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What alternatives are there for bad WiFi in Latin America?


by @ryanleonard1989 7yr  | 10 comments

Hey gang, Iโ€™ve traveled pretty extensively through Central America and was recently in Colombia.

I love Latin America and want to continue to travel/work here, but internet connectivity is a constant issue. Hostel wifi is always hit or miss and when it does work, itโ€™s often slow or thereโ€™s no convenient place to work.

Cafes are even worse most of the time.

Iโ€™ve tried local sim cards with data and sometimes that works well, but skype calls eat the data right up and in many locations, the speeds are slow.

Iโ€™m willing to pay more for more reliable internet, but I havenโ€™t found anythingโ€ฆ

Wondering what most of you fine folks do and if anyone has any suggestions.

Also, what are some alternatives to hostels?

I know you can use AirBnB, but the locals jack the prices up on there (if youโ€™re in an area you can find anything on AirBnB). Apartment rentals can be found pretty inexpensively, but I like to stay moving and usually donโ€™t want to stay somewhere for even a month.

On top of all this, I like to surf and the coastal towns tend to be the worst for wifi.

Iโ€™m a little frustrated and wondering if anyone has any suggestions I havenโ€™t thought of?

Admin edit: Fixed title to lessen ambiguity & to adhere to community guidelines.

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@gnefkow 6yr

A bit unrelated, but are there any apps/websites that let you rate the wifi in different places? I know citrix had an app for a bit called cube-something but I donโ€™t think they continued to support it.

Iโ€™ve been living in Mexico City for about the past year working remote, and Iโ€™ve found several good work-spots. Iโ€™d love to plot them and comment on them in a place where others could easily see.

Iโ€™ve also found some other spots here and there in other Mexican towns that Iโ€™ve spent some time in.

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@ldarcy 6yr

@gnefkow http://workhardanywhere.com/ lets you to rate cafes (wi-fi speed plus bunch of other parameters).

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@mail1 6yr

In Uruguay you can have prepaid LTE with Movistar that has good coverage along the coast. Itโ€™s awesome. Beautiful beaches, work from anywhere and donโ€™t worry about Wifi at all.

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@senseless 7yr

Google FI has treated me well when I needed to use mobile data ($10/GB). You can pay $10/GB for overage too and they roll over unused data in the form of cash paid on your next bill. In the philippines the local data plans work, but they always limit you and the connection ends up being terrible. Iโ€™ve not had this problem yet when using my google fi service for data.

Other than that, you could try carrying a pair of powerline adapters with you so you can get wired connectivity through the electrical outlets (assuming the hostel will allow you to hard wire a device to their router).

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@oskar 7yr

Itโ€™s clear that you have not been to Uruguay. Best internet in latin america, nearly at the same level as Scandinavia. Do your research :slight_smile:

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@codam 7yr

Hi Ryan
I am in Latin America too, traveling in a Westfalia van, and totally facing the same issue.
The partial solutions I found for now are 2 apps.โ€œWifi Map Proโ€ & โ€œWifi Finderโ€.
I wrote a blog post about them here:


Then, for sure, a local data plan is always needed as a backup. I always tend to consume at least 3GB / month, so when crossing a new border, I always end up buying the biggest plan, for in general not too much (here in Mexico, 4GB are worth $30 with TelCel).
And then the holy grail would be satellite, but I checked recently and their price is still prohibitive, like $3k / month for 1GB.

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Nice post @codam! Weโ€™ve got a dedicated fiber line at Sayulita CoWork (located in Sayulita, Mexico) - wonder if we could ad ourselves to those maps?

We just opened a second office in Puerto Vallarta (called Vallarta CoWork), where fiber is about to light up city-wide. Weโ€™ve got the fiber box on the back of the office and have been told that we can turn on our line in about a month.

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@codam 7yr

Nice!
My girlfriend and I were in Sayulita and in Puerto Vallarta a couple of weeks ago, as we are traveling along the Panamerica Highway in a van.
Too bad we did not know about your coworking spaces before!
I think you can totally add your locations in these apps, as their content is user-generated.

