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KPN Netherlands Review: Avoid It If You Can (+Speedtests)

In March 2022, I decided to go on a big trip.

I visited Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Malta, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia & Slovenia within a month.

Why? Because I wanted to try out SIM cards (again).

Yeah… I am that type of person – welcome to Phone Travel Wiz 🤪.

I went for such an intensive trip because I stayed home for a year since March 2021 because of travel restrictions.

Before March 2021, I was a year in Taiwan, where life was basically normal during the first year of pandemic.

So it was a good time for be while the whole world was basically on fire 😳.

Since early 2022, travel restrictions were being lifted throughout the European Union, so it was an excellent excuse to travel around the union.

That gave me the opportunity to (re-)test 41 local SIM cards, like KPN, Airalo's Eurolink Europe eSIM, Nomad's Europe eSIM & SimCorner's Europe travel SIM cards.

And because my partner wanted me back in Australia as soon as possible after not seeing him for two years and the country reopening for select travelers (including myself), I had to cram in as many destinations within a month before heading to Australia.

Tray of SIM Cards by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

If you have read any of my SIM card buying guides before, like the Dutch one, or watched a YouTube video of mine, you know that I am crazy enough to buy and test so many SIM cards.

If this is your first Phone Travel Wiz review – welcome.

I buy and test all/most SIM cards in a country and tell you which ones are the best so that you do not have to 😎.

So, in the title of this review, I already stated that you should avoid KPN if you can.

But you have read reports saying KPN is the best in the Netherlands.

And that is true – it has been winning various Speedtest awards in 2021 and 2022.

And I actually use KPN myself (postpaid – when I am in the Netherlands. Roaming is too expensive).

So why should you avoid it if KPN is apparently the best and when I have a postpaid plan with it?

It is time to tell you, right? Let's get started, shall we?

Table of Contents

Who is KPN?

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KPN Coverage + My Experience

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How to Get a KPN SIM Card & Prices

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KPN Plans, Bundles & Offers

KPN has four data-featured prepaid plans:

  • Maand Combinatiebundels/Month(ly) Combo Bundles (combo)
  • Dagbundels/Day Bundles (data)
  • Maand Internetbundles/Month(ly) Internet Bundles
  • Maand Onbeperkt Internetbundels/Month(ly) Unlimited Internet Bundles

Disclaimer: these were the available plans at the time I was in the Netherlands – the offering may have changed since then (including whether 5G NR is available to prepaid customers or not). To see KPN Netherlands' current plans, check out my the Netherlands SIM card buying guide (which gets updated regularly – at least once a year).

Buying a SIM Card in the Netherlands Guide (logos of T-Mobile, Vodafone, KPN, Lebara, Lycamobile, Ortel Mobile, ALDI Talk, L-Mobi Mobile, AH Mobiel, Jumbo Mobiel & Kruidvat Mobiel)

I will list all the prices in EUR (Euro).

To convert EUR to your currency (let's say GBP – (British) Pound (Sterling)) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

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Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Maand Combinatiebundels

The Maand Combinatiebundels are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access @ max. 25 Mbps), minutes & SMS.

Dial the Activation Code to activate Maand Combinatiebundels:

PricePlanDataLocal/EU Minutes 1Local/EU SMS 1ValidityActivation Code
5.99 EURAlles-In-1 Basis200 MB30 minutesShared with call allowance31 days*123#
9.99 EURAlles-In-1 Instap500 MB60 minutesShared with call allowance31 days*118#
14.99 EURAlles-In-1 Zorgeloos1 GB120 minutesShared with call allowance31 days*114#

1 for calls/SMS within and to other EU/EEA member states and back to the Netherlands (NOT from the Netherlands to other EU/EEA member states)

KPN Netherlands Maand Combinatiebundels

Dagbundels (Day Bundles)

The Dagbundels (Day Bundles) are, as the name implies, data plans (without 5G NR access @ max. 25 Mbps) for one day.

Dial the Activation Code to activate Dagbundels:

PricePlanDataValidityActivation Code
1.99 EURDagbundel 1 GB1 GB1 day*124#
1.99 EURDagbundel Onbeperkt OnlineUnlimited (@ 128 Kbps)1 day*148#
KPN Netherlands Dagbundels

Maand Internetbundels (Month(ly) Internet Bundles)

The Maand Internetbundels (Month(ly) Internet Bundles) are, as the name implies, data plans (without 5G NR access @ max. 25 Mbps) for a month.

Dial the Activation Code to activate Maand Internetbundels:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
5 EUR100 MB31 days*134#
7.50 EUR500 MB31 days*135#
10 EUR1 GB31 days*147#
16 EUR3 GB31 days*131#
22 EUR5 GB31 days*122#
KPN Netherlands Maand Internetbundles

Maand Onbeperkt Internetbundels (Month(ly) Unlimited Internet Bundles)

The Maand Onbeperkt Internetbundels (Month(ly) Unlimited Internet Bundles) are, as the name implies, unlimited data plans (without 5G NR access @ max. 128 Kbps).

Be aware that 128 Kbps is extremely slow.

Ever tried browsing the web when your phone was displaying 2G/E(dge)? Excruciating slow, right?

Well, that is internet @ 128 Kbps.


Dial the Activation Code to activate Maand Onbeperkt Internetbundels:

PricePlanDataLocal/EU Minutes 1Local/EU SMS 1ValidityActivation Code
8.99 EUROnbeperkt OnlineUnlimited (@ 128 Kbps)30 minutesShared with call allowance31 days*143#
8.99 EURZorgeloos OnlineUnlimited (@ 128 Kbps)30 minutesShared with call allowance31 days*142#

Be aware that the Zorgeloos Online plan auto-renews.

