international data

How can I use my iPhone overseas in Europe?

iPhone 5

Episode 962

Sean from Los Angeles, CA

Sean is traveling out of the country and had his iPhone unlocked by AT&T. He's concerned because it doesn't really say it's unlocked. Leo says he can go to T-Mobile and tell them he's thinking of going with T-Mobile and if he could pop a SIM in to see if it works (TMobile will let users bring their own phone to the party).

Should he get a local SIM in Europe, though? Leo says that's a good idea. It's far cheaper and he'll get a local number. The real key with buying a local SIM is to make sure it works in all the countries he'd be traveling to.

Can I use my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III internationally?

Samsung Galaxy S III

Episode 946

Brandon from Big Sky, Montana

Brandon is traveling to Europe for a month and wants to bring his Samsung Galaxy SIII on Verizon. Leo says it won't work too well because that phone is for CDMA networks, which isn't international. He'll want a GSM phone for that since it uses a SIM card. He could still use his Verizon phone, but he'd be paying international roaming charges which isn't cheap. He should talk to Verizon about an international data plan.

How can I avoid high international data bills?

Episode 931

Frank from Palm Desert, CA

Frank discovered an app called What's App, but he's worried about traveling overseas and paying a ton of data roaming fees. He got a data bill of $700. Leo says if Frank calls up AT&T and tells them he's older and just learned to use a smartphone, they'll likely lower the bill this one time only. Then Leo recommends that he zero out his data meter on his iPhone when he goes overseas so he can monitor data use. That'll give him an argument with AT&T if the charge isn't what his iPhone says.

Leo Returns from Cruise, Has New Outlook on Microsoft Surface and iPad Mini

Episode 929

Tanned, rested and ready to rock, Leo returns to the Tech Guy Show and your calls. Leo spent the last two weeks on a cruise in the South Pacific. Leo says that internet speeds on a cruise ship weren't that fast and had to be shared by 2000 people. So he'd get up at 3AM just to read his email. And he's not looking forward to his cellphone bill as his data plan was costing him $20 a MegaByte! Leo also brought his iPad Mini and the Windows Surface RT, and it was amazing how much both wanted to be online, which was dragged to a crawl.

What can my son use for a phone in France?

Episode 898

Brian from Riverside, CA

Brian's son has a phone with Verizon that can't be used overseas. He could purchase a world phone from Verizon because they do make them. He also could get an unlocked GSM phone, and then when he goes to France, get a SIM card there. That would give him a French number, and would be a lot cheaper than paying for an international plan. It also would most likely include texting and data. Some countries make it easier to do this than others, though. It may be a better idea to just buy a cheap phone when he gets there.

What are my options for using my iPhone overseas? (Part 2)

Episode 894

Rachel from Los Angeles, CA

There are two choices. She could pay AT&T for international data, but since she'll be there for a two and a half weeks, it would be pretty expensive. Leo would probably buy a SIM card when she gets to the UK from Vodafone or O2 that she can put into her iPhone which would give her a UK phone number and unlimited data. This would be much more affordable than paying AT&T for international data. She could do the same thing when she goes to Sweden.

Will I be able to use my iPhone during my trip to Vietnam?


Episode 887

Steve from San Diego, CA

Yes, but he'll need to be careful. It would be a good idea for him to have AT&T unlock his phone if he's out of contract. They might unlock it for him anyway since he's going overseas, so it's worth asking. Once he's unlocked it he can buy a SIM card in Vietnam. He may find a good deal there.

The other option is to buy an international data plan through AT&T. This is more expensive, but he'd be able to keep his own phone number while traveling.

After unlocking my Verizon iPhone 4S, what should I do next in order to use it overseas?

Episode 882

Eric from San Francisco, CA

The next step is to get a SIM card. Verizon will give him a SIM card with his name and number on it. This could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on whether or not he wants to be reached on that number while overseas. He could also get a local SIM card with an Italian number. This might also save him some money because he can buy data there too. Since he's going to Paris and Amsterdam, he might end up with a SIM card that will work in one country but not the other. He might want to get a SIM in France and in the Netherlands.