According to Wikipedia, an Internet café (sometimes referred to as a cyber café) is a café or coffee shop that offers reliable and fast Internet access. The cost of using a computer at a cafe is often calculated on a per-minute, hourly, or monthly subscription basis. For a price, Internet cafés provide the public with PCs with a high-speed Internet connection. In addition to other services, an Internet cafe will usually sell coffee, energy drinks, espresso ice coffee, and small food items.

Other than accessing the internet, Internet Cafes are also used by people to chat with their friends, play online games (recently gained popularity), or working.

In the 1990s and early 200os, finding a place with fast and reliable internet access wasn’t easy. More often than not, universities or businesses were the only places to find good download speeds. In the days of dial-up access using home telephone lines, staying online for long periods of time could be challenging in homes with families. You could either use the phone line for internet access or receiving telephone calls.

Working at a cyber cafe.

It’s almost comical to look back on those limitations now that fast Wifi internet access is available in most homes. But this was the main reason these cyber cafes became popular. With no fast at-home alternatives to get fast internet access, including no free access at Starbucks or other coffee shops, it led to a brief moment in time when the Internet cafe became a mainstream business.

Internet cafes have scanners, printers, and related computer peripherals which customers can use sort of like a remote office. Internet cafes usually have powerful computers and are well-suited to PC gamers.

Don’t count out the Internet cafe as a business model just yet though. Some think we are on the verge of a resurgence of demand for this service with the rise of eSports and multi-player competitive gaming. Find out the pros, cons, and what’s next for this business below.

What Are The Advantages Of A Cyber Cafe?

There are still advantages to using a cyber cafe though. Average internet speeds at cyber cafes are better than the ones we got at home and will usually go beyond 100 MBPS. Higher internet speeds and better connection infrastructure cuts down the instances of lag and connection interruptions.

Internet connections at home will be slower due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes ISPs slow down speeds to maintain the reliability of their network. After all, a lot of consumers need to share the same internet cable. This also helps keep the costs lower for ISPs too. The infrastructure at your home or location may not be ideal for the fastest speeds either.

An Internet café can also give opportunities for both computers and internet availability to the local community in nations where internet or computer access is scarce. Internet cafes offer considerably cheaper internet than any of the other options available in most countries.

Online gaming is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Cyber Cafe?

Where there are advantages, there are disadvantages to visiting a cyber cafe. You may not be aware but there are certain possible risks in using computers in a cyber cafe.


One possibility is the risk of personal data security. Most local Wi-Fi networks are unprotected, which implies that others might possibly obtain data on your computer. Since you are using a public network, you may be prone to personal data breach as everything you enter into their computers like usernames and passwords, may be stored in their network.

Related Reading: 257 Coffee Shop House Names with Profit Potential 

Anyone could gain access to your email or other important accounts in the event you fail to log out of a communal workstation. A person sitting next to you in a cyber cafe may simply peek over your shoulder and get personal information from you. For sensitive or work-related information, internet cafés or public terminals are not appropriate.


Most Cyber cafes do not provide the same level of comfort as your own home. The café may be packed, smelly, or have unpleasant seating, making it impossible to spend hours there. The majority of Internet cafes in the Western hemisphere are also not open 24/7, thus reducing time for business or enjoyment. Downloading may also be limited in order to conserve bandwidth.

Most Internet cafes operate kind of like a coffee shop.


Everyone has seen email scams that start at Cyber cafes, where it’s practically hard to track down the perpetrator after their session has ended. Cyber cafes in countries outside of the United States are hotbeds for Nigerian money-wiring scams and other international fraud. There are even reports that criminals are settling in the United States and utilizing the cyber café as a cover for their criminal activity.

What Do You Need To Operate An Internet Cafe?

For a significant period of time, there has been a growing need for a provider that offers the general population with a PC and Internet connection for a fee. The big chunk of the business owners in this industry are males between the ages of 22 and 50 with a basic understanding of computers but are not system administrators.

