Prepaid with data

What's the best plan for traveling internationally with my mobile phone?

Plane

Episode 1398

Joe from Sherman Oaks, CA

Joe is traveling to Asia and he wants to know if it's better to get an international data roaming plan or get a local SIM wherever he goes. He uses Verizon. Leo says that Verizon is the most international unfriendly mobile carrier. Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have their own reasonable plans (especially T-Mobile that offers a free slow internet). Verizon has a $10 a day plan, though, which isn't bad, but it adds up. It's going to be the easiest way since he would have to have a different SIM for every country he visits, and his phone number will change with each new SIM card.

How can I use my phone in Japan?

Samsung Galaxy S5

Episode 1326

Sandy from Canyon Country, CA

Sandy is going to Japan and is taking her Samsung Galaxy S5 through Verizon. How can she use data while overseas? Leo says that Verizon is the least friendly overseas. Verizon offers an international data package, but it's very expensive and complicated. She can buy the best she can, but use Wi-Fi whenever she can. Turn off international data roaming in the settings. Then Google can pre-cache her maps so she can use them there.

Can I use the Internet to make phone calls while out of the country?

Episode 1285

Cathy from Santa Ana, CA

Cathy is going to Italy and wonders if Viber will be good for getting free phone calls. Leo says that Viber is like Skype in that it uses the internet to make a phone call. She can also use Facebook Messenger. The issue is that whoever she calls will have to use the same program on the other end, unless she spends money to allow it to make calls to any phone. She'll want to be sure she doesn't use her carrier's data while being out of the country. It'll cost her thousands. She can use Wi-Fi, though.

How can I use my phone in France?

Episode 1272

Noah from Michigan

Noah's sister is going to France in May and wants to know the best way to travel and still use her phone. Leo says that Noah's sister uses Verizon, which is the worst for traveling. T-Mobile and Sprint are the best because they have free, albeit slow data through One World. Leo says that the best option may be to just buy a local SIM card and then swap out her SIM while she's in France. She can also local Wi-Fi, which won't cost anything. She can also rent a MiFi device which will give her an LTE Hotspot which she can add her phone to, as well as her laptop or tablet.

How can I use my phone in Japan?

Episode 1271

Raul from Los Angeles, CA

Raul bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to be ready for a trip in Japan. Leo says that's a good idea because if he had waited until he got to Japan, he would likely not be able to use it here in the States because of differences with the radio frequencies in each country. Raul should make sure he gets a local SIM so he can pay Japanese rates for data, rather than pay international data roaming, which could be in the thousands. In fact, he should turn off the option that allows him to roam with data.

How can I use my phone while traveling internationally?

Episode 1212

Tim from San Diego, CA

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 in Great Britain?

Apple iPhone 6

Episode 1168

Marie from Redlands, CA

Marie is traveling to Great Britain and is worried about data charges on her iPhone 6. Leo says that Marie can go into her phone's settings and turn off Data Roaming. That's where the real data costs will rear it's ugly head. Then she can just depend on local Wi-Fi. She can also download the maps and keep them in the phone so she won't have to worry about getting lost with no data.

How can I get internet access in the Arctic?

SIM cards

Episode 1164

Wayne from Irvine, CA

Wayne is going to be out in the Arctic for three months and there's no internet access out there. There is a nearby community on an archipelago that has cellular service, however. Can he get cellular on the ship that will connect? Wayne also wants to know if Leo has heard of a company called KnowRoaming. It uses a sticker that changes the electronics of the SIM in the phone to avoid paying the international roaming fees.

How can I use my phone in Europe?

Episode 1161

Andre from Burbank, CA

Andre is taking his wife on a trip overseas and he wants to use his phone to post to Instagram and other social networks. Leo says that data oversees is a huge and expensive topic because people are wired everywhere, even when they travel. But he won't want to roam in another country because data roaming in obscenely expensive. The first thing he'll want to do it disable data roaming. He'd be surprised how many people come home to a data bill in the thousands and they hardly even used data.