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Loopnet – Free Internet comes to Kenya.

If you have a WIFI enabled phone or computer in Nairobi, you probably have seen at one point or another over the last few months a network called Loopnet that offers free internet access. I had planned to write here about Loopnet over a month ago but they had not yet officially “launched” at the time (in fact, they don’t seem to have a web site yet although they are advertising in a certain supermarket chain). Loopnet is apparently being “powered” by Kenya Data Networks (KDN) from what I have heard.

I have used Loopnet on one occasion on Mombasa road but in most other locations in Nairobi it does not seem to work (strange?). However, when it does, its actually free internet access with one caveat – you get ads displayed at the top of your web browser. I think Loopnet is an excellent idea and it represents some innovation in terms of the traditional Internet Service Provider (ISP) business models of billing for usage on either an unlimited monthly basis or on a data capped basis.

My impression is that Loopnet is just getting started and they need to extend their service to many of Nairobi’s suburbs where Internet usage is bound to be very high. I also expect the service will largely appeal to the home user and not necessarily the business user who would want a reliable and fast Internet service, all the time.

I’m keen to see how many users Loopnet will have on their service once its fully operational in most of Nairobi (and the rest of Kenya?) as this would be key to attracting advertisers to sustain their services. In addition, as it always seems to be the case, other ISPs’ in the marketplace are bound to experiment with the ad-driven model for free Internet as well – so only time will tell how it fairs. Meanwhile, enjoy free Internet on Loopnet!

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56 Comments

  1. March 22, 2010 at 3:45 am — Reply

    I’ve used the loopnet internet once, but i thought its one of those (unsecured) internet connections meaning they can tapped by anybody. Kumbe its actually free

  2. […] competing with. I urge the players to come up with innovative ways of reducing costs like Loopnet (Read a post by Moses Kemibaro) has done. The more accessibility we have, the better for the […]

  3. Mubarak
    March 31, 2010 at 3:35 am — Reply

    Hi,

    I have used the Loopnet service in Mombasa near South Coast(residential area), it takes a bit of time getting connected to the network (via Laptop)
    however, when it does fall through, the speeds are incredible. I could watch YouTube vids without having to wait for half an hour for it to download completely.

  4. SammyG
    March 31, 2010 at 2:57 pm — Reply

    Where else in Nairobi can we access this service?

    S.

    • May 3, 2011 at 6:21 am — Reply

      i am able to access the internet but only in my backyard and then the signal is low.what can i do or what device can i get to access in the hse.

  5. JesusKid
    April 5, 2010 at 2:06 am — Reply

    I am a visitor to Kenya and was fortunate in Nairobi to be using this FREE internet service. For free internet service, being a visitor, I am not too concerned about the ads at the top of the page. The speed is incredible and it did not take any time to log on. Thanks LOOPNET …Jesus Kid

  6. Allan
    April 8, 2010 at 11:57 am — Reply

    Loopnet is real broadband. its the fastest connection I have used thus far. Accessed it from Oilibya, Karen

    • greengeek
      April 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm — Reply

      what are the speeds especially download?

  7. Dennis
    April 11, 2010 at 3:25 am — Reply

    I have used loopnet last year for months in KSM and the connection was good since Jan this year its unable to connect but I think this is because of KDN. The best think to do is when you get connected ensure you copy its TCP/IP setting cause they’ve change several times. Yes loopnet is powered by KDN.

  8. Tony
    April 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm — Reply

    Im on mombasa road and can get a signal but says limited or no connectivity.Does one require any settings to connect o loopnet?

  9. Tonrix
    April 22, 2010 at 5:31 am — Reply

    Loopnet is the fastest internet i’ve ever used. I discovered it in august 2009 and used it upto january this year when it stopped connecting. I can no longer connect to it but am patiently waiting for it to get back to normal. It’s a brilliant idea, just like the idea of free-to-air TV we use; make more money through advertising instead of charging the customer.. I’m currently surfing for free with another free service i discovered after loopnet but i can’t compare the speeds…

  10. muzende moses
    April 29, 2010 at 3:08 am — Reply

    how do i get loopnet?i need information onhow it works.

