Internet in Egypt. How to get?

internet in Egypt
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While on vacation in Egypt, it is good to have constant access to the Internet – this will allow you to check the best access to selected attractions, current train schedules, routes in Google Maps, how much the tourist tax in Egypt costs and other important information for tourists. Having internet in the phone will also be easier to order a service such as Uber, book a place on a dreamed optional trip or contact family and loved ones who stayed abroad.

In Egypt, wi-fi is not always free, and tariffs can be much higher than those in our country of origin. A very convenient option for tourists is eSIM, which is a virtual card that you install on your smartphone, without having to use a traditional plastic carrier. Such a card can be purchased even before departure, so that from the first day you will be able to use the Internet in Egypt. However, this is not the only option – how else can you arrange access to the net?

Roaming in Egypt

Roaming allows you to use the services of a telecom operator in another country. The roaming service must first be activated, which is usually free and simply requires checking the appropriate option on the smartphone.When roaming is enabled, while abroad you use your phone as you would at home, but this does not mean that your bills for calls or browsing the web will be identical. As for roaming, prices in Egypt are very high, so even with occasional use it will come out really expensive.

Importantly, roaming is set by default on many phones, so it’s worth checking this before you leave and turning off roaming if necessary – if it remains on, you’ll be charged much higher rates for any data transmission.

How to use the Internet in Egypt?

A much cheaper solution is to purchase a local sim card. Tourists have the right to do so, and prepaid card outlets are located at all international airports, in operators’ showrooms, and often in hotels.When doing so, beware of unauthorized dealerships, as often such cards do not provide the claimed data and talk package at all, and sometimes sensitive information is stolen from the smartphone of the cheated customer in this way. So which options are most recommended?

Holafly eSIM

Holafly eSIM in Egypt gives you 6 MB of data to start with. The card is active for 15 days, which is the usual length of a vacation in the land of the pharaohs. A great convenience is that the tourist does not need any physical carrier, because the card is installed from a specially generated QR code – the operator sends it in an e-mail to the address specified in the order. Thus, Holafly eSIM will also work on a smartphone with a single card slot, without having to remove the SIM card of the home carrier. However, the phone must be eSIM-compatible – newer models usually support this technology.

Activation can be done while still at home, so that mobile internet is operational as soon as you land in Egypt. Although this is not the cheapest option, but many tourists choose it precisely because of the convenience and access to 24-hour technical support, and it should be remembered that such assistance is not provided by many Egyptian operators. The package for 6 GB, for 15 days, costs $34, but seasonally there are promotional actions with reduced prices.

SimOptions card

SimOptions is a physical SIM card, suitable for people who can’t or don’t want to use eSIM for various reasons.The price is similar, and it too can be ordered to your home, but such a purchase must be planned quite far in advance, as a link in an email is not enough for installation, but you will need a physical carrier.In addition, such shipping is not possible to all countries, and all service is in English only. Preparing what to take to Egypt in your luggage, you should, of course, also keep in mind the purchased card, as without it Internet access will not be possible.A 6 GB package, active for 15 days, costs $40.

Card from a local operator

What to buy in Egypt to conveniently and safely use the Internet?There are several telecommunications service providers on the Egyptian market, and it is this solution that is considered the cheapest for tourists.The point of sale of a pre-paid card can be found at the airport, and the choice of a particular provider and package depends on personal needs and preferences.Sales points also operate in shopping malls and city centers. A sim card in Egypt is usually for 30 days with an option to renew. All you need to buy the card is a passport.

The card seller will help you insert it into your phone and start the service right away – it’s worth asking him to change the Arabic language to English, for example. Unfortunately, you also have to reckon with the fact that staff at dealerships are not always fluent in English, which can make it difficult to buy the card.

