In mid-January of 2022, I decided to do something crazy.
As I had not been on a trip since March 2021 because of COVID travel restrictions, I decided that I would catch up on the lost travel time and go on a trip.
But it would not be your standard trip.
Instead, I would be traveling to 12/13 European countries to (re-)test the SIM cards of the local mobile operators, the Nomad Europe eSIM, SimCorner travel SIM cards & the Airalo Eurolink Europe eSIM.
That way, I could assess if the local mobile operators had improved (significantly) from when I visited their countries (many) years ago and if travel eSIMs like Airalo are any good.
Yeah – that does sound like a boring holiday, does it not – just testing SIM cards and eSIMs?
Not for me though (I would not have a site dedicated to traveling with your phone if I found it boring 🤪), and I managed to gather A LOT of valuable data for you.
Not just for this Airalo Europe eSIM but also for the 41 local SIM cards I tested.
As you can imagine, I am VERY behind on my reviews – let alone YouTube videos🥲.
But I can already tell you that I am pleasantly pleased with the Eurolink travel eSIM.
In this review, I will cover everything you need to know about the Airalo Eurolink Europe Travel eSIM.
From eSIM packages, prices, which phones can use Eurolink eSIM, eligible countries, my experience with the eSIM in the countries I visited & speed comparisons between Eurolink and the local mobile operator the eSIM was roaming on.
Yeah, I was not playing around on this trip – I want to give you a complete picture of what to expect with the Airalo Europe eSIM.
But I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with the performance!
By the way, many blogs and sites will first write a few paragraphs about the history of eSIMs and how to install an eSIM.
If you want to learn how eSIMs work, I have this article for you.
The installation process is straightforward, especially if you follow the instructions given by Airalo, so I will skip that part too.
That way, we can get to the meat of this review quicker 😎.
Original publication: 12th of May 2022. Last updated: 11th of October 2022.
Table of Contents
Which Phones are Compatible with Airalo Travel eSIMs?
Before we talk about the Eurolink eSIM specifically, you first need to know whether your phone can even support Airalo's eSIM.
Sure, your phone may support eSIM, but the local mobile operator and travel eSIM provider, like Airalo, first needs to certify a phone before the users can use their products.
As of May 2022, the Airalo eSIM compatible phones are:
- iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12/12 Mini/12 Pro/12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13/13 Pro/13 Pro Max
- iPhone SE 2020/2022
- iPhone XR/XS/XS Max
- HAMMER Blade 3/5 G
- HAMMER Explorer Pro
- myPhone NOW eSIM
- Nuu Mobile X5
- OPPO Find X3 Pro
- OPPO Find X5/X5 Pro
- Sony Xperia 10 III Lite
- Google Pixel 3/3 XL/3a/3a XL
- Google Pixel 4/4a/4 XL
- Google Pixel 5
- Google Pixel 6/6 Pro
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro
- Huawei P40/P40 Pro
- Motorola Razr 2019
- Motorola Razr 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20/20 Plus/20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G/S21 Plus 5G/S21 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S22 5G/S22 Plus 5G/S22 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip/Flip 3 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2/Fold 3
With that out of the way, let's talk about the Eurolink eSIM!
You can get the Eurolink eSIM for as little as 5 USD for 1 GB of data valid for 7 days all the way up to 185 USD for 100 GB valid for 180 days. There are six variants (1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days, 5 GB/30 days, 10 GB/30 days, 50 GB/90 days & 100 GB/180 days), which can all be used in 39 European nations.
Below is an overview of how much each Eurolink eSIM costs:
- 1 GB for 7 days: 5 USD
- 3 GB for 30 days: 13 USD
- 5 GB for 30 days: 20 USD
- 10 GB for 30 days: 37 USD
- 50 GB for 30 days: 100 USD
- 100 GB for 180 days: 185 USD
Regardless of the currency used in your country, Airalo will always charge you in USD (US Dollar).
