5 Best Ways to get Online in Taiwan

In the connected world, most of us can’t do without our smartphones. Even while travelling, we still need to connect online so we can keep communicating with our friends or loved ones. Here are some ways you could use to stay online even while travelling in Taiwan!

1. Local postpaid SIM card with roaming

Local postpaid SIM Roaming

All local telcos Singtel, M1 & Starhub provide roaming services with your current postpaid plan. If you are a frequent traveller, you might be paying additional monthly fees for auto-roaming. There is also a pay-as-you-roam option but for both options, costs of data usage is ridiculously high! But fret not!

Our telcos realized our pains, and have come up with flat rate data plans for overseas usage. Prices are still quite reasonable, depending on your usage. There are plans that charge for usage per-day, or per-usage. You may activate the plan while in Singapore or overseas, and note that you have to manually select the telco’s preferred network in order for the plan to activate.

 

Per-day Flat Rate Plans

Plan Data Usage Price per day* Preferred Network Activation
Singtel DataRoam Saver Plan Unlimited $19 Taiwan Mobile Either:

  • Activate via MySingtel App > Roaming
  • Dial *7626 (*ROAM) in Singapore or SMS ‘*7626’ to 3333 while overseas (roaming SMS charges apply)
  • Dial *100# while overseas
  • Sign in to My Account via www.singtel.com/myaccount
Starhub DataRoam Daily Unlimited Unlimited $19 FarEasTone Manually connect to preferred network and enable data roaming on your phone.
M1 Unlimited Data Roaming Unlimited $15 Chunghwa Manually connect to preferred network and enable data roaming on your phone.

*Prices are for Taiwan only. Prices may vary for other countries.

Per-usage Flat Rate Plans

Plan Data Usage Price Preferred Network Activation
Singtel DataRoam Daily 100MB 100MB $10** Taiwan Mobile Either:

  • Activate via MySingtel App > Roaming
  • Dial *7626 (*ROAM) in Singapore or SMS ‘*7626’ to 3333 while overseas (roaming SMS charges apply)
  • Dial *100# while overseas
  • Sign in to My Account via www.singtel.com/myaccount
Starhub 100MB $10** All networks SMS <SIGN ON> to 6818 to activate
M1 (Not available for Taiwan)

** There will be additional surcharge for pay-as-you-roam customers

Pros

  • No SIM card change needed. You can still receive calls/SMS overseas
  • Can be activated anytime

Cons

  • Not very easy to activate
  • Overall more costly as compared to other methods
  • Additional charges apply for non auto-roam subscribers

 

2. Local prepaid roaming SIM

Prepaid Local Sim Data Roam

Singapore telcos also provide prepaid SIM cards, which have roaming data. If you are expecting to stay in Taiwan for a longer period of time (e.g. 1 month), and you only need data occasionally, then this could be the better option for you.

After purchasing the prepaid card, you have to first activate the data plan. The cost of the data plan will be deducted from the stored credit in the SIM card once activated successfully. After activation, you can start to use the data overseas by manually connecting to the preferred network operator of your telco.

 

Card Data cost Preferred Network Activation
Singtel hi! Card $20 for 100MB (7 days) Taiwan Mobile Either

  • Call *100# or log in to hi!Account @ www.singtel.com/hi – See more at: www.singtel.com/hi
  • When overseas, connect to the preferred network operator and call *100#
Starhub Happy Roam $10 for 1.2GB (30 days) and many other plans. Check here Chunghwa Download the “Happy Prepaid” app (iOS/Android) and activate from there.
M1 M Card $10 for 1GB (30 days) and many other plans. Check here
Additional 500MB free with purchase of $15 SIM Card, or 100MB free for $5 card.
Chunghwa
  1. Dial #100✲3✲1# on your phone.
  2. Select your preferred data plan option by replying with its option number
  3. Wait for the confirmation SMS before turning on Mobile Data in phone settings menu

 

Pros

  • Easy to activate and use
  • No bill shock

Cons

  • Need to switch out your SIM card, unless your phone has dual SIM
  • Unable to top up the value while overseas, unless you buy an additional top up card before flying off.

 

3. Taiwanese Prepaid SIM Card

Taiwan prepaid SIM

The 2 largest telcos in Taiwan are Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) and Taiwan Mobile (台湾大哥大). You would be delighted to know that both of them provide unlimited 3G/4G data plans for tourists! And the average cost is less than $3 (SGD) per day!

We recommend getting the SIM cards at the airport as there are dedicated counters that sell and help you setup your phone. When purchasing a prepaid SIM card, two forms for ID are needed: Your passport, and a secondary ID like your IC or driving license.

Chunghwa Telecom Pricing

https://www.twgate.net/prepaidcard/product_en.html

Taiwan Mobile Pricing

http://english.taiwanmobile.com/english/product/prepaidInternetPackages.html

 

Pros

  • Lowest cost
  • Unlimited usage
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Need to switch out your local SIM card, unless your phone has dual SIM
  • The queue to purchase them at the airport could sometimes be long

 

4. Wifi router rental from Changi Airport

Changi Airport Wifi Router

Another option less well known, is to rent a portable Wifi router from Changi Airport. The benefit of using a router is that multiple users can share the connection easily, but all of them need to be within range of the router.

Its also really convenient to get one: You just need to make a reservation a few days in advance, and then pick it up at a booth in the airport. When you return from your trip just drop it off at the booth. Booths are available in all terminals and all of them can be used. They are also open 24 hours. It’s highly recommended to make a reservation as early as possible (especially during peak travel season), because walk-in and last minute reservations are on first come first serve basis, depending on the availability of the routers.

There are different price plans depending on the country of visit, and there are also plans for multiple country usage for those that are visiting multiple countries in a trip. The price plan for Taiwan is usually $12 per day, however there is a promotion going on until 31st August 2016 where the price is only $5 per day!

Reserve yours now!

 

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Multiple users can share the connection. Great for families!
  • No SIM card change needed. You can still receive calls/SMS overseas.

Cons

  • Although the router is small and light, it’s still an additional item to carry around, and may get misplaced.
  • The router’s battery need to be recharged; need to watch for the battery level.
  • If you did not make any reservations, there is no guarantee you can get one.
  • Not cost effective for longer trips.

 

5. Wifi router rental from Taiwan

Taiwan Wifi Router

If you are unable to get a Wifi router from Changi Airport, no worries! You can also get it when you reach Taiwan. There are many service providers renting out Wifi routers; One of them is Chunghwa telecom, which rents out a device for USD6.50 per day. Collection can be done either at the Airport, or the hotel which you will be staying at. Returns can be done at any 7-11 or Hi-Life stores.

Check here for more details

 

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Multiple users can share the connection. Great for families!
  • No SIM card change needed. You can still receive calls/SMS overseas.

Cons

  • Although the router is small and light, it’s still an additional item to carry around, and may get misplaced.
  • The router’s battery need to be recharged; need to watch for the battery level.
  • Not cost effective for longer trips.

 

Bonus: Free Wifi!

We promised 5 ways to get online in Taiwan, but since you all are such great folks, we’ll let you in on another way, and best of all it’s FREE! If you had booked a private driver through us, we can promise you that our drivers’ vehicles have a Wifi hotspot which all passengers can use freely! So if you are looking for a driver, don’t hesitate to contact us or drop us a mail: darius@happyholidayplanner.com!

 

Summary

To sum up, here is a table that show you the overview of the 5 ways, sorted by price!

5 Ways to Get Online in Taiwan Summary