It’s a challenge that most face whenever traveling internationally: what about my data?
Traveling outside of the United States can be challenging from a communications standpoint — especially if international cell phone charges are on your own dime, and not paid-for by work.
After paying absurd global data charges with Verizon Wireless ($29 for 100MB of data), and moving to a solution of changing SIM cards in different countries, I started to look for other solutions that could work in multiple countries. I wanted a solution that would allow me to use the same SIM card in multiple countries (particularly in Europe).
Keepgo offers two main products: a data SIM card and a mobile wifi hotspot.
Since I have an unlocked iPhone 6 (via Verizon), I went with the data SIM card. The advertised features of this puppy are as follows:
- Prepaid, refillable data SIM
- Works in 64 countries
- Fits all unlocked GSM devices — phones, tablets, other wifi devices
- Free shopping to the US, Canada and the EU
- Reasonable data re-fill rates (see below)
The important things to know are:
- This is a DATA only SIM
- You must have an UNLOCKED device (phone, tablet, etc)
The initial cost of this SIM card is $69, and that comes with 1GB of data, pre-loaded. You can “top-off” your data in 1GB, 3GB or 5GB intervals as needed at different rates:
- 1GB = $49
- 3GB = $117 ($39 per GB)
- 5GB = $194 ($38.80 per GB)
While somewhat high, it’s still MUCH better than the $29 per 100MB that Verizon charges me.
With this card, I’m able to use WhatsApp to communicate via text, and Skype via phone.
My Experience with Keepgo
Thus far, I’ve used the Keepgo Global Data SIM card in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and the USA. It has worked flawlessly, and as advertised in pretty much every situation.
The SIM card comes in a nice, business card-sized container with slots for additional SIM cards, a SIM card removal tool, and various SIM card sizers to fit the nano SIM into devices that require larger SIM cards.
It recommends you download the Keepgo app, which makes APN installation a breeze (but wifi connection is needed to do so). This is the only somewhat complicated part of the SIM card installation – resetting the APN. You need to make sure the Keepgo APN is installed, and once you put back in your SIM card back home, you must delete the APN and let your factory SIM card auto update after you turn off your phone.
I typically always install the Keepgo SIM as I’m about to board my international flight to make sure it’s working. It uses T-Mobile in the US, so I retain data services for that brief time before I take off. Upon landing in Europe or South America — or wherever, my iPhone has connected perfectly once I power it up upon landing.
As far as speeds are concerned, they’re pretty good. Depending on the country and data provider, speeds range from 3G to 4G (it utilizes T-Mobile’s 4G network in the US). At all times, it allows me to use maps, access email, social media, WhatsApp, and the Internet with ease.
My favorite part — especially in Europe — is that I don’t need to keep changing SIM cards as I move between the EU countries.
As far as I can see it, some of the drawbacks are:
- The somewhat high initial fee ($69) – even though it’s a good value compared Verizon’s plan for me, it may not be for you if you don’t use much data. I recommend doing the math to see if it works for you.
- APN installation process can be frustrating, but just follow the instructions and make sure you have a wifi connection.
- Notable service gaps in parts of Asia (the 64 countries are very Europe-centric)
All in all, I’ve been very happy with my purchase of the Keepgo Global data SIM card. I highly recommend this product for frequent travelers who burn through data quickly while traveling!
How to Get One…
You can check out more at www.keepgo.com
Of course, if you’d like to support my site, you can use this link, which is good for 15% off the purchase of a Keepgo SIM card, or other product*.
*Disclosure: this referral link awards me 300MB of data to my account for each referral