Siargao Internet Guide (with memes to ease your pain)

Nope, the Internet on the island isn't the best. But if you play it right, you can work remotely without worrying too much.

Table of Contents

You finally convinced your old-fashioned boss that you can work remotely, packed your laptop, and are ready to move to Siargao to live the digital nomad dream. You just need to find a place with good internet, how difficult could that be?

Siargao Internet Meme

FAQ

The internet in Siargao is not great, but also not too bad. Speeds range from 10-150mbps (download) to 1-10mbps (upload) and medium latency. If you play right, you can work remotely from here without many problems.

The internet is based on antennas (SIM cards) and Starlink satellite internet, with fiber cable to be ready soon.

Buy both Smart and Globe SIM cards (40 PHP each) and it’s easy to load using their app or through an E-Wallet. Consider buying a router for a bit better performance.

Fiber Internet cable is projected to be fully functioning by April 2023, and Starlink satellite internet is already available.

Both Globe and Smart are working in Siargao, Smart is a bit better, mostly in Catangan area. You can buy SIM cards in General Luna in a store called “Cignal” or in Dapa in many different stores.

There are many different spots listed below. Internet is better late at night/early morning.

Siargao internet meme

How the internet in Siargao works?

There are 3 sources for the internet in Siargao:

1. Antennas (Mobile SIM Cards)

Antennas are the primary source of the internet in Siargao. Don’t mistake the “Wi-Fi connection” in different venues for being different from the connection you get on your phone. Both connections come from the same source as long as there is no wired connection on the island.

The main problems of this connection, which is based on microwave radio, are:

  1. Weather affects signal strength
  2. Limited bandwidth

However, the situation is getting better as more towers are slowly built, and you can sometimes get decent speeds with a simple SIM card connection.

2. Starlink

Starlink, part of Space X, founded by Elon Musk, provides excellent satellite internet. Starlink is now officially available in the Philippines, providing great internet (50-500mbps) with low latency.

3. Fiber Cable

The fiber Internet cable has already landed on the island. Now it’s just a matter of time until it’s fully functioning and nurturing us with delicious internet. The last announcement mentioned April 2023 as the projected date to finish the Fiber cable distribution.

How to prepare before coming to Siargao?

SIM Cards

There are two main internet providers, and each one of them has its own antennas and setup. Those are “Smart” and “Globe”.

It’s highly recommended to buy both SIM cards (40 PHP each), so you can check at every spot which one is working better.

Both offer prepaid plans, and it’s easy to load using their app or through an E-Wallet (Gcash/Maya).

Routers

If you are staying longer, it’s recommended to buy a router that works with SIM cards and connect it with a wire to your laptop for a bit better performance.

You can find routers in the electronics store in Dapa, or purchase online from the Philippine’s main online platforms, Lazada or Shopee.

Siargao Internet Meme

Recommended spots

This list constantly changes, but we’ll try to keep it as updated as possible.

While most cafes/hostels use simple SIM-based routers, a few with a bit stronger setup should provide a better connection. You can read more details about Cafes to work from in Siargao.

Another option, if you have a specific file you want to upload/download or a super important zoom call, is to work late at night/early morning. Not great, we know, but while everyone is asleep, the internet is way better.
Siargao internet speed test early morning
Waking up early sometimes worth it 🔆

The future is bright

While at the moment, we are all praying to the internet gods before going on a video call, there are more and more venues that purchase a Starlink dish and antennas being installed. Hopefully, the fiber cable will be ready soon, the internet will get even better and maybe our work colleagues will hate us a bit less.

Siargao internet meme