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It is well known that roaming can be very expensive sometimes. It is an essential thing to take into account when you are planning to travel to another country. Do you have any doubts about this topic or have you already been charged with high roaming costs? Here we have very helpful recommendations to avoid roaming charges. Apart from worrying about the hotel, your flight and which places you should visit, there is another important aspect you should consider: roaming charges. First, you need to ask yourself two simple questions a) do you need to receive messages and make calls while traveling abroad? or b) do you need internet access abroad? By answering these questions, you will know if you need a roaming service or data roaming. These are two different services with different charges. No matter which option you choose from the ones above, here are the things you should consider to avoid roaming charges overseas. So, let’s start!

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How To Avoid Roam Like Home Charges

1. Check roaming rates

Before you turn on roaming service, you should check the rates and the coverage depending on the country you will be visiting. If you are living in the EU, you can use the calculator from RoamingEU to see the estimated costs of roaming. If you are outside, please visit your Internet Service Provider for more details  

2. Compare different plans

There are companies like T-Mobile and Sprint that offer postpaid international/global roaming plans with unlimited texting and 2G Speed. They can be used in more than 140 countries and calling costs $0,20 per minute. On the other hand, there are only two prepaid carriers that allow international roaming beyond North America: Google’s Project Fi and MetroPCS. With Google’s Project Fi, you will pay $10 per GB and you will be charged only for the data used, plus unlimited texts. Voice rates are $0,20 per minute and can be cheaper over Wi-Fi. MetroPCS offers World Calling which costs $10 extra per month and you will get 200 minutes of talk and 200 text messages (unlimited received). Additionally, you get 200MB of data while you are in countries like Mexico, Canada, Spain, Japan and some others.  

3. Turn on the Wi-Fi

download a data monitor to avoid roaming charges abroad

You can try to put your cell phone on flight mode and connect it to a Wi-Fi network each time you have the opportunity. There are many places like cafés, shopping malls and parks where you can connect to a Wi-Fi network completely free. You do not have to worry about high roaming charges at all then.  

4. Restrict your time on the Internet

Making and receiving calls or text messages can be very expensive when traveling as much as browsing on the Internet. Restrict your time on the Internet, so you can avoid roaming charges that will hurt your wallet. Also, you can make a list of the most important things you need to do, so you will not waste your time and your money staying connected to the internet.  

5. Send text messages

Yes, it is true, texting is kind of annoying sometimes. It is cheaper than calling though, so you should consider that one text message costs $ 0,50. It is really helpful when you don’t have data roaming and you need to communicate with friends/family or even work. Additionally, you should keep in mind that there are social networks like Facebook and Twitter which personal status can be updated just by sending a single text message. Yes! You can update your status with a text message if you have already linked your phone to the web page or app.  

6. Download a data monitor

Download a data monitor to check your data roaming usage

There are smartphone applications that monitor your data usage and give you a warning signal when you are about to reach your established limit. With these apps, you will not exceed your limit so you will avoid extra data roaming charges. Two of the most famous data monitor available for Android and iOS are Data Usage and My Data Manager. Both of them allow you to monitor mobile, roaming, and Wi-Fi data usage. They support custom usage alarms to avoid overage charges and they show you which apps consume the most data (while being active or in the background). If you cannot decide which one is the best for you, here are the recommended ones.

7. Get a Prepaid SIM Card

These type of cards offer cheaper rates than any international roaming charge. You can make calls, send text messages or browse the internet at the lowest prices. And here you have very good news: if you receive any of these services it will be completely free! Yes, you will not have to pay anything if someone calls you or sends you a text message while you are outside your country. Also, these cards are available in more than 195 countries.Are you looking for an international Travel SIM Card?Here at SimOptions, we offer affordable SIM Card packages for more than 70 countries! Enjoy 3G+/4G LTE abroad without any hidden charges and without a contract!

How to Avoid Data Roaming Charges on Android?

How To Avoid Roaming Charges? - Tips & Tricks | SimOptions
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It is recommended to disable your packet data so you can avoid extra charges and still be able to use the internet. Go to your phone Settings > Wireless and networks > Mobile Networks > Disable Packet Data. Be aware that menus can differ from phone to phone but generally the path looks like above. If you decide to follow this advice, you can connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network. Never worry about data roaming charges anymore.  

How to Avoid Data Roaming Charges on iPhone?

The same advice given before applies for iPhone, too. Go to your phone Settings > General / Network > Cellular > Turn Data Roaming Off. If you need internet access, simply connect to a free Wi-Fi network without worrying about the future charges. But this is not the only option you have! You can also shop roaming plans with your carrier. Before you go traveling, call your carrier or visit it online to look up international roaming plans. After you arrive at your destination, go to the Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Turn on Data Roaming and other settings suggested by your carrier. Next time you need to travel, consider some of these recommendations and share with us your experience!  

