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Our Comprehensive Nomad eSIM Review: Is It Really Any Good?

Jan Watermann, writer at Monito.com

Jan Watermann

Guide

Byron Mühlberg

Reviewer

Apr 19, 2024
Advertiser disclosure

Alongside Airalo and Holafly, Nomad is one of three big names among a new wave of eSIM providers that are drastically reducing the cost of connectivity abroad. By offering market-leading prices for data in over 170 destinations, Nomad has slashed the cost of using data in a foreign country compared to traditional roaming. But how good is it really?

In this short review, we look at Nomad's pricing, coverage, and customer satisfaction to see how it stacks up against the rest and offer some tips and experiences along the way.

What Monito Likes About Nomad

  • Well-designed, highly functional mobile app,
  • Superb pricing, especially for larger data plans,
  • Can purchase packages from different carriers per country,
  • 'Nomad Dashboard' lets you purchase additional travel products,
  • Excellent ratings on Trustpilot, Google Play, and the App Store.

What Monito Dislikes About Nomad

  • iOS app only available in 20 countries,
  • Not the cheapest for smaller data packages.
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Nomad is an excellent eSIM provider that matches Airalo and Holafly on all dimensions and even surpasses them in terms of the affordability of larger packages. We recommend choosing them wherever they offer the cheapest eSIM option for your needs. Compare Nomad with Airalo, Yesim and possibly other providers to save money on your next eSIM.

What Are eSIMs, Anyway?

Simply put, eSIMs are regular SIM cards that don't require inserting an actual microchip into your device while providing the same benefits. Newer smartphones (but also smartwatches, tablets, and other devices) can be equipped with eSIMs, and since you don't need an actual SIM card to install an eSIM, you can also get one before your trip to France. To do this, you must visit an online eSIM service, purchase the eSIM you want, and follow the instructions to download and install it onto your device.

Like regular SIM cards, prepaid eSIMs come bundled with a certain fixed amount of data, SMSes, or telephone minutes, which you can use at your leisure while travelling. You get to choose the package you want, and you can generally extend your eSIM's validity easily from an app.

Pros of Using an eSIM

In general, eSIMs have numerous advantages and are often a better alternative to regular SIM cards for most tourists. In our opinion, the most significant advantages include:

  • internet immediately upon arrival in France,
  • no negotiating with SIM card sellers at the airport,
  • transparent and fair pricing,
  • online extension is often possible,
  • credit card payment is possible,
  • local telecom provider networks are used.

In our opinion, there are only a few reasons against using an eSIM when travelling to France (which we'll discuss below), and in most instances, we're sure that it's a far better deal than using your normal SIM card from your home country on French networks.

Cons of Using an eSIM

As we've already seen, eSIMs have very few drawbacks and are an excellent option for accessing mobile internet on your French vacation.

However, one disadvantage is the slightly higher upfront cost than physical SIM cards. That said, eSIMs are still comparatively cheap, especially for use in France from abroad. In our opinion, the significantly higher level of comfort and the possibility of having access to the internet immediately upon arrival are worth the extra pennies. Another disadvantage is related to installation, where the process may be unfamiliar to you if you've never installed an eSIM before. However, if you follow the instructions carefully, you'll be fine.

Finally, there's a compatibility issue: not all devices support eSIMs. Suppose your device was released before late 2019. In that case, we recommend double-checking on the internet or contacting a representative from an eSIM service to confirm whether your device is compatible before you purchase an eSIM. In general, the following devices will support eSIMs though:

  • iPhone 11 or later
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or iPhone SE
  • iPad 7th generation or later,
  • Galaxy S20 or later
  • Google Pixel 3 or later
  • and many other devices (see our full list of compatible devices)

Nomad eSIM at a Glance

Nomad is one of the best-known eSIM providers on the market and is available in numerous countries, offering packages to dozens of destinations.

Like Airalo and Holafly, Nomad customers can choose between eSIMs for individual countries, entire regions, and even globally. The price per gigabyte you get will vary from country to country and the type of plan you choose: in addition to fixed data packages, Nomad eSIM also offers unlimited data packages, which are purchased on a per-day basis.

Interestingly, Nomad also lets you purchase eSIMs that include text (SMSes), but these packages are only available in the USA and Canada. Even though SMSes aren't as popular as they once were, we think this is a unique selling point that many other eSIM providers cannot match!

Finally, just like other big-name providers, Nomad works with mobile network carriers in most countries. Check online to find out in advance which carrier offers data in the country you're travelling to.

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Not sure which carrier offers the best network coverage in your destination? You can check the exact coverage for the country you're travelling to and the respective mobile phone provider on this map.

Is Nomad Legit? Can I Trust Them?

