iphone 14 esim

Most of us are familiar with SIM cards: a small, physical card that is inserted into our phones and ties your phone to a specific carrier. A SIM card gives your phone a verifiable identifier to phone carrier networks. In order to avoid outrageous roaming fees when you traveled, you’d switch out your SIM card for a local one and save some money.

Apple has hinted at getting rid of physical SIM cards in their phones for a while, and as of September 2022 they’ve done it with their new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro release. This is the biggest difference between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14. What does this mean for you and your future travels?

Why did Apple switch to eSim only?

SIM cards have gone through a couple of iterations. The current micro-SIM we have in our phones now used to be a larger, full-sized SIM card with more plastic around it. Micro-SIMs cut out the extra plastic and the next logical step was the eSIM because in a digital world, we don’t need a physical SIM card to connect a phone to a network or carrier. A lot of new phones can use eSIMs anyway, beginning with the iPhone 11, and most Android phones are already eSIM-compatible as well. Moving away from a physical SIM card in the phone opens up some physical space inside the phone and makes way for extra components, a bigger battery, a bigger screen, and any other way to optimize and make phones sleeker.

How do you get an eSIM?

Let’s say you’re signing up to a new phone service (AT&T, Mint Mobile, Verizon, take your pick)… most of the major carriers offer an eSIM version of their service, meaning you sign up online or in store, take a picture of a QR code from your new phone, and you’ll begin setting up your new eSIM card.

Is setting up an eSIM complicated? How do you set up an eSIM?

Despite the convenience of not having a physical SIM card, setting up an eSIM can get a little tricky. The process isn’t always intuitive if you’re doing it on your own and can be confusing. If you trade in your old iPhone for an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro, your eSIM will come already set up to use in the United States.

But if you’re an international traveler and setting up an eSIM to avoid international roaming fees, you’ll look to use a service like Airalo, for example. You’ll purchase the eSIM, which will come with data loaded, for the location to which you’re traveling. Make sure you follow set-up instructions carefully, as it’s possibly to mess up and nullify the eSIM. If that happens, you’ll have to purchase a new one and start over in the set up process.

Get caught up on how to use and set up eSIMs now!

If you’re planning to upgrade your iPhone and you have an iPhone 14 bought in the U.S. and you travel overseas, remember you won’t be able to insert a physical SIM card into your phone (physical SIMs are still prevalent around the world), so don’t go to a local shop asking for one without specifying that you can only use an eSIM. You can also find a service online and complete the process on your own. Look here for some information on how to use eSIMs for help.


apple airtag

USB Data Blocker

You should never use public USB charging ports without a USB data blocker! Most USB ports in public places are USB 3 or 3.1, which have 4 pins. Two others are for data transfer – in and out. When you plug your phone into an airplane, monitor, or in any other USB port in the airport or a public space, you don’t know what kind of information transfer is taking place between your phone and the airplane or airport software you’re connected to. The way around this problem is to travel with a USB adapter that blocks data transfer pins in USB ports. You can find these for about $15 by doing a simple search for a USB data blocker. Using a USB wall charger will help you avoid this problem altogether, and help you charge your phone  faster anyway.

USB Wireless Antenna

Sometimes it can be a challenge to find and maintain a strong wireless internet connection while you’re traveling, and especially when you’re in the airport or at a hotel. A simple and portable way to fix this problem and make sure you stay connected is by bringing a USB wireless antenna.  A USB wireless antenna can put out more power than the wireless adapter in your laptop.

Retractable Lock

I’ve mentioned, but it’s worth mentioning again: a retractable lock is an effective way to secure your laptop and multiple bags/items while traveling. You can lace a retractable lock through your bag’s zippers, and even directly to the laptop itself.

Apple AirTags

On the topic of security, Apple AirTags are a great way to keep track of your belongings while on the road. Place an AirTag in your luggage for example and keep track of your bags on your way to your next destination. Likewise, you can throw one into your daily bag in case you lose track of your bag in that busy café. Finally, you can put one In your rental car as you go on that road trip… just in case!

AirFly Pro

The AirFly Pro isn’t a necessity, but more of a convenience. The gadget is a wireless headphone adapter that allows you to use wireless headphones/earbuds in places where you can’t use Bluetooth, and where there is only a headphone jack available. You can use the AirFly Pro to watch in-flight movies without having to use pesky wired earphones or use earphones provided by the airline. You can also use the AirFly Pro to connect your phone to your car’s stereo if you would normally have to use an AUX cord.

Plan and Pay Reasonable Prices for Your Gadgets

These are just a few gadgets that make travel easier, but before you hit “buy now” make sure you shop around. There are several USB data blockers, USB wireless antennas, and retractable locks to choose from, so find the best one for you and your needs. You can usually find refurbished tech gadgets at lower prices that still provide optimal performance. And if the AirFly Pro sounds useful, make sure you have a pair of wireless earbuds to use with it!

Post written by Tech Guide staff.


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