data roaming

How do I stay connected while on a cruise?

Episode 1503

Ellie from Honolulu, HI
Cruise Ship

Ellie is cruising the Hawaiian Islands. What should she do for internet access? Should she buy the cruise ship internet? Leo says don't ever do that! It's satellite internet and it's only a few MB up and down, and everyone on the ship has to share it. She'd have to get up in the middle of the night to get decent speed. It's also obscenely overpriced. Since Ellie is cruising around the Islands, she may be able to rely on local cellular service if she's near shore. She'll have data, but won't be charged a roaming fee. AT&T says that she will, though. Leo says that's nonsense.

What's the best way to have cellular while traveling overseas?

Episode 1489

Edward from Corona, CA
Skyroam Solis

Edward is traveling to Europe for six weeks and wants to know the best option for having cellular service. Leo says that laws in the EU recently changed and roaming is available across the entire EU. So one SIM will work in all countries. Leo recommends going over to prepaidwithdata.wikia.com. It will have information about what the best cell provider is in every country and where to buy a SIM. He'll also need to have his phone unlocked to take a new SIM and he'll get a new number.

How can I avoid expensive data roaming overseas?

Episode 1405

Marty from Los Angeles, CA
Cell tower

Marty worries that bringing his phone overseas will cause him to rack up thousands in cell phone bills. Should he just keep his phone on airplane mode? Leo says no, that turns off everything. Marty can go into his data settings and turn off data roaming, though. Then he can just rely on local Wi-Fi hotspots and download Google Maps and cache them. That way he can still use maps for travel.

How do I use my phone traveling in Europe?

Bill from Orange County, CA

Episode 1369

Bill is a hiker. He's going to Europe and wants to know how to handle cell service with GPS. Leo says your phone is a great navigation tool buy a SIM in country. If you buy a SIM in country, check out Prepaidwithdata.wikia.com. It'll tell you what's available at your destination. The downside is that you'll get a different phone number with a prepaid SIM. Most carriers are now offering better unlimited international data roaming plans while you're traveling. The benefit here is that you get to use your own number.

Data Roaming with Mobile Phone in Iceland?

Bob from Downey, CA

Episode 1368

Bob is going to Iceland and Finland and wants to know where he can get prepaid wireless SIM cards. Leo says to check out Prepaidwithdata.wikia.com. You'll be able to find out which SIM to get for your phone in the country you're visiting. The phone needs to be unlocked, but as long as you're in good standing with your carrier, they should be willing to unlock your phone for you. Many carriers like T-Mobile are starting to offer international data roaming for free at speeds as fast as LTE.

How can I use a locked phone overseas?

Episode 1299

Eric from Milwaukee, WI
Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Eric has an iPhone 6 Plus and he's heading to London, but AT&T refuses to unlock his phone while he goes. What are his options? Leo says that's because they want him to buy their international data package. Leo recommends renting a MiFi from a local British carrier and use it for his data. He should turn off data roaming on his phone, though. That's how Leo did it and it worked great.

How can I use my phone while traveling internationally?

Tim from San Diego, CA

Episode 1212

Tim is traveling and wants to know how he can save money on data charges. Leo advises going to prepaidwithdata.wikia.com and he'll find a list of countries and cellphone providers in those countries that offer SIMS, how much they are, and where he can get them. But he'll also want to know if his phone supports the traffic where he's going. Verizon was CDMA up until lately, when they transitioned to LTE world phone models. That means they have SIM cards.

How can I use my iPhone overseas?

Episode 1007

Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
iPhone 5

Bob's wife is traveling to Italy on vacation and wants to know if she should bring her iPhone. Leo says that she could pay for an international data roaming plan. They're not cheap and the data caps are small, not to mention the cell call charges.

Another way is to turn off data roaming. She won't have data unless she has Wi-Fi access, like at her hotel. Some apps, like Google Maps, would allow her to cache data while away from Wi-Fi.

Sebastian Harrison

Episode 989

Sebastian Harrison of Cellular Abroad joins Leo to talk about using a smartphone abroad. Most of Leo's friends are geeks and care more about data than making phone calls. Sebastian says that carriers have more solutions that involve not using your service, than using it! Everyone has different needs, but for a smartphone, it makes sense to take out your SIM and use a local SIM which will give you $10 a GB. Leo asks if international roaming is the issue? Sebastian says yes, it is, and it's expensive.