Tips on alternative options for staying connected while traveling

 BuzzSIM - Europe Sim Card For Tourist - Travel Sim USA - AirSim

Are you a traveller who simply pick a roaming service or spend many time on looking for a local SIM card in your trip? Losing the connection while travelling will be a big problem, especially when you need to search maps, book hotels , communicate with friends etc. You probably came across numerous data options and found that the price varies a lot. Is the choice reliable? Will it charge me extra after exceeding the max. data limit? Can I get any help when there is a connection problem?

If you have any of the questions like these, then you are in the right place!

In this article, Buzzpacker summarises the pros and cons of most popular travel data products ,including pocket wifi, local SIM card, data roaming and new type of “One sim for all countries sim”, after a detailed research, so that you can easily compare and pick the suitable one for yourself!

Pocket Wi-fi Local SIM cardOne SIM for all countries (e.g. AIRSIM) Data roaming
Tethering
(sharing with friends)
All fellows need to stay within 10 m of the device
Tethering is prohibited for some cardsTethering is allowed with no extra costTethering is allowed , but may be very expensive
Pick/BuyPick up and return at airport/ store1. Buy at stall or online (e.g. Amazon, ebay)
2. Buy on site: In some countries (e.g. China, Vietnam), you must register all your personal information if you buy on-site. 
1.Buy online:
SIM card will be posted to your designated address
2. Environmental friendly : One card for +120 countries and time saving
Order from existing mobile network provider
Deposit Y (USD 40~80) N N N
APN setting N Yes to most countries Yes to few countries (see the table) N
RefundPartial refund may exist depending on the terms and conditions of service providerNo refund is available regarding cancellation nor connection issueYes if there is connection issue No
Price1. Quite high but fixed price
( USD 35~50 /7 day in Asia)
2. Penalty for equipment lost / damaged/ theft/ late return
3. Compensation fee if you lose any of the items
Low (USD 4~10 for 7 Days in Asia)Low (USD 4~10 for 7 Days in Asia)Expensive (charged by the megabyte after the trip)
Changing card N Yes
Yes N
Extend the network
period on-site
May charge at high price NYes. Flexible extension anytimeUnlimited period
Making phone callNDepends on the package of card30-min free AIRTALKYes, but very expensive
Alternative networkNNYN
Package choice(s)One / two to some countriesOneMany choices (unlimited data for a period, 24 hours plan, designated local network, certain amount of data plan)One
VPN is required in ChinaNYNN
Customer serviceDepends on office hoursNY. 24/7 hrs real time supportY
Suitable for1. Family
2. Someone would like to connect various devices
Infrequent travelers1.Frequent travelers
2.Last-minute travelers
Infrequent travelers