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Our Comprehensive Holafly Review: Does It Really Offer Unlimited Data?

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Byron Mühlberg

Guide

Jonny Pease

Reviewer

Feb 29, 2024
Advertiser disclosure

Based out of Ireland, Holafly is a leading eSIM provider that's well-known for offering unlimited data packages, which it supports in over 160 countries on six continents. These unlimited packages have made Holafly a favourite among many globetrotters and digital nomads who don't want to worry about how much data they use while on the go in a foreign country. For this review, our team extensively tested a Holafly eSIM in the UK to see whether its unlimited packages do, in fact, live up to reality. Let's get started!

What Monito Likes About Holafly

  • Outstanding customer support that's available in seconds,
  • Peace of mind that you’ll never run out of data,
  • Good price-per-gigabyte rates for heavier internet users,
  • Fast, slick, and easy-to-use website,
  • You can connect to multiple carriers in some countries,
  • Your eSIM can be installed and activated within 5 minutes.

What Monito Dislikes About Holafly

  • Little transparency regarding fair use limits,
  • Can be pricey if you're only using a little data,
  • Hotspotting and tethering are unavailable in many countries,
  • We didn't find the mobile app to be particularly useful,
  • SMSes are unavailable.
recommendation icon

Holafly offers a great selection of eSIM plans. Although their upfront cost is typically higher than with other providers, they truly do give you unlimited data. Holafly is an especially good deal if you're looking for an alternative to Google Fi for a medium-term, uninterrupted internet connection abroad or if you simply don't want to be bothered by how much data you're using. If you're interested in buying a Holafly eSIM, use our exclusive code MONITO at checkout to get 5% off your purchase today!

Can I Trust Holafly?

Yes, Holafly is a legitimate company you can trust to provide you with a quality internet connection overseas. Holafly's eSIMs offer access to digital SIM cards from over 160 countries and regions worldwide. Even though it's a relatively new service founded in 2017, the company has nonetheless served tens of thousands of customers worldwide and counting. 

Importantly, in our opinion, Holafly allows easy access to delete your account and associated data within the app or on the website. As a customer of Holafly, you're also entitled to request a refund or an eSIM replacement if you have technical issues with installing or using the are attributable to Holafly. These options give us the peace of mind and confidence that Holafly keeps its customers' needs at the centre of its operations.

What is Holafly, Anyway?

Holafly is an online eSIM provider. You can buy eSIM packages for individual countries or entire regions using its website or mobile app. You pay a fixed fee, and you can download and install the eSIM onto your smartphone (provided it's one of Holafly's compatible devices). This entire process can be done very quickly: our test took under five minutes from start to finish.

The eSIM you purchase will then be valid in the country or region you bought it for for a limited time (a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 90 days), and you can turn on mobile data on your device and access the internet from the moment you land. Nifty, right? To learn more about eSIMs, look at our in-depth guide on why they're so helpful and the best deals on the market.

How Good Is Holafly's Service Quality?

There's no doubt that Holafly is one of the leading eSIM providers on the market in terms of the quality of its service and its coverage. However, there are one or two drawbacks to remember when choosing to go with them as your eSIM provider. We go through all of this below:

Holafly's eSIM Services

By installing a Holafly eSIM, you'll get the following:

  • a digital eSIM card (with easy installation instructions),
  • an unlimited data package ranging from 5 to 90 days,
  • 3G/4G/LTE speeds from local networks/carriers,
  • rechargeability of your plan via the app,
  • calls up to 60 minutes (in some countries)
  • hot-spotting, data sharing, or tethering (in some countries)
  • a local mobile phone number,
  • speedy 24/7 customer service in English.

To be able to use Holafly, you'll need to download its app, which is available on both iOS and Android. In our experience, the app was simple and unremarkable.

Besides allowing purchases via Apple Pay (which made purchasing and recharging our plan fast and simple) in addition to your credit or debit card, we didn't find the app to be particularly impressive, all things considered.

How Good Is Holafly's Coverage?

Holafly works by giving your network access to local network providers and carriers in the country or region you're travelling to. For example, if you're travelling to the USA, you'll get coverage with AT&T, while in Canada, that'd be Rogers.

Some countries let you access networks from multiple carriers and switch between them manually to find the best reception. For example, in Spain, you can access networks from Orange, Telefonica Moviles, or Xfera, and in Turkey, you can access either Avea's or Turkcell's networks. In countries where you get multiple networks, this is already a great advantage over physical SIM cards, which are associated with only one carrier. However, in general, if you're only travelling to cities, your reception will be fine no matter which network you connect to; it's only in remote regions that coverage might become unstable.

When it comes to network speeds, Holafly promises a stable connection with at least a 3G or 4G LTE connection, although 5G is common on many of Holafly's plans, too. In our test in the UK, our connection normally remained on 4G. However, this didn't make any significant difference for us in the end since no matter where (e.g. in a field, at home, or in an urban housing development) or on what connection (3G, 4G LTE, or 5G) we tested our connection, the download speed remained stable at just a touch above 7 MB per second:

This speed wasn't great, but it was also manageable for most ordinary travel purposes in the UK. This stable connection is possibly due to the network speed being capped at this download speed.

Is Holafly's Data Really Unlimited?

The short answer is yes, Holafly's data is really unlimited. However, based on our test, we need to clarify a few things here.

First, what we (and Holafly) mean by data being "unlimited" is that you won't run out of data. In other words, you'll never reach a point when Holafly cuts you off from a connection to the internet altogether (unless, of course, your term duration runs out).

