Last Updated: May 1, 2023

Best eSim For iPad (Easy & Convenient)

Wondering which eSim will work best with your Apple iPad? Then you’ve come to the right place because this guide includes a detailed overview of all the best eSim providers for international travel!

In just a few years, eSims have managed to replace traditional sim cards in quite a few devices. The latest iPhone generation is eSim-only, and I expect that it’s not long before Apple follows suit with the iPad and removes its physical sim card slot entirely.

Doing so maximizes the space for other components, allowing them to put a bigger battery or a better camera in the iPad, while still giving you the option of installing an eSim in the device. And here’s all you need to know about Apple, sim cards, and eSim providers for iPads!

Best eSim Providers for iPad



Airalo is one of the best mobile data providers, regardless of which devices you’re planning to use with the eSim. This provider often has the cheapest short-term data plans, whether it’s in a country in Europe or somewhere across the world.

Airalo eSims can be purchased easily on their website or through the Airalo app, and it’s the same for top-ups. Many of their eSims provide you with access to multiple networks, although this generally depends on which country you are visiting. Airalo offers eSims for individual countries as well as regional data plans, so it’s easy to find a data pack that will work for your travel needs.

Airalo eSims are compatible with the Apple iPad devices that support the eSim technology, and installing the eSim on the iPad is as simple as scanning a QR code and tapping on the screen a few times.


nomad logo

Nomad is another excellent provider of short-term data plans, especially for countries in Europe. This provider operates worldwide and they have eSims for most countries in the world, but their eSims are the cheapest in the countries of the European Union.

Ubigi will usually offer data plans that are valid for up to a month, with many options suitable for shorter trips. In some cases, this provider offers plans that are valid for two or three months, but it’s worth noting that these plans are very rare.

Ubigi’s plans usually start at 1 GB and go up to 50 GB for select countries. In most cases, their largest monthly plans include 10 GB or 20 GB of data, and the prices are often comparable to Airalo’s.



Holafly is the best eSim provider for travelers who want unlimited data, but it’s important to note that they don’t allow data sharing with most of their eSims. This means that you won’t be able to use the iPad as a hotspot, and you will only be able to access the Internet on the iPad.

If you want unlimited data so that you can work while you’re traveling, this isn’t such a deal breaker, at least not if you are able to complete your work on the iPad. While you might not be able to browse the Internet on your smartphone, you will have all the functionality of it on the iPad, plus a bigger screen to watch endless movies, TV shows, and TikToks.

In the countries where Holafly is able to offer unlimited data, they have a standardized pricing scheme for their unlimited data plans:

  • 5 Days for $19
  • 7 Days for $27
  • 10 Days for $34
  • 15 Days for $47
  • 20 Days for $45
  • 30 Days for $64
  • 60 Days for $84
  • 90 Days for $99

It’s worth noting that Holafly doesn’t offer unlimited data plans in every country in the world. In countries where they can’t offer unlimited data, they usually have a plan that includes 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $44, but there are a few exceptions.



SimOptions is both an eSim provider and a partner of many other eSim providers. They offer their own eSims whenever possible, and when they don’t have a proprietary eSim for a specific country, they will offer options from their partners.

This eSim provider is a decent solution if you’re planning trips to multiple destinations during a shorter period. SimOptions has eSims with regional coverage that usually provide you with Internet access in 20+ countries with a single eSim, and in most cases, it’s for a price of just $17.9.

The one downside of this eSim is that the validity period of the eSim varies depending on the region. In some parts of the world, the cheap eSim will be valid for 30 days, but in others, you’ll be lucky if you get a validity period of 10 days.

SimOptions eSims are data-only, and they do not allow top-ups. You can purchase the same plan again to start the new validity period and get the same data allowance, but you can’t really choose to purchase a specific amount of data or prolong the validity period for just a few more days.


Ubigi eSim

Ubigi is an excellent eSim provider, especially if you’re interested in regional data packs. If you have plans to visit multiple countries in the span of a few months or even a year, an Ubigi eSim can possibly provide you with Internet access in all of them.

This provider even has renewable monthly plans with regional coverage, and these are sometimes better valued for money than individual-country plans. Ubigi’s plans for European countries are usually the best value for money, as well as their regional plans that offer coverage in both Europe and the USA.

It’s worth noting that Ubigi doesn’t have the best data plans for Africa and South America. Some countries from these regions are included in the Global plan, but this is usually much more expensive than purchasing a data plan from a different provider.

Ubigi is also one of the few providers that offer plans with 500 MB, as well as plans that are valid for 24 hours. If you’re staying somewhere for a very short time and you just need a little bit of data to get by, you can usually get it from Ubigi for just a couple of dollars.

Benefits of Using an eSIM on iPad

The main advantage of using an eSim on an iPad is that you can create a hotspot to connect to the Internet without sacrificing your phone’s battery. iPads have an excellent battery life, and one charge will easily let you use the device just for Internet access for an entire day.

Installing and using an eSim on an iPad is easier and more convenient than using a traditional sim card. You can buy the eSim from the comfort of your own home, set it up, and then just activate it once you’ve arrived in the country you are visiting.

This is much more convenient than purchasing a physical sim card, especially for short trips when you don’t really want to waste time looking for a place where you can buy a traditional sim card.

Using an iPad to stay connected on trips is what I personally prefer to do, because a hotspot on my cell phone drains the battery too fast, especially when I’m always taking photos and shooting videos. I also often work on my iPad, and in case I get an eSim mobile plan that doesn’t allow data sharing, I’m not too bothered by it because I can still complete the bulk of my work on the iPad.

iPad Models That Are Compatible with eSim

Apple iPad

Want to know is your iPad eSim-compatible? If it’s on this list then it is:

  • iPad Pro 11″ 4th gen
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ 5th gen
  • iPad 10th gen
  • iPad Pro 11″ 3rd gen
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ 5th gen
  • iPad Air 5th gen
  • iPad mini 6th gen
  • iPad 9th gen
  • iPad Air 4th gen
  • iPad 8th gen
  • iPad Pro 11″ 2nd gen
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ 4th gen
  • iPad 7th gen
  • iPad mini 5th gen
  • iPad Air 3rd gen
  • iPad Pro 11″ 1st gen
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ 3rd gen

One thing to note is that only the cellular versions of these iPad models are compatible with eSims. Wi-Fi-only iPads do not have eSim support because they don’t have the chip necessary for eSims to function.

How to Activate eSim on iPad

Add Cellular Plan

First, you need to set up the eSim on your iPad. Go into settings, network settings, and select the option to Add a Cellular Plan. You will then be prompted to scan a QR code; just point the camera at the code included with the eSim purchase, and then just follow the on-screen instruction.

The eSim will become active the first time you turn on mobile data, but that depends on the provider. Some eSims can remain inactive for an entire year, others for a few months, and there are even some providers that make the eSim active as soon as you scan the QR code. This is always indicated in the information about the eSim, so just double-check so you don’t waste any time of the validity period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does an iPad have an eSim?

Some iPad models support an eSim. If it’s a cellular data iPad and it was released in the last few years, it is most likely eSim-compatible.

Can I use eSim with my WiFi-only iPad?

No, you can’t use an eSim with a WiFi-only iPad. An eSim is a chip that’s supposed to replace the need for a traditional sim card, but it works in the same way as a physical sim card chip. That means that your iPad must have cellular connectivity in order to work with an eSim. Only a few select Apple iPad models are capable of using an eSim.

Does the iPad 9th gen have an eSim?

The Apple iPad 9th gen WiFi + Cellular has the option for an eSim. If you have the WiFi-only model, you will not be able to use an eSim with this device.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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