Traveling to Europe; whats the best way to keep in touch with the States?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Phonzoxd, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Phonzoxd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #1
    I have an Iphone, my family have iphones.

    WHats the best way to keep in touch for free?

    I know my Verizon iphone wont make calls, ut I will have Wi-fi.

    SO is there like any free programs I can use through Wifi to keep in touch?
     
  2. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #2
    your verizon phone should be gsm unlocked so you can buy a prepaid sim card for any number of carriers in europe and use it in your iPhone to make phone calls, data, sms, etc.

    Another solution is to use things like facetime audio. Or any other VOIP such as skype, google phone, etc. to make phone calls over data instead of using a carrier.
     
  3. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Carolina Beach, NC
    #3
    I rented a mifi from tep wireless and had internet with me all the time to iMessage and make FaceTime calls. Also could check email, use maps, etc. Great investment and affordable for my situation. I was a very satisfied customer!!!
     
  4. Phonzoxd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2013
    #4
    Great!!!

    I wasnt sure if things like iMessage would work oversees. Wasnt sure, but as long as that and facetime works Im OK.

    Now a question. If I have wifi in my hotel, and Im out most of the day and I get messaged to my cell #, will I get it once I connect back to wifi?
     
  5. vietalogy macrumors 6502

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    Sep 17, 2006
    #5
    Get whatsapp for text and for calls you can use Rebtel or tango.
     
  6. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Whatsapp: Instant Messaging
    Viber: Internet based calls
     
  7. Phonzoxd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2013
    #7
    For these Internet based calling apps; do the other person need to also have the same app or can you make free calls using the app to a cell or landline for free?

    ----------

    Also, whats the point of these 3rd party text messaging apps if we already have iMessage?
     
  8. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    iMessage will work as long as you have internet access.

    If someone sends an iMessage and it isn't received it tries again as an SMS.

    Since your phone is unlocked buy a local prepaid SIM.
     
  9. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

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  10. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    NYC
    #10
    Whatsapp and Viber the other people have to have it installed and setup as well. Whatspp is cross platform. iMessage isn't.

    Google Hangout does free calls to land lines.
     
  11. scotrinaf macrumors 6502

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    Oct 6, 2013
    Location:
    Blountville, TN
    #11
    I used Rogers Prepaid Wireless in Canada, not sure if they are available in Europe, but if so, great company, easy to use... Buy a SIM off of eBay or Amazon, take it with you and use it in your iPhone, Your phone will need to be unlocked for Global use if it isn't already.
     
  12. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #12
    seriously, the easiest method to use is just buy a prepaid sim card to use in whatever country you will be visiting. Very cheap and you can use the actual phone.

    For instances where you don't want to use the minutes from the sim card, you can use data for facetime, imessage, google voice, skype, etc.

    I would use those services when at the hotel or wherever you are connected to wifi, and use the prepaid minutes when you are away from wifi.

    You have the benefit of being gsm unlocked, and would be very silly not to take advantage of it.
     
  13. Phonzoxd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2013
    #13
    I have no idea how it works, since I almost never travel outside the country. Care to explain a bit?
     
  14. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    When you arrive go to a local cellular company and buy a prepaid SIM card. Swap out your Verizon SIM and put in the local SIM then reboot your phone.

    The card gives you a local number and 3G/4G or LTE data. You load $20-$30 on the card and your calls and data use are deducted from the balance loaded on the SIM card.
     
  15. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    Jul 9, 2009
    #15
    you know how we sell prepaid sim cards here in the US for ATT, Tmo, etc.??

    Well in Europe you can also buy prepaid sim cards.

    You might pay like $30 to get a card with 500 minutes, sms, and some amount of data. (I completely made those numbers up, I don't know current prices on sim cards over there).

    You put the sim card into your iphone, it will connect to the network, and you can use your iPhone exactly how you use it here to make calls, send sms, use maps, etc.

    If you want to save minutes and data, you can use the other services while you are connected to wifi at your hotel or wherever.

    For example:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jordan921 macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #16
    Your phone is unlocked for gsm use internationally. Just but a prepaid sim while you are there and you can use cell service.
     
  17. gretafour, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013

    gretafour macrumors regular

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    Rochester, NY
    #17
  18. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    Jul 9, 2009
    #18
    well that's great except, he doesn't have tmobile, he has verizon. And those prices are a rip off, he can get a prepaid sim for much cheaper.
     
  19. ttinc macrumors regular

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    Sep 12, 2013
    #19
    I use iMessage and face time to to communicate with my friend in Brazil almost every day. I live in Los Angeles.
     
  20. gretafour macrumors regular

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    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #20
    The prices are actually really good by American monopoly standards
     
  21. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #21
    yeah, but he is not comparing to american monopoly standards. He can get a prepaid sim card for dirt cheap european prices, so why would he compare to american roaming?? It's much easier/cheaper for him to just get a prepaid sim card and be done with it. Especially since he doesn't even have tmobile to begin with.
     
  22. Phonzoxd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2013
    #22
    I may just do this.

    I dont need to speak with anyone, just need to let them know I have not been kidnapped and I am alive.
     
  23. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #23
    iMessages and FaceTime are free if you have good wifi.

    You can skype for free over wifi too. And so on. VoIP is a possibility many places too, though sometimes blocked.

    The main issue is finding good/free wifi in Europe. It's usually one or the other and often neither. If you have premier status with your hotel chain, that can reduce cost to free.

    Many countries require complex logins, the better to trace and authenticate all usage. So depending in where you are, spontaneity may be difficult.

    Cell data roaming is outrageously expensive. A little roaming data is hard to avoid, so pre-pay with your cell carrier to reduce the cost (AT&T has an option for 800MB for about a hundred bucks-- I usually spring for that). Or see if your iPhone can be unlocked so you can use a local SIM. Just checking the map cost me $14 in Canada once when I hadn't had the foresight to prepay for a block of roaming data-- never again!

    ----------

    One more thing: as others have noted, putting in a local SIM will give you a local number. That may or may not work for you.
     
  24. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #24
    if you are only trying to occasionally let people in the states know you are alive, yeah use imessage on wifi.

    But if you are trying to communicate with your family who is on vacation with you, get prepaid sim cards. If you want to be able to call your wife if you get split up at the museum, use prepaid. If you want to be able to go get food from a concession stand while your wife finds a table and then call each other to find her, use prepaid. If you don't think you will need to call the people you are with, don't worry about getting prepaid because you would be paying roaming to call people in the US anyways.
     
  25. MariaSpiegel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #25
    Hi!
    all the apps will work in Europe, but you have to make sure, that you will have Internet connection (WiFi or 3G).
    Absolutely agree with xxBURT0Nxx, it depends on how often would you communicate with your family.

    I'm in Europe, but my husband often goes to US, so we use travelsim cards for making calls/texting. You can check rates http://www.travlesim.com. They also have some special rates for calls made from one travelsim to other travelsim.
     

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