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 “GB2” to the number “7000” which give us 2.5 Gig of data for 30 days.  

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 35 cents USD for one day with 50 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. 

Posted on May 16, 2016, in Daily Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Randall Beckett

    Thanks for the update. Very useful. I do telepsychiatry and uninterrupted service with 5mbps is essential. How often and long are the power outages? I understand it may not be a local power outage but at the server site meaning a UPS is useless.

  2. Robert Montague

    Your posts are thorough and so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to let all of us know how things work!

  3. Thank you!!! We have been looking into living on the beach in Nicaragua but really need reliable internet to work. A relief to hear the power outages are scheduled so we can plan around them too. Looks like we’ll go ahead with our month trip and if all goes well make the move! Again, thank you!!

    • Hi Tegan,

      Definitely don’t let internet concerns hold you back. There are lots of people living here and working online.

      When are you planning to visit? Let us know if you need help planning your trip or finding a rental!

      Cheers,
      Elisha

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