Moreover, regardless of which Eurolink eSIM you choose, you can always top it up for the same amount of data and prices as listed above.
For example, suppose you buy the 5 GB Eurolink eSIM (30 days costing 20 USD) but realize you need more data.
You can top it up with the 3 GB Europe top-up (30 days costing 13 USD) or the 100 GB Europe top-up (180 days costing 185 USD).
Many eSIM providers out there do not allow you to top up or extend the validity of your eSIM, so it is cool that Airalo will enable you to do so.
The Eurolink eSIM can be used in 39 countries in Europe, including all nations in the European Union (EU). The eSIM can be used from Iceland to Ukraine and from Norway to Spain.
Below is a complete overview of countries the Eurolink eSIM works in:
- Austria 2
- Belgium 2
- Bulgaria 2
- Croatia 2
- Cyprus 2
- Denmark 2
- Estonia 2
- Finland 2
- Gibraltar 1
- Greece 2
- Ireland 2
- Italy 2
- Latvia 2
- Luxembourg 2
- Malta 2
- Poland 2
- Romania 2
- Spain 2
- Sweden 2
- Switzerland 2
- United Kingdom 2
1 on 3G only
2 (limited) 5G NR availability at no additional cost!
With the Eurolink eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit – averaging 10.78 USD/country in Europe (and get 5G NR access at no additional cost)!
That is an extensive list. If my partner did not want me back in Australia as soon as possible (where I wrote this review from), I would have tested my Eurolink in more of these countries.
Ah, what love does do to you 🤪.
I used the Eurolink eSIM in Portugal, Spain, Italy, (Vatican City), Malta, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia & Slovenia in that order.
If you paid close attention to what I wrote in the introduction, I also visited Andorra.
In March 2022, the Airalo Europe eSIM could not be used in Andorra yet, so I had to use an Andorra Telecom SIM card (read my review here).
Now, I will write a bit about my experience with Eurolink in the 11 countries I used it in – coverage, speed & comparisons with the roaming partner.
I want to say that the Eurolink eSIM supports 4G/LTE only in all the countries it can be used (except for Gibraltar – 3G only).
The purpose of my Europe tour was mainly to compare the mobile operators with each other.
While eSIMs are becoming more popular, about 100 different phones support eSIM – a tiny number when you remember how many phones get released every year.
As a result, there will be significant speed differences between the Eurolink eSIM and roaming partner, especially if the roaming partner enabled 5G NR for prepaid customers.
I did six to eight speed tests across three phones in the locations I did my tests – I could not be bothered to do even more tests on 4G/LTE if the roaming partner had 5G NR access at that location.
All this testing takes a lot of time – let alone the processing 🥲.
But now you will understand why I got only a download speed of 70 Mbps with Airalo, whereas the roaming partner got a download speed of 400+ or whatever.
I will also mention whether the Airalo Eurolink eSIM has passed the 4k video streaming and live streaming test.
What are those tests?
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
So if the average download speed with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM in Portugal was 50 Mbps, then it passed the video streaming test.
But if the average upload speed was only 3.5 Mbps, then it did not pass the live stream test.
All 5G NR speed test results are underlined. Any number that is in bold means that speed test result was the fastest at that location between all the local mobile operators, Nomad Europe eSIM & SimCorner travel SIM cards.
Portugal was my first stop for this trip. I only stayed in Porto because I had not been there before.
But I celebrated my birthday in Lisbon… when it was pouring and on a Ryanair flight to Madrid, Spain.
Yeah – I am truly boring 🥴.
In Portugal, you have three mobile operators:
- MEO Portugal
- NOS Portugal
- Vodafone Portugal
You can learn more about local Portuguese SIM cards in my Portugal SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Vodafone Portugal network, which, on average, has the slowest speeds (also during my trip).
For some stupid reason, I decided to buy the data-only SIM card at Porto Airport (which you can read about here).
I KNEW this SIM card has speed restrictions – up to 50 Mbps.
Yet, as a lapse of judgment, I still bought it 💀.
