When traveling abroad you probably want to keep in touch with your family, stay on top of your business, or just swiftly retrieve any piece of information you might need during your trip, right? If so, reliable internet connection is a must. Basically, if you want to use the Internet in Italy, you will either have to stay on a lookout for WiFi hotspots, pay roaming fees to your regular mobile provider, or get yourself a mobile data SIM card. Choosing the solution that fits best can be difficult, so we have decided to present and explain the pros and cons of the most popular ones. The bottom line is quite clear: In most cases, you will be better off with a prepaid data SIM card.
You will be able to find public WiFi hotspots in major Italian cities, but those usually require verification. This means you will have to create an account, provide the supplier with your personal and financial information. Your credit card details are usually collected for identity verification purposes only, but it is important to make sure you won’t be charged if you exceed your free data allowance. However, understanding the user agreement may prove impossible if you don’t read Italian.
In other instances you will have to pay for WiFi connection, and this is especially true for places like airports and hotels that may price the Internet highly and provide an unusually slow connection speed. Bear in mind that public WiFi connections are prone to security issues and are not the best choice for business related usage or monetary transactions. This is especially true when connecting to hotspots in cafes or small shops. You should also remember that if you rely on WiFi connection alone, you will not have Internet access on the go and thus have limited opportunities to stay connected. If you need to know you are connected anywhere, you should consider getting a data SIM card.
Pros: Free in some places; easy to find in major cities.
Cons: Will probably require registration and credit card details; might lead to unexpected overage fees; very expensive in hotels; not secure – you never know who has access to the network you are connecting to.
Most providers charge highly for roaming (using your regular SIM card abroad). Some providers offer a pre-paid solution of some sort, but the small print will almost always tell you about hefty overage fees you will have to pay should you use more data than allocated. Verizon, for example, charges no less than $25 for every additional MB used in Italy when you subscribe to its International Travel Preferred Pricing program and exceed your monthly allocation of 100MB. Other mobile providers offer post-paid options only, and this makes data-usage monitoring difficult and may lead to surprisingly high bills.
Cons: Highly priced; expensive overage charges; pre-paid options not always available; data usage uneasy to monitor.
Data SIM card is a standard SIM you can insert into your mobile phone; however, instead of making regular voice calls you will only be able to call via VoIP (Voice over Internet) applications, such as FaceTime, Skype or Google Voice. Bear in mind that VoIP calls will always cost way less than voice calls, especially abroad, and that’s what makes data-only cards so attractive. So, if you purchase a data card that works on one of the mobile networks, you can then insert it into your phone, make calls, and browse the Internet at ease when traveling across Italy.
If you have decided you need a data SIM card, you should know there are different types of those: local and international. Local cards are sold by one of Italy’s mobile operators – TIM, Vodafone, Wind, and 3 – and also by smaller, virtual operators’ like CoopVoce and Lycamobile.
Local SIM cards are attractively priced, and you should weigh this option if money is the only consideration. However, cheap comes with a price, and these cards have several downsides. First of all, if you have to be connected the moment you arrive, local SIM will not be the most suitable choice, since you will have to buy it upon arrival. To do that you will need to show your passport and register the card, and in some instances a ‘tax code’ will be required. Since you are a foreigner, you don’t have an Italian tax code and thus will have to generate one online.
In addition, the language barrier might pose problems as well, if you don’t speak Italian, so it is advisable to consider the value of your time and decide whether you would rather spend it buying a SIM card or doing something else. It is also wise to make sure, in advance, whether you will be able to buy a card that fits the SIM slot in your particular device (e.g., standard or micro SIM).
Bear in mind that local cards only cover one country each. However, these days, when Europe has almost no borders, limiting yourself to a single-country SIM card may not be the best idea. If you decide to go for a short visit outside Italy, you will have to purchase additional SIM for every place you visit, and that spells out more hassle and more expenses.
Pros: Lower prices; pre-paid options available.
Cons: Buying requires time and may turn into quite a hassle; registration required by some providers; cannot be tested in advance; only covers Italy.
Get our global SIM card before going to Italy; test it at home if you wish; pop it into your favorite mobile device and connect to the Internet the moment you get to Italy. When you run out of data just refill the card online or using Keepgo app. By the way, each refill will extend all data’s validity for another year, so you will have plenty of time to use all the megabytes paid for. If you have any questions, our team of English speaking representatives is here 24/7, so there’s no language barrier to worry about. Finally, we are certain you will love our product, so we have no problem offering to issue a full refund, if anything goes wrong.
Pros: Fair prices; no hassle solution; 1 year data validity; online refill; test it at home; free shipping to USA, Italy, and other European countries; works in all unlocked devices (and we have a solution for all other devices as well).
Learn more about our products and plans
|Check our plans|
Learn more about our products and plans
|Check our plans|