The Fastest Internet in Bali Is Not Found at a Cafe

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia - April 2015

If you have ever been to Bali, then you probably know that it can be difficult enough just to find adequate WiFi for a Skype call. So what if you need to transfer gigs of data? Such as when you need to backup those raw photos and captured video that you can’t risk losing.

The places that we usually seek out first are  cafes, hotels, and restaurants for our WiFi fix. But in Bali, I’ve found that these locations just can’t be relied on for decent internet access. The throughput is just too slow for transferring much more than a couple hundred megabytes during a two-sitting.

And what about a mobile data plan? If you have an unlocked phone or mobile WiFi hub, a SIM card and 3G service can be acquired within a few minutes upon your arrival at the airport. The cost per gigabyte of 3G, averages around $3.50 USD. If that’s reasonable for you, just know that  download speeds are rarely greater than 1mbps—which allows you to download roughly 10.5 gigabytes over a 24 hour duration. Worse yet, real-world upload speeds hover around .3mbps, which translates to just 3.16 gigabytes of data transfer over the same period of time.

So if leaving your laptop to transfer files for a couple days is impractical or still doesn’t meet your needs, there is another option—the Hubud co-working space.

Hubud

If you have a crucial data transfer to complete during your time in Bali, then Hubud may be your best option. Within the heart of Bali, Hubud is located in the artistic and laid-back town of Ubud. They take internet access seriously, and they claim to have the fastest connection available in the area.

From their website:

We have a fibre optic line with a dedicated 10mbps and a total of shared 50mbps, which is by far the best in town. Our speeds can vary depending on how busy the network and/or server, but our typical connection speed is around 8 – 12mbps daily. – Hubud.org

Access to the Hubud co-working space and WiFi is not free. 25 hours of access starts at $60 USD.

And because their network activity is watched carefully by abusers, don’t expect to get away with transferring more than 10gigabytes of data during a day’s visit. Also, to limit their ability to sniff out your network activity, I highly recommend the use of a VPN for privacy reasons.

TL;DR

If you are digital nomad and have under 20 gigs of data to transfer over the internet, your best hope is the not-for-free internet access at Hubud’s co-working space in Ubud, Bali. If large data transfers are vital to your work or sanity (data backups), then it is best to limit your time within Bali.