As a result, the speed tests with Vodafone Portugal are not the most representative, as you can get much faster speeds than 50 Mbps.
But I already spent 30 EUR on that SIM card, so I could not be bothered to buy a new one.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Vodafone Portugal – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 52.34% faster than Vodafone Portugal – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (58.94 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) and the live streaming test (12.32 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Portugal.
The Eurolink eSIM outperformed the Vodafone Portugal SIM card in terms of download speeds (most likely due to throttled speeds) when looking at the average.
However, Vodafone Portugal did better when looking at the median download speed.
When looking at upload speeds, Vodafone Portugal was much faster than the Europe eSIM.
Both the Eurolink eSIM and Vodafone Portugal SIM card did well in terms of coverage.
I always had reception with the eSIM and SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Lisbon.
Spain was my first stop for this trip. Just like in Portugal, I mostly stayed in Madrid only because I had not been there before.
I did a few tests in Barcelona on my way to Andorra, and from Barcelona flying to Italy (Rome).
In Spain, you have four mobile operators:
- Movistar Spain
- Orange Spain
- Vodafone Spain
You can learn more about local Spanish SIM cards in my Spain SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Vodafone Spain network, which, on average, has one of the slowest speeds (behind Movistar Spain and Orange Spain, but faster than Yoigo).
However, I managed to get the fastest speeds with Vodafone Spain (5/11 tests) – in fact, I broke a previous (5G NR) speed test record in Spain (until I managed to get a 1 Gbps download speed with Optus in Australia – crazy) with Vodafone Spain.
The Eurolink eSIM stood no chance because I was using 5G NR with Vodafone Spain most of the time – the Europe eSIM uses 4G/LTE only.
But even Vodafone Spain's 4G/LTE network is fast.
I managed to get a 409 Mbps download speed on 4G/LTE (will be shown later) with Vodafone Spain.
The Eurolink eSIM only managed to hit 102 Mbps – still fast though!
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Vodafone Spain – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 67.1% slower than Vodafone Spain – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (62.28 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) but NOT the live streaming test (9.87 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Spain.
Honestly, the Europe eSIM was no match for Vodafone Spain – even when both were on 4G/LTE.
Then again, the mobile operator will prioritize its own customers over roaming partners.
For some reason, I was on 3G only in Madrid El Corte Inglés Callao with the Europe eSIM, while Vodafone Spain was rocking 5G NR there.
Strange, but it happens.
I always had reception with the eSIM and SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Madrid.
Italy was my fourth stop for this trip, but the third for my Eurolink eSIM testing because the eSIM did not work in Andorra back then.
In Italy, I stayed in Rome and Catania. I also visited Vatican City, where the Italian mobile operators cover the entirety of the city (it is tiny – that is why).
In Italy, you have four mobile operators:
- TIM Italy
- Wind Tre (formerly Wind and Tre)
- Vodafone Italy
You can learn more about local Italian SIM cards in my Italy SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the TIM Italy network, which is the best network in Italy in terms of coverage.
Surprisingly, it has the slowest 4G/LTE speeds. But it is winning the 5G NR race.
I actually want to say something about Wind Tre, as it has the fastest 4G/LTE network.
With Wind Tre, reception would drop out of nowhere – even in the city center of Rome.
I found that bizarre. I would be walking down a busy street, and the reception would just vanish out of nowhere.
Luckily, I did not have such issues with TIM Italy… so that was good.
The TIM Italy employee that sold me my TIM Italy SIM card did not recommend getting a 5G NR-enabled plan because, in his words, 5G NR reception is whack in Rome.
I write a bit more about his reasoning in my TIM Italy review, but this may be interesting to you already.
Now we finally have a comparison where both the Eurolink eSIM and roaming partner use 4G/LTE for all tests.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and TIM Italy – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 7.4% slower than TIM Italy – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (47.44 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) and the live streaming test (10.79 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Italy.
While the TIM Italy SIM card performed better in absolute numbers, the difference was minimal.
