How To Get Internet 24/7 in Bali

Many people seem to have challenges getting good internet connection in Indonesia. I have been living and working here for almost a year now, and I''ve nearly tried all of the possible options out there, so I thought it would be helpful to share my experiences with you.

If you are visiting Indonesia, Bali, Java, Lombok,the Gili islands etc. and like to have a good internet connection anywhere anytime.


I think nearly everyone wants that these days :)

Update (January 2017) We recently came across an interesting service called Simjek.com
The Simjek team can deliver you a ready to use SIM card (with 3G) directly at your villa, hotel or at the airport exit gate, which will allow you to be online right away!
You can order a SIM card directly on simjek.com before on on arrival.

Simjek

Here is my 3-step recommendation

1) Buy Sim card:

Buy a TelkomSel simPATI Freedom sim card (you can buy this in any phone store, also in the airports, and it is important that it is the "simPATI" brand, as they have the best 3G coverage and prices, and it is a pre-paid card so you can easily buy it without needing to register yourself, show passport etc.)

2) Buy 50k credits:

Ask the store you bought the sim card at to add 50.000 IDR phone credits (you will convert this into 2 weeks of internet)

3) Activate internet:

Now follow this guide to activate your "unlimited" 3G internet in all of Indonesia (phone menus are usually in Bahasa, if you call *363#, so we will do it via SMS which is much easier once you know the system :-) (For the 30 days option you need to use the phone menues - see how below the table )
  • Send an SMS to number: 3636
  • Write: "UL ON 50k"
  • This will activate two weeks of internet at 384 kbps. You may receive an SMS shortly after in Bahasa, which asks you to confirm. Just reply "1" to the message, to confirm the activation
  • Done. You know have great 3G connection in all of Indonesia

You may also want to get full possible 3G speed by paying extra, or e.g. just 1 day of internet.
Here is a table that explains what SMS to send, to activate the different packages:

NoPricePeriod and SpeedUsage LimitsSMS to 3636
1 Rp 5,000 or USD 0.5 1 day and max. 384 kbps 30 MB UL ON 5k
2 Rp 10,000 or USD 1 1 day and max. 1 Mbps 60 MB UL ON 10k
3 Rp 50,000 or USD 5 14 days and max. 384 kbps 300 MB UL ON 50k
4 Rp 125,000 or USD 12.5 30 days and max. 1 Mbps 1.25 GB *See below
4 Rp 250,000 or USD 25 30 days and max. 1 Mbps 3 GB *See below

*Activiation by the phone menu

The activation by sms is no longer available for the 30 das packages. Instead you have to use the phone menu. The phone menu is in Bahasa, but if you follow this guide it shoul be easy, even if your Bahasa skills are limited:

  • Send an SMS to number: *363*
  • Choose: 2. Paket Internetan
  • Choose: 2. Flash Unlimited
  • Depending on package choose on of the following 1 for 50.000 rp, 2 for 100.000 rp, 3 for 200.000 rp.

Notice that if you exceed the fair use limits, usually nothing happens (they don''t actually check this it seems). But be aware that you may get an SMS if you exceed the limit, and then your internet will simply stop working, so you will know that you have to re-activate it by using the same steps above again.

Personally, I always go for the 200k package even if I''m only in indonesia for a few days, as I use the internet for work and like to have the highest possible speed. Besides, it''s fairly cheap considering the mobility, flexibility and fantastic life style a 3G connection and a laptop offers when you can work from beautiful beaches, cozy cafes or your Bali villa pool :)

Comments

  • February 25, 2012 11:22 Jeffrey says :

    This info is great! Do you know the codes to activate the IPad plan (simPATI freedom Micro SIM-Card iPad unlimited data plan, Rp 200.000, 2 Mbps, 1.6 GB, 30 days). Assume that you can just do a similar process on a phone and then place the sim in an Ipad. I would like to use this plan as it apparently has quicker speeds.

  • February 26, 2012 04:47 Stefan says :

    Hi Jeffrey

    I don”t have personal experience with Ipad, but procedure you describe should work. You find instructions here if you can look through the minor errors in the google translation.

    I would be pleased to hear how it works out for you.

