2024, June 24
7 min read
Matt S.

What Is an eSIM? Beginners' Guide

eSIM cards offer many benefits over traditional SIM cards, including remote install. Discover where eSIMs are used, their advantages, and if you should have it.

Here we are, in 2024 and the technology landscape is evolving like crazy. One day you see SpaceX rockets landing on their own, another Nvidia becoming the world's most valuable company because of AI technology and it's potential.
One of those small innovation that came in the recent years is the eSIM. If you have never heard about it, this article will delve into the basics of the eSIM technology, its advantages, setup process and comparisons with traditional SIM cards. After reading this, you'll be a professional when it comes to eSIM topic.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital version of the traditional SIM card. Instead of a physical card, the eSIM is built directly into your device. This embedded chip can perform all the functions of a physical SIM card, such as connecting to a mobile network, enabling calls, and providing mobile data. eSIMs are now common in smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and even some vehicles.
Unlike the traditional SIM card, which requires a physical card to be inserted and removed from the device, the eSIM is already installed in the device. This allows for more flexibility in switching between different carriers and plans without needing to change the physical card. It also means that you can activate new plans remotely, without visiting a store or waiting for a new SIM card to be delivered.
Here's a great illustration from Honor UK on how the changes happened during the years.
Furthermore, eSIM technology supports multiple profiles, meaning you can have more than one carrier on a single device. This is particularly useful for people who travel frequently and need to switch between domestic and international carriers. The convenience and flexibility offered by eSIMs are driving their adoption in a variety of devices beyond just smartphones.

How Does an eSIM Work?

The functionality of an eSIM hinges on its built-in chip and pre-installed software. Here’s a step-by-step process to get started with an eSIM:
  • Check Compatibility
    : Ensure your device supports eSIM technology. Many newer smartphones and smartwatches come with eSIM capability, but it’s always good to check the specifications of your device.
  • Purchase a Data Plan
    : Buy a data plan online from your preferred carrier. We suggest using an online service like Skyda eSIM that offers eSIM plans that are cheap, reliable and online.
  • Activate Your eSIM
    : Follow the instructions to download and activate the eSIM profile on your device. By default, you'll be required to scan a QR code or enter manual details, however apps like Skyda eSIM will enable you to install the eSIM by clicking a button, that's it!
Once activated, the eSIM can connect to the network without the need to physically swap SIM cards, making it incredibly convenient, especially for frequent travelers. This means that you can switch to a local carrier while traveling to avoid expensive roaming charges, or switch between work and personal numbers on the same device.
You can install Skyda eSIM by visiting skyda.co

Benefits of Using an eSIM

When it comes to benefits, it is obvious that the eSIM technology is there for good, and not only for the cheaper costs or convenience. Here are the top reasons why eSIM is the best technology so far:
  • Lower Roaming Charges
    : Connect to local carriers when traveling, avoiding hefty international roaming fees. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers who can switch to a local carrier in their destination country.
  • Flexible Plans
    : Choose short-term plans tailored to your needs, such as a 7-day plan for a week-long trip. This flexibility allows you to select the best plan for your usage without being locked into long-term contracts.
  • Space Efficiency
    : Devices can be designed smaller without the need for a SIM card slot. This can lead to thinner and more compact devices, as well as better water and dust resistance.
  • Enhanced Security
    : Reduce the risk of SIM card theft and unauthorized use. Since the eSIM is built into the device, it’s not as easily removed or tampered with.
  • Multiple Profiles
    : Maintain several virtual SIM profiles on one device, easily switching between carriers without swapping cards. This is ideal for users who need to switch between different numbers or carriers frequently.
  • Environmental Impact
    : Minimize plastic waste by eliminating the need for physical SIM cards. With fewer plastic cards being produced and discarded, eSIMs contribute to a greener environment.

eSIM vs. Physical SIM: Key Differences

An eSIM allows for a more seamless experience when switching between carriers or plans. This can be particularly useful for those who travel frequently or need to use multiple numbers on the same device. Physical SIM cards, on the other hand, require manual handling and physical space within the device, making them less convenient in comparison.
The eSIM technology eliminates the need to carry and manage multiple SIM cards, reducing the risk of losing or damaging them. It also streamlines the process of switching carriers, making it as simple as selecting a new profile from your device settings. This simplicity is a significant advantage over the traditional method of physically changing SIM cards, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Common Questions About eSIMs

Why aren’t eSIMs more popular?

  • Answer
    : eSIM technology is relatively new, with the first eSIM-enabled smartphone released in 2016. As infrastructure develops and awareness grows, adoption is expected to increase. Additionally, some carriers may be slower to adopt eSIM technology, which can impact its popularity.

Is an eSIM safer than a physical SIM?

  • Answer
    : Yes, eSIMs reduce the risk of loss, damage, and theft compared to physical SIM cards. Since the eSIM is embedded in the device, it cannot be easily removed or swapped without your knowledge.

Can an eSIM work without an internet connection?

  • Answer
    : You need an internet connection to activate an eSIM, but typically not for regular use afterward. Once activated, the eSIM functions just like a physical SIM card for calls and data.

Does an eSIM drain the battery more?

  • Answer
    : No, eSIMs do not significantly affect battery life compared to physical SIM cards. The power consumption is comparable, and any differences are usually negligible.

Can you switch back to a physical SIM from an eSIM?

  • Answer
    : Yes, you can convert back, but it may require obtaining a new SIM card from your carrier. Some users prefer having both options available, especially if their device supports dual SIM functionality.
In general, since the eSIM is relatively new technology field to everyone in the world, there are lots of myths and fears about it. However, once you try it yourself, there is no way back to the traditional SIM cards.
Additionally, some users might worry about the security implications of having a non-removable SIM. However, eSIMs are designed with robust security features that make unauthorized access and SIM swapping much more difficult. This added layer of security is crucial in an age where data privacy is a significant concern.


eSIM technology offers a host of advantages over traditional SIM cards, particularly for travelers and those who use multiple networks. With increasing device compatibility and the benefits of flexibility, security, and environmental impact, eSIMs are poised to become a standard feature in the mobile industry. For more details and to check compatibility with your device, visit Skyda eSIM.
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