Also, you should know that Italy has the lowest average cost of 1 GB of data in the European Union.
But, you get hit with high activation fees when you initially buy a SIM card and plan.
While you can get like 50 GB of data for less than 10 EUR, you will spend between 20 EUR and 35 EUR the first month.
It will be significantly cheaper to use a travel eSIM, like the Eurolink eSIM.
I always had reception with the eSIM and SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Rome and Catania.
After Italy, I flew to Malta. The second-last country of phase one of my trip.
In Malta, you have three mobile operators:
- Epic Malta (formerly Vodafone Malta)
- GO Malta
You can learn more about local Maltese SIM cards in my Malta SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Epic Malta network, which is the best network in Malta in terms of coverage and the second-best in speeds – slightly behind GO Malta.
While every Maltese mobile operator claimed they had 5G NR (for prepaid) in Sliema and St Julian's, I never managed to experience 5G NR in those two cities, even with Epic Malta.
Once again, we have a comparison where both the Eurolink eSIM and roaming partner use 4G/LTE for all tests.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Epic Malta – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 46.9% slower than Epic Malta – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (33.31 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) but NOT the live streaming test (8.2 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Malta.
Well, those are extreme differences. The Europe eSIM was almost always significantly slower than the Epic Malta SIM card.
Only at one location, Mosta Pama Mall, the Eurolink eSIM was faster than Epic Malta.
But yeah, Epic Malta swept the floor with the Europe eSIM and its local competitors.
I always had reception with the eSIM and SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Malta on the main island (not on Gozo – I did not have the time to visit that part of the country 😔).
After Malta, I flew to Greece. The last country of phase one of my trip.
My friend from Watchatter actually flew over to spend the weekend with me in Athens.
He even bought a WIND Greece SIM card on my behalf because I arrived at midnight.
And they say friendships are superficial nowadays 😖.
In Greece, you have three mobile operators:
- Vodafone Greece
- WIND Greece
You can learn more about local Greek SIM cards in my Greece SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Vodafone Greece network, which has the slowest speeds in the country.
Now, something interesting happened with my Vodafone Greece SIM card.
Well… I would not call it interesting – it was bothersome.
I was restricted to 3G all weekend. ALL WEEKEND. I felt betrayed.
And it was not the first time I was scammed by Vodafone Greece (throwback to 17-year-old me).
But in the morning I flew back to the Netherlands, I got a text message that 4G/LTE was enabled… just as I was at the airport.
So I guess 4G/LTE has to be manually activated by Vodafone Greece HQ?
And as I got the SIM card on a Saturday afternoon, and Vodafone Greece closed all its stores at 14:00/15:00 and all of Sunday, I had no way to ask anyone why I was restricted to 3G only.
But… at least I managed to get reasonable speeds with the Eurolink eSIM.
Which was appreciated because the WiFi speed at my Airbnb was as slow as Vodafone Greece… so I was always using my Eurolink eSIM when back in, ha.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Vodafone Greece – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 103.4% faster than Vodafone Greece – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (51 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) but NOT the live streaming test (7.46 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Greece.
Yeah, these numbers are not representative (just like my Vodafone Portugal speed test results), but that was the best I could do.
Surprisingly, the SimCorner Europe Travel SIM card managed to be the fastest – even faster than COSMOTE Greece, which is the fastest mobile operator in Greece.
Unfortunately, I forgot to note down who SimCorner's roaming partner was in Greece.
And as its speeds were faster than COSMOTE Greece, could it be that Vodafone Greece was actually the fastest at the locations I did my tests?
For now, we will not know… and I do not feel like replicating the tests because I am fighting kangaroos in Australia now 🦘🤛🏿😈.
I always had reception with the eSIM in Athens, but not with Vodafone Greece – probably because it is slowly repurposing its 3G frequencies for 4G/LTE and 5G NR, which I could not use that weekend.
After Greece, I headed back to the Netherlands to take a break for a week before starting phase two of my trip.
