Internet has always been one of the most common complaints I hear from my guests. Whether it's the speed or not having internet at all, guests seem seldom satisfied with the internet in Bali. Which is perfectly fair, considering the pretty crappy situation until recently...
In 2015, I'm hopeful. Very hopeful about the new technologies we're seeing. The internet in Bali is about to get very good, very fast and very cheap (relatively speaking). There's 3 main technologies you can use to get online: 3G/4G, Landline ISP, or MiFi/Portable WiFi.
4G has finally arrived now with Telkomsel and that means you can be in a car, driving on the ByPass Ngurah Rai and watching YouTube movies load up in seconds. Or flip through Instagram or Vine and have videos load up on the fly. The best thing you can do is bring your laptop anywhere (if you work in Bali, like I do), turn on a WiFi hotspot from your 4G phone, and find the perfect spot to setup a pop-up office. It's a pretty amazing experience and now I often find myself working on the beach, rice-paddy or where-ever there's an amazing setting, a 4G connection and serves strong Bali cofee.
Where to buy a SIM card:
You'll need to keep your eyes peel for small shops that sell phones and pulsa (pre-paid top-up credit for data/phone plans).
Look for these shops to find a SIM card and buy a prepaid phone plan. Usually the shop attendant will help you register your card if you ask.
Select a data-plan immediately after you purchase some phone-credit. The default plan will exhaust your data plan within hours and is pretty terrible. Go with the Telkomsel Flash 4G packet.
Providers such as BizNet are offering packages of up to 50 Mbps in Bali. The coverage is a bit scattered and some areas are still awaiting for their internet to arrive. The packages include cable TV and phone as well.
Telkomsel is launching Indohome, promising Fiber to the home. This I still know very little about, so I'm a bit hesitant to endorse it, but if anyone has any experience, please comment.
MiFi / pocket-router / portable WiFi
Sometimes if you're in a remote area and not keen to spend a few hundred dollars to install a tower and antennae service, this is a cheap and easy option. Bolt and SmartFren are two of the most popular services and they each have hardware claiming up to 50-100Mbps, which does happen on occasion, but quite rarely. I know from using uTorrent.
Bolt is fairly reliable and it's a little bit easier to buy top-up credit for the routers.