Apr 1, 2024 5 min read

What's it Like with Internet in Egypt? Wi-Fi or Roaming?

For most of us, just the thought of being without internet for even a few hours is terrifying. And when we travel, we want, more than ever, to be constantly connected.

woman looking for internet connection in Egypt

We can hardly imagine a vacation without posting on Instagram or staying in touch with loved ones through social media. It's as if your visit to a place doesn't count if you haven't checked in 🙂.

I've seen a lot of questions over time about Egypt, and one of the most frequent is about what the internet situation is like there. Since I see more and more of you considering spending time on the sunny shores of the Red Sea, I want to shed some light on the matter.

A few years ago, everyone was afraid to use mobile data in roaming due to the extremely high costs. Well, now we have "home" rates and have forgotten about this stress when traveling in Europe.

Is it possible to visit Egypt on your own? Definitely, yes!
Are you better off, from a tourist point of view, if you travel to Egypt on your own? Personally, I tend to believe not, but let’s dive into my story.

But what about when you travel further afield? As trends show that more and more travelers are turning their attention to increasingly distant and exotic destinations, things stand differently when it comes to roaming.

When traveling outside the EEA (European Economic Area), it is preferable not to use mobile data in roaming.

So, check with your operator before leaving the country to see in which zone and tariff category the country you're going to is, as well as what the costs are for calls and MB.

If you still want to use mobile data in roaming, don't forget to activate international roaming for these services. For example, at Vodafone, it's activated separately from voice roaming.

Spending quite a lot of time near the border, I always deactivate my roaming when I return to the country. I've learned my lesson; I caught the network from the Albania, and when the bill came, I was shocked.

Therefore, no data traffic in roaming when traveling outside the EEA!

Having clarified the roaming situation, let's see specifically how to proceed with the internet in Egypt.

Wi-Fi, Local Prepay Card or Mobile Data in Roaming?

Mobile data in roaming, definitely NOT! Or, well… if you want to pay more on your bill than you spent on your entire stay… I've never used roaming in Egypt for mobile data and I don't recommend you do either.

I know of all sorts of unfortunate situations when the subscription bill was twice as expensive as the stay. So, no internet in roaming in Egypt.

For calls, it might still work, although it's not exactly convenient. But since you have an internet connection, use apps that allow you to talk to those back home without costs. Many people use Facebook, so you can talk using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, etc.

Prepay Card or Wi-Fi?

If we've ruled out mobile data in roaming, we're left with two options: either you're satisfied with the Wi-Fi networks in hotels, restaurants, bars, buses, etc., or you buy a local pre-pay card.

In Egypt, there are about four mobile networks: Vodafone, Etisalat, Mobinil, and We (by Telecom Egypt). So you'll have plenty to choose from. Vodafone is the most used, and you can find a booth at the airport, right at the exit.

You can get a local pre-pay card with minutes and MB and forget about the cost worries. Prices are affordable; for a card with 10GB, you'll pay around $10. There are cards with different values, and hence, different traffic amounts. And if you have a dual SIM phone, everything's perfect!

Note! Your passport will be requested! But this is absolutely normal, I've encountered it almost everywhere in the world. I wonder, are pre-pay cards still given without an ID, somewhere?

Wi-Fi Networks are Everywhere in Egypt

Alternatively, if you don't want or need a pre-pay card, you can stick to hotel Wi-Fi. Since most of you will be staying in resorts along the Red Sea, you can use the connections there.

Most hotels in Egypt offer their guests Wi-Fi networks. Sometimes free, in other cases for a fee. The costs are not high anyway; for 24 hours of internet, you'll pay around $2-3. Costs vary from one hotel to another.

There are also cases where hotels offer free internet, usually in the lobby. In this case, you should avoid peak hours, in the morning and evening, when generally everyone wants to communicate back home.

When you leave the hotel, and I recommend you do as much as possible, you can also connect to Wi-Fi routers around the city. Restaurants now also offer Wi-Fi to their customers to attract them.

Transporters also come with a bonus for those traveling with them, so if you're heading to Cairo or Luxor, ask the driver or guide if it's available and ask for the password. Distances are long (it takes about 6-7 hours one way between Hurghada and Cairo), and this way, you can spend your time in a more useful way.

Internet in Egypt is Not Great

Don't expect internet like at home and don't be surprised if you wait even a few minutes to post some pictures! Sometimes you won't even manage to start a video call, but don't panic! You're on vacation, relax and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Visit as much as you can, interact with locals, ride a camel, go diving. Leave the internet issue for later; it will resolve itself! And it's not the end of the world if you spend a few days without logging into Facebook!

For example, in Cuba, I survived two weeks without a phone, and with internet now and then. I told you, the internet was based on scratchable pre-pay cards, and besides that, you had to find a Wi-Fi router. And these weren't everywhere, you could only find them in large hotels or parks. But there, you had no space because of the Cubans, all glued to their phones.

In Egypt, things are somewhat more relaxed when it comes to the internet. Sometimes it works well, other times almost not at all. But it's better this way than not at all. Some well-rated hotels (but also with corresponding prices) offer very good internet connections to their guests. Mostly, the connections are basic.

I hope I've clarified the issue with the internet in Egypt, and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to leave them in the comments.

Thank you for reading and make sure to subscribe. We're constantly exploring new destinations and share our stories, tips, and the beauty we discover along the way.

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