The speedy 4glte network that I spoke of last February (below) because of competition has upped their anti. Same speedy network offers 120gb of service for $58 (including tax)/month. It has been extremely reliable. I use it at my office because my network needs to support 6 – 7 users at a time while I’m on video calls. It ends up costing me about $90/month because we usually run through the 120gb in 3 weeks. After the 120 you pay $6 for 5gb, which is doable.
At home since we’ve moved into our new house that is located in an odd area, we’ve chosen to go with Wifi Nic. Their service has proven itself with very few outages and when there are, they are short. We even had continued service during the hurricane.
We’re nearing 2 years living in Nicaragua and I’m maintaining Geek status here in Nicaragua. In fact, it’s just getting easier. As I write this new companies are laying cable to provide speedy (unlimited) internet to everyone. Right now over a 4glte network speeds of up to 50mbs are available in the SJDS area, however you pay by the gb. Not much, but there is that limitation. 80gb per month will run about $60/month (2/9/2017). It is about a dollar per gb after that.
There is a new company called Cooltel that has guys everywhere laying cable. Word on the street is they’ll be providing 20mbs for around $70/month. This would be a game changer.
As a guy in technology Nicaragua is not what you would call a final destination. However, I am a family man and I believe this is a great move for my family.
This little area of this site will be devoted to maintaining the life of a geek in a third world country. From what I’ve read and what I can imagine there are challenges involved. Nothing is insurmountable and the proof will be documented. This adventure in our life is not a time to relax or press pause, it’s just another learning opportunity and I intend to attack it as I would any other challenge.
Challenge 1: Reliable Connectivity & Connection Speed
UPDATE: read first paragraph. There are now 2 new players and I don’t hear about GiGinet anymore, I’m not sure if they are still providing the service.
I’ve learned that there are basically 3 options and a limpy 4th when it comes to internet options. GiGinet, WifiNic, Claro all provide capable speeds for watching things like Netflix or Popcorn Time and Video chatting. Speed is of concern and avoiding brown outs that are oh, so common in San Juan Del Sur.
By personal experience I have WifiNic at home. The other option is GiGinet. They both provide internet using a tower and microwaves to transfer signal to and from Rivas. With WifiNic the max speed available is 3Mbs. I cannot confirm that because currently the guy hasn’t gotten back to me. Here in Nica there could be a million reasons why, but no big deal I’ll update it when he actually does get back to me. 3Mbs will get you video chatting with up to 6 people at the same time (You might get a little laggy after the 7th person shows up). Two people can watch a Netflix (more on this in a moment) movie in SD. At my place we have a whopping 1Mbps down! Not much, but gets us by without too many loading spinners. I’ve noticed dips in connection here and there most likely a cause of the wind, but for the most part it is steady.
I’ve picked up an office as a place to work and we have Claro here. Highest available internet is 5Mbps and thats what we have. I say we cause I have a landlord that shares it with me and she is rarely doing anything that would suck bandwidth anyway. With all of the talk about how bad Claro is, in town it is probably the best option. #1 reason is that when the power goes out for an extended period of time my generator will keep the internet rolling where as the batteries run dry on GiGinet after 3 hours.
Yes, a generator is a necessity to having “good” internet. I picked up a small 800 watt generator from Sinsa (Owned by Ace Hardware) and keep it in the office. It powers my fan, phone charger, computer and modem with no problem.
Challenge 2: Solace
I love my fam. There’s me my wife, two kids (3 & 5 months), two dogs & now, 1 cat. Trying to get work done in a 2 bedroom house is not happening. So I got an office in town and some transportation to get to and from the house. (more to come…)
Challenge 3: Getting content to watch
Netflix is not an option initially when you’re outside of the country and not spanish speaking. A lot of the content is geographically limited because of legalities with the content producers. (more to come…)
5 comments on “Nica Geek”
I have visited Nicaragua recently, been studying the place and culture, people and we are returning to Nicaragua for several weeks starting November 15. I just found your website and love it! Please put me on your list of updates and I will poke around your site as much as I can. We will be spending the Holidays in an centrally located apartment in Granada and would enjoy meeting you if possible. Any suggestions are welcome.
Great! Yes, please let me know when you’re in town again.I would love to meet you.
Thanks for your helpful notes here, it is so appreciated. I am a Canadian grad student who is attempting a move to SJDS in July to finish my research remotely – I hope, for the next 4 months – year, while I learn Spanish. I am trying to ascertain if this is even possible since all of my research (and classes) are done online, via my university library catalog. I’m worried that this might pose a problem. I am happy to pay $60/month to guarantee my internet, but… might you have any concerns? Any help would be more than appreciated. I’d love to have an on-the-ground opinion. Thanks in advance.
Depending on where you live, good internet is anywhere from $70 to $120 per month. My husband has a website development company and he spends on the high end because he does so many video calls.
Thanks Jenna, I really appreciate your input!