If you’re traveling to India and want to stay connected to the Internet to share your journey on Instagram, keep in touch with your loved ones on WhatsApp or use Google Maps to get to that landmark they recommended, here are your options for Internet in India.
The best alternative to have internet in India is to buy a SIM card for India, both because it is much cheaper than paying roaming and because it is so easy to use.
But let’s look at all the options for having internet in India, let’s start!
IS THERE INTERNET CENSORSHIP IN INDIA?
Unlike China, Russia or Turkey, there is no partial or total censorship of the Internet in India. But keep in mind that at the beginning of the year (2019), the Indian government is asking companies like Google or Facebook to monitor the content of users and their own, actions that could become, in the worst case, a control and censorship of access to the network of networks.
ALTERNATIVES TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET IN INDIA
1. ROAMING IN INDIA
This is the service that companies like Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and more offer you to connect to the Internet, make calls or send SMS in India. Using your operator’s roaming in India is very expensive, they can charge you for one MB of consumption from 6 to 15 euros – an outrage!
If you’re afraid that you’re going to consume too much on your roaming trip and get a big bill, then I advise you to turn off your roaming as soon as you get on the plane. Please note that this is very important because sometimes it is so easy to activate that it is done automatically and then you get headaches.
Let’s look at an example of the costs of roaming with Vodafone:
ROAMING FOR INDIA WITH VODAFONE
Vodafone is one of the largest operators in the country, has almost 400 million subscribers, and offers you the following packages so you can have internet in India:
World travel rate:
This package includes 2GB of data per day plus unlimited calls and messages for 15 euros per day but please note that you must have the extra contract rate (World Travel Rate) active.
As long as you do not have the World Travel Fare active, the prices you will be charged on your bill will increase, here is a breakdown of the prices you will be charged for using the following services in India:
- Data: 6.05 euros/MB (VAT included) which means that you could pay 6,050 euros for a GB.
- Calls made: 1.69 euros/min + 1.21 euros of call establishment (VAT included)
- Calls received: 1.69 euros per minute + 1.21 euros per call (VAT included)
- Messages: 1,21 euros (VAT included)
Below is a table comparing roaming prices with the main operators in Spain:
ROAMING PRICES IN INDIA WITH VODAFONE, ORANGE AND MOVISTAR
|Operator||Minimum price||Maximum price||Price for one GB|
|Vodafone||15 euros per day if you have a World Travel Rate||6.05 euros per MB||6.050 Euros|
|Orange||12.10 euros per MB||Idem||12.100 Euros|
|Movistar||12.10 euros per MB||Idem||12.100 Euros|
Advantages of Roaming:
- Automatic installation. You don’t have to place or install anything, you can activate it on your mobile (from your mobile operator’s app), the device configuration or automatically (depending on your company and rate).
- Option of calls to landlines and MSM. But to be honest WhatsApp is an excellent alternative and calls to fixed lines are rarely used nowadays.
Disadvantages of Roaming:
- It’s very, very expensive, and we don’t overdo it. If you estimate that one GB of data could be what you would spend in 2 or 3 days of travel, with roaming you could get up to 6,000 euros per GB.
2. SIM CARDS FOR INDIA
The SIM card with internet in India, is identical to the one you have now in your mobile or tablet, and allows you to view Facebook, WhatsApp or read this article, only the prepaid SIM cards, or data cards, will allow you to have internet in India avoiding expensive roaming bills or dependence on wifi networks that are not secure.
Some companies will only offer you the card and it will depend on you how many MB or GB of data you want to put on it, but you will have to pay another fee. While other companies will only charge you a fee for both the card and the data.
Advantage of SIM cards:
- Easy installation. Just put it in your phone and you’re good to go. Some SIM cards do not require an unlocked phone.
Disadvantage of SIM cards:
- Fixed times. Not all companies allow you to choose how many days you want the Internet, some offer fixed time intervals (1 day, 1 week or 1 month).
WHERE CAN I BUY MY SIM CARD FOR INDIA?
FROM YOUR COUNTRY:
You can buy it from your country in Holafly. This is perhaps one of the best options of SIM card with internet in India, you take it with you before you leave and you insert it as soon as you land, so you have internet in India from the first moment.
