What is the best data communication method for overseas travel?


What's the best way to use data on your smartphone when traveling abroad?

There are various ways to use your smartphone when traveling abroad, such as renting WIFI , roaming, and SIM cards, but which one should you choose? This time, we will provide a thorough explanation using a comparison table.

■There are 5 main ways to communicate data overseas!

1) Rental WIFI

You can reserve online and have it shipped to your home or office, or pick it up at the airport, etc. You can also return it at the airport or by shipping it.

2) Roaming

If you have a contract with a major carrier, you can use data communication overseas. This method is called international roaming. Be careful because many low-cost SIMs and MVNOs do not support this method.

3) Public WIFI

This is WIFI that can be used in hotels, airports, cafes, etc. Many of them are free, so they are convenient, but their major disadvantages are security and the limited places where they can be used.

4) SIM card

This method involves removing the Japanese SIM from your smartphone's SIM slot and replacing it with a SIM specifically for overseas travel. This is a popular method as many of them are inexpensive.

5) eSIM

This communication method has been available on eSIM-compatible models since the iPhone XS , and allows you to easily use an international SIM plan without having to remove and insert the SIM . It is also the cheapest and easiest way to use it.



■Which price is the best deal?

Rental WIFI tends to be expensive due to shipping and labor costs. Public WIFI is often free, but the areas where it can be used are limited, so it is not realistic to use only public WIFI for the entire trip. SIM cards and eSIMs have many cost advantages , but SIM cards tend to be more expensive than eSIMs due to shipping costs.

■What is the easiest method of delivery?

The easiest way to receive your eSIM is with eSIM!
Unlike the days of rental WiFi and SIM cards that were once popular, with eSIM you can start using it quickly and easily just by downloading it from the web .

■What do you recommend in terms of security?

In terms of security, public WIFI is the one you should be most careful about. Some of them do not use encryption, so the contents of your communications may be seen by others. Rental WIFI also often has the connection ID and password written on the router in large letters, so if someone sees them, there is a risk that your communications may be hijacked or intercepted. It can be said that roaming, SIM cards, and eSIM are the safest options.

■Which one is recommended in terms of hygiene?

Rental WIFI inevitably comes with hygiene risks due to reuse. It is also not recommended as there are many aspects that involve people, such as packaging, physical shipping and delivery. Even when using it, there is a possibility that the physical router may be left in an unsanitary place. SIM cards also pose hygiene risks during packaging, shipping, and warehousing. eSIM or roaming are recommended from a hygiene standpoint. 

■Which one would you recommend for a group?

Rented WIFI can be inconvenient when used by a group, as you cannot use it unless you are near someone with a router. Be careful with roaming, as many places overseas do not allow tethering. When you are in the same facility, such as a shopping mall, it may be possible for everyone to use public WIFI , but you should be careful about security. SIM and eSIM are inexpensive, so even if everyone in your group uses them, the cost is the same as splitting the cost of rented WIFI , so it is a smart idea to set up an eSIM for everyone in your group.

■Is it technically easy to use?

Rental WIFI may seem convenient, but the most troublesome thing is when it stops working. Is there a problem with the rental WIFI router? Is there a problem with the smartphone? Just finding the problem is difficult. Another drawback is that if it breaks down, there is nothing you can do locally. Roaming is easy to process, but if you use too much, you may be charged a high amount, so there are many things you can do, such as installing a data management app, to avoid high charges. SIM cards and eSIMs may be difficult to get used to at first, but once you have completed the procedure, it is easy, so I recommend them.

■What do you recommend overall?

If you are using an iPhone that supports eSIM, we would overwhelmingly recommend eSIM. With eSIM, you don't need to carry around a dedicated device or take the trouble of inserting and removing the SIM card, and you can easily use overseas communications. Another major benefit is that it is cheap to purchase and can be used immediately, making it the most convenient method right now.

Click here for VOYAGEESIM compatible models

Click here for a list of VOYAGEESIM products