Digicel Tonga store along with a UCall/Digicel SIM card. Pocket WiFis allow you to connect any device to local phone network data.
For an example of data SIM plans for your pocket WiFi device, they range from TOP$15 for 2Gb to TOP$290 for 150Gb.
WiFi in Public Areas
While public WiFi might be available in abundance in more developed countries, this is not the case in Tonga. With the first public library only opening in 2019 and no WiFi at the airports, there’s no obvious go-to for public WiFi in Tonga. However, your best bet is to hit one of the local cafes.
Cafes in Tonga with WiFi
- Cafe Escape, Nuku’alofa (free WiFi)
- Friends Cafe, Nuku’alofa (free WiFi)
- Cafe Post, Nuku’alofa (free WiFi)
- Mango Cafe, Neiafu (free WiFi)
- Bellavista Cafe, Neiafu (free WiFi)
- The Basque Tavern, Neiafu (free WiFi)
- Tropicana Cafe, Neiafu (paid WiFi)
- Mariner’s Cafe, Pangai (paid WiFi)
Note that Friends Cafe in Nuku’alofa also have computers with internet access in their tourist centre. There is a fee to use this service. Learn more about the cafes in Tonga in Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Nuku’alofa and Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Vava’u.
Libraries in Tonga
Tonga is not a nation of libraries. However, you can find the Kingdom’s one and only library in the village of Kolovai in Tongatapu. They have laptops with the internet.