Review: Keepgo Global Data SIM card

It’s a challenge that most face whenever traveling internationally:  what about my data?

Traveling outside of the United States can be challenging from a communications standpoint — especially if international cell phone charges are on your own dime, and not paid-for by work.

After paying absurd global data charges with Verizon Wireless ($29 for 100MB of data), and moving to a solution of changing SIM cards in different countries, I started to look for other solutions that could work in multiple countries.  I wanted a solution that would allow me to use the same SIM card in multiple countries (particularly in Europe).

This past summer, I decided to give Keepgo a try, and I’ve been using now on my last five international trips.  I figured it was time to write-up my experience with the product.18

Keepgo Overview

Keepgo offers two main products:  a data SIM card and a mobile wifi hotspot.

Since I have an unlocked iPhone 6 (via Verizon), I went with the data SIM card.  The advertised features of this puppy are as follows:

  • Prepaid, refillable data SIM
  • Works in 64 countries
  • Fits all unlocked GSM devices — phones, tablets, other wifi devices
  • Free shopping to the US, Canada and the EU
  • Reasonable data re-fill rates (see below)

The important things to know are:

  1.  This is a DATA only SIM
  2. You must have an UNLOCKED device (phone, tablet, etc)

The initial cost of this SIM card is $69, and that comes with 1GB of data, pre-loaded.  You can “top-off” your data in 1GB, 3GB or 5GB intervals as needed at different rates:

  • 1GB = $49
  • 3GB = $117 ($39 per GB)
  • 5GB = $194 ($38.80 per GB)

While somewhat high, it’s still MUCH better than the $29 per 100MB that Verizon charges me.

With this card, I’m able to use WhatsApp to communicate via text, and Skype via phone.

My Experience with Keepgo

Thus far, I’ve used the Keepgo Global Data SIM card in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and the USA.  It has worked flawlessly, and as advertised in pretty much every situation.

Keepgo Global Data Sim

The SIM card comes in a  nice, business card-sized container with slots for additional SIM cards, a SIM card removal tool, and various SIM card sizers to fit the nano SIM into devices that require larger SIM cards.

It recommends you download the Keepgo app, which makes APN installation a breeze (but wifi connection is needed to do so).  This is the only somewhat complicated part of the SIM card installation – resetting the APN.  You need to make sure the Keepgo APN is installed, and once you put back in your SIM card back home, you must delete the APN and let your factory SIM card auto update after you turn off your phone.

I typically always install the Keepgo SIM as I’m about to board my international flight to make sure it’s working.  It uses T-Mobile in the US, so I retain data services for that brief time before I take off.  Upon landing in Europe or South America — or wherever, my iPhone has connected perfectly once I power it up upon landing.

As far as speeds are concerned, they’re pretty good.  Depending on the country and data provider, speeds range from 3G to 4G (it utilizes T-Mobile’s 4G network in the US).  At all times, it allows me to use maps, access email, social media, WhatsApp, and the Internet with ease.

My favorite part — especially in Europe — is that I don’t need to keep changing SIM cards as I move between the EU countries.

Drawbacks?

As far as I can see it, some of the drawbacks are:

  • The somewhat high initial fee ($69) – even though it’s a good value compared Verizon’s plan for me, it may not be for you if you don’t use much data.  I recommend doing the math to see if it works for you.
  • APN installation process can be frustrating, but just follow the instructions and make sure you have a wifi connection.
  • Notable service gaps in parts of Asia (the 64 countries are very Europe-centric)

The Verdict…

All in all, I’ve been very happy with my purchase of the Keepgo Global data SIM card.  I highly recommend this product for frequent travelers who burn through data quickly while traveling!

How to Get One…

You can check out more at www.keepgo.com

Of course, if you’d like to support my site, you can use this link, which is good for 15% off the purchase of a Keepgo SIM card, or other product*.

 

 

 

*Disclosure: this referral link awards me 300MB of data to my account for each referral

15 Thoughts on “Review: Keepgo Global Data SIM card

  1. Try google fi

    • Yeah, I plan on it once it evolves a little more. Last I checked, it was not supported on the iPhone, but that may have changed…

  2. Works on the iPhone you just need to activated it on a Nexus6.

    • Good to know… will look into that for an upcoming trip — the Keepgo only works on 1 of 6 countries on that trip, so trying to figure something out.

  3. Is this speed limited like the GoogleFi and Tmobile free roaming plans, or does it maximize whatever connection it has?

  4. I have Tmobile with free data overseas and it’s awesome. Sometimes it’s 3G other times it’s slow. But no problems with what’sapp FaceTime etc and best of all it’s free and I am using my USA sim and number and have to access to unlimited text and 20 cent a minute calling

  5. What is a good sim card for Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. I would want data only for upcoming trip, thanks

  6. If I kill my Verizon service before traveling and go with this option, what phone number will I have for WhatsApp etc?

    • It’s data only, so there won’t be a phone number associated. When you startup WhatsApp, it will ask you if you’d like to keep you old phone number associated – select “yes”. That’ll make it so your contacts will still just whatsapp your normal number.

      • Thanks for the WhatsApp info! It’s a struggle getting info from their customer service. Is there a reason not to kill the Verizon service? I’ll be gone for at least a year or more, so it seems silly to keep paying. I’m assuming this would work if you didn’t have paid cell service? Would WhatsApp work the same? Thanks so much for the info. I’m this close to buying it, but I want to make sure it works as I understand it. I’m new to this bit!

        • If leaving for that year, then sure — kill the service by all means. When I’m out of the country for 1-2 weeks, I keep my cell service, but just don’t use it since the Verizon SIM card is removed from my phone.

          Yes – this would work without paid cell service. The keepgo SIM card would function as a Data-only SIM. WhatsApp should work the same, and would give you the option to associate with the previous number you had used.

          Now, if you will be in exclusively one country for most of the time, I’d look into getting a local SIM card for that country, as you can likley get better data rates that way. Keepgo is great for shorter stays in numerous countries — like in the EU. It prevents you from having to obtain a new data SIM card whenever you go to a different country.

    • Oh yeah, and you shouldn’t kill your Verizon service. Just don’t activate the intentional data plan.

  7. Bob F. on May 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm said:

    Verizon’s new international plan is $10/day per device. You can use it on your phone and then set the phone to be a hotspot for your other device(s). The amount of voice/data/sms you use just goes agains your Verizon plan. You only the pay the $10 if you make/receive a call, download data, or use SMS on any given day (in an international location). This makes it a bit cheaper than using KeepGo, depending on how much data you use. I just spend 15 days in Australia, and my KeepGo data cost (after paying the initial fee) was a bit more than $10/day. Of course, your mileage may vary.

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