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@borowiis 7yr

Ping on satellite is just soooooooo long, you could kill yourself sshโ€™ing into the remote machine.

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@yanokwa 6yr

@borowis use mosh instead of SSH. It helps a lot on long-distance links.

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Read and participate in 14,118 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Holร  ! What's the internet / wifi situation in Sayulita ?


in Puerto Escondido , Mexico by @ambroisedebret 2yr 1 year ago  | 0 comments

After being told it's unworkable in Puerto Escondido, looking for alternatives :)

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How do you ensure that you have good WiFi for working whilst travelling e.g. in places like India?


in India by @davda1546 2yr 2 years ago  | 4 comments

We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?

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Looking for a warm place, possibly near the sea with excellent wifi


by @mariaplslourdes 3yr 2 years ago  | 12 comments

hello :wave: Iโ€™m planning my next trip (from January/February), and Iโ€™m looking for a place where itโ€™s hot, with the sea, and good wifi.
At the moment I live in Paris and work with San Francisco times, so preferably I wouldnโ€™t go to Asia.
Iโ€™m thinking, South Africa or South America, what do you recommend?
Thank you

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis 3yr 3 years ago  | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). Iโ€™ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but Iโ€™d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities Iโ€™m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (Iโ€™m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? Iโ€™m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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Cheap Cities in Mexico & South America with Fastest Wifi


in Mexico by @jnomad30 3yr 3 years ago  | 3 comments

Hi Guys,
Iโ€™m planning out my next stops after leaving Medellin, Colombia soon where I can hunker down and get some work done with fast wifi and cheap living. Will be in Mexico first so starting a look there but wondering if coming back down to South America might make more sense?
My main concerns are budget and fast enough wifi for me to work from home. Other considerations are some nomad community (ideally also some English speaking expats as my Spanish is basic) and warm enough weather.
Thanks in advance!

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Should we go to South East Asia or Latin America with kids?


by @nomad4 3yr 3 years ago  | 2 comments

Hi guys!

Weโ€™re leaving on Dec 1st for a 5-month DN experience with our kids, but we have second thoughts on our journey. We were supposed to do a trip in South-East Asia (Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia). Weโ€™re from Canada, and our clients are all in Canada right now (weโ€™re digital marketing consultants).

After comparing destinations, weโ€™re starting the think Latin America may be a better choice to make sure we keep most of our clients during these 5 months (same timezone). Also, it seems Latin America fits our needs too :

  • cheap (actually often cheaper than Chiang Mai according to Numbeo)
  • great weather (sunny while less hot than Asia)
  • business continuity : good wifi connection, limited time difference
  • learning opportunity : one single language = great opportunity to improve our Spanish
  • relaxed pace of life
  • kid-friendly
  • relatively safe (see countries below)

So here are our 2 options ; which one would you recommend for our criteria?

A: SEA : Thailand (Chiang Mai and a couple islands in the South), Indonesia (Bali and Lombok), Malaysia (Penang)
B: Latin America : Mexico (Playa Del Carmen/Tulum), Colombia (Medellin), Peru (Lima and other TBD towns), Chile (Santiago and other TBD towns), Argentina (Buenos Aires and other TBD towns).

Thanks!

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Greece- WIFI- how is it really?


in Greece by @amandamay 4yr 3 years ago  | 0 comments

We are leaving for Greece in 60 days and need good wifi for the 3 months we plan on staying there, this is a must! Iโ€™ve heard mixed reviews and the 8-10 ranking on nomadlist are not super encouraging. Has anyone recently worked from there? What should we expect? We plan on renting an apartment after staying in airbnb and would like to work from the place we are staying in. Thanks so much for helping me decide if we can continue on or change plans.

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Where are the nomad hot spots in Central and South America?

 

by @jb510 4yr 3 years ago  | 106 comments

The last few years Iโ€™ve spent mostly in Asia (Thailand/Indonesia) and Europe (Spain/Italy), but I run a company in the US and need to coordinate with 10 US based employees and business partners. The time zone issues between EU/US and SEA/US are exhausting even if I love the locales.

