eSIMs are becoming more and more popular as people become more and more mobile. But with so many eSIM providers to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. This guide will help you find the best eSIM provider for your needs.
We’ll look at what to consider when choosing an eSIM provider, and then we’ll recommend our top picks. So whether you’re looking for the best eSIM for travel or just need a basic plan, we have you covered.
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Quick Overview Top eSIM Providers
Looking for a quick answer? Here are the three top eSIM providers.
- Airalo: Perfect for travelers looking for short-term and long-term options. (My pick)
- Holafly: Great options, especially in North America.
- Nomad: Offers a variety of country and global plans.
Before we dive deeper, if you’re new to eSIM, let’s see what an eSIM is.
What Is An eSIM?
eSIM is a type of SIM card that is embedded in your device. You don’t need a physical SIM card, which makes it more convenient for people who travel frequently.
eSIMs are also becoming more common in smartphones, so if you’re looking to buy a new phone, eSIM might be an option for you.
There’s a catch! eSIMs are not yet universally supported. So before you switch to an eSIM, make sure your device is compatible.
Read our guide to learn the main differences between SIM cards and eSIM.
Which Devices Are Compatible With eSIM?
eSIM is currently supported on a few devices, including:
- Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 12, 13, and newer models.
- Google Pixel 3, 4, 5, 6, and newer models.
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S21, and newer models.
- Huawei P40, and newer models.
To verify if your device is compatible with eSIM, go to Settings and locate your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). This will tell you if your device supports eSIM.
Here’s how to do it add an eSIM on a Pixel device:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to Network and Internet
- Go to SIMS
- Click on Add more
- Choose Download a SIM instead.
- Click on next.
- Scan the QR code.
- Name the eSIM.
- Pick the eSIM to provide data.
- Make sure the roaming is on.
How To Choose The Best eSIM Provider?
Now that we know what an eSIM is, let’s look at how to choose the best eSIM provider for you.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing an eSIM provider, including:
- Coverage: Make sure the eSIM provider has good coverage in the countries you travel to.
- Data: How much data do you need? You’ll need a plan with more data if you’re a heavy user.
- Speed: Not all eSIM providers offer the same speeds. If you need fast speeds, make sure to choose a provider that offers them.
- Price: eSIM plans can vary in price, so consider your budget when choosing a provider.
Where To Buy An eSIM?
eSIMs can be bought from a variety of places, including:
- eSIM providers: Many eSIM providers sell eSIMs directly from their websites. This is the most convenient option, as you can activate your eSIM immediately.
- Carriers: If you’re already using a carrier, you may be able to buy an eSIM from them. It’s worth checking if your current carrier has its own eSIM plans.
So, how do you pick an eSIM provider?
Let us help! We’ll review the best eSIM providers below.
Airalo was the world’s first eSIM store and offers 190+ eSIMs at affordable prices. I’ve been using Airalo for a while now, and you can read our complete Airalo review to learn more.
Here’s how Airalo works:
- Create an account on Airalo.
- Download the app or use the desktop version.
- Choose your destination and preferred plan.
- Install your eSIM.
- Activate your eSIM.
Pros And Cons Of Using Airalo To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Airalo.
- Coverage in 190+ countries.
- Short-term and long-term plans available.
- Affordable prices.
- Offers local, regional, and global plans.
- The customer support is great and fast.
- No unlimited data plans available.
- I had a few issues in the past, but customer support always fixed the issues quickly.
Get $3 off on your first purchase on Airalo by using my referral code: MELISS2943
Holafly is an eSIM provider with eSIM plans for more than 130 destinations. I tried Holafly in the past, so you can read our complete Holafly review to learn more.
Here’s how Holafly works:
- Pick a plan.
- You’ll receive an email with your eSIM.
- Scan the QR code to activate your eSIM.
Pros And Cons Of Using Holafly To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Holafly.
- eSIMs are delivered via email immediately.
- Plans available for more than 130 countries.
- Supports both short-term and long-term plans.
- Offers lots of options with unlimited data.
- Depending on the destination, it can be more expensive than Airalo, but you get unlimited data plans, which is excellent if you are a heavy user.
- The Holafly team is relatively small, so support could be a bit longer to get.
Get 5% off on your first order on Holafly with my referral code ABROKENBACKPACK.
Nomad offers data plans in 100+ countries. Their plans are in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They also have a few regional plans (global, Nordic, APAC, and Europe).
Here’s how Nomad works:
- Pick a data plan.