    • [email protected]
      May 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm — Reply

      Hey, been trying to connect to loopnet in Ksm but in vain. I managed connection once but since then, things are different. Any special settings or who to contact about this?

  11. June 1, 2010 at 2:17 am — Reply

    I can see Loopnet in the list of wireless networks but cannot connect (Muthangari-Westlands, NBO).
    .-= Bob A´s last blog .."Thinking About It" Is All I’ll Do! =-.

    • mimi
      June 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm — Reply

      am shocked you are talking 800mb in 1 hr there is 1gb in 6 minutes…ever had war chalking

  12. john chomba
    June 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm — Reply

    hi guyz thanx for the information, ive seen their ads in the bank halls but cant figure out what to bedone to be able to connect. would someone pliz show me.thanx in advance!

  13. Davis
    July 22, 2010 at 9:37 am — Reply

    What are the tcp / ip setting for the loopnet

    • July 23, 2010 at 2:29 am — Reply

      Davis, suggest you check with Loopnet directly on this one.

  14. August 10, 2010 at 4:10 am — Reply

    Hi guys, we (InternetAdMedia Network) have used, advertised and are reselling ad space on Loopnet so I might be able to answer a few of your questions:

    1. Yes! Loopnet is 100% free to surf. It is, at the moment, fully ad-supported and solely depends on advertising revenue to keep it free, just like free-to-air TV.

    2. Although initially available across the country, most of the nodes seem to have been disabled. Loopnet decided to target certain parts of Nairobi (mostly on the “right” side of the highway), maximise the number of users per node (their nodes have a capacity of six radios and 768 users per node) and then slowly expand coverage rather than having a couple of users per node spread out countrywide. Makes sense from a technical point of view but the jury’s still out on the marketing logic.

    3. Yep, amazing speeds, but this fluctuates depending on the number of concurrent users downloading 24, Seasons 1-8 🙂

    4. Having the IP settings won’t help you much if the nodes near you are disabled. Even if the nodes are enabled, the IPs seem to be location dependent. For example, I’m in Kilifi on holiday at the moment and the IPs I could use in Fedha, Nairobi, ain’t working (and yes, Loopnet were kind enough to enable the nodes I’m using in Kilifi at the moment).

    Moses, hope that you don’t shut me down for what follows! It’s not a sales pitch, it’s really useful info (I hope…):

    5. Moses’ advise to Davis is sound. The best way to get loopnet enabled in your area is to contact Loopnet and get them to set it up. HOWEVER, you may not get very far if you do this as an individual. Loopnet WON’T give you any IP addresses. That’s because they use a DHCP server to automatically assign IP addresses. And remember, they don’t want to enable nodes that only serve a couple of users. My suggestion is that you get as many people as possible interested in having Loopnet enabled in your area, contact US (they listen to us coz we adertise with them), and we’ll ask Loopnet to enable your nodes for you FREE OF CHARGE. Why would we do that? Because the more the users on Loopnet, the easier it is for us to resell ad space to advertisers targeting a large audience. Win-win-win.

    Hope that helps. To contact us, click on my name to go to our website.

    • shaz
      September 27, 2010 at 3:51 am — Reply

      Thnks for the info Mr. Main..this really helps..

    • kimberley
      April 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm — Reply

      I’m so upset that the management here won’t allow Zuku to install there connection due to the underground trucking is blocked. so there was some talk about putting the cables around the outside of the built-ins into apartments but this seem like it’s not going to happen coz management don’t wont the wires outside, so that’s other let down for me and many others here at junction gardens Nairobi.

