How to set up a broadband Internet connection in Bali Indonesia
Saturday, July 21, 2007
What this article covers:
how to get a solid Internet connection for the best price in Bali.Recommended Internet provider
why Bali Internet is more expensive than in western and European countries
equipment you might want to buy before you come to Bali.
Currently the best high speed Internet solution available is from a company called Blueline. The ADSL in Bali is slow and expensive. The Internet that blueline provides comes in via satellite because Indonesia didn’t bother to buy into the Internet backbone that leads from Singapore to Australia. As a result the Internet as a little bit more latency and is quite a bit more expensive. 1 MB is about $.10 as of June 2007. The cost drops down to around two cents from 10 p.m. at night until 8 a.m. in the morning. So with these prices downloading movies, file sharing, bit torrent, and the like is pretty much out of the question.Because they are charging for bandwidth; they do not care how many computers you have connected. They charge for total bandwidth; that means upload and download. Using my connection in Phuket Thailand I was using about 30 GB of bandwidth per month. That might cost you a couple thousand dollars down here! I set my browser to not show the images by default and try to stay away from high-bandwidth activities during business hours. Browsing with the images turned off isn’t exactly fun if you’re looking for porn but I find that most websites can be navigated easily enough without using the images.If you plan on sharing the Internet connection I recommend that you purchase the router in your home country because they are quite expensive here.
Remember that Indonesia uses 220 V electricity and you may need a universal plug adapter for power depending on your home country. Most notebooks are already equipped with a 110/220 V AC adapter but chances are if you are bringing a tower computer you will need to change the power supply. This can be purchased for about 20 bucks at the local computer related shopping center “remo”.
Of course it is recommended that you use a UPS and a surge protector.
This is not an ADSL connection; it is a long distance amplified wireless connection. This usually consists of an antenna on top of your roof with a parabolic dish pointed at the nearest access point. Almost all areas of southern Bali are within range. At my last house they mounted a 12 m antenna on top of my roof that connected me to the bungee jump access point down the way about 5 km. they had to mount it on my neighbors roof and she wasn’t too happy when the repairman dropped the pliers down through her tile roof into her living room.
Your Internet source comes down from the antenna as an RJ-45 cable (your standard network cabling that plugs into all routers and ethernet ports). You can plug it directly into your computer or into a router. I was disappointed when I found out that my SMC ADSL router was not able to handle multiple connections like it does when the connection comes from the ADSL modem part. If your router is not a ADSL modem then you will likely not have this problem.
Another easy way to share an Internet connection is with Bluetooth. Although it took me several hours of fiddling around I was able to get it working. This allowed me to plug the ethernet cable coming down from the antenna into my notebook ethernet port, enable Internet connection sharing on that connection, then set up my Bluetooth to serve the Internet out to any other Bluetooth devices.
The local phone company does after ADSL service but it looks expensive and I’ve heard bad things about it. You would also have to go through the additional hassle of installing a phone line.
There are also some wireless Internet providers that allow you to connect with your 3-G wireless modem; I haven’t heard many good things about this either. I tested it out at the shop and it looked like it would be okay for e-mail and basic Web stuff. Definitely not for power users. The one big benefit that it has is that it is an unlimited connection; always on and no bandwidth constraints. Of course the connection is your constraint because the maximum speed is under 56k usually. I actually entertain the idea of having the service specifically for file sharing and big downloads but the cost of the modems and likelihood that they would have the file sharing ports blocked turned me off. This company’s office is just across the street from blue lines office. It may be worth checking out if you already have a 3- G phone and are just a casual Internet user.
If you need to get connected immediately upon arrival there are heaps of Internet shops that allow you to plug in. Or you can do what I did which have someone find you a couple houses that you would like and then have him have blueline come down to see if the Internet works from that location. The guy who helped me out on me a nice little two bedroom house in a local village down by Jimbaran. It is less than 30 minutes to the best surfing in Bali, five minutes to the video store, five minutes down to Jimbaran beach, and five minutes away from the 24 Hour Drive-through McDonald’s. I’m loving it!
Just post a comment if you have any questions or if you would like to get in touch with the real estate guy. You just need to tell him the area, the budget, and he will send you e-mails with photos and maps and everything you need to make your decision. He just charges a couple hundred bucks for his services. I am still stoked at how easy it was to get moved in here with his help. We landed at the airport, he picked us up in our rental car, drove us to our new rental home, so we were set with a house, Internet, and transportation the same evening that we arrived.