This website is for sale (including all content, social media channels, mailinglists). Contact for more info or See the Flippa listing
Your Ultimate Bali Guide

How to get a good internet connection in Bali

Article image

I still remember my first encounter with Balinese internet connections, back in 2007. Back then, even sending a simple email (of course without any attachments) was already a struggle. The Balinese definition for broadband was slightly different from what I considered to be broadband, already having a 20mbps connection back home (for around USD 30,- a month).

During subsequent visits in the years to follow, things didn’t change that much. A shared 512kbps WIFI connection was still considered broadband and higher speeds only seemed available to the rich and famous (a 2mbps dedicated line would cost around 20 million at that time).

During recent years the availability and speed of true broadband connections have improved dramatically. Especially after the introduction of 4G and fiber optics, things have started to move quickly.

So how to get a good internet connection?

The key here is location. If you are located in the southern part of the island (Denpasar, Sanur, Kuta, etc.) your chances of getting a decent connection are a lot better than if you are located in north or central Bali.

I’ll list all options below, depending on your location, some may or may not be available to you. The options are listed from worst to best.

WIFI

There are numerous providers on the island offering WiFi-based connections. Prices (and quality) differ a lot between the various providers.

To setup a WiFi connection the company will install an antenna on your location. This antenna needs to be “in line of sight” with the counterpart at the provider's location, so this sometimes means that they’ll put the antenna on a large pole.

These type of connections are usually not very stable. A heavy dose of rain or other external interference will have a negative impact on the signal quality.

Pricing is also a bit high, compared to the other options below.

Typical connection speed: 512kbps - 2mbps (some providers can offer higher speeds)

ADSL

ADSL on the island is provided through Telkomsel’s Speedy (under it’s users better known as Slowy). To get an ADSL connection, you’ll first need a phone line. If you have one already, you’re lucky. If you don’t, good luck.. Some people have been waiting over 2 years for Telkomsel to connect them to the phone grid.

If you do get a connection, the quality and speed of the connection depend on the quality of the copper lines in- and outside of your house. Old or bad wiring will make it impossible to reach decent speeds.

At this moment, Telkomsel is rolling out their fiber optic product ‘IndiHome’ (see below). Our attempts to get an ADSL connection have failed (even though there’s a phone line available). It’s said that in areas that will have IndiHome coverage soon Telkomsel isn’t connecting any new ADSL clients anymore.

Your best bet is to give them a call and see what policy they have for your area.

Typical connection speed: 1mbps - 5mbps

Free airport WIFI

This one deserves to be in this list.. Believe it or not, the speed of the internet at Ngurah Rai airport is surprisingly fast (it recently ranked 6th fastest in the world). It’s even available outside of the terminal, so you don’t need an airplane ticket to connect. If you badly need to work using fast (and free) internet, get yourself and your laptop to the airport, find a good spot to chill and work, and you're set.

Typical connection speed: 10mbps - 25mbps

Mobile broadband connection

To use this type of connection at home, you’ll either have to put the sim card in your phone and use the ‘Mobile hotspot’ function, or use a USB modem or MIFI (Mobile Wifi) router. You’ll have to top-up the card first with “pulsa” and use that to buy one of the data packages. These packages usually have an expiration date (such as 2GB data for 30 days), so be careful not to buy too much. If you plan on downloading full HD movies or upload a lot of your home videos to YouTube, you’ll find out that the data runs out quickly and the monthly “pulsa blll” will become pretty hefty.

There are various telecom providers offering their services on the island. The speed of their connection is very location-dependent. Especially around the coastal area, you can find that with one provider you’ll get a great signal while with another you appear to be in a black hole with no connection at all.

Three of the providers also offer 4G connections (Telkomsel, XL, and Smartfren). I’ve found the last one to be the most stable and have the best coverage. Please note that not many modems and routers support 4G yet.

Typical connection speed: 1mbps - 15mbps

Cable Internet

Cable internet on the island is provided by Biznet. Biznet uses fiber optic cables for their backbone and coax cables to make the connection to your house. They offer various packages (TV & Internet combined, Internet Only) under the label “Biznet Home”. Getting connected is pretty easy. Just check the coverage area on their website. If you are within their service area they’ll come do a survey first. If all is well you’ll be connected within a week. You can even do this process without leaving your home.

The quality of their connection is generally pretty good, although at peak moments (when everybody is watching YouTube) the download speeds can slow down to a crawl. Upload speeds are generally pretty stable.