SIM CARD FOR INDIA WITH HOLAFLY
This company offers you a SIM card with Internet in India of 6GB for 15 days at 4G speed which uses the network of Airtel, the main mobile operator in India. The price of this SIM card is 47 euros for the 15 days of service which is equivalent to 3.13 euros per day (7.83 euros each GB) and, if you also share it with your fellow travellers it is really very cheap.
Advantages of Holafly’s Indian SIM
- Share data with other devices as if it were a portable modem (MiFi) without having to carry another device. You can use your mobile phone to generate a Wifi network and connect more devices.
- It’s sent to your home and shipping is free, so just worry about buying it and wait. If your trip is urgent and you need it within 48 hours, you can pay an additional 4.50 euros or 9.50 euros to receive it the next day.
- 24 hours support. This SIM is very easy to use, but if you have any questions the Holafly customer service team helps you by all possible means: email, chat and WhatsApp.
- You don’t have to present any document for the purchase.
Disadvantage of Holafly’s Indian SIM
- It has a unique package that offers you data for 15 days to have internet in India.
For being a Travelistos reader you get a 5% discount if you buy through the link and the discount will be applied automatically.
IN DESTINATION: INDIA
If you want to save some euros another option is to buy the SIM with internet in India on your arrival, looking for a position to sell it. This option is the one of a lifetime and has the disadvantage that you have to invest time of your trip and you won’t have internet when you land, but it is a perfectly valid alternative.
Some of the mobile operators from which you can buy the card are:
3. FREE WIFI IN INDIA
It’s a lifesaver, not only on your trips out of the country, but also in situations where you’ve been urged by the Internet but haven’t had it. Asking for a coffee, a snack or a beer is enough to enjoy an Internet connection in India completely free, and according to the establishment and affluence of users, you can surf without problems.
Advantage of WIFI:
- Free of charge. You won’t pay one euro. Well, whatever the coffee or beer costs, but you can use it as long as you want, until the sandwich gets cold if you want 😉
- You can do actions that demand the consumption of a lot of data, like videoconferencing or watching Netflix .
Disadvantage of WIFI:
- It’s not safe. Because any user can access this network, it is prone to hackers, information theft or damage to your devices with viruses. It is best to consider this option of Internet connection in India as the last resort.
4. MIFI IN INDIA
This option is one of the less known, has many names; MiFi, portable WiFi, portable modem, pocket WiFi.
It is a device similar to a mobile phone or a home modem and has the same function, to connect you to the Internet (one of its advantages is that you can connect several devices at once) and can usually also operate with a SIM card. This means that you insert the card inside the device and it will take care of passing the internet to your electronic devices. Remember that cards like Holafly India can do the same as a MiFi (connect to the Internet and share to more devices).
To get a MIFI on your trip you have the option to buy or rent. The companies that rent these devices can charge you up to three rates for this option:
- For the purchase or rental of the device
- For the daily internet service in India.
- A deposit (money withdrawn in guarantee) in case the device breaks down, is lost or stolen.
Advantage of MIFI:
- It will allow you to connect more than one device to the Internet, but remember, this can also be done by a SIM card.
Disadvantage of MIFI:
- Worrying about maintaining the integrity of the device can be a headache, remember that if you damage the portable modem, you will have to bear expenses ranging from 100 to 200 euros.
- Maintain the load of both the device and your electronic devices.
- You must keep the device close at all times, which makes it another device that you must carry everywhere.
- If you want to share the internet with your companions, they must always stay together. This also applies to the SIM card.
WHAT IS THE BEST OPTION TO HAVE INTERNET IN INDIA?
Data SIM cards, which are cheaper than MiFi and roaming and more secure than free WiFi An option such as Holafly SIM cards for India will allow you to access unlimited data, share your data, and keep your number on WhatsApp so you can continue to communicate with your contacts despite the SIM card change.
SOME TIPS ON INTERNET IN INDIA
- Carry your passport: if you are going to buy a SIM card with internet in India, remember to always carry your passport, or a copy of it, and – possibly – a photo.
- Disable roaming: if you are not roaming, make sure that roaming is not enabled when you arrive in India. Disable it and avoid surprises at the end of the month.
- Use reliable networks: if you’re going to make purchases on the Internet, access your emails or share private and sensitive information (your itinerary, your passwords) it’s best to do so on reliable networks, not at a free WiFi hotspot.
Find out more travel tips to India on accommodation, documentation and requirements, currency exchange, travel insurance and more.