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Typical Data Usage?

2020 Camino Guides

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Seems I am taking an IPhone 4s with me auf die VdlP and that means I need a new data plan. So, what is the typical data amount for somebody that relies mostly on wifi and looks up things via the 'phone line' only very occasionally? 1GB enough? Thanks, SY
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Sorry - I cant help as I used just wifi and kept my french SIM in place just in case if I needed it in emergency... but never did. However that was CF and not VdlP.

Soooo envious of your plans! Would love to walk the VdlP!
 
Never had to use other than the free wifi around. Though I don't feel compelled to do that much as I can call and text home for free. Don't forget that many european providers have changed their roaming charges rules already in advance of impending regulation implementation.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
If you rarely use your phone for mobile data, I think that 1gb will be enough (I assume that you're talking about roaming, rather than your normal 'at home' usage).

Just make sure that you check your settings and turn off mobile data for most of your apps. Some can gobble up your data allowance without you realising it. You might also want to consider turning off your data roaming option for some of the time - especially if you have regular access to wifi.

Hope this helps.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Thanks @NualaOC that is incredibly helpful and yes, I am looking at roaming rather than getting a Spanish SIM for a variety of reasons. Buen Camino, SY
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Orange has a pre-paid SIM card that you buy in Spain. It is called "Holiday," is oriented for tourists and is good for 15 days. The cards cost 15 Euro and include 1.5 Gb of data, plus 60 minutes free voice use anywhere (local and international). Time period aside, it sounds perfect for the Camino.

Once activated, you can purchase additional credit. But, you must activate the card in Spain, and on Orange.

The only issue is whether Orange provides a signal where you want to be. I do not know about roaming on European / Spanish networks. However, if it can be used on Movistar or Vodaphone networks, it looks like a very cost-effective option.

I bought a couple of these starter kits in Santiago last August. I am holding them, planning to use one in my iPhone on my next trip. I would like to use maps on my iPhone, as well as roaming Wi-Fi for data connections so I can make advance reservations or change plans easier than in the past.

Perhaps someone over there can investigate roaming, or similar products offered by the Spanish providers and report back?

I hope this helps.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
SY, 1GB is plenty if you take the precautions mentioned by others. I had a 1GB plan last summer on the CF and fretted about using my phone off WiFI, only to find at the end, I had used maybe 300MB. 3/10ths of my allotment.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Seems I am taking an IPhone 4s with me auf die VdlP and that means I need a new data plan. So, what is the typical data amount for somebody that relies mostly on wifi and looks up things via the 'phone line' nur very occasionally? 1GB enough? Thanks, SY
Even on the VdlP two+ years ago I had no trouble finding wifi in most bars/cafés, and even some albergues.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
I am not sure where you live but in the UK the 3 Network has free roaming in a huge amount of countries so once you activate roaming you can use your allowance at no extra charge.
They have monthly plans so you do not have to commit to a contract other than a month at a time and the best deal for me was unlimited Data, unlimited text and 200 minutes for just £20!
I got it last year to walk the Frances and it was brilliant knowing i didnt have to worry at all because it was unlimited data.
I just checked the site and for monthly unlimited data it is now £23 pounds but of course there are lesser options.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
On my phone the EE shop turned everything 'off' for me so that I do not download data by phone. I keep it in airplane mode to save battery. When needing to use wi-fi I go into settings and turn on the wi-fi and data setting, but the mobile/phone data is still turned off. If I needed it I would have to use settings and turn it on manually. Easy to do once you get used to it, but not used yet in Spain.
 

Rob the Slob

A slob
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid to Santiago (May 2016)
I see that your Camino is planned for February/March, so this probably won't help you, but it might be useful to other EU pilgrims travelling from May forward: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/roaming

Essentially, starting 1 May 2016 roaming charges within the EU will be capped at domestic rates plus a very minor markup. Effective 15 June 2017 all international roaming charges within the EU will be abolished.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
At home my plan includes 1 GB per month. I go about my business, using the data quite frequently, and I rarely go up to 1 GB, so I expect it would be fine for you. Just be careful not to watch any Facebook/YouTube videos. Also be sure you have the automatic download settings set for "Wifi only."
 