Typical connection speed: 10mbps - 100mbps

Fibre Optics

Telkomsel is currently rolling out their IndiHome service on the island, replacing their old Speedy product. With IndiHome you’ll get a “Fibre To The Home” connection, theoretically capable of speeds up to 1gbps (yep, that’s gigabit!).

Availability is still very limited, so before you get all excited check out their website first for the coverage area.

These type of connections are the best thing possible at the moment and will get you the best value for money. I can’t wait until our location is within their coverage area!

Typical connection speed: 10mbps - 100mbps

Internet service providers in Bali

An up to date list of ISPs in Bali can be found here: list of internet service providers in Bali.

Things you should know about internet in Indonesia

  • The connection speeds mentioned above are speeds measured within Indonesia. Once you try to access websites hosted outside the country the dreaded bottleneck effect shows it’s ugly head. All internet traffic leaving the county passes through one of the transatlantic cables connecting the archipelago to the internet. The capacity of these cables is limited and during peak times they are over-saturated. It’s like going from the toll road, through the toll gates unto the streets of Jakarta, if you know what I mean.
     
  • Most internet providers in Indonesia over-sell their capacity. A good provider would have a 1:1 bandwidth ratio; if all customers use their connection to the max at the same time, there would still be enough bandwidth available to all of them to reach the promised speeds). With Indonesian ISP’s buying their bandwidth in USD and selling their products in IDR (making them vulnerable to exchange rate differences) they are known to be “pelit” when it comes to having enough spare bandwidth available. Only when a certain amount of new customers has been connected the provider will buy more bandwidth.This translates into your connection being very slow or unstable for a long period of time, before returning back to normal. This cycle will keep repeating itself
     
  • Internet in Indonesia is heavily censored. Read more about that here.

Summary and advice

Location is the most important factor in getting a decent internet connection. Even when you are able to get connected to cable or fiber optics internet, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup connection in the form of a mobile connection. Make sure to have SIM cards for different providers, so you can always switch if one of them is too slow. If all else fails, you can always get free WiFi everywhere around the island, with the airport being your best bet!

Even though quality and speed have improved a lot during recent years, you'll sometimes still have to accept that Indonesia isn't South Korea, Singapore or The Netherlands when it comes to internet connections.. 

There are 33 comments

avatar
By Rinaldhy Rinald | Nov 06 2017 at 13:41

Im suggest to who lives in sanur. Not to use indovision for xl provider. Its crap. Cannot work on 4g.

I need any suggestions for me who will use internet for bussiness.
Thanks

avatar
By Vina | Nov 06 2017 at 13:48

We use Biznet, almost 3 years now and it's mostly reliable.

avatar
By Rinaldhy Rinald | Nov 06 2017 at 14:13

How the speed? The bandwith?
In sanur?

avatar
By Admin | Nov 06 2017 at 16:41

On a good day, using UTP, can get 70 mbit up&down.

avatar
By ivfmd | Jul 18 2017 at 12:16

Any good providers in Cemagi? Thank you!

avatar
By Admin | Jul 18 2017 at 21:01

Outside of Denpasar, Ubud and Singaraja it's hard to find any wired solutions.

Ask some of the wireless providers (see https://balipedia.com/articles/list-of-internet-service-providers-in-bali) to do a site survey and give you a quote.

Speed will depend on the distance and visibility of sight between you and the provider..

Neuviz gets good reviews, although they are pricy

avatar
By William Park Seong Gyu | Jul 05 2017 at 10:06

Does anyone know if internet is any good up near uluwatu? now i'm trying to find fast, unlimit internet.
however really hard to find , not much covered uluwatu area. i really want to fibre optic internet

avatar
By Hein Kootstra | Apr 10 2017 at 16:47

Are there any other good isp other than biznet? biznet does not cover imam bonjol, Denpasar. :S. so sad. What would you recommend? I would like to use internet for watching full hd videos on youtube and/or netflix, gaming (updates and downloading some games) etc.

avatar
By Mia Soenen | Apr 10 2017 at 17:16

Apparently, Biznet is the only reasonable prized solution. But even our part of Sanur isn't covered.
I also contacted CBN: they even had to look on the map to find Sanur.
Indovision internet isn't any better then Indihome because they are working through XL or Indosat.
Neuviz charges 2 million IDR for 10 MBps; GlobalXtreme 1 million IDR for 10 MBps.
My next step will be an upgrade with Indihome from 10MBps to 20 MBps; there is no other solution. I hope that will work.
And i use Hotspot Shield which helps a little bit.
it's simply a problem of 'overbooking' with all these internet providers, I guess. My husband works in central Java. He has exactly the same Indihome connection as what I have over here in Sanur; he watches exactly the same international streaming websites: everything works perfect!

avatar
By Hein Kootstra | Apr 10 2017 at 17:26

Yea i looked at the same ones. they are to expensive. What is CBN? Is it in Bali, Denpasar?

