Last Updated: March 10, 2023
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Airalo Review – The Best & Simplest eSim?


Airalo eSim

Airalo eSims are a great way to get data when you travel abroad. It is not expensive, is easy to install and manage and works just about anywhere in the world. View Latest Deal

Airalo is renowned as the top global eSim provider and I have been using them for the last few months on a big trip.

They made my life very easy while moving from country to country by providing mobile data packages without having to leave my chair. That is the beauty of eSims.

Esims are electronic so you can easily download them to your phone via wifi, even before you travel to a new country. So, you can land running with data and use email, Google Maps, or whatever App you need in your new destination.

But are Airalo eSims as good as many people make them out to be? I will tell you all about them in this review, including my experience with them.


  • Easy to Install
  • Simple to manage & extend
  • Budget friendly


  • A little more complex than a SIM
  • Does not include voice & SMS

What is Airalo and how does it work?

Airalo provides an eSim store that allows you to buy an eSim data plan for

  • the world
  • regions of the world (such as Asia Pacific)
  • specific countries (84 of them).

You can access the store via the Airalo website or the Airalo app. Then search for the plan you need from their huge selection.

Airalo was made by travelers for travelers so that no matter where in the world you are, you can be connected to mobile data without the need for a local sim card or data roaming.

I find it to be an elegant solution for international travel that adds a ton of convenience, reduces waste (old sim cards), and makes being connected more affordable and simple.

Networks used by Airalo for their eSim

Airalo works by partnering with one local network or more in each of its 190 supported countries in the world.

The networks sell them some of their mobile data bandwidth, which they then sell to you through their data plans so you can stay connected with internet access.

For example Airalo partners with the following networks

  • Verizon, T-Mobile – USA
  • Vodafone, EE, 02 , Virgin Mobile – United Kingdom
  • AT&T, Movistar in Mexico
  • Orange, Bouygues, SR in France

What I like about Airalo is that when you are using their eSim in that country they use all of these networks, and automatically select the strongest one in your area.

The only downside to this is that the local networks will give preferential speeds to their own customers at peak times, so Airalo might be a little slow, but this isn’t often the case.

I used them over the last three months and never had a major issue with speed during my travels. Of course, I don’t expect 5G speeds wherever I go. And, when I am not in a major city I know that sometimes connections will not be as good, depending on the country you are in, of course.

Airalo eSim Plan Offers

Airalo website country eSim plans

Airalo website country eSim plans

Airalo offers a huge range data plans and you can choose from global plans, a regional plan, or a plan specific to a country.

Every Airalo plan is different, giving you options for the amount of data you would like for where, and for how long.

Airalo Global eSim Plans

Airalo Global eSim Plans

For example, their Global eSim plans range from

  • 1GB for 7-days
  • 20GB for 180 days

And they have similar offers for all their supported regions and multiple countries.

This lets you pick data plans matching your

  • trip length
  • country
  • region
  • data needs

For example, I have been using Airalo in Australia this month and I found they have some flexible plans on offer:

  • 1 Gig for 7 days
  • 3,5 or 10 Gig for 30 days

The price per Gig starts around $4.5 and drops to $2 for the larger data package. And if you are unsure how much you need, like I was when I first arrived, then you can hedge your bets and get a smaller package, and just renew it with a new package of any size once you run out of data.

What I also loved about using Airalo was how you can do it either on the web or via the app on your phone. So, when you need to extend or upgrade, it takes seconds. That’s why I rave about them in this Airalo review!

How to Buy an Airalo eSim

Buying an Airlao eSim at your travel destination requires an internet connection. So, what I did was set up an account before I left and then buy a prepaid eSim for my next destination before I left.

All you have to do is head to the website or download the Airalo app via the app store. (Apple iOS or Android)

This is what the Apple App looks like on my phone

Airalo iPhone App

Airalo iPhone App

Once on the website or the app, I just created an Airalo account so I could watch my data usage and upgrade my data eSim whenever I wanted.

Once you have created the account and logged in, choose the country or region you want to be connected to and then pick one of their eSim data packages that work best for you.

You can filter the plans by country or region, or even choose from the global offers. The country ones tend to be a little cheaper, but if you are moving around a lot, then the regional or global might be a better bet.

