How to Access Havana Times through Cuba’s Nauta Wi-Fi Service

Isbel Diaz Torres

Conectados. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – It’s been more than two months since Cuba’s telecommunications company (ETECSA) set up a handful of Wi-Fi hot zones around the Cuban capital, and others in the provinces, but users are still running into difficulties connecting to the Internet.

As ETECSA does not consider it has the duty to help users in this regard, I have put together a brief series of instructions for those who wish to access Havana Times through their mobile device, using the Wi-Fi Nauta service.

Step 1. Make you sure you’ve bought credit for your Internet account.

If you have a Nauta Internet account, you must buy credit for it. To do this, you can approach the ETECSA offices that offer this service and pay 2 CUC for one hour or purchase a Nauta pre-paid card, at the same price.

If you do not have a Nauta account, then you have to purchase a Nauta navigation card (at the same price). You can also buy these cards from illegal re-sellers at navigation points, but at higher prices (2.50 to 3 CUC).

Step 2. Connecting through the Wi-Fi network

Once you are within the Wi-Fi area, you must activate your device’s Wi-Fi connection. It’s a simple step that differs from phone to phone. Generally, the option can be found under “Configuration – Wireless Networks”, where you need only activate the “Wi-Fi” option.

The device will automatically detect the network. Usually, there are several active networks at the hot zone, so it is advisable to check that you’ve connected to WIFI_ETECSA.

Step 3. Accessing the Nauta homepage.

You can access the Nauta homepage using any of the Internet web browsers in your device. Generally, Nauta’s authentication page opens up automatically when you start your browser.

You must make sure you have allowed pop-ups and cookies in your browser. If you don’t do this, you probably won’t be able to connect.

Step 4. Add credit

Once you’ve accessed Nauta’s homepage, it’s time to add credit to your account (if you haven’t done it already at the ETECSA office). If you have a Nauta Internet Navigation account, you must click on the User Portal link.

Wifi hot spot. Photo: Juan Suarez

There, you will be prompted for your user ID, your password and to fill in a slot with the letters and numbers that appear in a small image, used to verify the authenticity of the process. This procedure is identical to the one carried out at Nauta locales.

Once at the credit page, you must fill in your card’s number. This will add credit to your account. You can return to the Nauta authentication page, introduce your user ID and password and start browsing.

If you don’t have a Nauta account and you’ve bought a pre-paid card, then the procedure is simpler.

You must type in the user ID that appears on your card and, in the password slot, introduce the number under the scratchable surface of your card.

You must not close the window that appears after you’ve done this, which indicates the time you’ve used up, for, once you’re done browsing, you must return to this window to log off (otherwise, the system will continue deducting time (money) from your card, even if you’re not browsing).

Step 5. Enter Havana Times

In the navigation bar, write Havana Times’ URL: www.havanatimes.org (for English) or www.havanatimes.org/sp (for Spanish). The Havana Times homepage will then appear.

You will most likely be directed to the mobile phone version of the page, which is far more compact and simpler in design. This interface shows the same articles, diaries, reports and news available in the web version, but with a more modest design and fewer pictures.

You can access any article and have the same options to write comments.

You can also access social network options from any interface and share whatever contents you wish.

If you wish to have the habitual desktop interface and visit the home page with all of its columns and other features, simply open any article and, at the bottom of the page, you will see the two options: mobile and desktop.

Click on “desktop” and you will be directed to the Havana Times webpage as you know it.


Isbel Diaz

Isbel Diaz Torres: Pinar del Rio and Havana are my cities. I was born in one on March 1, 1976, and I’ve always lived in the other. I am a biologist and poet, though at times I’ve also been a musician, translator, teacher, computer geek, designer, photographer and editor. I’m very non-conformist and a defender of differences – perhaps due to always having been an ever-repressed “model child.” Nothing enthralls me more than the unknown, nature and art; these serve as my sources of mystery and development. A surprising activism has been born in me over the recent period. Though I’m not very sure how to channel it, I feel that it’s a worthy and legitimate energy. Let’s hope I have the discernment to manage it.

3 thoughts on “How to Access Havana Times through Cuba’s Nauta Wi-Fi Service

  • The pictures were pretty good and self explanatory about how difficult can be to get into internet in Cuba

  • It’s not luck. When the human spirit is free to reach its potential and compete without unnecessary hindrances, we can do all sorts of things, from putting men on the moon to genetic mapping. We can also make WiFi access free and uncomplicated. My smartphone automatically switches from my AT&T plan to available WiFi. This is not because I am lucky. It’s because I live in a free society with competing interests anxious to serve my needs.

  • Isbel, I guess we in the US don’t know how lucky we have it. Give it time. I do remember the old AOL
    dial up and many a friend is still waiting for that connection…

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