SIMs

Is a Hotspot Better than a Local SIM when Traveling Internationally?

Prague

Episode 1638

John from Indianapolis, IN

John is going to Prague soon for a vacation. He's looking for his data options while there and how to translate the language he will see. Leo says that prepaidwithdata.wikia.com is a great place to find what local sims are available. Is there a pro/con of using a SIM vs. a hotspot? Leo says absolutely. Go for the hotspot. A local SIM will change his phone number while in the country, and as such, nobody can reach him unless they have his new number.

How do I transfer an old iPhone to a friend?

iPhone 2018

Episode 1627

Neil from Phoenix, Arizona

Neil bought a new iPhone and wants to give his old iPhone X to a family member. How can he transfer the phone and number to them? Leo says that since Neil has Verizon, he has to have the phone unlocked, and they will do it with a request. But it's as simple as taking the SIM out: you'll want it with your new phone anyway. Then, you'll also want to erase the phone and restore it back to the factory settings.

SIM Swapping Can Easily Hack You, Even with Text confirmation

Jack Dorsey

Episode 1623

The latest scam is to convince the phone company to transfer your mobile phone number to a new SIM. Cloud Hopper is the app that does this. Once that's accomplished, the bad guys can gain control of all your apps, including banking apps with 2 factor authentication through a SIMJACKED phone. That's what happened to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Leo says that what he recommends is contacting your mobile service and request they use a PIN to verify it's you when seeking to get a new SIM. 

Why doesn't my new Phone work with Straight Talk?

Straight Talk Carrier

Episode 1587

Douglas from Twodot, Montana

Doug has a mobile device through Straight Talk. But his internet access is terrible with his iPhone 5. He was told by Straight Talk that the iPhone 5 is being phased out and he'll have to get a new phone. Leo says that Apple has stopped supporting the iPhone 5 and it's likely Straight Talk is doing the same thing. So you should be able to take the SIM out and put it in the new one. If it doesn't work, then you can just get a new SIM card from Straight Talk.

Can I just put my SIM into my new Samsung Galaxy S9?

Samsung Galaxy S9

Episode 1545

Patrick from California

Patrick bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 at Best Buy for Black Friday. Can he just drop his SIM card in or does he have to get it activated? Leo says he should just be able to drop his existing SIM into it and get started. Leo says that the FCC doesn't like carrier locks if the carrier isn't subsidizing the phone. So all he'll have to do is call the carrier and ask them to unlock it, if he needs to. But if he's a Verizon customer, it shouldn't be locked at all, and since he's not switching carriers, it should work if it uses the same SIM.

How can I bring my phone on an international vacation?

iPhone

Episode 1427

Kirk from Crestline, CA

Kirk is going on vacation to the south pacific and needs an international plan for his phone. Leo says that T-Mobile started a free 2G-3G international data and texting plan and it has put pressure on other carriers to do the same. Leo always brings T-Mobile with him when he travels. Leo also recommends Google Fi because it uses various carriers. AT&T has a daily pass option, which is $10 a day. Verizon was the hardest to use overseas, but they've recently started the day pass like AT&T. Kirk should check with his carrier and see what they offer.

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.

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 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.