However, I decided to head to Belgium for a day because I lived near the border and… I wanted to collect more data 👀.
In Belgium, you have three mobile operators:
- Orange Belgium
- BASE Belgium
You can learn more about local Belgian SIM cards in my Belgium SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Proximus network, which, on average, is in the middle in terms of speeds (behind BASE/Telenet and ahead of Orange Belgium).
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Proximus – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 16.3% slower than Proximus – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (38.48 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) and the live streaming test (12.69 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Belgium.
The Eurolink eSIM performed quite well, especially for roaming and being in Belgium.
No offense to my southern friends, but mobile reception in Belgium is whack, especially when you go to Walloon for some reason (I did not record my results in Walloon… but I can tell you they were not pretty).
But yeah, there is not much more to say about the results.
I always had reception with the travel SIM card and local SIM cards at all test locations and when just wandering around Antwerp.
But when you are on the train in Belgium, your connection will be cut off most of the time.
Even at stations in rural Belgium, like Essen, you may have no reception at all (like with BASE Belgium), or your speeds will be whack.
Officially, Austria was the first country I visited for the second phase of my trip (Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Malta & Greece were in phase one, and Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia & Slovenia were in phase two).
However, I only landed in Vienna before heading directly to Bratislava, Slovakia.
In Austria, you have three mobile operators:
- A1 Austria
- Magenta Telekom
- Drei (3) Austria
You can learn more about local Austrian SIM cards in my Austria SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Drei (3) Austria network, which, on average, is in the middle in terms of speeds (behind A1 Austria and ahead of Magenta Telekom).
During my trip, the results were different. Drei Austria was the fastest local mobile operator, closely followed by Magenta Telekom & more than twice as fast as A1 Austria.
But there is something you should know about prepaid SIM cards in Austria – the mobile operators seem to hate prepaid customers.
Okay, perhaps not truly hate, but all Austrian mobile operators throttle prepaid speeds.
The more expensive the plan, the faster the speeds you can get (all the way up to 150 Mbps/50 Mbps).
But that is not a promise you will even achieve those speeds.
In spite of that, something was interesting with my Drei Austria SIM card.
While the plan I got had a 50 Mbps/20 Mbps speed restriction, I sometimes managed to get much faster speeds (up to 101 Mbps).
The other Austrian mobile operators ensured I never got speeds faster than the advertised speed.
This is why Drei Austria performed so well compared to its competition.
Okay, one more thing before I analyze the results.
Remember when I said that Austria was the first country in phase two of my trip?
Not only was it physically a second phase, but the Eurolink eSIM behaved differently from then on.
While I had basically no reception issues in phase one (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta & Greece + Belgium), I often had to put my phone in airplane mode to reset the connection.
If I would not, then I would have no connection at all – and it was annoying as hell.
The issue somewhat stopped in Slovenia, but it was still an odd experience because I did not change any settings on my phone between phases one and two.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Drei Austria – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 13% slower than Drei Austria – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (35.02 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) but (certainly) NOT the live streaming test (3.83 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Austria.
Drei Austria's throttling worked well most of the time, but it does not seem to throttle roaming partners like the Eurolink eSIM.
That is why the Airalo Europe eSIM performed surprisingly well.
But not in terms of upload speeds – it was whack with the Eurolink eSIM.
I always had reception with the travel SIM card and local SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Vienna.
After landing in Vienna, Austria, I headed to Bratislava, Slovakia.
In Slovakia, you have four mobile operators:
- Slovak Telekom
- Orange Slovakia
- O2 Slovakia
- 4ka by Swan Mobile
You can learn more about local Slovak SIM cards in my Slovakia SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Orange Slovakia network, which, on average, is the best mobile operator in terms of coverage and speed.
During my trip, the results were different. Slovak Telekom was the clear winner, and O2 Slovakia did well too… but Orange Slovakia was slow – never getting a download speed of more than 30(.02 Mbps).