So u use indohome? And it works okay ish? I am very hesitant to get indihome, after what i have read about them.

avatar
By Mia Soenen | Apr 10 2017 at 17:51

CBN is indeed in Bali - it's another internet provider but i guess their network isn't that large. If you go to their website, it will tell you that they are in DPS but ... it also states that they are in Sanur. I guess they're only along main roads.

Indeed, i use indihome. After a couple of days of research, i concluded that i will have to stick to them as there is no other option except of the very expensive ones.
If i would need internet for my business, i would go to GlobalXtreme.

avatar
By Hein Kootstra | Apr 10 2017 at 17:59

yea i looked at CBN, but when i click Bali, Denpasar is says area not coverable. But will call them and see what is what.

And otherwise will try indihome, sadly there is not another choice. Will try it for a few months. Hope it will work properly and no scam

avatar
By Hein Kootstra | Apr 14 2017 at 05:36

Well i have indihome now. and as far as i can tell no major problems. it works quite well for me. fast speed. easy watching full hd vid, downloading etc.

avatar
By Admin | Apr 14 2017 at 09:59

I hope you will have a better experience with them than we had..

Did they install the real fiber optic connection, or did they sell you the ADSL modem pretending it to be fiber, like they did with us? (ADSL is connected to the phoneline, using a normal phone cable)

avatar
By Admin | Apr 10 2017 at 19:52

Neuviz would have been our 2nd choice. They are a bit pricy, but are said to be very reliable and not overbooked. I think they can do a site survey to see what's possible

avatar
By Hein Kootstra | Apr 10 2017 at 22:37

over 1 million for only 10mpbs or lower or something.

avatar
By Antony Ratcliffe | Apr 10 2017 at 16:03

I'm now using one of the Mifi Huwei gadgets and it is spot on! Tiny box which costs around 660k. Includes 90gb which covers me for 3 months. (30gb per month) and is unlocked so anytime you can change service provider for better priced kuota or speed if needs must. It uses 4g and we are powering 2 PC's with this and 2 Handfones around home and that seems to be enough for our needs using XL service provider which seems to be fast enough too. And if you happen to have a Handfone that is 3g only this baby will empower it with 4g!
Can't say I know much about Indihome and don't really want to by the sounds of it! Hope you get a better deal than your present one anyway.

avatar
By Vina | Apr 10 2017 at 16:36

So you are XL as provider? What area are you in and what speeds do you get?

avatar
By Amanda Robinson | Jun 13 2017 at 12:54

Hey Anthony,
Where did you purchase your Mifi Huwei gadget?

avatar
By Mia Soenen | Apr 10 2017 at 09:38

Hi, i live in Sanur Kauh and I have Indihome since 2015. Turns out to be really crap! The connection is extremely unstable and in the weekends down to almost zero. The service delivered by Indihome is non-existing. Therefore I am looking to change provider (again). I pay between 450.000,- and 500.000,- IDR / month to Indihome (March 2017) and I get nothing. A suggestion: stay away from Indihome!

avatar
By Vina | Apr 10 2017 at 13:05

I totally agree with you! Anyone should avoid Indihome like a pest if they don't want to get self-induced stress. We tried indihome last year and it was still haunting me until last month. Read our review here: https://balipedia.com/articles/internet-review-indihome

avatar
By Vina | Apr 10 2017 at 13:08

Biznet is a good option, we've used it for 2 years and are mostly satisfied with the service. We paid 550k for 100 mbps and now they just increased the price to 660k Incl. tax. Still a good deal.

avatar
By Siavash Sameni | Apr 05 2017 at 13:01

I've had such a bad call experience with whatsapp all over Bali over telkomsel 4G, so i decided, probably the bottleneck is connection to the europe, fired up a vps in Singapore, setup a ocserv server on it, and voila !! Calls improved so well.
I guess generally connections to Singapore are reliable!

avatar
By Admin | Apr 05 2017 at 15:30

Ah yes.. Many providers route their traffic via Jakarta > Hong Kong > EU, and i've sometimes even seen routes like Jakarta > US west coast > London > EU .. crazy..