    Stefan – The Vilondo team

  • March 26, 2012 01:43 James says :

    Hi There, thanks for this hugely valuable info! I”m travelling to Gili Trawangan for a couple of weeks and heard there is a phone mast there and I should get GPRS, so this is great!

    My problem is I fly in at 9:30pm and the boat leaves the next day at 8:00am! I”ll be staying in Kuta overnight – any ideas where / how I”d buy one in that narrow overnight time window?

    Many thanks, James

  • March 28, 2012 07:29 Stefan says :

    Hi James

    Some of the convenience stores like Circle K, Indo Mart, etc has them, but not all of them. I think you just have to ask around, but it shouldn”t be too hard in Kuta.
    If you have a driver to take you from the airport to your hotel, he”ll will probably know a place. If he doesn”t he staff at the hotel should know.

    The cards comes with 5000 Rp on them, but prices can be everything between 5000 and 50.0000 Rp. If they ask you for 50.000, you should do a little bargaining.

    Also, you should ask the people in the shop to activate the card for you.

    I hope it works out for you and that you”ll have great trip to the Gilis. I am sure you will, it”s beautiful over there.

    Stefan

  • April 18, 2012 03:22 Scott says :

    Good information here, but I am struggling to get this working. I got the SIM, bought the credits (200K) and when I follow the SMS instructions I get a reply of :

    Maaf, keyword yang anda masukkan salah

    (translation : sorry, wrong keyword)

    Normal SMS and voice calls seem to be working fine. Did the menus/commands change? Any ideas?

  • April 18, 2012 12:36 Stefan says :

    Hi Scott
    The menu shouldn't have changed. Maybe Telkomsel have some kind of problem

    Another way to activate it is by dialling *363* and follow the activation instructions.

    In your case you should press:

    2. Paket Internetan
    2. Flash Unlimited
    3 . Rp 200.000

    In case that doesn”t work I would recommend asking someone local – they can probably help you out.

    Good luck

    Stefan

  • April 25, 2012 09:12 Geoff says :

    Good info…
    But, after converting my Rp200,000 to internet usage, how do I get normal call credit? Thanks.

  • April 26, 2012 09:32 Stefan says :

    You buy a voucher that gives you credit. The vouches comes with a code you have to enter. You can find the vouchers in phone stores and in many of the convenience stores around Bali.

  • May 2, 2012 03:46 Tony says :

    Very helpful advice, thankyou very much!

    Your article was written almost a year ago now (July 2011), there have been some minor changes on the simPATI website:

    (1) Price: Rp 5.000, Speed: 384kbps, Fair Use data: 30MB, Duration: 1 day. To activate by SMS: send “UL ON 5k” to 3636
    (2) Price: Rp 10.000, Speed: 1Mbps, Fair Use data: 60MB, Duration: 1 day. To activate by SMS: send “UL ON 10k” to 3636
    (3) Price: Rp 50.000, Speed: 384kbps, Fair Use data: 300MB, Duration: 14 days. To activate by SMS: send “UL ON 50k” to 3636
    (4) Price: Rp 100.000, Speed: 1Mbps, Fair Use data: 1GB, Duration: 30 days. To activate by SMS: **YOU CAN”T**. You need to call *363# (I don”t speak bahasa, so I can”t tell you what menu options to choose, sorry!) or visit http://www.telkomsel.com/infoflash
    (5) Price: Rp 200.000, Speed: 2Mbps, Fair Use data: 2.5GB, Duration: 30 days. To activate by SMS: **YOU CAN”T**. You need to call *363# (I don”t speak bahasa, so I can”t tell you what menu options to choose, sorry!) or visit http://www.telkomsel.com/infoflash

    So, this would explain why a commenter above (Scott) had troubles activating his Rp 200.000 package – it”s no longer an option via SMS

  • May 2, 2012 02:41 Stefan says :

    Hi Tony

    Thanks for lettings us know.

    I make sure the guide gets updated one of the coming days.

    Stefan

  • May 8, 2012 10:26 Dorisawill.com says :

    i”m a travel arranger and this is a great solution for my clients. Have you ever tried other telco-providers (like Indosat or XL)? Or do you think we should stick to Telkomsel? How about the portable modem? Anything you recommend?

