eSIMs vs. Portable Wi-Fi: Which is Right for You?

eSIMs vs. Portable Wi-Fi: Which is Right for You?

In today’s hyper-connected world, staying online while on the go has become a necessity for most of us. Whether it’s for navigating through unknown territories, staying in touch with loved ones, or keeping up with work emails while traveling, internet connectivity is crucial. Luckily, technological advancements have given us more options than ever to stay connected, with eSIMs and portable Wi-Fi devices being among the most popular. But which one is right for you? This blog post dives into the key differences between eSIMs and portable Wi-Fi, considering factors like flexibility, cost, and data usage, to help you make an informed decision.


eSIMs offer unparalleled flexibility for frequent travelers. An eSIM (embedded Subscriber Identity Module) is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without the need for a physical SIM card. This means you can switch between networks or subscribe to a local data plan when traveling internationally without having to replace your SIM card. 

Portable Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is a small, battery-powered device that connects to cellular networks and broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal that your phone, laptop, or tablet can connect to. While it offers the convenience of creating your hotspot, its flexibility is somewhat limited compared to eSIMs, as you’re reliant on a single device for your internet connection, which might not always offer the best coverage or speeds depending on your location.


The cost of using an eSIM or portable Wi-Fi device can vary greatly depending on your data needs and travel habits. 

eSIMs can be cost-effective for travelers since many carriers offer competitive international data plans. Furthermore, the ability to switch to a local carrier can save you from hefty roaming charges. However, if your existing mobile plan or smartphone does not support eSIM technology, you may face additional costs to upgrade your device or plan.

Portable Wi-Fi devices require an initial investment to purchase the device itself, which can range from affordable to quite expensive, depending on the model and its features. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the cost of data plans, which can vary based on the country and the amount of data you need. For those who travel in groups or carry multiple devices, portable Wi-Fi might offer better value as it allows several devices to connect to the internet simultaneously without incurring extra charges.

Data Usage

When it comes to data usage, both eSIMs and portable Wi-Fi devices have their advantages. 

eSIMs are directly integrated into your device, offering seamless connectivity and the ability to manage and monitor your data usage directly through your phone’s settings. This can provide a more straightforward experience for managing your data and avoiding overage charges.

Portable Wi-Fi devices, while they offer the convenience of connecting multiple devices to a single data plan, may lead to quicker depletion of your available data. This is particularly true if multiple devices are streaming video or engaging in data-heavy activities. However, for families or groups traveling together, this can still be a more cost-effective solution than individual data plans for each person.


Choosing between an eSIM and a portable Wi-Fi device ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and travel habits. If you value flexibility and often travel solo, an eSIM might be the best choice for you, offering the ability to easily switch between carriers and plans. On the other hand, if you’re usually traveling with family or friends and carry multiple devices, a portable Wi-Fi device could save you money while keeping everyone connected.

Regardless of which option you choose, both eSIMs and portable Wi-Fi devices represent significant steps forward in keeping us connected while on the move. By weighing their differences in terms of flexibility, cost, and data usage, you can select the option that best suits your lifestyle and ensures you stay connected, wherever you may roam.


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Supported Devices:

  • Apple
    • iPhone 15
    • iPhone 15 Plus
    • iPhone 15 Pro
    • iPhone 15 Pro Max
    • iPhone 14
    • iPhone 14 Plus
    • iPhone 14 Pro
    • iPhone 14 Pro Max
    • iPhone 13
    • iPhone 13 Pro
    • iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • iPhone 13 Mini
    • iPhone 12
    • iPhone 12 Pro
    • iPhone 12 Pro Max
    • iPhone 12 Mini
    • iPhone 11
    • iPhone 11 Pro
    • iPhone 11 Pro Max
    • iPhone XS
    • iPhone XS Max
    • iPhone XR
    • iPhone SE (2022)
    • iPhone SE (2020)
    • iPad (7th generation)
    • iPad (8th generation)
    • iPad (9th generation)
    • iPad (10th generation)
    • iPad Mini (5th generation)
    • iPad Mini (6th generation)
    • iPad Air (5th generation)
    • iPad Air (4th generation)
    • iPad Air (3rd generation)
    • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
    • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
    • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
    • iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation)
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation)

    Note that iPhone devices from Mainland China aren’t eSIM compatible. Also iPhone devices from Hong Kong and Macao aren’t compatible (except for iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone XS)

  • Samsung
    • Galaxy S24
    • Galaxy A54 5G
    • Galaxy S23
    • Galaxy S23+
    • Galaxy S23 FE
    • Galaxy S23 Ultra
    • Galaxy S22 5G*
    • Galaxy S22+ 5G*
    • Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G*
    • Galaxy S21 5G*
    • Galaxy S21+ 5G*
    • Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G*
    • Galaxy S20*
    • Galaxy S20+*
    • Galaxy S20 5G*
    • Galaxy S20+ 5G*
    • Galaxy S20 Ultra*
    • Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G*
    • Galaxy Z Flip
    • Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
    • Galaxy Z Flip 4
    • Galaxy Z Flip 5
    • Galaxy Z Fold
    • Galaxy Z Fold 2
    • Galaxy Z Fold 3
    • Galaxy Z Fold 4
    • Galaxy Z Fold 5
    • Galaxy Note 20
    • Galaxy Note 20 5G
    • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra*
    • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G*

    Note that Samsung devices from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan aren’t eSIM compatible. Additionally, Galaxy S20, S21*, and Note 20 Ultra devices from the USA. Galaxy FE models are also not eSIM compatible except for S23FE.

  • Google Pixel
    • Pixel 8
    • Pixel 8 Pro
    • Pixel 7
    • Pixel 7a
    • Pixel Fold
    • Pixel 7 Pro
    • Pixel 6
    • Pixel 6a
    • Pixel 6 Pro
    • Pixel 5
    • Pixel 5a
    • Pixel 4
    • Pixel 4a
    • Pixel 4 XL
    • Pixel 3
    • Pixel 3 XL
    • Pixel 3a
    • Pixel 3a XL
    • 14 Pro
    • 13
    • 13 Pro
    • 13 Lite
    • 13T
    • 13T Pro
    • 12T Pro
    • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G eSIM is available in Japan only.

  • Huawei
    • P40
    • P40 Pro
    • Mate 40 Pro
    • OnePlus 12
    • OnePlus 11
  • OPPO
    • Reno6 Pro 5G
    • A55s 5G
    • Find N2 Flip
    • Find X3 Pro
    • Find X5
    • Find X5 Pro
    • Reno A
    • Moto G54
    • Edge 40 Neo
    • Edge 40 Pro
    • Edge+
    • Razr 40 Ultra
    • Razr 2022
    • Razr 2019
    • Razr 5G
    • G53 5G
    • G60
    • XR21
    • X30