How to get internet in New York City: eSIM, SIM Card, roaming and wifi | May 2024

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Last update: May 6, 2024
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Author: Roams UK
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In a nutshell

If you want to access the internet in New York, you can connect to public or portable wifi, activate your carrier's roaming service or buy a data SIM card. But your best bet is to get an eSIM with Holafly, as it's easy to activate as soon as you arrive in the city, and it's pretty cheap.

Get your eSIM Holafly New York

Internet in New York: all the alternatives

The Big Apple is a city full of possibilities. You're sure to be interested in having the best internet in New York. But don't worry, because there are many options and here we'll explain them in detail.

You'll want to know underground frequencies and lines, read restaurant reviews, or share your trip on social media. That's why we think you deserve the best internet provider in New York. And here we tell you about it.

But before we get into that, here's a table where you can check out all the cheapest and fastest internet access options in New York at a glance:

How much internet costs in New York
Service Price/Days Data
eSIM New York Holafly
  • From £19/5 days
  • Unlimited
SIM Card in New York
  • From £32/9 days
  • Unlimited
Wifi in New York:
  • Portable
  • Public

  • From £6/1 day
  • Free

  • From 1GB
  • Unlimited
Roaming in New York
  • From £6/1 day

  • From 1GB

eSIM New York: the cheapest and most convenient option

As you can see, the range of alternatives is very wide, but if you ask us, your best option is to get an eSIM for New York. This is a digital card that you will receive in the email as soon as you pay for it. When you arrive at the airport, all you have to do is activate it with a simple code to be able to connect to the network whenever you need to.

What is an eSim card?

TAnother important aspect to note is that eSIMs often have cheap internet plans to New York, so you can avoid the roaming services of the phone companies. As you know, these are not cheap.

Therefore, it is not unusual for more and more companies to offer this product, such as Maya Mobile, Up or Airalo. But among all the offers available, we recommend you to buy an eSIM New York from Holafly. Among other reasons, because their plans offer unlimited data.

On the other hand, an eSIM like Holafly's will allow you to save time on your trip and spend it on what really matters. You won't have to waste your first few hours searching for a SIM card in the US city, so you can settle in and relax in your hotel as soon as you arrive.

Advantages of signing up for an eSIM to travel to New York with Holafly:

  • You will be able to activate the card with a simple QR code as soon as you arrive in the city.
  • You will be able to access the internet whenever you need it, as you will have unlimited data.
  • Thanks to WhatsApp, you'll be able to make calls and send messages from your old number.
  • Its customer service will solve any problem that may arise. Moreover, it is 24/7, free and in Spanish.
  • You will receive your eSIM by email as soon as you buy it.
  • It is one of the cheapest options.

Disadvantages of Holafly's eSIM card for New York:

  • Although you will enjoy unlimited mobile data, you will not be able to share it with other devices.
  • As it doesn't include a local number, you won't be able to call or send SMS from your original number, but you will be able to do so via WhatsApp.

You can see that the main disadvantages are not being able to make calls from our number or share our mobile data. Even so, it is clear to us that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, so the Holafly eSIM is still your best option for accessing the network abroad.

Holafly eSIM rates for New York
Days Prices Data
5 days £19 Unlimited
10 days £29 Unlimited
15 days £44 Unlimited
20 days £49 Unlimited
30 days £59 Unlimited
60 days £77 Unlimited
90 days £89 Unlimited

Best prepaid SIM Card in New York

iPhones and the latest generation of smartphones are eSIM compatible, but your phone may not be. In that case, another option is to buy a SIM Card in New York, which will also give you internet access in the Big Apple.

You can buy it both physically and online. The latter is the most convenient option, although you should do it in advance, as you will have to wait to receive it at home before you set off on your trip.

We recommend that you avoid buying your mobile data card at the airport, as it will be much more expensive than usual. It may be tempting for the convenience, but you will end up regretting it.

Also, remember to make sure you know what type of SIM card your mobile phone needs. Not all handsets work with the same frequencies and sizes. The sizes currently available on the market are normal, microSIM and nanoSIM.

  • SIM Card for New York with T-Mobile: you will first need to purchase the SIM card and then top it up at a supermarket or specialist shop.
  • Verizon prepaid SIM Card in New York: as with the previous operator, you will first need to buy the prepaid card and then insert the money you want.
  • AT&T data card for New York: this is one of the major carriers operating nationwide, so you can easily buy the SIM and top it up.

Don't forget that you need an unlocked mobile phone for the SIM Card to work. So, before you buy anything, you'll want to make sure that your phone supports cards from other operators.