KPN Netherlands Maand Onbeperkt Internetbundels

EU Roaming

You can use your KPN allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Azores
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canary Islands
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guernsey
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Madeira
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Saint Martin
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

As KPN does not have dedicated EU/EEA roaming allowances, you can use your full allowance without restrictions in other EU/EEA member states.

KPN Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check

KPN top-up vouchers are sold in KPN stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout the Netherlands.

I did not have to recharge my KPN SIM card because the Netherlands was a short stop on my one-month Europe trip.

But I will still let you know about topping up your KPN SIM card.

To top up your KPN SIM card, you would text the VoucherCode Opwaarderen to 1266, or call 1244, select option 9, and enter the VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would text 123456 Opwaarderen to 1266, or call 1244, select option 9, and enter 123456# (including the #).

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text SALDO to 1266, dial *101#, or call 1244 and select option 9 to check your KPN balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the KPN Prepaid app (Android/iOS).

KPN Netherlands App

KPN Speed Test Results (+Lebara Netherlands & Lycamobile Netherlands)

Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect with KPN after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.

At least… that is what I usually do in my reviews, including the Dutch SIM card reviews series.

But I will not do so for KPN… why is that?

It is because KPN actively throttles the speeds for prepaid customers up to 25 Mbps, and this also applies to KPN MVNOs, including Lebara Netherlands and Lycamobile Netherlands.

And KPN is not secretive about it, as mentioned in the plans section.

Here is a test done in Breda – my hometown:

In the first second of the test, you can see that KPN hits a download speed of more than 130 Mbps or something like that (it goes quickly, lmao).

But after that, the speed slowly slows down to 25 Mbps.

Do you think this happened just once? Here is another result in Amsterdam (Leidseplein):

So yes, KPN actively and effectively throttles the speeds of its prepaid customers.

That is also why I stopped doing any more tests with KPN because it would be a waste of my time, as I know I would never get anything faster than 25 Mbps.

And as this also applies to its MVNOs, and all Dutch MVNOs use the KPN network, I did not bother reviewing Lebara Netherlands and Lycamobile Netherlands either because there was no use.

But did I not mention in other Dutch SIM card reviews that a download speed of 25 Mbps is more than enough for 4k video streaming on Netflix or YouTube?

Yes, that is true (and you are paying attention).

The issue is that KPN, and any other Dutch mobile operator (T-Mobile Netherlands and Vodafone Netherlands), offering prepaid services charge premium rates for prepaid.

And with some MVNOs, this is even worse.

The only exceptions are Lebara Netherlands and Lycamobile Netherlands – they are the most affordable options in the Netherlands (for data, calls & SMS – but you still have to deal with slow speeds).

Even though I am not in the Netherlands at the moment, I still have an unlimited data plan with KPN (postpaid), costing me about 25.50 EUR a month (yeah, I will be giving KPN money for free for a year until I go back 🥲).

For the same price, KPN (+T-Mobile Netherlands) will only give you 4 GB of data.

For a bit more (29 EUR), Vodafone Netherlands will be generous and give you 10 GB.

Airalo, with its Hè Hè eSIM, using the KPN network, will give you 10 GB of data for around the same price.

And you get WAAAAY faster speeds when you roam on the KPN network instead of being a prepaid customer, as shown in this Airalo speed test result in Breda again:

200 Mbps+ download speed with the Airalo Hè Hè eSIM – you can only dream of that when you get a KPN prepaid SIM card or any of its MVNOs 🥲.

In fact, I had such fast speeds with the Airalo Netherlands Hè Hè eSIM that I ran out of my data (1 GB) that I could not complete the full comparison with the other SIM cards.

Normally, I do not get such meager data-featured plans. Back then, Airalo did not officially support the Google Pixel 6 – the new eSIM-supported test phone I started using (my dad got tired of me using his Samsung device all the time). So I had to get a test eSIM before spending 100 USD on the Eurolink eSIM I used in 12 other countries (read the in-depth and popular review here).

So yes, 25 Mbps is fast enough for general data browsing.

But there is, in my opinion, no point in going with KPN when the other mobile operators are as expensive or cheaper and offer full speeds.

Or even worse for KPN, travel eSIM providers like Airalo offer more data for the same price as KPN, while using the KPN network, and being almost ten times as fast as KPN.

Yeah… no wonder I do not recommend KPN if there are better options available.

Also, here is a table of how all the other options I tried in the Netherlands performed:

T-Mobile Netherlands vs Vodafone Netherlands vs Airalo Hè Hè vs SimCorner O2 Speed Test Results

I told you that there is no point on going with expensive KPN when the others are much faster (and cheaper… except for T-Mobile Netherlands) 🥲.

My Overall Experience with KPN – Is It Any Good?

I probably would not recommend KPN because there are far cheaper, better & faster options out there. However, it is not terrible.

Being expanded.

Dutch SIM Card Reviews

As mentioned earlier, I also tried out T-Mobile Netherlands and Vodafone Netherlands when I was in the Netherlands.

You should read those reviews too.

>>> T-Mobile Netherlands Review | Vodafone Netherlands Review <<<

Later, I will make a comparison post of the three Dutch SIM cards I tried… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).

But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the Dutch SIM card reviews.

Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other European SIM cards from this trip.

Netherlands SIM Card Buying Guide

There are more than ten SIM cards to choose from in the Netherlands besides KPN.

I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Netherlands SIM card buying guide.

Buying a SIM Card in the Netherlands Guide (logos of T-Mobile, Vodafone, KPN, Lebara, Lycamobile, Ortel Mobile, ALDI Talk, L-Mobi Mobile, AH Mobiel, Jumbo Mobiel & Kruidvat Mobiel)

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

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It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience

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Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?

In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

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Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!