So I heavily suspect Orange Slovakia throttles prepaid speeds.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Orange Slovakia – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 41.7% slower than Orange Slovakia – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did NOT pass the video streaming test (13.47 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) NOR the live streaming test (7.14 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Slovakia.
These are some expected results.
While I am not surprised the Eurolink eSIM was slower than Orange Slovakia, which I suspect already throttle prepaid speed, the speeds I got with the Airalo Europe eSIM were very slow, with the exception of three speed test results.
These are the speeds I expect on 3G networks – and it can even be faster than that!
Watching videos @ 1080p in Slovakia will be a challenge with the Eurolink eSIM.
What was surprising is that the Nomad Europe eSIM (using the Slovak Telekom network), which I tested during this trip too, was also experiencing extremely slow speed – on actual 3G all the time.
Yet, both eSIMs claim they are supposed to use 4G/LTE in Slovakia.
If both Airalo and Nomad used the same roaming partner, I would suspect the roaming agreement got altered back then.
But since both eSIMs had different roaming partners, I am a bit suspicious.
ESPECIALLY when the SimCorner O2 Europe travel SIM card, another SIM card I tested during this trip, had no speed issues at all – and it was using the O2 Slovakia network.
See, if I was not that crazy to buy so many SIM cards in every country I go to, I would not be able to give you all these insights.
So perhaps I am crazy in a good way? 🤪😜
I always had reception with the travel SIM card and local SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Bratislava and on the busses to and from Vienna on the highway.
After landing in Austria and Slovakia, it was time to the the bus to Budapest, Hungary.
I actually forgot one of my testing phones at the Airbnb in Bratislava 😭.
Luckily, I had enough SIM card slots on my other three testing phones in the remaining three countries (each having only three mobile operators), so I did not have to keep changing SIM cards.
In Hungary, you have three mobile operators:
- Magyar Telekom
- Yettel Hungary (formerly Telenor Hungary)
- Vodafone Hungary
You can learn more about local Hungarian SIM cards in my Hungary SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the Magyar Telekom network, which, on average, is the fastest network and has the best coverage.
Just like in Slovakia, I had general reception issues (having to put my phone in airplane mode and turn it off again to be connected again), and the speeds were slow.
Even though Magyar Telekom does not seem to throttle speeds for its prepaid customers.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and Yettel Hungary – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 85.8% slower than Magyar Telekom – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did NOT pass the video streaming test (8.42 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) NOR the live streaming test (8.87 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Hungary.
Watching videos @ 1080p in Hungary will be a challenge with the Eurolink eSIM.
Yeah, there is not much more to say about these results, ha.
Now, it was time for me to head to Croatia.
The Flixbus ride to Zagreb was quite funny because more than half the bus was filled with Dutch students on a student trip.
What was not funny was that it took 1.5 HOURS to cross the borders because Croatia is not part of the Schengen area yet 😒.
In Croatia, you have three mobile operators:
- Hrvatski Telekom
- A1 Croatia
- Telemach Croatia
You can learn more about local Croatian SIM cards in my Croatia SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the A1 Croatia network, which, on average, has the second-best speeds (behind Hrvatski Telekom) but significantly faster than Telemach Croatia.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and A1 Croatia – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 59% slower than A1 Croatia – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did pass the video streaming test (53.8 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) but NOT the live streaming test (8.27 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Croatia.
Unlike in the previous two countries (Slovakia and Hungary), speeds with the Eurolink eSIM were solid.
Sure, A1 Croatia had much faster speeds, but that is to be expected – mobile operators like to prioritize their own customers (but some mobile operators hate prepaid customers, like in Austria or Orange Slovakia, where prepaid speeds are throttled heavily).
But yeah, there is not much more to say about these results – but I still had to use the airplane mode trick often to get back on the network again in Croatia.
Well, it was time for my trip to end. Ljubljana, Slovenia was the last destination of my journey.
Honestly, I was happy because visiting so many countries tires you out 💀.
