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Airalo vs Nomad: which eSIM provider is better?

Do you want to switch to an eSIM but aren’t sure which provider to choose? We’ve tested both Airalo and Nomad, and this comparison will help you make the right decision based on the regions covered, mobile hotspot compatibility, cellular networks, phone call options, and prices.

Airalo, known for its extensive global coverage, offers affordable eSIM plans for travelers, while Nomad offers flexible plans. As we delve deeper, we'll explore their core features, data plans, and customer support to help you decide which eSIM provider suits your needs best.

Airalo vs Nomad: overall comparison

Both Airalo and Nomad offer essential features vital for eSIM providers. Each offers extensive global coverage, ensuring seamless connectivity worldwide. These eSIM providers boast intuitive interfaces to help you manage and simplify your eSIM plans.

The table below provides an overall comparison of their key features and ratings.

🥇Overall rank:#2 out of #6#3 out of #6
💵 Price:Starting at $4.50
Starting at $6.00
🌎 Countries and regions:200+170+
🖥️ Cellular networks:5G, 4G, 3G, LTE5G, 4G, 3G, LTE
📱Phone calls:Yes (Discover+ Global plan)No
📥Mobile hotspot:YesYes
💁🏻 Customer Support:Live chat, email support, knowledge base, FAQs, blogTicket support, blog, help center

Based on our comparison, Airalo outperforms Nomad in a few areas. It has coverage in more countries than Nomad and even offers phone calls with its Discover+ plans. Plus, Airalo’s customer support options are more extensive than Nomad’s – you can reach its support team via a live chat to quickly get help when you need it. Users on a budget will also appreciate Airalo’s lower price.

However, you’ll get more flexibility with Nomad, as it also offers plans with shorter durations: 1-day, 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day packages.

Data plans and pricing

In terms of price, Airalo’s plans are generally cheaper than Nomad’s plans. Here are the price differences between Airalo and Nomad for the cheapest local eSIM plan (1GB for 7 days) in the most popular destinations:

Local eSIMs plans for 7 daysAiralo Nomad
Japan $4.50$5.00
UK $5.00$7.00
Italy $4.50$6.00
Mexico $8.00$8.00
France $4.50$6.00

While both Airalo and Nomad offer competitive pricing for their eSIM plans in popular destinations, Airalo generally provides lower prices across the board. Its 7-day 1GB plans range from $4.50 to $8.00 across the most popular locations.

Nomad is more expensive than Airalo, with a price range of $6.00 to $7.00 for the same countries. However, Nomad offers more flexibility, as you can choose a plan of shorter duration, such as 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, and 10 days.

Another factor that adds flexibility and convenience, especially for travelers, is payment options. Let's compare the different payment methods available for Airalo and Nomad:

Payment methodAiraloNomad
Credit/Debit Card✅Yes✅Yes
Apple Pay/Google Pay✅Yes✅Yes
Bank Transfer✅Yes✅Yes

Both Airalo and Nomad offer a variety of payment methods, including credit/debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay/Google Pay, cryptocurrency, and bank transfers. This flexibility ensures that customers can choose the payment method that is most convenient and secure for them.

Airalo vs Nomad: speed & coverage

Speed and coverage are crucial for eSIM services as they determine the quality of connectivity. Fast speeds ensure smooth browsing, streaming, and communication, while extensive coverage ensures access to reliable network signals, especially when traveling or in remote areas.

Average speed

The average speed of eSIM services depends largely on various factors, primarily influenced by network conditions like congestion and the quality of infrastructure in a given location. Network congestion is a result of high user demand or limited network capacity. It can result in slower speeds during peak times.

The type of network supported by eSIM providers, including LTE, 4G, and 5G, also plays a significant role in determining the overall user experience. For instance, 5G networks offer faster speeds and lower latency compared to 4G and LTE networks, providing you with enhanced connectivity and smoother browsing, streaming, and downloading experiences.