    Thanks again!

  • May 9, 2012 08:44 Stefan says :

    I do not have any personal experience with other providers than Tekomsel, but I know a few people that use XL and it should work very well too.

    I use my phone as a modem. Almost any phone has that feature, so that would be my recommendation.

  • June 28, 2012 07:26 Anisah says :

    hi, will it worked on my iphone 4s which is still locked? and can u confirm whether they have micro sim as i dont have a sim cutter. thanks

  • June 29, 2012 03:21 Archie says :

    I find that up here in Lovina my internet speed varies with distance from a tower. I live up here most of the year. Can an ariel be set up for better service?
    (I don”t have a land phone which would allow high speeed internet. )

  • June 30, 2012 07:34 Stefan says :

    Hi Anisah

    You can get the micro-sim cards in Bali. If you end up in a shop where they only have the large sim cards they will usually cut it for you. Otherwise a pair of scissors will do the job.

    The locked phone is a problem though, it needs to be unlocked.

    Stefan

  • June 30, 2012 07:36 Stefan says :

    Hi Archie.

    That”s is a good question. Honestly I have no idea.

    Stefan

  • July 19, 2012 06:18 Shane says :

    Hi All,

    Price Update :
    Price: Rp 125.000, Speed: 1Mbps, Fair Use data: 1.25GB, Duration: 30 days.
    Price: Rp 250.000, Speed: 1Mbps, Fair Use data: 3.0GB, Duration: 30 days.

    Also…..
    Don”t forget to go into your phone settings and add the APN Details for Telkomsel if you can”t connect to the internet.

    The details are…..
    Name: Telkomsel
    APN: Telkomsel
    Proxy: Not Set/Leave Blank
    Port: Not Set/Leave Blank
    Username: wap
    Password: wap123
    Server: Not Set/Leave Blank
    MMSC: Not Set/Leave Blank
    MMS Proxy: Not Set/Leave Blank
    MMS port: Not Set/Leave Blank

    Everything else should be default.

    This was the hardest information to obtain.

  • July 24, 2012 09:27 Stefan says :

    Great update Shane – thanks

  • July 29, 2012 03:33 Thomas says :

    Hi everybody, check out the Indosat traiffs at http://www.indosat.com/Indosat_Internet/Indosat_Internet/Kartu_Perdana_Indosat_Internet_Broom. I did some research over the last months, because I moved to Indonesia. I now believe the Indosat broom package is superior to the Telekomsel one, and also the network seems more reliable on remote locations (worked well on Western Papua, Lombok, Sulawesi, Bali). Up to 7Mbps download speed, up to 6G fair use. Not a complete substitute for a flat rate DSL conncetion, but then again reliable flat rate DSL is hard to find…
    hope this helps.

    Appreciate all of your sharing of expereinces.

  • September 6, 2012 02:07 Adam says :

    I cannot access 3G because of APN settings, please advise me.

  • September 6, 2012 02:14 Mads says :

    Hi Adam

    I haven't tried it my self but you should be able to get the setting on SMS by sending a SMS to 5432 with "Internet" (without the ")
    Example: Internet, send to 5432

    If that is not working try and put "internet" (without the ") and no login.

    I hope it helps,
    Mads

  • September 6, 2012 02:29 Adam says :

    Hi Mads, what should that do? That's for Indosat?
    Cheers

  • September 6, 2012 02:37 Mads says :

    Hi Adam

    That was for Telkomsel. I found this for Indosat:
    Type: REG 3G (send to 777, apply to all types of cards Indosat)

    APN: indosat3g
    User: indosat
    Pass: indosat
    Proxy: 10.19.19.19
    Port: 8080
    Homepage: http://wap3g.indosat.com

    I hope i works,
    Mads

  • November 23, 2012 07:00 elke says :

    wow, really really thanks!

  • April 14, 2013 02:13 Suzy May says :

    Hi, can anyone help advise how I can check that the correct data package has been added to my phone? I've just bought a sim at the airport (220,000 IDR for 2.5GB, 30 days) and the guy there seemed to activate it over text which is contrary to what's stated in the chain above. I've tried sending 'MKIOS INFO' and 'FLASH INFO' to 3636 but the responses I've had back say neither have been added to my phone. Any ideas?