      I’ve been waiting so long 5 months for Zuku and now disappointed that I can’t keep in contact with my family back in the UK as I move here in October and find it a drain on my pocket to keep on topping up my Safari com dongle. The internet is a valuable restores for me as I find it very isolating here not knowing anyone so I use the internet to keep me sane. So I would be sooo happy if I could get Loop net it would mean the world to me.

  15. Andrew
    August 10, 2010 at 9:27 am — Reply

    We need a stronger signal at ABC Place please.

  16. Davie Ngao
    August 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm — Reply

    It’s really fast on my iPhone. Service should extend to residential areas too

  17. jemimah
    August 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm — Reply

    am using loopnet now on ngong road.am too amused that there is actually free internet but if the concept is like radio/tv then good stuff. i have only managed to connect today as the signal is usually low.
    @ abdul..tell us more about it like which locations to get good signals and how safe is it.

    • August 19, 2010 at 2:34 am — Reply

      @Jemimah.. There’s a plaza/mall on Ngong Road (can’t remember the name – it has a movie theater if that helps) which has great signal strengths and speeds. I’ll try and compile a comprehensive list later. In the meantime, I’ve asked Antony from Loopnet to post about this.

      About the safety, it is an unsecured and unencrypted wireless network which means that it isn’t that secure. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about it unless I was transmitting state secrets. I’ve used it for online banking and payment transactions with no problems but that’s just me. If you are really concerned about the security of your data, then this might not be the best network to use.

  18. Josiah
    August 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm — Reply

    Wish i could get some of this free signal in ruai.

  19. Mildred
    September 3, 2010 at 2:27 am — Reply

    I have noticed signals of loopnet on my laptop not it ain’t connecting even when the signals are strong. What could be matter?

  20. Purity
    September 7, 2010 at 11:50 am — Reply

    How do i use loopnet?

  21. Issack
    September 30, 2010 at 8:11 am — Reply

    Hey we need it in Embakasi nYayo, we have a group of young people with innovative IT projects, come on loopnet it’s a win win

  22. rockfweak
    October 3, 2010 at 5:46 am — Reply

    we need loopnet in buruburu pliz…..

  23. October 5, 2010 at 4:34 am — Reply

    this is great,it actualy works i read abt it here saw it in the banking hall and just had to shift closer to the loop.i used to consider tarmac before moving but this time i considered loopnet.thanks guys
    .-= plasma´s last blog ..JUST HANG IT =-.

  24. desh
    November 5, 2010 at 4:48 am — Reply

    I live in the Tessia, some 100M from Fedha. I have tried connecting to loopnet but in vein. It gives me ip add: 169.254.86.53 and a subnet mask: 255.255.0.0. but tells me limited or no connectivity. What can i do to solve the problem?

    • sonia
      November 21, 2010 at 8:15 am — Reply

      Niko fedha pia jaribu Butterfly…Loopnet’s internet access and signal is not visible anymo!!!Butterfly is creepling stuff…

  25. RSS
    November 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm — Reply

    Hey guys!
    Well I used to loopnet at my residence in Westlands but for the last couple of weeks it just refuses to connect. Any idea what’s going on? Please reply.

    Thank you.

  26. tsunami
    December 4, 2010 at 6:20 am — Reply

    Man tried loopnet on ngong road..fabulous speed..just cant wait 4 zuku fibre 2 reach langata..imagine 8Mb/s..download movie in 1 min..

  27. jessie
    December 31, 2010 at 8:13 am — Reply

    loopnet in Mombasa Nyali asap! 😀

  28. Stuna
    January 3, 2011 at 11:44 am — Reply

    This is all good, especially for us in upperhill. I wonder if for those of us with routers/gateways we are able to set them as repeaters and increase usage in my neighborhood?

  29. Kamau wa Githare
    February 1, 2011 at 4:51 am — Reply

    We need this free things in our slums. In Nairobi, i’d prefer Kibera, Mathare, New Mathare (Huruma), Roysambu, Githurai, Kangemi, Kawangware, etc. Dont give free things to rich people!

