Internet Providers & Working Remotely in Nicaragua

We have been asked many times if working remotely in Nicaragua is a viable option? Is the internet fast enough and reliable enough?

The simple answer is yes. The internet in Nicaragua is fast enough and reliable enough in the cities most expats choose to call home.

We have many friends working online in San Juan del Sur and they all agree that it is important to plan for service and power outages, by having a good back up method for connecting to the internet. A good plan for uninterrupted internet service always involves more than one internet service provider.

OUR STRATEGY FOR 100% UP TIME

HOME ISP

We live outside of the city centre so wired service is not an option for us and therefore we use a point to point provider. Our favourite company that has provided us with the best service is WifiNicWe pay $75 USD per month for a 2 Mbps package. This is easily fast enough for video calls, downloading large files and streaming video.  

BACK UP ISP

Since power outages do occur in Nicaragua we have a backup plan. We have dual SIM cell phones with a SIM card that Movistar sells for wireless routers. If we really need to use some serious bandwidth we send a text message to activate a 1 Gig package that costs $4 USD for 24 hours. Then we turn our phone into a wireless hotspot, so all of our devices can receive internet.

NOTE: It’s important to always keep your phone and computer charged otherwise this back up plan isn’t of much use.

ALWAYS STAYING CONNECTED 

Here in Nicaragua we use pay as you go cell phones.

Once per month we each load our phones with 500 cordobas ($18 USD) worth of credit (known here as saldo or recarga). Then we text the code “Mes1” to the number “7000” which give us 1 Gig of data for 30 days. This plan costs $15 USD and is subtracted from our $18 USD credit. As a bonus with Movistar throws in 500 text messages for free. 

Note: Purchasing credits of 300 cordobas ($10.71 USD) or more automatically gives you 3x the regular Movistar to Movistar calling minutes, which is good for up to 45 days.

Internet Service Providers and working remotely in Nicaragua.

Kharron Reid from Señor Coders Website Design is obviously trying to decide whether to work another hour or partake in happy hour on the beach. We helped Kharron, his wife Jenna and their two children move to San Juan del Sur over a year ago. The first year he worked remotely for a company in the USA, but most recently has decided to branch out on his own. Also hard at work in this photo is our friend and long time San Juan resident Sean Dennis, COO of Ribbit Rewards.

In San Juan del Sur we have a variety of different ways to access the internet:

WIRED ISP – Claro 

  • Only available in the heart of the city.
  • 1 Mbps to 4 Mbps download speeds available. Upload speeds are typically half of download speeds. 10 Mbps packages are now starting to become available in some neighbourhoods.
  • Hard wired DSL or Cable depending on the street you live on. 1 Mbps package (including basic cable TV) costs approximately $50 USD per month.
  • No bandwidth limits.

POINT to POINT ISPs – WifiNicGGnet, IBW

  • Available anywhere you can get a direct line of site to the communications tower or any of the many repeater stations.
  • 1 Mbps – 10 Mbps download speeds available. Upload speeds are typically equal to download speeds.
  • Point to point service wired to a wifi router.
  • 1 Mbps package costs approximately $50 USD per month.
  • Cable TV packages are not available.
  • No bandwidth limits.

3.5G and 4G WIRELESS WIFI – Movistar Claro 

  • Available almost everywhere — although some remote areas may only have Movistar or Claro — but not both.
  • 1 Mbps – 10 Mbps speeds can be seen on tests. 5 Mbps is average for our testing.
  • Wireless through a 3G USB drive, SIM card router or dual SIM phone used as a hotspot.
  • Daily packages start at $4 USD for 1 Gig of bandwidth.

CELLULAR INTERNET – Movistar Claro 

  • Available almost everywhere — although some remote areas may only have Movistar or Claro — but not both.
  • 1 Mbps – 10 Mbps speeds can be seen on tests. 5 Mbps is average for our testing.
  • Packages start at $1 USD for one day with 150 Mb of bandwidth.

In this article we’ve only given you a brief overview of internet pricing and packages available. Of course there multiple packages offered by each provider. Everyone has different needs when it comes to internet. As long as you have a plan working remotely in Nicaragua is possible. 

Creepy Crawly Critters Common to Nicaragua

Elisha & Gordon’s Note:  Kevin Keegan, our neighbour and fellow expat, who we recently introduced you to guest blogs today.  If you’ve ever wondered or worried what the situation is with creepy crawly critters in Nicaragua Kevin’s article will provide some insight, clarity and peace of mind.

Nicaragua can certainly provide a style of life that many people can get used to. There is one part of life here however, that some of us tend to struggle with; that’s with the creepy crawly critters commonly found in our homes and rental properties.

Most of us that live or visit Nicaragua for any length of time will have at least one encounter with one or more of these critters. Whether this encounter is a frightening experience or a curious one may depend entirely on an individual’s outlook on adventure.

Three of the most common critters found in Nica homes that many of us seem to — at least initially — get the willies from are house geckos, spiders and scorpions.

HOUSE GECKOS

House geckos are often seen scurrying up and down our walls or perched on the ceiling looking as though they are about to get into trouble or just coming from it. Geckos are nocturnal, finding cozy places to sleep during the day and searching the house for bugs to eat at night.

We have found the biggest danger house geckos pose to us is annoyance. Leaving poop droppings in their wake and their incessant night chattering can wreak havoc on the nerves until gotten used to.

SPIDERS

Spiders in Nicaragua can be big, beautiful and extremely intimidating. Although most are found in the jungle regions, some do find their way into local homes.

Surprising to many, tarantulas do not seek out humans for sport; and they don’t typically strike unless feeling annoyed or threatened. If and when they do bite however, those susceptible to anaphylactic reaction should seek immediate medical attention. Keeping an Epi-Pen handy in the house or on our person gives us peace of mind.

SCORPIONS

Scorpions were a particular fear of ours and many visitors to Nicaragua and rightly so. Typically only 3 to 6 inches in length, scorpions are fierce looking critters.  Being sun-sensitive, they usually make their appearance at night to hunt, then are often found playing possum on a cool tiled wall or floor in the morning.

Although a scorpion’s sting can be quite painful, there is no life threatening danger to humans, unless of course the person stung is prone to allergic reaction.

AN ENHANCED ADVENTURE

We have discovered some home remedies to get rid of geckos, but why? They feed on many of the other annoying bugs that make themselves at home in our home. Regular cleaning will keep spiders and bugs to a minimum. With time and experience we have learned a few creative methods to shoo some of these critters outside. 

The creepy crawly critters commonly found in Nicaragua are part of what makes this country unique; learning to live with them enhances the adventure.

 


Kevin Keegan: Guest BloggerAbout the Author

After enjoying many years of cold Canadian winters in a small community in Southern Alberta working cattle then owning and operating two small businesses, Kevin along with his wife Loretta, now call San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua home for several months of the year.

Figuring they would need to fund their life in a new country, Kevin took several writing courses and obtained certification to teach English as a foreign language, specifically business English. Finding the enjoyment in researching and writing on a variety of topics, Kevin now writes blogs and articles for various clients. Check out Kevin’s full bio here.

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