- Install the eSIM by scanning the QR code.
- Activate your plan.
Pros And Cons Of Using Nomad To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Nomad.
- Plans available in 100+ countries.
- Regional and global plans available.
- The website is very modern.
- All the reviews on the website are 5-star, which I find hard to believe. Nothing is perfect in this world.
There are no offers at the moment.
SimOptions offers prepaid traditional SIM cards, and eSIM plans. They have plans everywhere around the world, including regional plans.
How SimOptions works:
- Purchase a plan.
- Scan the QR code to install your eSIM.
Pros And Cons Of Using SimOptions To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of SimOptions.
- Prepaid traditional SIM cards and eSIM plans available.
- Offers eSIM plans from different carriers, so you have more options to choose from.
- The website is a bit more old-school but still very easy to use.
There are no offers at the moment.
Surfroam offers eSIM and SIM cards for travelers so that you can have data as soon as you arrive at your destination.
How Surfroam works:
- Buy the prepaid eSIM card (which includes a EUR 25 credit).
- Install your eSIM and roam until your credit is finished.
This one obviously works differently. Every country has its own fees, but it’s supported in over 200 countries.
Pros And Cons Of Using Surfroam To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Surfroam.
- Prepaid eSIM card with credit included.
- Supports eSIM and physical SIM cards.
- Works in 200+ countries.
- This provider is not as known as its competitors.
- The website is not as user-friendly as its competitors.
There are no offers at the moment.
eSIM Global Plans Available
Now that you know some eSIM providers, let’s see what eSIM global plans are available.
Airalo Discover Global
I love Airalo Discover Global because it covers 87 countries, making my life easier. Here’s an overview of the plans available:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Nomad also offers a global plan that works in multiple countries. Here’s an overview of the plans available:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $20
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $48
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $54
As you can see, Airalo provides better options if you want a global plan.
eSIM Plans Available In Europe
If you’re traveling to Europe, here are the top options for regional plans in Europe. Note that it might already be included if you decide to go for a global plan instead.
Eurolink offers coverage in 39 countries. I used it this year during my travels in Europe. Here’s an overview of the plans available:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for 5$
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for 13$
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for 20$
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for 37$
- 50 GB, valid for 90 days for 100$
- 100 GB, valid for 180 days for $185
Holafly has great European plans that work in 32 countries. It’s interesting because they come with unlimited data. Here’s an overview of the plans available:
- Unlimited data, valid for 5 days for EUR 19
- Unlimited data, valid for 10 days for EUR 34
- Unlimited data, valid for 15 days for EUR 47
- Unlimited data, valid for 20 days for EUR 57
- Unlimited data, valid for 30 days for EUR 69
- Unlimited data, valid for 60 days for EUR 87
- Unlimited data, valid for 90 days for EUR 99
Nomad also offers plans in Europe. Here’s an overview of the plans available:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for 9$
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $17
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $18
SimOptions offers plans from different carriers, including O2 and Orange. Here’s an overview of the plans available:
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $17.90
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $24.90
- 15 GB, valid for 14 days for $29.90
- 30 GB, valid for 14 days for $49.90
eSIM Plans Available in North America
If you’re traveling to North America, here are the top options available. Note that it might already be included if you decide to go for a global plan instead.
That said, if you travel only to one country in North America, you might want to consider a local plan instead. You’ll find lots of suitable options on Airalo and Holafly.
Holafly North America
Holafly offers one plan that covers the United States, Canada, and Mexico:
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $54
SimOptions North America
SimOptions offers two plans to facilitate your travels in North America:
- 6 GB, valid for 10 days for $17.90
- 20 GB, valid for 30 days for $34.90
Benefits Of Using An eSIM
eSIMs offer many benefits, which is excellent news if you’re a frequent traveler. Here are the main reasons why I love using eSIM:
- You get data as soon as you arrive.
- You can activate your eSIM immediately.
- You can keep your usual phone number and use eSIM to get data.
- You don’t need to remove your SIM card or find a store to purchase one during your travels.
- You can top up quickly.
Final Thoughts On eSIM Providers
There are many eSIM providers out there, but not all of them offer the same coverage. I’ve used Airalo and Holafly, and I can say that they’re both excellent eSIM providers with great global plans.
If you’re looking for the best eSIM provider for travel, I highly recommend Airalo. They offer great plans at reasonable prices, and their coverage is excellent.
If you’re looking for an eSIM provider with unlimited data, Holafly is a great option (but it depends on the destination).
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