KnowRoaming SIM Review

When I’m travelling, I use local SIMs for my unlocked phone. These wouldn’t be the most convenient, however, for layovers or short stays (23 hour stopovers). There are many international SIM’s available out there, but they generally charge a flat rate per day, usually with a minimum number of days required, so local SIM cards have always been more useful for me.

I had yet to find a solution for connecting during short layovers until I was contacted by a great Toronto-based startup called KnowRoaming, which has a super cool solution for roaming.

KnowRoaming

KnowRoaming

How KnowRoaming Works

The KnowRoaming SIM is actually a sticker, which you apply on your home SIM (or any other SIM). The sticker contains some technology that activates when you’re out of your home country.

KnowRoaming SIM

KnowRoaming SIM

You can see in the picture above, that the KnowRoaming SIM is attached to the SIM on the right. A left sim is a “regular” micro SIM. The package that KnowRoaming comes in contains an applicator to attach the SIM sticker to a SIM of your choice.

As well, the SIM comes with an app on your phone that tracks your usage, and installs any necessary profile on your phone to allow you to roam on their network while abroad. As well, you can set up number for call forwarding, and calling while you’re abroad, but I didn’t utilize any of that.

Installing KnowRoaming Profile

Installing KnowRoaming Profile

The KnowRoaming website has a list of all rates, so you can know what you pay before you leave the country.

KnowRoaming Rates

KnowRoaming Rates

For example, I was in Germany just for a day a while back. I keep the KnowRoaming SIM sticker attached to my T-Mobile prepaid SIM which I use for US trips. (With US trips, I use T-Mobile as you really can’t beat $3 a day for Data, Calling, and SMS). After installing the profile, I’d get a text message when my flight landed abroad.

KnowRoaming Costs

KnowRoaming Costs

KnowRoaming Active

KnowRoaming Active

I ended up using around $2 for 15 MB of data. I tend to use data extremely heavily, so I had to pace myself to avoid overspending.

KnowRoaming Usage

KnowRoaming Usage

My thoughts on KnowRoaming

While I don’t use it as a permanent roaming solution, you can if you want. After all, it’s still 90% off regular roaming rates with most carriers. What I like about KnowRoaming though it is that it has the ability to roam worldwide without using multiple sims, while being able to charge a reasonable rate calculated by usage.

There is absolutely no global SIM, local SIM, or roaming package that could allow me to pay this little for a few hours of connectivity abroad. A few weeks I recall that they were selling the SIM stickers for $25 plus shipping, but it seems they’re out of stock or something like that and taking positions on a waitlist.

However, if you in any way need to stay connected while on your travels, I strongly recommend this product, not as your sole solution to roaming abroad, but in tandem with local SIMs, prepaid international SIMs, or any solution you currently use. I wouldn’t use KnowRoaming when I’m spending 3-14 days in a place as I can find cheaper rates from local SIM cards, but for quick layovers or stopovers of a day it’s an unbeatable option.

Full Disclosure: I’m not being compensated or paid in any way for this review.


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Comments

  1. I have a question for international travelers. While I travel abroad two to three times a year, I generally just live without roaming data, and suck it up when my AT&T bill comes for phone and text after each trip. However, this summer I will be in France for four weeks and would like to have data access on my phone. Any suggestions for a reasonable local SIM solution in France (Paris more specifically)? Many thanks in advance.

    • Instead of prepaid for 4 weeks, you could also consider signing up for a plan. Free Mobile offer unlimited 4G Data, unlimited calls to France and dozens of countries (incl. USA & Canada cell and land lines) unlimited text to France and the cost is 19,99€/month. You are free to cancel anytime, even during the first month. Allow 10 days for cancellation (if you cancel at least 10 days ahead, you can choose the end date of your plan).

      You can order online http://mobile.free.fr or visit a Free Center http://www.free.fr/freecenter/
      The SIM card costs 10 € so I might not be worth it if you’re not staying too long in France.

  2. Drew,

    You can buy an Orange sim card when you arrive out of a vending machine or at a quick mart. You will get a new number, but you can write the number down on the card that comes with the SIM. I usually top it off with about 25 Euros or so. When you get low,you will get a text and you can pop into a local shop and top it off.

    Sam

    • You can check the rates on their website. Generally when I’m abroad I’ll use VOIP to call Canada/USA which is free, so I’m not sure about long distance rates with this SIM.

  3. Looks like even the waitlist is overloaded now. “Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again later.” Potentially a great item though!

  4. I added my name to the waitlist many months ago and I’m still 1316 on the list. They must only giving out a few for reviews.

    • I think they had problems with some supplier as originally I was supposed to receive in Feb but it was delayed till a few weeks ago.

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