Cybercafés come in many different styles and can be highly profitable depending on the region, target audience, and social objective of the proprietors. Other than your business plan, you may need to jot down certain suppliers, providers, system tools to help you set up your internet cafe. You also have to consider preparing for the following items:

  • Site location (rent or buy or build)
  • Remodeling and improving the space
  • Furniture provisioning (chairs, sofas, tables, bean bag chairs) and other equipment (vending machines, coffee machines, etc.)
  • Insurance
  • PC as well as other equipment suppliers
  • Internet Service Provider
  • Software Licenses
  • Your Team – employee count, their functions, roles, working time
  • Provision for additional services (beverages, catering)

You may also go for the franchise option to have less of the headaches of accomplishing the above-mentioned items. In this case, the franchisor provides you with the proprietary system and your internet cafe requirements (not as detailed as the ones mentioned above). You also don’t have to worry much about the marketing strategies when you franchise since the franchisor can help you with this other than already having an established brand.

Who Uses An Internet Cafe?

Knowing who uses an internet cafe is essential in putting up your very own internet cafe enterprise. By determining who are internet cafe users will help establish your target market. This also means that figuring out who your target market will depend on the location of the internet cafe. Here’s a glimpse of the customer profile of each possible target market.

Business People. Many corporate individuals are less likely to utilize an internet café as their primary source of internet access these days. Yet, most executives working away from the desk, such as at a conference, may need to work on documents, transmit files to colleagues, and print documents. You can operate this type of cafe similar to a remote work space.

Foreign Tourists. If your location draws a big number of international tourists, this might be a lucrative market for you. They will not just utilize email but may also search the internet for relevant data on the local area.

Coffee paper cup on wood table.

Passers-by Looking For A Bite. You might try to attract people to come to your café without using the internet, depending on the nature of your café and whether you plan to serve food, people can use your internet cafe as a hangout place while munching away their snacks. Many of these cafes operate like a glorified coffee shop.

Gamers. People are increasingly signing on to play online games as the quality of these games improves. You could be likely to entice gaming groups to your café if your connection is exceptionally fast (faster than many of those offered to domestic clients). You may also provide networked gameplay of popular games, which might be played online or not. To accommodate this set of consumers, you can decide to stay open all night.

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eSports. Similar to gamers, eSports is a new form of sport that made its debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is an industry that’s growing extremely fast with an estimated value of $1.8 billion for 2022. eSports teams can play a variety of online team games like first-person shooters or sports like basketball. The cyber cafe provides advantages for these teams from a technology standpoint. Meeting everyone at a cafe ensures fast internet speeds across an entire team of players and easier communication since everyone is in the same room.

Older Individuals. Many people in this category desire to acquire new skills, use email, surf the web, participate in social media, and buy online but are too intimidated to do so on their own. You may want to consider offering classes that will expose this sort of individual to the internet and technology in a broad sense.

Students. Students who do not have internet connectivity may wish to communicate with friends via social media, email or even Skype, as well as download music and videos to their own portable devices, in addition to using any other services you provide.

History of the Internet Cafe

Internet cafes have sprouted all around the world since the turn of the new millennium. This can be attributed to the rise of internet technology and connectivity as well as the public’s expanding access to this new technology which basically started in the 90s. Believe it or not, the earliest known internet cafe began in South Korea. Keum Nuri and Ahn Sang-Su founded the Electronic Café at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea, in March 1988. Using phone lines, two 16-bit computers were linked via Online system networks.

starbucks coffee shop

Inside a Starbucks coffee shop.

Ivan Pope came up with the idea of a café with a full Internet connection in early 1994. Pope wrote a proposal explaining the notion of a café with an Internet connection for an artist’s weekend at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, inspired by the SFnet terminal-based cafes. The High Tech Cafe, designed and operated by Jeff Anderson and Alan Weinkrantz in August 1994 at Infomart in Dallas, Texas, would be the first publicly commercial American Internet café.

Today, internet cafes are found all around the world. From Brazil, China, and into every street in the Philippines, an internet cafe can be found full of customers. Let us now traverse the concept of the internet cafe and what it contributes to our society today. This type of business also levels the playing field for communities who may not be able to get reliable access to the internet in their home.

Customers can check email, talk online, play online games, and meet friends in a relaxed environment in modern Internet cyber cafes. To maximize earnings, cybercafés usually offer drinks and snacks in addition to internet services.

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