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 🙂

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:

No Price Period and Speed Usage Limits SMS 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 🙂