Therefore, when selecting an eSIM provider, it's crucial to consider not only coverage but also the type of network technology available in your desired destinations to ensure optimal performance and reliability. Airalo and Nomad both offer 5G, 4G, 3G, and LTE networks, ensuring fast speeds wherever you go.


Coverage is a critical factor when considering eSIM providers, as it determines the availability of service across different destinations.

Both Airalo and Nomad offer global coverage, providing eSIM services in 200+ and 170+ countries and regions, respectively. They offer a range of global and regional data packages tailored to different travel needs and allow you to stay connected across multiple destinations without the need to switch SIM cards.

Airalo boasts extensive coverage in popular travel destinations like the USA, the UK, Italy, Mexico, France, Japan, and Spain. Similarly, Nomad provides reliable eSIM service in key regions globally, ensuring seamless connectivity for users during their travels.

By offering comprehensive coverage and flexible data packages, both providers allow travelers to stay connected wherever they go, making them top choices for international travelers seeking hassle-free eSIM solutions.

Airalo vs Nomad: user experience & customer service

The best eSIMs are easy to use, and their customer support teams are easy to reach. Let’s see how Airalo and Nomad stack up when it comes to user experience and customer service.

User experience

Both Airalo and Nomad offer user-friendly mobile apps with intuitive interfaces. You can efficiently manage your eSIM services, track usage statistics, and monitor data consumption. The apps provide clear and detailed information, enhancing the overall user experience.

Airalo’s app is easy to navigate with just 3 main menus:

  • Store, where you can purchase an eSIM plan.
  • My eSIMs, where all your eSIMs are stored.
  • Profile, where you’ll find all information about your account.
Airalo countries

Nomad’s app is similar, with 2 extra menus. The SMS menu takes you to the SMS plans offered by Nomad. On the Explore page, you can browse popular activities available in your chosen destination.

nomad interface

Both Airalo and Nomad offer straightforward eSIM activation processes through their respective mobile apps. You can easily select your desired data plan and activate it within minutes, eliminating the need for physical SIM cards and lengthy setup procedures.

We also like that both Airalo and Nomad apps notify users when their data is running low, ensuring they stay informed about their usage and avoid unexpected disruptions. This proactive approach helps you manage your data effectively and avoid unexpected charges.

Something that makes Airalo more user-friendly than Nomad is its built-in live chat, which allows users to easily communicate with customer support representatives. This feature enables quick resolution of queries or issues, enhancing the overall user experience and providing additional support when needed.

Customer service

Both Airalo and Nomad offer customer support through their mobile apps. You can reach Airalo’s support team through a live chat and email, with users reporting quick resolutions to queries. Plus, you can find solutions to common problems in its knowledge base, FAQs, and active blog.

Airalo customer support

Unfortunately, Nomad falls short regarding customer support. The fastest way to get help is through its ticket support system, but it doesn’t compare to Airalo’s live chat. You can also check out Nomad’s blog and help center for quick fixes to common issues.

nomad help center

Airalo vs Nomad: additional value

Top-up when you run out of data. Both Airalo and Nomad offer you the option to conveniently top up your data when it runs out, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity. If you exhaust your data allowance while abroad, you can easily purchase additional data through the app to continue using the service without interruptions.

Phone calls. In addition to data allowance, Airalo also offers phone calls with its Discover+ Global plan. Unfortunately, Nomad only supports data services.

Data sharing. Both Airalo and Nomad offer data-sharing capabilities, which lets you share your data allowance with other devices or users.

Conclusion: which eSIM is better?

Choosing between Airalo and Nomad depends on individual preferences and needs. Airalo offers a wide range of destinations, competitive pricing, and even phone calls. On the other hand, Nomad’s strengths lie in the flexibility of its plans, as it offers packages for both shorter and longer trips.

Ultimately, the best eSIM provider for you depends on factors such as your destination, budget, and desired features. You should assess your requirements and preferences to determine which provider aligns best with your needs.


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