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What is a smartphone?

illustration of a smartphone

A smartphone is a more powerful version of a regular cell phone. In addition to the same basic features, including phone calls, voicemail, and text messaging, smartphones can connect to the Internet over a cellular network. This means you can use a smartphone for the same things you would normally do on a computer, such as checking your email, browsing online, or shopping.

Wireless providers will require you to pay a monthly fee, usually called a data plan, to access the Internet with a smartphone over their cellular network.

Most smartphones use a touch-sensitive screen,meaning there isn’t a physical keyboard on the device. Instead, you’ll type on a virtual keyboard and use your fingers to interact with the display. Other standard features include a high-quality digital camera and the ability to play digital music and video files. For many users, a smartphone can actually replace things like an old laptop, digital music player, and digital camera in the same device.

Do I even need a smartphone?

woman looking at a smartphone advertisement

Because of these convenient features, smartphones have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Smartphones can also be very expensive, however; some high-end models cost even more than a new laptop or desktop computer!

If you’re happy using your existing devices separately, you may not need a smartphone. But if you want to use just one device to access the Internet, make phone calls, take photos, and listen to music, a smartphone is probably a good option for you.

What type of smartphone should I buy?

illustration of different smartphone types

Even if you know you want a smartphone, it can be challenging to know where to start. There are different smartphones to choose from, including Windows Phone and Blackberry. In this guide, however, we’ll focus on the two most popular options: the iPhone and Androidsmartphones.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so we’ll try our best to provide the information you’ll need to make the decision that’s right for you.

What is an iPhone?

The iPhone is a smartphone from Apple, which also produces the Mac line of computers. The iPhone is available in a few different models, starting at $450 and going up to $950. It’s powered by the iOS operating system, which is also used by Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch devices.

What is Android?

Unlike the iPhone, which is only available in a few different models, there are hundreds of Android devices to choose from. This is because Android is not one specific smartphone. It’s actually an operating system designed by Google. Many different companies make devices that are powered by the Android operating system, including Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola.

Each of these manufacturers produces different Android smartphones, each with their own custom hardware and features. As a result, Android smartphones are available in a much wider range of prices than the iPhone, starting as low as $100 for an entry-level device.

Android or iPhone?

Should you get iPhone or an Android? If you try searching for advice on this topic, you’ll find no shortage of opinions on both sides; iPhones and Android phones have strong groups of supporters, and most people place themselves firmly on one side or another. There are definite advantages and disadvantages with either option, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors you should consider.

Click the buttons in the chart to see our rankings, then read more about each category below.


illustration of a cellphone with dollar signs

In terms of cost, the iPhone simply can’t compete with Android models. If you don’t want to spend more than $200 to $300 on a smartphone, you’ll want to choose Android over iPhone.

Unfortunately, the actual cost of a smartphone may not be immediately obvious. For example, your wireless carrier may offer certain smartphones for freeif you sign a two-year contract, or allow you to spread the cost across small installments instead of one single payment. Regardless of how you pay, an iPhone will almost always be more expensive than an Android smartphone.

Winner: Android


Because the iPhone is produced by one company instead of several manufacturers, it’s often easier to get answers and help directly from Apple’s customer support. By contrast, most Android phones work a bit differently from one another depending on the manufacturer and wireless provider you choose, which can make it more difficult to know where to look for help.

If you’re worried that you’ll need a lot of extra help once you get started, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

Apps and app stores

Both iPhone and Android allow you to download applications, which are commonly known as apps, to add extra functionality to your smartphone. The Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone provide a huge selection of apps for you to download. Although some apps are available exclusively for one platform, most are available on both. Unless there’s a specific app you want that’s only available on one device, this shouldn’t be a significant factor in your decision.

However, if you already have another device that uses Android or iOS, such as a tablet computer, you might want to consider purchasing a smartphone that runs the same operating system. This way, you’ll be able to install any apps you’ve purchased on both devices.

Winner: Tie


illustration of an accessorized cell phone

Android smartphones allow for a lot more customization than iPhones. Whereas the iPhone offers a few customization options (like your phone’s wallpaper and ringtone), Android allows you to change just about everything on your device, including themes, notification widgets, and default applications.

For some users, this might not be a very important distinction. But if you want to have more control over the way you’ll use your device, we’d recommend choosing an Android over an iPhone.

Winner: Android

System updates

Remember how we said before that Android and iPhone use different operating systems? Like desktop and laptop computers, these operating systems are updated just about every year. These updates usually include new and useful features, as well as security upgrades.

But upgrading an Android phone to the latest version can be pretty complicated. In many cases, it actually depends on when your wireless provider decides to push the update to your device. By contrast, the iPhone can be updated as soon as updates are available, regardless of your wireless carrier.

We should note that there’s nothing especially bad or dangerous about using a slightly older version of your phone’s operating system. But if you know that you always like to use the latest software as soon as it’s available, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

There are a few Android models, like the Google Nexus, that allow you to upgrade to the latest version of Android more easily; however, they also tend to be more expensive than other Android smartphones.

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