Airalo esim choices

Airalo eSim choices (Global packages shown)

Once you find the perfect one for you (or even just a small cheap one to test), you can click the Buy Now button at the bottom of the panel. You will then receive a QR code and activation code via the app or via email which you use to download your data plan to your phone’s eSim and activate it.

Airalo eSim: Is It Worth It?

Airalo eSims are definitely worth it if you ask me. I have traveled for decades and always struggled with data when I arrived in a new country. Either finding a wifi that works in an airport or cafe or having to buy a local eSim when you arrive.

But Airalo prepaid eSims are worth it for a whole range of reasons.

  • Convenience
  • Cost savings
  • Travel freedom.

Just imagine stepping off the plane and being connected no matter what country the world you are flying to, and all you have to do is go online for a few minutes before you travel to set it up. It just makes international travel so much easier.

Another great thing I enjoyed about eSims is that you do not have to be a part of the waste of physical sims. The metals used for sims are precious and mined in some of the poorest countries in Africa, they are also covered in plastic packaging, which is a lot of waste.

Save some money, save your time, and save the planet – use eSims!

Advantages of Using Airalo eSim

After using them for months, I have found that Airalo eSims have a lot of advantages. Especially when compared to buying a physical SIM or using data roaming.


When you get off the plane in a new country, what’s the plan? Connect to airport WiFi, go through immigration, find a place to buy a local sim, queue, register, top it up, and then go and get your baggage.

In my experience, with an activated Airalo eSim, all you have to do is turn on your phone when your plane lands and you will be connected to the local mobile data network. No using the airport WiFi, no finding a sim card shop, or any of that hassle.

I also like that you can also store as many different eSims as you want in the Airalo app and switch between them very easily as you arrive in new countries or regions. Or, I was also able to store a plan for me and a plan for Anna and control them both in the App.

Airalo App Features

One of the best features I liked when I used a few different Airalo packages was their realtime data tracking in the App. You can log in to the App on your phone and see how long you have left on your eSim and how much data you have used.

Airalo Customer Service

Another great thing about Airalo is its customer support. Once contacted, Airalo will have you speaking to someone who speaks your language so you understand everything, and Airalo service is excellent. You can also contact Airalo Customer Service from inside the Airalo App to save you time and hassle.

Airalo Running out of data email

Airalo Running out of data email

And, the Airalo customer support system keeps you updated on nearing usage limits, or the end of your plan period. Airalo sent me emails to keep me informed about the upcoming expiry data and data running out.

Airalo package expiring email

So, you can easily use the app or website to top up and continue using it. I just topped up a few days ago, and it took seconds.

No Sim Swapping

With Airalo eSims, there are no swapping physical sims or losing your home sim. You leave your home sim card in your phone, so you can’t lose it and run everything off the Airalo Sim while you are traveling.

Receive Texts & Calls On Your Home Number

Something I find incredibly annoying when traveling is not getting SMS codes or calls from my bank for transfers and fraud alerts. I have to take out the local sim and put my home sim into the phone to move money around.

With an Arialo eSim, all your calls and texts to your home number come through making processes like this as simple as possible.

Cost Savings

Airalo eSims are up to 10 times more affordable than using data roaming which means you can avoid expensive charges. So far, I have found it to be around $2-3 for a Gig. Use that to make an estimate.

Airalo Rewards You with Airmoney

With every purchase of an Airalo eSim or every top-up, you earn Airmoney with Airalo. You can then use your Airmoney to get discounts on future purchases.

How to Setup & Activate Your Airalo eSim

Once you have bought your eSim, follow the instructions for how to install it and activate it in the email. It differs depending on what brand of phone you have, but luckily, Airalo eSim makes this process as easy as possible.

On an iPhone, this is what to do:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Cellular or Mobile Data
  3. Tap Add Cellular Plan or Add Mobile Data Plan or Add eSim
  4. Scan the QR code (printed or on another device that displays it)
  5. If asked, enter the 4-digit confirmation code or skip this if you didn’t get a code
  6. Choose a label for your eSIM (mine is Mobile Data)
  7. Select your eSIM for cellular data only, under the Default Line page
  8. You should see your new eSIM under your Cellular Data or Mobile Data Plans
Add eSim iphone with Airalo

Adding an eSim (blue link)

It might seem a little tricky but it is actually very easy. Just be sure to have your QR code on your laptop or printed so you can scan it easily. Or you can scan it via your phone from the screen.

iPhone Setup Tips

I have my Airalo eSim set up on my iPhone and my partner’s iPhone. It is quite easy to do, but there are a few key tips worth mentioning.