Iโ€™d really like to try romping around the Americas for a while, but Iโ€™ve never been south of Baja California and really canโ€™t find much positive having been said about remotely working from CA/SA as a DN.

I know some hippy, surfer, artist, musician, yoga teacher types calling various locals home, but no one making a living onlineโ€ฆ more than a few people have told me itโ€™s fabulous down there until you go to Thailand/Bali and then you wonder why all those ExPats are suffering in CA/SA. Of course you only really know when you go yourself.

Iโ€™d love to see nomadlist.io get filled out with more details on Central and South American cities. It seems really sparse coverage at the moment, but maybe thatโ€™s simply because itโ€™s not good and no one stays there for long.

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Cheapest places to be a digital nomad in Latin America?


by @jfowler 5yr 4 years ago  | 1 comment

Hey guys โ€” Iโ€™m looking for the best cheap places to be a digital nomad in Central and South America. Priority list: 1) cheap 2) social 3) strong internet. Iโ€™m in debt and need to cut my cost of living as low as possible. But hey, I still have to live it up. THanks!

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Any Latin nomads here?


by @chelocoach 5yr 5 years ago  | 4 comments

Hi! Hola!

the rules are to post in english, soโ€ฆ

Iโ€™ve seen much information on blogs, youtube etc, from Americans or 1st world country people. But the information Iโ€™ve seen from Latin people is most than anything backpackers, and I would like to know the experience of Latin nomads, since I think there maybe some issues that are different, like racism and that earning an Developed Country equivalent income is way more challenging. And when English is not your native language, trying to understand a Chinese or Indi people speaking english, may be a nightmare.

I would like to know the experience of the Latin people on becoming a nomad and if you feel there is any difference or special barrier to overcome, and how did you faced them.

would appreciate any comments :slight_smile:

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Is carrying around my laptop in a backpack every day safe in South America?


by @skarabox 5yr 5 years ago  | 9 comments

Hello everyone, I usually carry my laptop in my day backpack, walk around the town in my home country (Poland) and work in coffee shops / shopping centers, other quiet places I find or like.

My question is, how would carrying around my laptop on myself every day around the town work in practice in those places in terms of safety in South America.

I prefer to travel by a city communication than taxis and like to walk around too, but my concern is that I will get blatantly robbed with a gun or knife in a side street and lose my whole backpack with a laptop.

If anyone living in those cities could share their experience about how likely this situation is to occur, as obviously being white and foreign will make me stand out in the first place.

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Anyone (almost) exclusively traveling in Latin America?


by @danielaf 5yr 5 years ago  | 7 comments

Is there anyone around who spends most of their time in Latin America? After short trips to Peru earlier this year, Iโ€™ve now come back to Lima to stay for another three months and will then head to Buenos Aires. Lima will be kind of my home base but I aim to explore as much as possible of Latin America in the next couple of years. No interest in Asia, Africa or North America and no intention to go back to Europe.

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What's the best surf spots in California or South America?


in Cali , Colombia by @rynesweeney 5yr 5 years ago  | 8 comments

I am currently living in Medellin until February. I want to find some of people favorite spots for surfing and community. I have heard Nicaragua and Guatemala have many options.

Multiple one month or more stays in countries below the US (CA, SA, Caribbean as all?). Spanish isnโ€™t a problem. Safety, internet, and surf are priorities. Ive heard good things about Panama and CR but they amount of gringos currently in these places is sort of a turn off (Im a gringoโ€ฆbut that is my preference). Budget is sub $1500/month.

Thank you for the suggestions!

Ryne

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Best WiFi on the beach in Playa del Carmen


in Playa del Carmen , Mexico by @clusk 6yr 5 years ago  | 1 comment

Been in Playa for a day working at Nest. Good spot - but I forget Iโ€™m in a tropical locale. Does anyone have positive WiFi experience with a bar, restaurant, cafe on the beach in Playa del Carmen? It doesnโ€™t have to be rocket fast - just not a slow, unreliable connection.

