Best Travel eSIM with Hotspot for Canada
Tether and share your data allowance with your travel partners!
· 5 min read
If you are traveling to Canada, and looking for affordable ways to stay connected, an option that you are likely to have considered would be to get a data eSIM for Canada with hotspot capabilities. Data eSIMs with hotspot capabilities are very useful for group travelers, especially if you will be traveling together most of the time.
Benefits of getting a Canada data eSIM with hotspot
There are numerous benefits as to why you might want to get a Canadian data eSIM that allows hotspot/tethering:
- More cost-efficient: As opposed to getting 2 5GB-plans, getting a single 10GB plan that you can share among two travelers could be more cost-efficient, since bigger data packs typically have a lower cost-per-GB. Splitting the cost of a 10GB plan equally amongst two travelers is also likely to result in lower per-pax cost compared to getting 2 separate plans.
- Better utilisation of data allowance: When a group of you draw down from the same pool of data allowance, this could often also result in better utilisation of data allowance, especially if you have very different data consumption habits. If one of you is a low data consumer, getting a single plan could be a waste since you might have a lot of data leftover — by sharing your data allowance via hotspot, you will be able to better utilise your data allowance!
- Connect multiple devices: Getting an eSIM that supports tethering also allows you to share your data allowance across multiple devices. If you need to use your laptop or your tablet on the move, you can use your phone as a hotspot to allow your laptop or tablet to connect to the internet.
Best Canada travel eSIM with hotspot
Getting a travel eSIM is usually more cost-effective than getting a local prepaid SIM in Canada, but it is important to note that not all providers of travel eSIMs support hotspot functionality. Here is a list of some providers of travel eSIMs that allow you to share your data pack:
Price: Nomad offers the best prices
Of the four providers, Nomad offers the best prices for data in Canada. When comparing plans of similar sizes:
- Nomad: 5GB plan with 5G network from USD17
- Airalo: 5GB plan with 5G network at USD18
- Ubigi: 3GB plan with 5G network at USD29
- AloSIM: 5GB plan with 5G network at USD 18
Plan Sizes: Nomad offers bigger plan sizes
If you are getting a travel data eSIM with the intention to share your data, the size of the data pack is something that you would likely also want to take into account. Among the four providers, Nomad is the only provider that offers data plans above 10GB. However, if 5G was a priority for you, then it is important to note that Nomad's 5G plans are only available for plans up to 5GB in size.
- Nomad: Offers plans up to 12GB (available only on 4G network); 5G network is available for plans up to 10GB
- Airalo: Offers plans up to 10GB on 5G network
- Ubigi: Offers plans up to 3GB on 5G network
- AloSIM: Offers plans up to 10GB on 5G network
Coverage: Similar coverage across all providers
When it comes to coverage, the main network operators in Canada are Bell, Rogers, and Telus. Telus is known to provide the best coverage. All providers of the Canadian travel eSIM on this list use a variety of networks, all of them including Telus and Bell, so we can expect fairly similar coverage.
- Nomad: Bell / Rogers / Telus / SaskTel / Videotron
- Airalo: Bell / Rogers / Telus
- Ubigi: Bell / Telus / Videotron
- AloSIM: Bell / Telus / Sask
Availability of Top-ups: All providers allow top-ups
If you are planning to tether and share your data, an important consideration would be the availability of top-ups in case you run out of data. Across all four providers, you will be able to purchase top-ups for your Canada data eSIM.
What about getting a data eSIM with unlimited data instead?
Instead of getting a data eSIM that has hotspot support, you might be wondering if it would be more cost-effective to get multiple eSIMs with unlimited data instead. We did a price comparison with the Canada eSIMs provided by Holafly -- these eSIMs provide unlimited data, but they do not support hotspot. A 5-day unlimited plan on Holafly is available at USD27. If you are traveling in groups, you will minimally need 2 such plans, which is almost definitely more expensive than if you were to get a single 10GB data pack and share data allowance.
For reference, an average user will use typically need less than 1GB of data per day when traveling. So, for a 5-day trip, 10GB of data shared amongst 2 users should be sufficient.
Disclaimer: Actual data needs vary for individual to individual.
Tips for using your data eSIM to tether and hotspot
If you are planning to use your eSIM to tether and share data with your travel partners, here are some pro-tips for you:
- Always bring along a power bank: tethering and using your device as a hotspot could drain your battery. It is important to note that unlike physical SIM cards, eSIMs cannot be easily transferred between devices (and in the case of travel eSIMs, they are usually not allowed). So you will want to make sure that the phone that you have the eSIM installed on doesn't go flat in the middle of the day!
- Get a bigger data pack: Remember, there will be many of you using the same data source, so you want to make sure that the data packs you purchase are sufficient for you. If in doubt, make sure to get a plan that allows you to easily top-up your data allowance.
- Password protect your mobile hotspot: This might sound trivial, but password-protecting your mobile hotspot is important! It'll help to make sure that only people in your party are connected to that network, so that you don't have strangers tapping on your hotspot as well.
Get a Nomad eSIM with hotspot support for Canada
Nomad provides a variety of eSIM data plans for Canada with different data volumes at affordable rates from as low as USD3/GB. Nomad's eSIMs will automatically hook on to the network that provides the best signal strength, so you don't have to worry about the lack of coverage as you travel through Canada.
It's easy to get a Nomad eSIM. Simply create an account on the Nomad Web Store or iOS/Android apps, find a plan that is suitable for your needs, and proceed with the check out! Upon successful purchase, you will receive an email that includes the installation and activation instructions for your plan.
Note that since you will need a stable internet connection to purchase and install your eSIM, it is advised to buy your eSIM before you fly, so that you don't have to worry about not getting connectivity at the airport after landing.
And in case you need a number to send or receive text messages while in Canada, Nomad also offers SMS plans for Canada.