  30. Ngure Joseph
    February 17, 2011 at 12:49 am — Reply

    I have been using this loop net for the last 5 months along Thika Road at KU but lately the net is no longer available, I wonder what went wrong

  31. SON
    February 28, 2011 at 4:43 am — Reply

    How do i know whether loopnet is in my area…Hw does it work?Do i need to install it in my PC?or Are there any settings needed?There is soo little u can know about loopnet even on google…Pls smbdy explain 2me wht loopnet is..THANKS

  32. Rajeev Menon
    March 18, 2011 at 4:06 am — Reply

    I want to know more about the loop net and the rates. kindly give me your contact number and e-mail

  33. sharad
    March 21, 2011 at 4:34 am — Reply

    hi
    i’d love to know how to connect
    i have the signal
    but no connection
    in kisumu

  34. Flavius
    April 6, 2011 at 5:37 am — Reply

    Could we please have loop net around Riara Road / Nakumatt Junction

  35. Liz
    April 17, 2011 at 11:04 am — Reply

    Goodness! By all means get loopnet!Its great to watch youtube videos without getting frusted.Right now watching the london marathon results which have just come in! Loopnet, keep it up

  36. April 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm — Reply

    This is all good, especially for us in upperhill. I wonder if for those of us with routers/gateways we are able to set them as repeaters and increase usage in my neighborhood?

  37. May 29, 2011 at 5:38 am — Reply

    WOW . it June 2011 . lol. is this loopnet stuff working.I dnt mind the ads coz i am all about torrenting big stuff

  38. Jwenge
    July 31, 2011 at 7:58 am — Reply

    how can we connect this in Malindi. My staffroom has 17 teachers with laptops and the signal is great just help us connect.

  39. ital
    August 9, 2011 at 1:07 am — Reply

    no offence but you guys seem to be jazzed by this whole loopnet thing..not bad i have also used it and it’s not bad at all. my only concerned is how much will it after the service has rolled out? you can’t rely on the old school model of running on ads, you’ll go broke in no time. unless of course they want to capitalize on 2012, my advice “make it free and unlimited”

  40. ital
    August 9, 2011 at 1:09 am — Reply

    WEWE jwenge…mombasa hakuna haraka so take a chill pill and continue enjoying the modems

  41. August 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm — Reply

    My my my,i thought Safaricom’s 3000kshs unlimited per month was a big favor and i was so excited. And here iam,after Googling ‘free internet in Nairobi’ i discover guys have been using free net since 2010.Life is really an a*s. I live within the city center(yes, most wahindi’s do) and after being ripped off trying to get WIFI drivers on my laptop,it still can not sense any wireless but when i visit a friend near Afya center,it senses around 7 of them.Ive been told to buy a Nano station,WIFI booster,cant get around these tech stuff. Any help to troubleshot this will be rewarded…..on a serious note.

  42. Isaa
    August 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm — Reply

    It’s just great how suburbs in the south coast can connect to loopnet while town-dwellers can’t even detect it! And the damned KDN is just around here!!!! 🙁

  43. andileb
    November 4, 2011 at 7:17 am — Reply

    I have been using loopnet in Ku BUT FOR the last one month it seems like the connection is lost even though I get connected to the network. it is great though

  44. eug
    November 22, 2011 at 11:45 am — Reply

    seems like the free offer is over.. the network is present but can not connect…to the internet..

  45. cliff
    November 14, 2012 at 8:53 am — Reply

    kama loopnet haijafika Ngong-mmetupa mbao.This is an area with very high potential.As you very well know Ngong and its environs all the way to Kiserian down to Ongata Rongai are dormitory towns. almost every home has a laptop or a PC.This is home to various universities and colleges eg Multimedia CUEA among a host of colleges.Most business people reside in here which will provide a good customer base for u.Pls expedite ua entry 2 the afore mentioned areas and u wont regret

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