Essential Guide to Travel WI-FI in Iceland

Cell phone with WIFI in Iceland

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    In today’s super-connected age, we can feel downright lost without an Internet connection. From checking the weather to staying in touch with friends or finding local restaurant recommendations, the list of information and services we turn to our smartphones or laptops for is endless.

    The internet is both a blessing and, on occasions, a curse. But except for a few rare people, everyone pretty much deems it a necessity these days. Bring us food, water and Internet, please!

    So, what are your options for Wi-Fi in Iceland? This all depends on how much connectivity you are looking for.

    Some travelers might be quite happy to go without Wi-Fi for the majority of the time. It can actually be liberating not having constant alerts pulling you back to your screen.

    Others may even be tempted to put their phone away for the duration of their trip for a full digital detox. This is a perfectly valid option and one that will probably do wonders for any digital addicts out there.

    But if you do want to check in easily with family, monitor weather forecasts, or use Google maps, you’ll need decent Wi-Fi. Here we will take a good look at the Wi-Fi picture in Iceland, covering the different options available so you can find out what service is the best fit.

    Phone connected to WIFI in Iceland

    Iceland WI-FI Coverage

    Like most countries in the western world, you will find that Iceland’s cities and towns have plentiful Wi-Fi. Icelandic people are as connected as anywhere and rely on the Internet for both work and play.

    Having said that, Iceland has some of the fastest and most reliable Internet in the world. The locals here know how to stay connected.

    Most cafés and hotels offer Internet login codes alongside your morning coffee, as is the case in Reykjavík and the larger towns. However, as you head to more remote mountainous areas, factors of speed and reliability decrease.

    WIFI in Iceland Highlands

    If you are renting a campervan and exploring Iceland on wheels, there are other options. Many of the larger campsites, especially those in the south, offer Wi-Fi logins to their guests.

    But Wi-Fi routers only cover so much ground, so you might need to head to the campsite office area in order to get a decent signal.

    Other places on the road that offer Internet access are some of the larger gas stations. This can be pretty handy if you need to check out any trip planning details while you’re out and about.

    Is WIFI free in Iceland?

    Wi-Fi in hotels, restaurants and cafés is pretty much always free for customers to use. Certain places may charge a small fee for use, though and you will always need to pay for any roaming Wi-Fi that you consume.

    Likewise, any devices or SIMs that you rent or buy will have additional data charges.

    How good is WIFI in Iceland?

    Wi-Fi coverage in Iceland is pretty good in general. If you are traveling around the Iceland Ring Road or the Golden Circle, you’ll find it very reliable.

    In Reykjavik and the rest of South Iceland, network coverage is excellent. As with anywhere though, the more remote you travel the less connected you could be. Very mountainous areas such as some northern regions have more trouble maintaining a stable Internet connection.

    Options to stay connected in Iceland

    Let’s look a little more in detail at the different Wi-Fi options available in Iceland for travelers, examining the pros and cons of each one.

    Using roaming via your own provider

    This is an easy enough option if you get organized before your trip. You will simply need to call your provider beforehand and ask about tariffs in Iceland.

    WIFI in Iceland: phone roaming services

    Depending on your provider, this could be reasonably priced or quite expensive. You will need to either set limits or have a good understanding of the costs so that you don’t overspend.

    This can be tricky to monitor, so do your best to track your data consumption so that you don’t get caught with a scary bill after your trip.

    Picking up a SIM card on arrival at KEF airport  

    If you have an unlocked smartphone then you could easily pick up a prepaid SIM card on arrival in Iceland. It is simple enough to do with just a little patience.

    Head to the Head to the Duty Free Shop right beside the baggage claim area where SIM Cards from different providers, such as Simmin, Nova or Vodafone, are sold.

    These companies offer prepaid plans with different options. A typical 5 GB + 50 minutes + SMS will cost you approximately 2000-3000 ISK (16€). If you only need data, you have plans that include up to 100 GB for a great price. All the prepaid    SIM card packages are valid for 30 days.

    You will just need to have the right tools for changing SIMS when you first arrive in the country. And make sure that you keep your original SIM in a safe place so that you can swap back when you leave.

    Travel WIFI rental with Trawire

    This is a really great mobile Wi-Fi service especially if you are traveling in a group. You can simply rent a portable 4G modem that creates a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to ten users at a time. Handy if you have a whole crew of screen heads with you.

    WIFI in Iceland dongle

    Once you have rented the device, you’ll have unlimited Internet access via your own devices. There is no need to swap out any SIM cards, so it is very much fuss-free.

    Internet coverage is either 4G or 3G throughout Iceland and it is very reliable. You can pick up and then drop off your portable Wi-Fi Iceland modem at the airport, making it a very convenient and easy option.

    Prices start at about US$8 a day and increase with added extras. The pricing is quite fair and the service and coverage is excellent. It is well worth investing in this option if you and your group are heavy Internet users.

    Since you will need to keep the battery charged up, consider the on-board charging capacity of your camper hire and bring or rent extra as needed.

    WIFI with your Camper Rental

    If you rent a cheap camper or a motorhome with Campervan Iceland, note that you can add an unlimited Internet portable dongle to your reservation as an extra. Some models even come with it included by default!

    This type of dongle can work as a hotspot as well, as you can connect up to ten devices.

    Other equipment rental options

    There are also quite a few other options open to you for renting camping equipment in Iceland, such as gear shops in Reykjavík. These include simple phones with local SIMs and various portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices.

    Check out your options, as some companies may offer good package deals on all the gear that you might need. One very useful item is a vehicle battery power inverter for charging up all of your devices from one hub.

    Other useful equipment might include things such as Bluetooth speakers, USB battery chargers, Walkie Talkies and extra camping equipment. All of this could help you to save money on buying things you may only use once or twice. Not to mention, you’ll be able to pack lighter with less stuff.

    Rental equipment in Iceland

    Final Thoughts

    Having a WI-FI connection in Iceland becomes essential when touring around the island. Not only to enjoy your social media platforms and share content from your trip, but essentially to stay connected in case of need.

    We hope this article helps you get the right equipment for your journey; it will undoubtedly save you money and time! 

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