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Airalo eSIM Israel: Should I Be Using Airalo in Israel? A Complete Review

eSIM (embedded SIM) is a relatively new invention that has taken the traveling world by storm. After all, what’s not to like? You don’t need to swap your SIM card; the installation process takes minutes, and you can call, text, and use the internet without worrying about exorbitant roaming charges. 

Given how convenient eSIMs are, it shouldn’t be surprising that numerous providers now offer them for international travel. However, only a few of these are considered top global eSIM providers, and Airalo is undoubtedly one of them.

That’s why many people making Aliyah or traveling to Israel buy Airalo eSIMs to stay connected with their loved ones and keep updated during their travels. But is Airalo truly the best choice for eSIMs in Israel

That’s what this guide will look into. By the time you finish reading it, you should know all there is to know about using Airalo in Israel and whether this is the right move for you. 

Let’s begin.

What Is Airalo eSIM?

What Is Airalo eSIM?

Airalo is widely believed to be the world’s first eSIM store. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that Airalo offers eSIMs for over 200 countries and regions and has accumulated over five million users. The company’s goal is simple – eliminating high roaming bills for travelers worldwide.

Here’s a quick overview of all the benefits of using Airalo eSIM for Android and iOS devices.

Unparalleled Convenience

Before the invention of eSIMs, travelers usually bought local SIM cards for each country they visited. This meant they had to carry multiple SIM cards and always worry about losing one. With Airalo eSIMs, there’s no need for this.

eSIMs are digital SIM cards that get embedded in eSIM-capable devices. As such, they can never be lost or displaced. Plus, they can co-exist with your regular SIM card. Talk about convenience!

Instant Connectivity

With Airalo eSIM, you don’t have to worry about a tedious activation process. Instead, you can get your precious data within minutes of landing in your destination country. This allows you to stay connected (and productive) without any delays. 

Global Coverage

Airalo offers eSIM cards for over 200 countries and regions. In other words, the company has got you covered almost anywhere in the world. So, even if you go on a trip spanning several countries, you can rely on Airalo to keep you connected throughout your journey. 

Affordable Rates

One of the biggest selling points of Airalo eSIMs is their affordability. That’s not to mention the multiple packages for every country, allowing you to find the plan that best suits your needs and budget. 

Airalo eSIM’s Compatibility and Setup

Airalo eSIM’s Compatibility and Setup

Obtaining an Airalo eSIM phone number for travel is incredibly easy. You just visit the company’s website, enter your destination, choose the best package, and hit “Buy Now.” However, before you do this, you should first ensure your device is compatible with an eSIM.

As mentioned, eSIM is a relatively new technology, meaning not all devices support it. Luckily, Airalo offers a handy overview of all the eSIM-compatible devices, so you can quickly check if your device is compatible before purchasing an eSIM.

Once you do, it’s setting up time!

There are three ways to do this with Airalo eSIMs: manually, automatically, or by using a QR code.

How to Install Airalo eSIM Manually

This installation method is the least likely to encounter hiccups, but it’s also somewhat complex and time-consuming. The exact steps will slightly differ depending on the device you use, but they generally follow the same process:

  1. Download the Airalo app to your phone.
  2. Tap the “My eSIMs” option.
  3. Choose the eSIM you want to install.
  4. Select the “View Instructions” option under “eSIM Installation.”
  5. Press the “Manual” button in the top-right corner. 

After you receive the necessary information, you should input it into your device’s settings to complete the installation process. 

  1. Launch “Settings” on your device. 
  2. Choose the “Cellular” or “Mobile” options. 
  3. Locate the “Add eSIM” option.
  4. Tap the “Use QR Code” button.
  5. Go to “Enter Details Manually” at the bottom of your screen.
  6. Copy and paste the necessary information from your Airalo app.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

How to Install Airalo eSIM Automatically

This is arguably the easiest way to install your Airalo eSIM (when it works). All you need to do is follow the same initial steps for manual installation but choose the “Direct” option under “View Instructions” instead. 

From there, tap the “Install eSIM” button and let the installation guide take care of the rest. You’ll only need to press “Next” or “Continue” buttons here and there. And voilà! Your Airalo eSIM is installed.

How to Install Airalo eSIM Using a QR Code

Installing Airalo eSIM using a QR code requires you to choose the “QR Code” option under the “View Instructions” section (see Manual Installation for more details).

