Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Airalo: One of the Top eSIM Providers for Traveling in Taiwan

We know this is a blog about Japan, but since we made a detour to Taiwan after we finished our November trip to Japan, we thought we would share with you our experience of using the Airalo eSIM in Taiwan. Overall, the experience was great. The internet connection was stable, and the customer team was there to support us initially when we set the eSIM up on our iPhone.

Table of Contents

The Benefits of Using Airalo’s Taiwan eSIM Card

  • Airalo’s eSIM card uses Taiwan’s top two network providers, Chungwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile. This means the fastest internet speed and the best coverage.
  • Its data packages are cheaper than those of the major Taiwanese eSIM providers.
  • Activation is easy. All you need to do is download the app, tap on the eSIM you have purchased, and follow the prompts.

Things to Note Before Purchasing an eSIM

Before purchasing an eSIM, ensure your device is:

  • Carrier-unlocked. 
    • This means your device isn’t tied to a contract with a mobile carrier. Your device is unlocked if you didn’t sign any contracts to receive your phone. You can also call your carrier to confirm.
  • eSIM-compatible. 
    • If you have a smartphone manufactured in 2018 or later, your phone most likely supports eSIMs. Check Airalo’s comprehensive list of eSIM-compatible devices to see if your phone is included.

Ordering Your Airalo Taiwan eSIM Card

Ordering a data-only eSIM from Airalo is easy. Open the Airalo app and choose the number of days you need the eSIM card and the data amount. You can choose to pay by a credit/debit card, PayPal, or Alipay.

  • For the short-term eSIMs, you can choose from 7-Day and 30-Day.
  • The 7-Day plan only has a 1GB option.
  • The 30-Day plans have 3 different data options: 3GB, 5GB, and 10GB.

Once you make a purchase, a confirmation receipt will be sent to your email. The email from Airalo also includes a link to install the eSIM.

How Much Data Is Enough While Traveling in Taiwan

People commonly ask how much data they should purchase beforehand for their upcoming Taiwan trip. While the answer largely depends on your internet usage pattern, you can refer to the below as a rough guide for a 14-day trip.

  • If you only plan to use the internet for navigation, checking emails, and finding nice restaurants and attractions, 3GB is usually enough.
  • If you plan to check social media and upload photos a few times a day, you will need between 5GB and 10GB of data.
  • If you also want to stream while traveling in Taiwan, you probably need at least 30GB of data.

What Happened After Purchasing Airalo’s Data eSIM Card

Once you have successfully made an order, it should appear in the My eSIMs section on the Airalo app. You can tap on it, and it will show you the details of the eSIM.

Activating Your Airalo eSIM

There are three ways of installing an Airalo eSIM on your device. With the Airalo app, the most convenient way to install it is by the Direct Method.

  • Direct method
  • QR Code method
  • Manual method

Once you have landed and are connected to a free WiFi, open your Airalo app and select the eSIM you want to install. Then, tap the View Instructions button. The app will show you a list of important tips and a brief summary of the installation steps before the INSTALL eSIM button is tappable. By tapping that button, a detailed Step-by-Step Guide is shown. Make sure you read through the guide before tapping the INSTALL eSIM button to initialize the process.

Installing Airalo’s eSIM is easy. Follow the prompts and set up your device. Once everything is set up, you can use the Airalo app to track your data usage by tapping the eSIM that you have activated.

Airalo eSIM’s Important Tips
Airalo eSIM’s Step-by-Step Guide
Airalo eSIM’s Installation Screens and Installed Screen

If, for any reason, you can’t install your eSIM using the Direct Method, you can also use a QR code or configure the eSIM manually. For more information about these two installation methods, refer to Airalo’s Comprehensive eSIM Set-Up Guide.

Our Experience Using Airalo’s eSIM in Taiwan

In December 2023, we were in Taipei for 30 days. In conclusion, the overall experience is satisfactory. Our phones were connected to the internet most of the time, and the internet speed was fast. While there are instances that the phone could hardly be connected to the internet while trekking through the mountainous areas, those are the times when an internet connection wasn’t required.

See below for more details about our experience using Airalo’s eSIM.

Setting Up Our Airalo eSIM

When setting up our Airalo eSIM, we accidentally jumped out of the set-up screen. Fortunately, it was after the eSIM was installed, and it was just the network configuration that wasn’t set up. So, we went through the set-up guide and performed the network setup ourselves.

But, somehow, we still struggled to connect our phones to the internet. So, we sought help from Airalo’s customer service team using the app’s chat function. After waiting 10 to 20 minutes, we were connected to an agent who patiently helped us out.

After chatting for 10 minutes or so, it turned out that we couldn’t connect the app to the internet because we disabled the internet connection for our Facebook app.

So, our advice to you. When testing the connectivity, make sure the app you choose to test has Mobile Data turned on!

Airalo’s eSIM’s Connectivity on Trains

Airalo’s eSIM almost always connected us to the internet while on Taipei’s metro and trains. There were only a few times that the phone was out of connection. Unlike in Japan, there were hardly any instances when the speed was slow, and we couldn’t browse Facebook or Instagram.

Airalo’s eSIM’s Connectivity in Taipei’s Central Areas

We had no issues accessing the internet in Taipei’s central areas using Airalo’s eSIM. The average download speed was between 20 and 50Mbps, much faster than in Japan. There were times when the download speed was tested to be around 100Mbps! Thanks to the high-speed internet, we streamed videos smoothly.

The average upload speed was around 20Mbps.

Airalo’s eSIM’s Connectivity in the Mountainous Areas in Taipei and Rural Areas Close to Taipei

Different from Japan, the internet speed outside of Taipei’s city center and rural area was slower compared to the city center. The average download speed was between 5 to 20Mbps. That said, we never lost internet connection while hiking from one peak to another.

The average upload speed was between 5 to 30Mbps.

Is Pocket WiFi or an eSIM Card a Better Option for Your Next Japan Trip?

Click the photo for information that will help you decide whether to get a Pocket WiFi, a SIM card or an eSIM.

If a Japan eSIM card doesn’t sound like the best internet solution for your next Japan trip, consider purchasing a SIM or renting a Pocket WiFi.

Refer to our SIM Card, eSIM, or Pocket WiFi: Which One to Use in Japan article that answers all your questions about how to stay connected to the internet when you are in Japan!

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