Camino(s) past & future
See signature. Too many to list here.
Can you recharge as you go? I usually start with an 800 mb package (ATT) and then monitor my usage as I head out. If I have to, I can sign up for additional amounts along the way. I think I had to recharge maybe once.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Can you recharge as you go? I usually start with an 800 mb package (ATT) and then monitor my usage as I head out. If I have to, I can sign up for additional amounts along the way. I think I had to recharge maybe once.
An 800mb data package is $120! I'm on AT&T and refuse to give them so much for so little in return, since my iPhone is unlocked, I have the option to buy a local prepaid SIM card. For the cost of a bad pilgrim meal you can get a prepaid Spanish SIM card with data.
 
Camino(s) past & future
See signature. Too many to list here.
An 800mb data package is $120! I'm on AT&T and refuse to give them so much for so little in return, since my iPhone is unlocked, I have the option to buy a local prepaid SIM card. For the cost of a bad pilgrim meal you can get a prepaid Spanish SIM card with data.
Its a convenience thing. I know it works, I know I won't be charged hidden extras, I don't have to unlock my phone. I can take care of everything from a website on both my desktop and mobile phone. Just a different approach I guess, I fully respect alternative approaches.

Less so about the relative economics of my plan I was more responding to the OP's question about how much data I use.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
... @SYates, the "nur very occasionally" made me smile.
Oh Dear! Thanks for spotting that, I have corrected it now. I am nursing a cold at the moment and my brain isn't exactly at full capacity. But glad it gave you a smile :) Buen Camino, SY
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
1gb is more than enough. I never used more than 300-400 mb (roaming) on a five week walk and then i still use it whenever and where ever i want. Not to download music and movies (duh), but for typical travel stuff....phonenumbers, reservations, city info, plane check-in ect...whatsapp i use all the time without even thinking about wifi. Whatsapp uses up so little.
 

Ramchippo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
January [2016]
Make sure you disable updates too, a single app update or iOS updating to the latest version which usually happens automatically can be several GB of data in a couple of minutes, there's a new version of iOS coming out soon too.
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Or you switch of the auto update fuction ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 25, 2016
So - any advice for someone who DOES use a lot of data and doesn't want to have to rely on spotty wifi? I use my iPhone 6s to upload all my photos to the cloud and I sometimes use mapping apps which can use a lot of data. I figure I need 3-5 gigs for the 40 days I'll be in Spain. I DON'T need to make phone calls or text messages so I don't care if that is an option or not. I can FB message my husband if we get separated (so long as we both have a Spain data card).

When I was in Italy last year, I bought a SIM card online through prepaidsimcard.org. It cost more but it allowed tethering and I didn't need to call an Italian number to set it up. It was already setup and easy to use. There was a choice of 1 gb or 10 gb so I bought the 10 and used about half of it over 3 weeks. I just don't know if I should order one online again like I did for Italy, or just buy one in Spain when I get there.
 

Ramchippo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
January [2016]
You can buy EU traveller SIM's that will easily cover all the data you need to use anywhere in the EU, usually they rely on Orange in Spain as the network provider so you're restricted to 3G, and they are the most expensive option but easiest to arrange where you are (Canada).

My preferred option is to simply buy an Orange or Vodafone sim in Spain, I like 4G and Vodafone seem to have great rural 4G coverage so I go with them. In the US / Canada you call them prepay sims, you can buy them from shops in literally every town. You have to present your passport now so they can link it to the SIM incase you are a terrorist, but that takes seconds. You can also top the SIM's up with more prepay cash in literally every bar in every tiny village in the entire country, so it's a super easy option if you run out of call or data time.

When I was staying in Talavera last summer I used about 200 gigs over a month doing online work and streaming movies, music etc and never had any problems with Vodafone. You basically pay 20 Euros or whatever and they give you X minutes and X data, which when you run out you simply pay another 20 Euros in any bar, small store, coffee shop and then get your allowance again, there's no limit to the number of times you can do this.

You don't have to pay 20 Euros you can pay less and you get a lower allowance, there's a step system so 5 Euros might get you a tiny amount, 10 some more, and 20 the max.
 