First, you will be running two plans simultaneously, your original provider that gave you a phone number, and the eSim. The first is for calls and SMS, the eSim is for data. To ensure it works like this I had to tweak a few things when I first set it up

  • Turn Data Roaming on for the eSim
  • Turn Data Roaming off for your main plan

The default voice line should also be set up as your original/main/primary line to ensure you still get calls and SMSs.

Disadvantages of Using Airalo eSim

There are very few disadvantages to getting an Arialo eSim. One of them is that you do not get a local phone number to make phone calls or receive texts with, most of their plans are data only.

That being said, some of their plans do come with calling minutes and texts, but very few of them do.

Make sure you are set up on apps like Whatsapp that allow you to message and call over data only and you will be able to get around this problem.

Another disadvantage of Airalo vs other providers is that they do not offer any unlimited data plans for anywhere in the world, which other eSim providers do. This is not ideal for heavy data users as running out of data means topping up and thus spending more money.

Airalo eSim Review – Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do when my Airalo eSim is not working?

If your Airalo eSim isn’t working you should contact customer support immediately. They are very fast at replying but you will need an internet connection in order to contact them, so look for free WiFi at the airport, a cafe, or your accommodation.

Chances are it is one of a few issues such as the eSim isn’t activated properly, it is trying to use an unsupported mobile network, data roaming is turned off, or your eSim isn’t selected as active under mobile networks in the settings tab.

Whatever the issue is, Airalo’s excellent customer service will have you up and running as quickly as possible.

Can I make calls with Airalo eSim?

Most Airalo eSim plans come with a data only plan which means you do not get a local number to make local calls with. The best way around this is to have apps like Whatsapp, Facetime, iMessage, and Telegram downloaded and set up before you travel.

These apps allow you to call and text via data only. Whatsapp is used the most all over the world unless you are in the USA where iMessage and Facetime are the most popular.

Does Airalo eSim expire?

Yes, and no. When you buy an Airalo eSim, it comes with a validity period for a number of GBs, such as 1 GB for 7 days. It will stop working either after 7 days from activation or when you have used up all the data.

But, the eSim doesn’t disappear, it will sit in your Airalo account so that you can renew it whenever you like.

After reading my Airalo review, are you for it or not? In my eyes, using Airlao eSims makes a lot of sense financially, for convenience, and more.

Just imagine stepping off the plane and being connected no matter what country the world you are flying to, and all you have to do is go online for a few minutes before you travel to set it up. It just makes international travel so much easier.

Another great thing I love about eSims is that you do not have to be a part of the waste of physical sims. The metals used for sims are precious and mined in Africa, they are also covered in plastic packaging, which is a lot of waste.

Save some money, save your time, and save the planet – use Airalo eSims!

Airalo Country List

Airalo covers a range of regions and around 84 different countries with their various eSims. Below is the current list of countries that they offer packages for.

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong), China (Macao), Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

What is an eSim?

An eSim stands for an physical sim card. This means it is a physical sim card built into a smartphone or a tablet, so you don’t need to buy a new sim card in every country you travel to.

eSims allow you to buy an eSim data plan in the form of a “digital sim card” from any eSim provider, such as Airlao, for a certain country, region, or even globally, and add it to your phone.

All you have to do is go online, buy the eSim plan, download it to your eSim card, and activate it. With eSim cards, you can store multiple eSims at a time, add a new eSim for a new country or region, and more.

eSim cards take the hassle out of staying connected while you travel, without the need for local sims or the high costs of data roaming either.

What devices support eSim?

eSim technology is rather new and therefore not every smartphone or tablet has an eSim card built into it.

This means that the smartphone and tablets that have eSims are relatively new and will need to have been made in the last three years. But not all “new” models will have an eSim, the smartphone or tablet will have to be relatively high-end like an iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy.

How do you find out if your smartphone or tablet has an eSim? It is very easy. Simply dial *#06# to bring up all the unique information about your phone. When you dial this number you should see your IMEI number and maybe an EID (Embedded Identity Document) number.

If your phone or tablet has an EID number, then it will work with eSims. But, there is one final step to ensure compatibility. Your phone or tablet has to be unlocked from a network provider.

To check this, call your network provider and ask if your phone or tablet is locked, and if so, ask them to unlock it. It should only take a few minutes.