Living With Belize Telemedia (BTL)
VoIP Blocking In Belize Ended April 29, 2013!
Now that the Government of Belize and BTL have ended their unpopular restriction of VoIP, it is time for them to consider that the average price across the Caribbean region for a 2 Mbps Internet plan, (excluding Guyana,) is now US$48.81. In Belize it is US$130. While we were at the top of the pack in terms of price, Belize is interestingly at the bottom of the barrel in terms of internet speed and is notably the only country which still offers a speed of 128 megabytes per second.
The Bahamas, a country of approximately the same population as Belize, offers their monthly subscription plan with an advertised download speed of up to 30 Mbps for US$56.99. Jamaica and Barbados offer 25Mbs service for approximately US$39.86 and US$50.00 respectively. Belize offers 4 Mbs service for US$220!
We suggest the Government of Belize, controlling owners BTL, stop using the company as a cash cow and demand the company begin providing high quality service at competitive rates. First step, take some the the obscene profits and establish an Internet Exchange Point in Belize.
At a news conference on July 16, 2014, Prime Minister Dean Barrow let it be known that BTL and the Government of Belize will have an announcement "very soon" regarding improved internet service and reduced internet costs. Hopefully they intend to finally make Belize Internet Services competitive with the other developing nations of Central America and the Caribbean.
Are BTL's DNS Servers Under Attack?
For the past few weeks, many BTL users are experiencing erratic at best internet service. BTL claims that interruption in Internet service due to cyber attack. They claim their DNS servers are the victims of what is known as a Denial Of Service (DoS) attack. Here at Consejo.bz we have not not noticed any effects from this problem, but then we don't use BTL's DNS servers either. For the tech adept, just go to your Network Adaptor's Ipv4 Proprties and change the DNS servers to these:
VoIP is Working, But You Still May Need A VPN
Many internet services are location dependant, like NetFlix, JustinTV, BBC and many more. A quality VPN remains a valuable service to those living or traveling outside their home country or region. Using a VPN will allow you to access any location restricted service while traveling or living abroad.
Also, for those who are security conscious, all VPNs provide encrypted point to point communication. This allows you to use public Hot Spots and other internet connections without fear of having your transactions compromised.
Random Redirect VPN (Free)
Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop or iPhone and our Internet gateway. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers, hackers, ISP‘s, from viewing your web browsing activities, instant messages, downloads, credit card information or anything else you send over the network. Hotspot Shield security application is free to download, employs the latest VPN technology, offers best Wi-Fi security and is easy to install and use.
Commercial Virtual Private Networks
- All VPN servers access!
- USA, UK, CZ, SK Public IP!
- Dynamic IP (not SHARED)!
- 100% traffic encrypted!
- Bypass restrictions!
- No ISP control!
- OpenVPN support!
This is a commercial Virtual Private Network with servers in the USA, SK, CZ and the UK. It is working flawlessly in Belize, bypassing all attempts at censorship and VoIP blocking. Works with any internet application, including Skype, Magic Jack, and Yahoo Messenger. They also offer a 3 day free trial.
This is a Commercial Virtual Private Network with servers in the USA, UK and Germany. It works flawlessly in Belize, bypassing all attempts at censorship and VoIP blocking. This service will not, however, allow P2P Torrent sites to be accessed. The cost is a little higher than some other options. Works with any internet application, including Skype, Magic Jack, and Yahoo Messenger.
US VPN Accounts: Shared IP Unmetered Bandwidth Usage
Semi Annual $74.97
WiTopia offers several inexpensive plans for problem free VoIP. It is working perfectly in Belize as it punches right through all of BTL's attempts at blocking. Their best plan for folks in Belize is their personalVPN™ – SSL (openVPN)
WiTopia openVPN customers enjoy full access to all WiTopia gateways – Los Angeles, Manchester UK, New York Metro, San Francisco, Washington, DC – as well as alternate ports and 256-bit encryption options. This will ensure the ultimate in speed, unblockability, and security. This works perfectly with Skype, Gizmo and Magic Jack.
$59.99 / YEAR
GoTrusted is an other Private Secure VPN Tunnel with high grade encryption. There is a 7 day free trial, after which they charge $6.99 per month. It also is very simple to use. It is currently working flawlessly in Belize with Skype and Magic Jack.
Just go to GoTrusted.com. Sign up for an account then download the program and follow the instructions. If you can't make it work or just don't like it, you can cancel anytime in the first week at no cost.
Personal Virtual Private Network (VPN)
This option is for the more computer savvy. It is the best solution to ISP blocking. You will need someone outside Belize with a true static IP broadband internet connection, who will let you set up a VPN on their connection. You will also need a dedicated computer at the other end to act as a server for the Network and a proxy for Internet access. You then connect to the internet through that VPN just like the commercial ones listed above. All blocked services will be restored.
There are several Free VPN programs available. Set up is not all that difficult, but it does require more than basic computer skills. The need for dedicated hardware and a second broadband connection makes this option a little expensive, even with free software. If I were running a business in Belize that depended on phone availability, this is the only solution I would consider. Also, if the server is on to a USA style broadband (8mbs+) connection, you could set a few of your friends and neighbors up to use this VPN and share the cost of the setup.
Fortunately this is no longer necessary!