EL Guapo

EL Guapo
Camino(s) past & future
(1983 - 1985-1990-1995-1999-2003-2008-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017) CF, etc.
I use Labara SIM card which I purchase at the Madrid airport loaded with 1 gig of data. I use my 4s as I normally do in the states. It lasted almost 4 weeks last year up until my trip to finisterri. I recharged it at the bus station in Santiago for around 20 eu's. It most likely would have lasted longer, but I used my phone for a hot spot for my iPad mini rather than relying on local wifi service. This spring I will up the gig to 3 just so I don't have to reload it . The cost is very reasonable and the convenience is good for me. I made calls every day to the states and Asia , I used the Internet for investment updates,mapping, and anything else I wanted to do. The coverage was exceptional with no dead spots etc. all in all I used it as I do at home with apps for all kinds of stuff. As I said , 1 gig would most likely had been enough except for using it to augment my iPad for a hot spot. The cost of the extra gigs is worth it to me for the convenience. The only caveat for Labara is it is not as easy to find on the trail,but can be updated via a phone call if you need to. easy to use and reliable for me. I wish it was available in 1984 on my first trip, instead of a tin can and string, Doh!
Any way, hope this is somewhat helpful to you. Agradecementos y Buen camino
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
As with the data settings you can have the update settings set to wi-fi only. Mine is that permanently. Like the ordinary data was done for me at the shop.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
So - any advice for someone who DOES use a lot of data and doesn't want to have to rely on spotty wifi? I use my iPhone 6s to upload all my photos to the cloud and I sometimes use mapping apps which can use a lot of data. I figure I need 3-5 gigs for the 40 days I'll be in Spain. I DON'T need to make phone calls or text messages so I don't care if that is an option or not. I can FB message my husband if we get separated (so long as we both have a Spain data card).

When I was in Italy last year, I bought a SIM card online through prepaidsimcard.org. It cost more but it allowed tethering and I didn't need to call an Italian number to set it up. It was already setup and easy to use. There was a choice of 1 gb or 10 gb so I bought the 10 and used about half of it over 3 weeks. I just don't know if I should order one online again like I did for Italy, or just buy one in Spain when I get there.
Getting a prepaid Spanish SIM is easy to buy once you get to Spain, there are several carriers, Lebara seems to have the best rates for large chunks of data and their site is in english.
http://www.lebara.es/passes/internet

Here is the list of carriers in Spain.
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Spain

Here is the worldwide list of prepaid SIM cards.
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Prepaid_SIM_with_data

I worked with a group from Vancouver when we were in Mexico, even they bought prepaid Telcel Mexico SIM cards, they told me how horrible the Canadian cell providers are and how they would be taken to the cleaners if they roamed on their Canadian carrier.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Bajaracer that looks like a very useful list of links. Could you post it in the resources section?
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 25, 2016
I'm back looking at this again. Now I'm considering buying a prepaid card that will work in France, Spain, and Italy for the 3 months I'm there (it actually works in about 20 countries). I can tether other devices to it and it comes with 7 GB data card for 75 euros with a top up option. Seems like a good deal. I bought a card from the same company for Italy last August and it worked well. This is the company. Has anyone else tried the multi-country cards from them? http://www.prepaidsimcard.org

ETA: Sorry I spoke too soon. It's only good for 30 days. Back to the drawing board.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am not sure where you live but in the UK the 3 Network has free roaming in a huge amount of countries so once you activate roaming you can use your allowance at no extra charge.
They have monthly plans so you do not have to commit to a contract other than a month at a time and the best deal for me was unlimited Data, unlimited text and 200 minutes for just £20!
I got it last year to walk the Frances and it was brilliant knowing i didnt have to worry at all because it was unlimited data.
I just checked the site and for monthly unlimited data it is now £23 pounds but of course there are lesser options.
In the US T-Mobile has free unlimited data world wide. I have taken advantage of it in quite a few countries using T-Mobile.
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
I'm back looking at this again. Now I'm considering buying a prepaid card that will work in France, Spain, and Italy for the 3 months I'm there (it actually works in about 20 countries). I can tether other devices to it and it comes with 7 GB data card for 75 euros with a top up option. Seems like a good deal. I bought a card from the same company for Italy last August and it worked well. This is the company. Has anyone else tried the multi-country cards from them? http://www.prepaidsimcard.org

ETA: Sorry I spoke too soon. It's only good for 30 days. Back to the drawing board.
Sounds like a good deal. Do they have this in the usa as well? Good data deals? I find verizon and at&t very expensive, compared to european prices.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 25, 2016
I was just looking at the Lebara links provided above and see that you can also buy them in France. Does anyone know if I buy and use one in France, if I can get the same card reloaded for use in Spain (assumably on the Labara Spain site)? And then maybe again when I go to Italy?
 
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