How to Get Internet While Traveling to Canada?

How to get internet in Canada

For work, tourism, studies or business trips, it is important to have internet access in Canada. This extraordinary country offers different alternatives to access this service. From a prepaid SIM to the new eSIMs with data.

In this guide we will explain each of the options available for you to connect to the internet in Canada , we will also guide you on how to achieve it according to the device you take on your trip.

Option 1. Buy a Canadian eSIM with data

One of the fastest and easiest methods to get internet in Canada is to buy a prepaid eSIM with data. This technology will allow you to change SIM in a matter of minutes without leaving home or from anywhere. Just buy it online, install it and activate it. Some companies dedicated to selling this type of cards are: Maya MobileYeSIM and Nomad eSIM. Once you make the purchase you will receive a QR code or an eSIM installer.

To take advantage of the eSIM with Canadian data, it is essential that you have a compatible smartphone. In each eSIM store you will find a list of mobile phones that are supported.

Option 2. Get a Canadian prepaid SIM

This option was the most common a few years ago, before the arrival of eSIM cards. You can get a Canadian prepaid SIM in different ways. One option is to order it from an online store and receive it at home before leaving on a trip. If you choose this alternative you must do so in advance, at least two weeks before embarking on your trip to Canada.

Some companies that distribute or sell SIM cards that provide internet access in Canada are TravelSIM and HolaSIM. The first specializes in the distribution of SIM cards to the entire world. If you reside in Central or South America and travel to Canada you can opt for HolaSIM, this store ships to different Latin countries.

Another option to get a Canadian prepaid SIM is to do so when you arrive in the Canadian city where you land. You can get the SIM at the airport, Canadian stores and shopping centers. To activate the service with local operators such as Rogers, Bell or Telus, they may ask for your personal identification documents.

Option 3. Rent a travel Pocket WiFi

Having internet access through a WiFi network anywhere in Canada is possible thanks to Pocket WiFi. This device emits a WiFi signal so that your mobile device can connect and you can surf the internet or use your smartphone in Canada.

You can rent a Pocket WiFi for Canada online through different stores, two of them are MioWiFi and TravelWiFi.

A Pocket WiFi or portable WiFi will be useful in Canada when you travel with your family or need to connect several mobile devices to the internet in Canada. The two providers mentioned above offer unlimited internet connection.

When renting a Pocket WiFi you must take into account the shipping times of the device to your home or place of accommodation in Canada. Also remember to return the device once you finish the trip and take care of it, since you may be penalized for delays in returning the device or in case of loss or theft.

Option 4. Activate data roaming

Roaming or data roaming in Canada allows you to connect to the internet and keep your local SIM or eSIM that you have installed in your country before traveling. Just like the eSIM, it is one of the simplest and easiest options to activate, however this service is the most expensive if we compare all the options to have internet in Canada.

Additionally, there are usually restrictions on the amount of data you can use in Canada. For example, for one day they can charge you about 10 USD and offer you a limited amount of mobile data.

Some telecom companies usually offer passes or special packages that reduce prices a little. To activate the service you must contact your telecom company or do so from your personal account that you have registered with the operator. Some activate it automatically after hiring their services for a few months.

Use caution when using your carrier’s data roaming service in Canada. Many users have had the bad experience of returning from a trip with excessive charges on their mobile phone bills.

Option 5. Use Canada’s public WiFi networks

Public WiFi service is usually free at most WiFi hotspots in Canada. You can find WiFi zones in parks, airports, accommodation places, cafes, among other places.

To connect to the internet in some areas you need to pay a fee, in other areas they offer it for free for purchasing another type of service. Although there are also areas where it is free.

The main drawback of public WiFi hotspots in Canada lies in security. It is not recommended to enter bank account details or passwords when using public WiFi networks. There are criminals who use different methods to steal the data of people who connect to these networks. They can also spoof networks and make them public to collect data from people who connect to them.

Another point against public WiFi networks is stability. Since it belongs to no one and everyone, no one guarantees the correct functioning and quality of the service. The more users connect, the more unstable the network becomes.

Recommendations when using the internet in Canada

SIMs and eSIM are two of the most reliable options for connecting to the internet in Canada. For their part, pocket WiFi can be a good option for family or work trips to avoid using up your smartphone’s battery by hotspotting or tethering.

Before you start using the internet in Canada, make sure you are using the correct service. Especially if you leave your local operator’s SIM or eSIM enabled on your smartphone. If you use your operator’s data roaming without realizing it, you will have to pay a service cost.

Deactivate or disable data usage for applications on your smartphone or PC that you carry during the trip. You can also do it with the operating system so that it does not update during those days. Try updating before or after your trip.

Check the coverage maps to make sure you have internet access in the region of Canada you are traveling to.