In Slovenia, you have three mobile operators:
- Telekom Slovenia
- A1 Slovenia
- Telemach Slovenia
You can learn more about local Slovenian SIM cards in my Slovenia SIM card buying guide.
The Eurolink eSIM uses the A1 Slovenia network, which, on average, is the slowest.
But A1 Slovenia does have the second-fastest 5G NR network.
Yet again, we seem to have a mobile operator that throttles prepaid speeds, as I never got a download speed of more than 39.43 Mbps.
Anyway, here are the speed test results of the Eurolink eSIM and A1 Slovenia – the roaming partner:
On average, the Eurolink eSIM was 61.6% slower than A1 Slovenia – its roaming partner. The Eurolink eSIM did NOT pass the video streaming test (10.41 Mbps average download speed – 25 Mbps minimum for 4k streaming) NOR the live streaming test (6.41 Mbps average upload speed – 10 Mbps minimum for HD live streaming) in Slovenia.
Not only does A1 Slovenia seem to throttle prepaid speeds at a maximum of 40 Mbps, but the Eurolink eSIM speeds were also significantly lower.
So low that, once again, you would struggle to watch videos @ 1080p.
At least the reception issue of me having to toggle airplane mode on and off multiple times throughout the day was not necessary anymore🤷🏿♂️.
I always had reception with the eSIM and local SIM card at all test locations and when just wandering around Ljubljana.
Overall, I was happy with how the Airalo Eurolink eSIM worked, even though it was on average 21.6% slower than its roaming partners.
But this percentage includes roaming partners with insane 5G NR download speeds and those who throttle prepaid speeds heavily.
But on average, you will have slower speeds with the Airalo Eurolink Europe eSIM than its roaming partners – and that is normal.
Installing the eSIM was a breeze.
The activation process is straightforward and quick.
There was almost always reception with the Airalo Europe eSIM as with the roaming partner.
The speeds were good and sometimes even (significantly) faster than the roaming partner.
In short, I do recommend the Airalo Eurolink eSIM.
But you should not care about the the fact that your speed with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM is often slower than the SIM card of the roaming partner.
Wait… I say this after spending 11 chapters analyzing speed test results?
Yes, but let me explain.
First, I care about mobile data speeds much more than the regular user.
Mostly because it is an easy way to assess the performance of mobile operators as a person.
Sure, I could say that I had coverage in the 3451 of the 3494 streets I walked through during my trip, but that would be a hassle to keep track of… and it would tell you nothing because there is a small change you would follow my exact footsteps.
But speed test results are also helpful for seeing how coverage is with SIM cards.
A mobile operator could claim it covers a whole country for data usage.
But if you only get a 1 Mbps download speed throughout the whole country, making it basically useless for regular data browsing, would you go with this mobile operator or another one that actually has reception where people live and go to and have an average download speed of 50 Mbps?
Plus, there should be no practical difference for a regular user if the Airalo Eurolink eSIM managed to get a download speed of 50 Mbps while the roaming partner has a speed test result of 625 Mbps.
Because you can still watch YouTube videos at 1080p or 4k, browse social media & even have live streams on Facebook at 50 Mbps without complications.
Now, the 625 Mbps download speed would be useful if you download a large file… like a 5 GB movie.
But you should not do that on 4G/LTE or 5G NR anyway unless you have an unlimited data plan.
Perhaps Airalo will introduce such SIM cards? *nudge*, *nudge* – I know you are reading this, Airalo 😏.
But the average and median speed test results of the Airalo Europe eSIM are relevant.
If the speeds were to hover around 5 Mbps, you would not have a smooth browsing experience at all, and I would point that out.
This was the issue with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM, and Nomad Europe eSIM for that matter, in Slovakia, which were restricted to 3G for some reason.
This could have been a temporary fault, as it affected two different eSIMs which used different roaming partners.
So besides Slovakia, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM worked well and was almost always on 4G/LTE.
Airalo Eurolink eSIM can be a cost-effective way to stay connected in the European Union and Europe as a whole.
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