Connecting to wifi in New York City

One of the most attractive options for accessing the internet abroad is to connect to a public wifi network. Even more so in a city like New York, where you'll find hotspots in a multitude of establishments, as well as in public parks and on the street.

Be aware that these types of networks are not at all secure from an IT point of view. We recommend that you do not make any banking transactions or purchases online, as it is relatively easy for someone to access your bank details and accounts. If you want to be on the safe side, we recommend accessing the network with a VPN connection.

What public wifi network can I connect to in New York?

The advantage is that there are plenty of hotspots to connect to the internet in New York. Here are the most common ones:

  • Coffee shops: whether it's Starbucks or another such establishment, you'll be able to connect to a public wifi network that won't cost you a penny.
  • Kiosks: one of the most surprising aspects of New York City is that it has a multitude of kiosks where you can access the internet for free. You can also recharge your phone and make national calls.
  • Libraries: Strangely enough, the wifi in public libraries is incredibly fast. They can be very useful for any kind of business.
  • Subways: In New York, you can even connect to a wifi network on the underground. However, only in the stations, as you will lose coverage in the carriage.
  • Parks: As in other busy parts of the city, many of the Big Apple's public parks have public wifi networks.

Roaming in New York: access the internet in your phone

One of the most convenient ways to connect to the internet abroad is to activate your carrier's roaming service in New York City. It is true that you will have to do virtually nothing, but be warned that, in most cases, this will cost you quite a lot of money.

For customers roaming within the EU there are no extra charges, however, if they decide to travel outside Europe to other countries such as the USA, Turkey, New Zealand and Australia there are always extra costs.

In other words, if you are travelling to New York from the UK, you will need to pay extra for roaming. And the cost is very expensive.

All the mobile network providers including Vodafone, O2, EE and Three all charge their customers to use their data roaming outside Europe.

¿How to spend less on data roaming?

This also applies to MVNO's carriers such as Lebara, Plusnet, Tesco and ASDA because to roam outside the EU can be expensive for carriers, so they have to charge customers.

For this reason, from our point of view, the best option is the Holafly New York eSIM: in addition to knowing the price from the very first moment, you will not have any surprise bills, you will have unlimited data, and you will enjoy internet from the very first moment you arrive in the Big Apple.

eSim USA
Prepaid: 5 days expiry
Data Unlimited

Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£195 days expiry
taxes included

Internet speed and coverage in New York

Not all countries operate on the same frequency bands for internet access. Neither do all mobile phones nor operators. That's why it's a good idea to find out if your mobile phone will work properly before you take your flight.

But don't worry, because there are specialized websites where you can check your phone's compatibility with the different frequency bands. In any case, if you sign up for your New York eSIM with Holafly, their customer service will do this for you.

Regarding internet coverage and speed in the Big Apple, the most common networks are 4G and 4G+, in addition to the new 5G, which is already common in major US cities.

Benefits of having internet in New York

Sharing your trip on social media or checking the weather are some of the reasons why you should have internet in New York, but there are many more:

  • Check Google Maps: think that you are going to a city that invites you to walk around and visit different places. You may be able to find your way around easily, but if not, Google Maps will be your main ally.
  • Know the metro and bus timetables and routes: you will probably take public transport for many of your journeys, so it is a good idea to check the routes and frequencies from your phone.
  • Book hotels and restaurants: you can always do it the old-fashioned way, but if you do it online, you'll be sure of a place in those places you've been thinking about for so long.
  • Make calls from WhatsApp: chances are you can't make normal calls from your usual number, but you can make them via WhatsApp.
  • Pay with your mobile phone: more and more establishments support this payment method, for which you need internet. And you have to admit that it is really convenient.

Having unlimited data on your phone in New York will make your trip much more fulfilling. Not to mention how convenient it will be to buy tickets to a Broadway musical, hire a' or buy tickets to watch an NBA game live.

Buy an Unlimited data eSIM for New York with a 5% OFF. Code ROAMS

FAQs: Internet in New York City

What network frequencies operate in New York City

Frequencies in New York City can vary depending on the type of network (3G, 4G or 5G), but most are at 6 00, 850, 1700, 1900 and 2100 (1) . Check that your mobile phone can operate on these frequencies before you travel.

What is the main internet provider in New York?

Although there are many phone companies in the United States, the most common in New York City, for both tourists and locals, are T-Mobile and AT&T.

How much mobile data do I need to travel to New York?

It's hard to know how much data you'll need on your trip, but you can make a rough estimate. If you are clear about which apps you will be using during your stay in New York, you can check the settings of each app to see how much data they consume and do the maths.

Fuentes del artículo
  1. Cobertura 3G / 4G / 5G en New York City - Consulted in
Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Nadia Pérez
Edited and revised por Nadia Pérez