However, it's worth remembering here that Holafly works directly with dozens of local network carriers to provide an internet connection to their customers. Each of these carriers would have its own contractual agreements with Holafly, which, alongside other international measures, might all affect the speed of your connection. Here's what Holafly has to say on the subject on its website:

In a rare scenario, yes. Operators enforce an international measure called Fair Usage Policy to ensure fair internet usage and allow all users to enjoy optimal connection. This measure might be applied for a period of no more than one (1) day. It’s beyond Holafly’s control, but don’t worry! If this measure affects you, the restriction will be lifted the next day, and you’ll have your original plan speed back.

Sadly, Holafly doesn't provide any additional clarity about which limits affect which countries. So, we put this to the test in the UK by downloading two high-quality feature-length films. In the end, we were throttled at about 4.5 GB of usage, with download speeds tumbling from around 7 MB per second to fewer than 1 MB per second! Fortunately, before the end of the day, the network speeds returned to the stable seven-megs-per-second rate. All things considered, although we were surprised by how quickly we were throttled, it was also a relief for network speeds to be restored relatively quickly too.

Where is Holafly Available?

Holafly is available in around 160 countries worldwide, including almost all countries popular with tourists. Therefore, there's a good shot that Holafly will have an eSIM plan for wherever you're headed on your next trip!

However, there are 39 countries where Holafly doesn't offer any plans as of February 2024, including a small number of somewhat popular tourist destinations like the Bahamas, Bhutan, Namibia, and San Marino (although here, you'd just be able to connect to Italian networks using an Italian eSIM). We've listed all of these countries below:

Are Holafly's Costs a Bad Deal?

Without a doubt, Holafly offers extremely competitive prices compared to traditional ways of accessing the web while abroad, like roaming. Still, because of its unlimited data, it tends to be a bit expensive compared to physical SIM cards and other eSIM providers.

Holafly Mobile Data Prices

Holafly's prices vary based largely on plan duration and destination. You pay a single, once-off fee, and you get access to unlimited data for the duration of your term. Later, you can then top up your data in the app if you need more.

In the chart below, we've listed the prices for a few popular tourist destinations and travel durations:

Destination

5 days

15 days

60 days

United States

$19

$47

$87

United Kingdom

$21

$51

$107

Turkey

$21

$51

$107

United Arab Emirates

$19

$47

N/A

France

$19

$47

$87

Japan

$19

$47

$84

Italy

$19

$47

$84

Spain

$19

$47

$84

India

$29

$47

N/A

Prices quoted: 28 Feb 2024

For reference, here's how much data you might use for a variety of use cases (assuming you're using your mobile data for these purposes rather than, say, your hotel WiFi where it'd be available):

  • Navigating for 30 minutes with Google Maps: ±20 MB
  • Doing 3 language lessons on Duolingo: ±10 MB
  • Watching a 30-minute YouTube video at 480p: ±30 MB
  • Streaming 10 minutes of Netflix at 4K: ±1,100 MB
  • Listening to 1 hour of music or podcasts on Spotify: ±120 MB
  • Browsing & uploading on Instagram for 5 minutes: ±100 MB
  • Calling on WhatsApp for 20 minutes at 128 kbps: ±20 MB
  • Ordering an Uber journey of 30 minutes: ±10 MB

As you can see from the above, it's worth keeping in mind that ordinary travel-related internet needs don't tend to be very significant for most travellers. This means that buying an unlimited data package can be overkill for many people, especially if you're just planning to use your data for navigation, social media, and the occasional WhatsApp call while using your hotel WiFi for more data-heavy things like streaming and downloading.

Holafly Customer Satisfaction

Holafly boasts good ratings on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. On the App Store, Holafly has a 3.5-star rating from around 150 total reviews, while on Google Play, Holafly has a 4.6-star rating from a total of around 1,000 reviews. Holafly shines even more on Trustpilot, where it scores 4.7 out of 5 stars from a total of around 35,000 reviews.

Below, we've summarised a few recurring positive and negative reviews with selected quotes from Trustpilot. Although these were quotes from individual customers' reviews, the points they mentioned popped up frequently throughout. We'd encourage you to visit Trustpilot yourself to see the fuller context, or if you've used Holafly yourself, to leave a review there to help other customers.

Positive Holafly Reviews

  • "internet working with no surprises!"
  • "5G everywhere I went"
  • "The instructions are very specific and easy to follow"
  • "I will not fly anymore without it"
  • "Responses were almost immediate to my questions"
  • "Although they aren't the cheapest eSIM provider, it seemed like there was good value for the amount paid"
  • "I made a mistake after ordering and they corrected it without making me feel guilty at all."

Negative Holafly Reviews

  • "I need to open technical drawings through a VPN connection, which should work great at 4G speeds, unfortunately I barely get 20kb/sec."
  • "The main issue was a very weak connection in some places."
  • "Unfortunately, Holafly did not have coverage in the town I was in."
  • "The challenge came with the set up initially and several bugs along the way."

Bottom Line: Should I Use Holafly?

In our opinion, you should definitely use Holafly in the following cases where we think its service particularly shines:

  • you don't want to bother about running out of data,
  • you want to work remotely (video calls, VPNs, etc.),
  • you're looking for an alternative to Google Fi,
  • you don't mind paying a slightly higher fee.

On the other hand, if you're only planning to use a bit of data on your holiday (e.g. to use relatively data-light apps like Google Maps, Duolingo, WhatsApp, or Spotify) while using hotel WiFi for any heavier tasks like streaming or video calls, then we recommend getting a more affordable limited data package from a provider like Airalo, which, in our opinion, we'd go so far as to call the best international eSIM of all.

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