Available pricing plans for tourists for 2024 currently look like this:

Vodafone SIM card /30 days – 10 GB for $9
Vodafone SIM card /30 days – 30 GB for $18
Orange SIM card /30 days – 10 GB for $8
Orange SIM card /30 days – 40 GB for $18
Etisalat SIM card /30 days – 7 GB for $8
Etisalat SIM card /30 days – 12 GB for $11
Etisalat SIM card /30 days – 25 GB for $15
Etisalat SIM card /30 days – 40 GB for $21
WE SIM card /30 days – 1.3 GB for $1
WE SIM card /30 days – 3.2 GB for $2
WE SIM card /30 days – 10 GB for $6
WE SIM card /30 days – 23 GB for $11.50
WE SIM card /90 days – 50 GB for $25

The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound, and in selected tourist resorts you can pay in dollars or euros. However, for the purchase of a sim card in Egypt, it is better to have local currency after all.

Portable wi-fi router

A portable router is a convenient gadget, giving virtually unlimited internet access throughout your stay in Egypt. On top of that, the internet from the router can be split between different devices, so that several people will use it at the same time.The mobile router has a built-in battery, so it doesn’t matter what electrical outlets there are in Egypt and whether there will be a power source nearby.

Good hotels in Egypt provide their guests with free wi-fi, but this is not standard, so you may need to purchase network access.Such access sometimes comes out more expensive than a pre-paid card, but if someone cares about a stable connection with no data limit to constantly be online, it is worth considering the purchase of a mobile router.

Internet through roaming

The aforementioned roaming is the easiest option, because the user doesn’t have to do anything, no additional cards or router are required, just turn on the appropriate option in the phone.Only that it is at the same time the most expensive option for a tourist from outside Egypt, and the bill after returning home can really surprise very unpleasantly, reaching hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars or euros.

Prices depend on the rates of national operators, but on average it is about $10 for each 1 MB. There are sometimes discounts and promotional packages, but it’s still an expensive pastime and fewer and fewer people are opting for it.

Public wi-fi

It is necessary to check where the nearest public transport stop lies? What attractions in Egypt are worth visiting during a stay in the capital? Which establishments are worth recommending, and which are better to avoid with a wide bow? Is winter in Egypt as pleasant in the desert as by the sea? During vacations in Egypt, access to the Internet will certainly come in handy at least once.

Without any charge, it is possible to use the Internet through public wi-fi networks, available to everyone. The advantage is that there is no charge, the disadvantage is low security, so it is essential to connect to the network via VPN to reduce the risk of data theft. Secondly, the public Internet is rather slow, which makes using the Internet uncomfortable. Taking into account all the pros and cons, the better option by far is to buy a card.

How much does data roaming cost in Egypt?

The prices for roaming depend on which country you come from and what rates your carrier offers.For example, in the United States it’s about $10 per MB, but with other operators these rates can be even higher.With a local SIM card, you can save a lot and your coverage will probably be much better, too.

How do I turn off roaming for the duration of my stay in Egypt?Some phones automatically block roaming, but on some models roaming is the default setting.Before flying to Egypt, you should check the settings of your smartphone, and if in doubt, you can contact your service provider, ask to deactivate roaming and ask exactly how much roaming internet costs.

How to make phone calls in Egypt?

You can make calls through roaming, but it will come out cheaper to make Internet calls. Operators in Egypt use VoIP Locks, which means you can’t call through apps like WhatsApp or Skype, and you have to connect to a wi-fi network. 4G is the standard, and in selected Egyptian cities, such as Marsa Alam and Hurghada, a 5G network is already in operation.

Internet in Egypt – which method is best?

Tourists are most often recommended to purchase a SIM card locally in Egypt or to buy Holafly eSIM Egypt, which allows you to activate the service before you leave. A local card is cheaper, but an eSIM card is considered more secure and easier to use. Connecting to public wi-fi is strongly advised against, as many tourists have become victims of various scams this way. Roaming may seem the most convenient, but it generates high bills even when the Internet is accessed occasionally.

Simon Machniewski

Simon Machniewski

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Traveler and owner of a small marketing agency.

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