After receiving the QR code, here’s what to do:

  1. Tap the “Share QR Code” button.
  2. Select “Save Image.”

With your QR code secured, go to your device’s settings and follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Cellular” or “Mobile” options. 
  2. Tap “Add eSIM.”
  3. Select the “Use QR Code” option.
  4. Press the “Open Photos” button.
  5. Find the saved QR code photo.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Regardless of the installation method you choose, you’ll have to activate your Airalo eSIM card after the installation. This should also be done in your device’s settings based on the specific eSIM instructions you receive during installation.

Making Phone Calls With Airalo eSIM in Israel

Making Phone Calls With Airalo eSIM in Israel

Sure, the internet might be the most popular communication hub of our time. However, many people still prefer a good old phone call, both at home and abroad. This is particularly true for people making Aliyah, as the ability to make local calls in Israel can make all the difference in their endeavors to settle into new homes and communities.

So, does Airalo eSIM allow phone calls in Israel?

The answer is both yes and no.

How is this possible?

Well, it’s simple. There are Airalo Israel eSIM packages that offer only data. Choose one of these packages, and you won’t be able to make phone calls in Israel. 

Unfortunately, even if you choose packages that include phone calls, you won’t be able to talk to your heart’s content. You see, the most advanced among these packages contains 200 minutes of phone calls, which is—let’s be honest—four or five meaningful calls back home.

So, you’re only left with one option – relying on internet-based calling apps like WhatsApp and Skype. However, keep in mind that these calls can get easily disconnected if the reception is bad. Even worse, this isn’t an odd occurrence for Airalo, as described in numerous user reviews. For instance, Yan, who visited Israel in 2023, says, “WhatsApp and FaceTime calls were always disconnected after few seconds.”

SMS Capabilities of Airalo eSIM

Old-school phone users will undoubtedly have another crucial question – Can I send SMS with an Airalo eSIM?

The answer is the same as with phone calls – you can do it if you get the right package.

As their name suggests, data-only packages don’t include any SMS capabilities. However, if you go for an Airalo Israel eSIM plan that combines data, calls, and texts, you’ll receive between 10 and 200 messages, depending on your chosen package.

Again, these figures are hardly enough for a serious texter. So, you’ll need to make up for the difference using internet-based messaging apps and social media platforms. But beware – these apps must be installed before arriving in Israel and activating your Airalo eSIM. Otherwise, you might waste your precious data on app installation or even run into some challenges that threaten to leave you without a reliable means of communication. 

Using WhatsApp With Airalo eSIM

Using WhatsApp With Airalo eSIM

If you’ve read the previous sections, you know that the answer to the “Can I use WhatsApp with Airalo eSIM?” question is a resounding yes. Not only are you able to do this, but you might be forced to, especially if you buy a data-only plan.

Of course, this is still good news as WhatsApp (and similar messaging apps) is incredibly important for travelers and expats.

It allows them to text or call abroad from Israel, avoiding the notoriously high roaming charges of traditional SIM cards. The app is also easy to set up and use and offers numerous options in terms of communication. Make a group with all your loved ones back home, share photos and videos, and even make video calls, all without worrying about additional charges. 

Of course, be careful not to go overboard, especially if you have one of the more limited Airalo Israel eSIM plans. One gigabyte might sound like a lot, but it can quickly disappear if you’re constantly sending media-rich messages or making video calls.

Airalo Israel eSim: Pricing and Plans

Airalo Israel eSim: Pricing and Plans

When it comes to Airalo Israel eSIM packages, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You see, the company offers as many as six data-only packages and six packages allowing data, calls, and texts while staying in Israel. The only difference between these packages is the amount of data, calls, and texts you receive. The more of these you receive, the pricier the package.

Still, Airalo eSIM travel & internet packages are relatively affordable compared to other international eSIM providers. Here’s a breakdown of all the Airalo Israel eSIM plans and their prices.

For data-only plans, you can choose from the following options:

  • 1 gigabyte of data valid for seven days: $4.50
  • 2 gigabytes of data valid for 15 days: $5.50
  • 3 gigabytes of data valid for 30 days: $7
  • 5 gigabytes of data valid for 30 days: $9.50
  • 10 gigabytes of data valid for 30 days: $13.50
  • 20 gigabytes of data valid for 30 days: $17

If you also want the ability to stay in touch via calls and text messages, these are your options:

  • 1 gigabyte of data, 10 minutes of calls, and 10 SMS texts valid for seven days: $5.50
  • 2 gigabytes of data, 20 minutes of calls, and 20 SMS texts valid for 15 days: $7.50
  • 3 gigabytes of data, 30 minutes of calls, and 30 SMS texts valid for 30 days: $9.50
  • 5 gigabytes of data, 50 minutes of calls, and 50 SMS texts valid for 30 days: $13.50
  • 10 gigabytes of data, 100 minutes of calls, and 100 SMS texts valid for 30 days: $22
  • 20 gigabytes of data, 200 minutes of calls, and 200 SMS texts valid for 30 days: $34

Though these prices are relatively affordable for an eSIM provider, they are undoubtedly higher than the cost of buying a SIM locally. Plus, the amount of data, calls, and texts you receive with these cards is significantly higher. For comparison’s sake, a local $18 SIM card can get you up to 70 gigabytes of data.