  • April 14, 2013 05:30 Stefan Russel says :

    Hi Suzy

    If it's a Telkomsel card you can check your credit with *888# and your package with *889#

    Stefan

  • April 15, 2013 02:10 Suzy May says :

    Thanks so much Stefan! Looks like the guys at the airport did indeed rip me off.

  • April 15, 2013 02:57 Stefan Russel says :

    I'm glad I could help Suzy, but sorry to hear about the rip off.

  • April 18, 2013 05:45 Paul Tobin says :

    Has the guide to get acccess to the internet been updated anywhere ? looks like it is the old one on your website.

    please advise

    paul

  • April 18, 2013 02:33 Stefan Russel says :

    Hi Paul

    I am not aware of any other guides.

    You are right, this one could need an update. I'll look into it and hopefully it won't be too long before this one will be more up to date.

    Stefan

  • April 29, 2013 12:13 Paul Tobin says :

    just wondering. if i hook up my mobile to my laptop ( so I can use the internet on my laptop ) , and I then want to send EMAILS from Microsoft Outlook, do you know what the Outgoing Server is ??? Mail.TelkomSel.com ????

    please advise

    thanks paul

  • April 29, 2013 12:00 Mads Rode says :

    Hi Paul

    I will suggest you use your mail providers smtp, that way you don't have to change every time you go on a new connection. You can properly find these settings by searching on your mail provider name and smtp.
    If you still want to go with the other solution I think it is mail.telkomsel.com you need in smtp.

    Good luck
    Mads

  • June 15, 2013 05:53 Annabelle says :

    Hi guys,

    I bought a Telkomsel sim recently, and the guy at the shop put a 2gb plan if data on my phone. I've worked out how I'm supposed to buy more Internet, but when I do, I get the following message back:

    Maaf anda tidak dapat melakukan pembelian paket ini karena saat ini anda telah terdaftar

    Or, you can't buy this packet because you are already registered.

    Any ideas on what I am supposed to so now!?

    Thanks!
    Annabelle

  • June 15, 2013 08:13 Stefan Russel says :

    Hi Annabelle

    You can check whether you already have a package by "calling" *889# and you can check your credit at *888#

    Stefan

  • July 5, 2013 11:56 tina says :

    Hi, how to you use the 3G on your iPhone to have internet on your mac book?
    Thanks!
    Tina

  • July 6, 2013 09:15 Stefan Russel says :

    Hi Tina

    This guide should help you: http://bit.ly/YNw9xj

    Stefan

  • July 26, 2013 09:34 Joyce Oon says :

    Can we purchase phone card at Bali Airport? We plan to self drive and wanted google map on our iPhone as GPS.

  • July 26, 2013 11:21 Stefan Russel says :

    Hi Joyce

    I am fairly confident that you can find a card at the airport.

    Alternatively you can get on in a Circle K, the equivalent of 7/11 in Bali (Asia). Look at for a red sign with a K in a white circle. In southern Bali you are likely to pass one pretty fast.

    Stefan

  • February 8, 2014 02:36 Eddy Azar says :

    Super useful! Thanks.

  • June 9, 2014 05:47 building surveyor says :

    The Simpati sim now works without the bother of setting anything up. Just go buy the sim and credit. 120,000 rupee = 5 gig.

  • September 16, 2015 05:23 Ivor says :

    Thanks, very useful article!

    I also found this one that goes a little bit more in depth; http://balipedia.com/articles/how-to-get-a-good-internet-connection-in-bali

  • April 3, 2016 02:25 Sarah says :

    Thanks so much to Shane who posted up the mobile data settings. I recently bought the SimPATI 4G lte with 12gb of data and didn't check it properly when leaving the airport (it was connected to their wifi). Everything was working except mobile data. Checked my balance, non used and full balance. It turned out my phone had still remembered the settings from my last SIM card so I've just updated them manually and BOOM - Internet. I appreciate you mentioned that this info was hard to find - much appreciated! Saved me trying to explain the problem to the locals. ;)


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