Thanks!

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Is it feasible to work in deep north of Canada ( in Inuvik) regarding wifi and the like?


in Canada by @albertocanada 6yr 5 years ago  | 1 comment

I want to volunteer at a Sledge dogs training school in the city of Inuvik ( north of Canada) from June onwards. As a travel blogger, this destination is very interesting, mainly due to the Midnight sun at this time of year. However, wifi availability is a real concern. Of course I donโ€™t expect to find coworking spaces but wifi is an essential work tool for us. Any experiences ?

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How is the quality of wifi & 3G in Amed, Bali?


in Amed , Indonesia by @adrienbetweets 6yr 6 years ago  | 3 comments

Hi all!

I am considering going for 1+ month in Amed (to get more into freediving).

I need to be able to make Skype calls & other work-related tasks. I need a speed equivalent to one allowing me to watch Youtube videos.

Ubud is way more connected in comparison, so I donโ€™t expect anything wonderful.

Wondering if anyone has done this before & if yes: what 3G
provider they used, or what cafe/restaurant/hotel had a good/reliable
enough wifi connection.

Note that I went to Amed last year & the 3G connection on the 2 providers I used at the time was terrible. Thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m asking for help.

Thanks in advance!

p.s. I also posted this question on travel.stackexchange.com/questions/82403/quality-of-wifis-3g-reception-in-amed-bali

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Any nomads travelling south in South America?


by @christabeiia 6yr 6 years ago  | 9 comments

Hola everyone from Colombia! I have recently landed in South America and am planning on making my way south from here over the next six months. I expect to only relocate on the weekends so I can keep my 9-5 wifi schedule, but other than that I have no real plans for destinations or timelines. Iโ€™d would like to meet other digital nomads to team up withโ€” Anyone on or beginning a similar path in this region?

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How do you stay safe on public WiFi?

 

by @skatkov 6yr 6 years ago  | 27 comments

Weโ€™ve seen some โ€˜coffee-spot listsโ€™ websites popping in, a lot of them consider wifi signal quality, some of them measure internet speeds. But i didnโ€™t see nobody considering Wifi AP safety.

If we consider co-working spaces, we would think that it should be safe to use internet there. But coffee shop are a different deal, especially while traveling in less touristy places. I would like to encourage community to gather a โ€˜Digital Nomad wifi access point safety checklistโ€™.

Doing work an a road we should consider safety of our computer. Itโ€™s not just a matter of your personal data, usually clients and company could be involved. I really hope everyone uses secure connection at least over the VPN while you guys are working.

There are very easy measures to avoid โ€˜men-in-the-middleโ€™ attacks and other nastyness. Lets list all the checks we can run against Access Point to verify it security at some level.

Iโ€™ll start:
โ€“ Go to access point login screen and verify that itโ€™s impossible to login with default passwords.
โ€“ Donโ€™t use wifi with WEP!

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Why is South East Asia preferred by nomads over Latin America?

 

by @oskar 6yr 6 years ago  | 34 comments

Hi guys

Why do you think south east asia attracts far more 1st world digital nomads and tourists than latin america does? i have some theories but i would like to know your opinions because most of the people in this forum are from 1st world countries :smile:
Is it because is cheaper? safer? closer? more โ€œcoolโ€ ?

thanks

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How to insure my belongings when traveling in SE Asia & South America?


by @adrienbetweets 6yr 6 years ago  | 9 comments

I want an insurance that covers my belongings only.
I already have a international travel health insurance, hence I do not need some link or recommendation to do-it-all packages (i.e. insurance for health + rescue + belongings).

I came across this threads:

But they did not help me because:

  • I do not live in the UK, nor am I a UK citizen
  • My credit card does NOT cover my belongings, nor does any of the insurances I already have

Ideally, Iโ€™d like to find an insurance that can insure my belongings regardless of my nationality & residence. Any link to information of quality is welcome.

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