Pros and Cons of Using Airalo eSIM in Israel

Now that you know what you can get from an Airalo eSIM on paper, let’s dive into the practical side of things. How does an Airalo eSIM perform in Israel?

The performance of Airalo eSIM in Israel can be best summed up in one sentence – when it works, it’s great.

Unfortunately, many users experience the other scenario—the card not working—more commonly. So, most of the advantages of using an Airalo eSIM have a huge “but” accompanying them due to its unpredictable performance in Israel. 


Ease of installation is one of the biggest advantages of Airalo eSIMs (and eSIMs in general). However, this characteristic is almost absent for people traveling to Israel.

You see, for most countries, you only need to install and activate your Airalo eSIM, and you’re good to go. But not for Israel.

For Israel, you also need to provide a passport or a driver’s license photo as proof of identification. Now, this might sound easy – you just scan your photo or take a picture of it and upload it to the Airalo app. And you’re right; this is how it’s supposed to go.

But in reality, this simple step can take you hours, as the Airalo system often fails to accept your details. As Bruce from the U.S., puts it, “I spent an hour simply trying to take photos of either my passport or driver’s license, none of which were accepted.”

This defeats the whole purpose of going the eSIM route, which is to avoid queuing for a physical SIM card (among other things). 

Coverage and Speed

Coverage and Speed

Airalo Israel eSIM packages promise coverage for the entire Israel. To be fair, you might get lucky and have a decent signal wherever you go, be it Tel Aviv or a smaller town. 

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case for many Airalo users in Israel. Some have compared the coverage in Israel to 3G, which is significantly slower and less reliable than modern 4G and 5G capabilities.

But that’s not even the worst part.

Some users lost their connection altogether despite having many gigabytes left in their package. This means that an Airalo eSIM card might be useless for something as simple as checking Google Maps, let alone making video calls or sending images via WhatsApp.

The most “problematic” areas in this regard are in and around the West Bank.

Customer Service

Customer Service

There’s no doubt about it – Airalo’s customer service is by far the most discussed aspect of owning the company’s eSIM cards. Unfortunately for the company, most of these discussions center around how poor this customer service is.

You see when you encounter a problem with your eSIM, you’ll have to deal with a chatbot first. For the most part, the instructions given by this chatbot are useless and fail to resolve the issue. However, more often than not, they’re all you’ll get, as many customers fail to get past automated responses no matter how much they try.

And even if they do manage to connect to a human customer service representative, they may be on hold for ages. Airalo users report waiting between two hours and four whole days for a response from the company’s customer service team. 

Worst of all? Airalo’s customer service can only be reached through an app that (obviously) requires the internet to work. This means that if your eSIM stops working, you might not be able to contact customer service, leaving you stranded without a solution.


Airalo Israel eSIM packages are undoubtedly affordable if you only focus on the initial payment. However, if you plan to stay in Israel longer, you might find these plans expensive in the long run, as you’ll constantly need to top up your balance. That’s not to mention that Airalo usually doesn’t do refunds, so even if your eSIM stops working halfway through your trip to Israel, you can bid farewell to the remaining balance on your plan and the money you spent on it.

Make a Better Choice

Make A Better Choice

Buying an Airalo Israel eSIM plan can be a good choice if you’re in Israel for only a few days and have basic internet and communication needs. For anything more than this, you might find Airalo lacking or downright frustrating.

The installation difficulty, limited ability (or total inability) to make calls and send SMS texts, and disastrous customer service are more than enough to send you looking for a better alternative.

Luckily for you – you can find it right here!

TCS Telecom, a local Israeli service provider, offers excellent eSIM plans that won’t cause you a headache like the Airalo ones often do. Instead, they’ll allow you to stay connected with your loved ones (and the world) wherever you are in Israel. Order your local eSIM card now and enjoy all the benefits of these handy cards without any of the hassle.

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