Yes, Nomad is a legitimate company you can trust to provide a reliable internet connection overseas. Nomad's eSIMs offer access to digital SIM cards from around 170 countries and regions worldwide, and even though it's a relatively new service founded in 2020, the company has nonetheless served thousands of customers worldwide and counting.

Nomad allows easy access to delete your account and associated data within the app or website. As a customer, you're also entitled to request a refund or an eSIM replacement if you have technical issues with installing or using your eSIM attributable to Nomad, as long as you do so within 30 days of purchase. These options give us peace of mind and confidence that Nomad takes its customers' needs seriously.

What Are Nomad's Plans Like?

Nomad offers local eSIMs in over 170 destinations, which is fewer than Airalo (200+ destinations) and about the same as Holafly (177 destinations).

Data plans usually last 7 to 30 days, depending on your destination. The amount of data volume is usually between 1 and 20 GB, making Nomad ideal for people travelling to a country for at least a week. They also work for shorter trips, but in these cases, you'll still have to pay for the full seven days. You can find a complete and easy-to-understand overview of Nomad's local eSIMs on their website to learn more.

Nomad's Regional eSIMs

Nomad's regional eSIMs are valid in multiple countries in a given geographical region, so they're ideal for longer trips.

Although regional eSIMs are slightly more expensive per gigabyte, they still offer a lot of potential savings if you travel for fewer than seven days per country. After all, with a regional eSIM, you completely avoid the need to buy local eSIMs everywhere you go. Not only can this help to save money, but it's also much more convenient, all things considered, and you can rest assured knowing you'll be able to access mobile data as soon as you arrive at your newest destination.

Nomad's Global eSIM

Nomad also offers global eSIMs that are valid in over 100 countries. Although these global eSIMs are relatively expensive, they offer a high level of convenience and the certainty that you can access the internet in most countries worldwide.

We think this package is particularly practical for frequent tourists or business travellers. Nomad's global eSIMs have a duration of 7 to 30 days and a data volume of between 1 and 5 GB. The prices range from $12 to $36 USD for the eSIM which covers 106 countries, and $25 to $45 USD for the eSIM which covers 109 countries.

How Good Are Nomad's Rates?

As we touched on earlier, eSIMs are often a little more expensive than physical SIM cards. Nevertheless, millions of people opt for the convenience of an eSIM over a physical SIM, and that's why we don't explore these price differentials in this article.

All told, Nomad offers very attractive prices for most countries which are roughly on par with the prices of other major eSIM providers. Below, we delve into Nomad's pricing for a few select countries; however, prices are subject to change without notice, so we recommend you look at the current pricing on Nomad's website yourself.

Destination

7-Day Package (USD)

Price /GB

United States

$6.00

$6.00

United Kingdom

$7.00

$7.00

Turkey

$6.00

$6.00

United Arab Emirates

$8.50

$8.50

France

$6.00

$6.00

Japan

$5.00

$5.00

Italy

$6.00

$6.00

Spain

$6.00

$6.00

India

$5.00

$5.00

Valid: 29.03.2024

Is Nomad's App Any Good?

You can purchase Nomad eSIMs directly from their website or their well-designed mobile app. The Nomad app is also available in several languages and offers all the basic functions you'd expect from an eSIM provider.

Nomad

The app also includes a travel directory called the 'Nomad Terminal', which lets you access travel-related tools and products like travel insurance, luggage storage, navigation, accommodation, airfares, tours, and much more.

We found the design very appealing, and the short loading times were impressive across the board. Even compared to Airalo's or Yesim's apps, Nomad definitely doesn't fall short!

What Are Customers Saying?

In contrast to many other eSIM providers, Nomad eSIM has received excellent ratings on Trustpilot (4.5 out of 5), in the App Store (4.8 out of 5) and in the Google Play Store (4.4 out of 5). Most users report very positive experiences with Nomad and praise the simple installation and good customer support.

Network coverage is also cited as a plus point in many countries. For some countries, however, this also appears to be a point of criticism. For example, several Nomad customers reported that the connection speeds in South Korea and China were not optimal.

We assume that this is due to poor network coverage by the local carriers. To avoid this, you should always check in advance which mobile network carrier Nomad offers data through in your destination,

Are Nomad's eSIMs Worth It?

Nomad gave us a serious and reliable impression during our test, and we think the excellent customer reviews clearly speak for themselves. The provider offers fair prices for many countries and works with leading mobile phone providers. What's more, installation is also as easy as pie thanks to Nomad's excellent mobile app.

All things considered, if you're looking for an eSIM, you won't go wrong considering Nomad. Since eSIM providers are usually very similar in structure, we think price (alongside network coverage) should normally be the deciding factor when looking for the right eSIM.

Compare eSIMs plans for more than 164 countries for your next trip:

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