After reviewing the international plans for major US mobile operators, it became clear that they are all pretty bad. Your data is severely limited and requires a daily fee that is more than $ 1
Each of the four major carriers requires a version of a data pass for calls, SMS and a limited amount of 4G data. And for the two airlines offering some international coverage without a throughput, it is limited to 2G.
Then there is Google Fi. Google's MVNO provides its users with a unified experience that delivers the same low calling rates, unlimited text messaging and affordable data without broadening your plan. With Google Fi, you do not have to put up with any additional costs after your international travel – it's even possible to claim your trip without a single surcharge.
. 1 Cheap Voice Calls
With Google Fi (formerly Project Fi), the voice call in the supported countries is at a rate of $ 0.20 per minute. This is cheaper than T-Mobile and Sprint, which charge $ 0.25 per minute on most plans.
Google Fi may be even better for some travelers than Verizon, AT & T and T-Mobile plans, which offer unlimited calls as part of a data pass for either $ 5 or $ 10 per day per line. As long as you call less than 25 to 50 minutes (to surrounding areas), using Google Fi is cheaper.
And to save some money, all calls to the US can be made for free via WiFi. You can also use Wi-Fi to avoid paying for incoming calls as it is also free. To put it simply, you only pay for calls that you make to the local international area as long as you use Wi-Fi calls.
Google Fi also offers free SMS SMS on an international level. While this service is offered by some mobile operators (T-Mobile and Sprint), Verizon and AT & T users will again require the data pass and the daily fee.
With Google Fi with no additional plan, you can send text messages as usual as long as you are in one of more than 170  supported countries. This includes calls and texts to unsupported countries.
. 3 Cheap 4G data
If you travel internationally, data is essential. Whether you're reviewing Google Maps for directions, using messenger apps for free calls and text, or yelp for sightseeing. Having high-speed data is probably more important than at home. Unfortunately, most carriers limit access to 4G LTE data, which makes traveling with your domestic plan difficult.
Google Fi offers one of the simplest data rates for international travelers: they use their domestic package. With Bill Protection, this means $ 10 per GB for the first 6GB of data, and then unlimited high-speed data at no additional cost. While your data is throttled to 2G speeds after 15GB (per line), you can restore the 4G service for $ 10 per GB (after 15GB).
This may be Fi's best function when traveling: Data usage is a penny higher than in the US, and you get the same high-speed connection you would get here.
This data plan differs significantly from the other four mobile service providers. Verizon, AT & T, T-Mobile, and Sprint all provide 4G data, but require a data pass for which a daily fee is charged. Worse still, Verizon and T-Mobile limit this amount to 0.5GB 4G LTE per day. With T-Mobile you can stack passports up to 1.5 GB. However, this is nothing compared to Google Fi. Sprint and AT & T offer unlimited data (Sprint offers truly unlimited possibilities, while AT & T offers you a data allowance), but this still requires a daily fee per line. If you choose not to use the pass, the fastest free speed is 2G (T-Mobile).
While Google Fi is great on the go, you can choose another carrier for domestic travel. With Google Fi, you can pause your service for up to three months and stay active while traveling.
If your service is suspended, you can keep your phone number and can not make calls, send text, or use data, and you will not be charged for unused services. If you do not continue after three months, the service will automatically be activated, but you can stop it at any time.
If you're traveling frequently, you can use Google Fi as a better international plan for your home network operator, avoid using an international prepaid card and using a foreign phone number. The interruption also applies to men and women of military service for up to 39 months.
Even with the affordable data provided by Google Fi, you'll probably spend a decent amount of time on public WiFi. Google Fi has an option to automatically connect you to Wi-Fi networks when one comes in range.
However, open Wi-Fi networks can be dangerous as they are a frequent target for hackers who carry out attacks such as humans-in-the-middle, where they can see all their web-based data while surfing.
Google Fi protects against this threat by adding a free VPN that encrypts your data. Encrypted data is similar to driving on a highway in an armored truck opposite your car. When hackers attempt to intercept their truck, they have difficulty accessing the interior compared to a standard vehicle. VPNs are a must for traveling abroad, and thanks to Google, you automatically have a free one.
Finally, Google Fi supports a variety of countries. Over 170 countries are supported by their international plan, all of which enjoy the above advantages. It is more than likely that wherever you are, support is provided so that you can enjoy the same Google Fi coverage once you get off the plane, which has a number of disadvantages that you should be aware of. First, is the loss of features for non-Fi phones. Namely, Apple's iPhones can not use Wi-Fi for calls and text messaging, forcing you to pay $ 0.20 per minute, no matter who you call. And since this is a Google MVNO, there is no Fi model iPhone, which means that Apple users will always be tackling this problem for the foreseeable future. Wi-Fi calls and messages are also sketchy for non-Fi Android phones.
Another thing is that mobile phones have the same low price of $ 0.20 per minute, but Wi-Fi calls are not. Prices for Wi-Fi calls vary from country to country. Some countries offer tariffs for a few cents, others cost more than $ 0.20 per minute. This means that you may need to strike a balance between making a call on a mobile phone and turning on the Wi-Fi network to answer calls because the latter is free.
Even with the negatives, Google Fi is the best option for traveling abroad. With low fixed fares, affordable 4G data and unlimited text messages, travelers can conveniently use their regular phone without the need for a prepaid SIM card or data card. With Google Fi, you do not have to check for excess inventory or activate the international service in the first place. Just get off the plane, turn on your phone, and you're ready to go.
This article was created during the special coverage of gadget hacks about traveling with your smartphone. Take a look at the entire travel series.
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