I often use VyperVPN to get better routes, its one of the best paid VPN services out there (https://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn)

avatar
By jacquiC | Mar 02 2017 at 08:50

Does anyone know if internet is any good up near Obud? Would like to spend time in Bali, away from the commercial areas and have to work, and will use skype and other programs..Any ideas?

avatar
By Admin | Mar 14 2017 at 01:02

Hi jacquiC,

My experience in Ubud is either hit or miss.. Almost all hotels provide WiFi, but the speed is usually very bad.

Your best bet would be to get prepaid sim cards for the main providers: Telkomsel (simpati) and Indosat.. Depending on your location you'd hopefully have a good enough connection.

Don't expect high-res skype video calls though..

Biznet is available in some parts of Ubud (around the center), so if you are staying in an upscale hotel around that area your chances of having a good connection are higher.

avatar
By Antony Ratcliffe | Dec 01 2016 at 10:34

Hi Ray, you can just buy a cheap Sim card from one of the many providers here and purchase a data paket, use skype on your mobile phone or tether it to your Mac or buy a small mifi box as previous post said (mobile wifi, can be purchased unlocked so you can use any Sim) and these give big discount on data Kuota. Connection is normally fine for Skype depending how close you are to the telkom masts.
This means you won't have to rely on fibre optics for wifi. 4G data is cheaper at the moment because they are selling many gigs at promotional prices.

avatar
By Ray Andrew Wilkes | Nov 04 2016 at 18:51

Hi guys - this is the best article I've read to date on Bali internet. OK tell me what you think is the best for my solution (I think wifi/3/4G based on the above). I need fast reliable interest for regular and long voice Skype calls on my MacBook Pro only from the UK. If wifi is best how do I find which houses on Airbnb use fiber optics? I have asked and they all say yes but I have know way of really knowing until I get there.

avatar
By Admin | Mar 14 2017 at 01:08

Fibre optics is rare and is just recently being rolled out for real (it has been sold by indihome for some time, but turned out to just be a marketing gimmick, see https://balipedia.com/articles/internet-review-indihome)

Getting a simpati (telkomsel) prepaid 4G simcard gives you the best bang for bucks, as long as you don't plan to download gigs of torrents ;)

avatar
By Pocket Wifi Bali | Dec 28 2015 at 07:18

Other alternative is rent a 3G/4G mobile wifi / pocket wifi from Javamifi.com and you can share up to 10 devices at the same time. Hassle free without any registration/activation needed or change your existing sim card, just connect to the Mifi and start browsing.

avatar
By Joseph F Reidy | Nov 26 2015 at 08:16

Or just simply go to "Outpost" co-working offices in Nyuh Kuning to avoid all the connection hassles for a fast reliable secure comfortable internet experience. Bright fresh tranquil friendly atmosphere on 2 levels...!! And have a swim (free for members - towels provided) between tasks. So drop in and checkout OUTPOST for a busy or a friendly fast Internet session... free massage today Thursday. Bottom floor opening soon. Joseph

avatar
By Admin | Dec 02 2015 at 22:02

Whats the connection speed offered there?

avatar
By Admin | Sep 13 2015 at 12:29

There are no prices listed in the article, because they tend to change a lot.

Add your comment

Related articles

Article Image

Is Bali going to be the next Silicon Valley?

Jun 23 2017

More and more digital nomads flock to Bali's coworking spaces.. Startups seem to leave Silicon Valley for Bali

Read More
Article Image

How to access blocked websites on your (non-rooted) Android smartphone in Indonesia

Feb 23 2017

An easy way to bypass the dredged internet positif filter on your non-rooted android smartphone.

Read More
Article Image

Bali's High-Tech Bat Sacred Cave: Pura Goa Lawah

Mar 2 2016

CCTV cameras will be installed there.

Read More
Article Image

List of internet service providers in Bali

Oct 15 2015

A list of all major ISPs in Bali

Read More
Article Image

How to access blocked websites

Sep 9 2015

This article shows you how to access all those blocked websites

Read More

Do you have a question about Bali?

Ask us any question you might have about Bali. We are here to help!