This eSIM lets you roam in Europe and the US

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Finally, your can leave your travel SIMs at home.
Finally, your can leave your travel SIMs at home.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

KnowRoaming’s new eSIM lets travelers in the United States and Europe add a new roaming SIM to their late-model iPhone or iPad, just by scanning a barcode. So, if you’re already on vacation, and you can’t bring yourself to speak to the locals, you can easily sign up and get started — all without a physical SIM card.

Add an eSIM right from your iPhone's settings.
Add an eSIM right from your iPhone’s settings.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple likes the eSIM (short for embedded SIM) because it takes up no space inside the iPhone. The plan, surely, is to get us all using eSIMs so eventually Apple can drop the SIM card slot altogether (and replace it with a headphone jack ROFL).

But right now, eSIMs mostly make it easy to add a second cellular data account to your device without removing your existing SIM card. It’s also a lot easier to sign up for eSIMs. Instead of purchasing (or taking delivery of) an actual physical SIM, you just need a QR code or a number.

Free European roaming with KnowRoaming eSIM

One of the perks of data roaming in Europe is that there are no roaming fees. If you have a European cellular plan, you can use it in any other EU country, with the exact same data allowances as you get at home. The KnowRoaming eSIM lets you do exactly this.

All you need to do is sign up, pick a plan, and scan the QR code. That’s it. Once up and running, you get 30 days to use your data allowance. Prices run $9.99 for 1GB or $39.99 for 5GB.

How much?

Frankly, those prices are outrageous, and clearly aimed at U.S. travelers, who are used to paying far too much for their data.

I use a prepay plan on my iPhone, and it costs me 9.99 euros ($11) for 3GB, or 14.99 euros ($17) for 6GB. And you can find much cheaper plans, too.

However, it’s hard to beat the convenience. While it’s easy to just buy and activate a SIM in most EU countries, many now require that you register a new SIM before you can use it. This process, introduced so the governments can track their citizens, can take several days, and may not even be available without a local address. If you’re landing in one of those European countries, you’re better off paying for this expensive option from KnowRoaming.

eSIM for world travelers

For European travelers visiting the United States, you pay the exact same prices — $9.99 for 1GB, $39.99 for 5GB. In this case, it might be worth it. It certainly beats having to talk to the locals.

eSIMs are definitely much more convenient than regular plastic SIM cards, although perhaps less anonymous (unless you can buy one for cash). And you never need to wait for delivery.

Buy from: KnowRoaming