Roaming Guides: Russia

This years world’s biggest sporting event will be held in Russia.

The World Cup has taken place every four years since the inaugural event in Uruguay in 1930, with the exception of 1942 and 1946 as a consequence of the Second World War.

Russia 2018 will, therefore, be the 21st World Cup Finals tournament and the first time it has ever been held in the world’s largest country.

Russia is expecting to welcome over 1 million fans to the World Cup 2018. That’s a million roamers with devices able to send stadium selfies or upload goal footage to social media. The impact on roaming traffic will be unprecedented.

But Russia is one of the European countries that aren’t covered by EU RLAH rule and could get you really high charges.

 

  1. BUYING RUSSIAN LOCAL SIM CARD

The local SIM is very easy to obtain – all you need is your ID or passport. SIM Cards only work with mobile devices that are unlocked.

There are five main operators in Russia: MegaFon, MTS, Beeline, Tele2 and Yota.

Most of the country is covered by a good network signal. Some of the northern regions can suffer from poor reception, but that will happen on whichever phone or provider you use there.

All five operators offer prepaid SIM cards, and you can buy them from stores, supermarkets, kiosks, drugstores and official outlets, as well as at most international airports.

 

MegaFon has the best nationwide coverage.

Never buy Russian SIM cards from unofficial sellers. Cards must be registered along with your passport/ID at communications outlets.

2. PUBLIC WI-FI

Moscow’s public transport system has reaped the rewards of the Wi-Fi revolution, with free internet available on buses, trams, trolleybuses, the metro, and many suburban trains. The Moscow Central Ring (MCR) is also wired up to wifi.

Publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots, as found in coffee shops, airports, train stations etc, are convenient, but they can pose a considerable risk to your data.

Just because a network connection is protected by a password, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s secure. Hackers have been known to set up authentic-seeming connections in public places in order to steal information.

Security house Kaspersky Lab said its researchers looked at 32,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots in the 11 Russian cities hosting the World Cup this year and found that one in five are using no protection whatsoever and leaving users vulnerable to having their traffic harvested by criminals.

The study, carried out with volunteers who agreed to travel around the host cities to seek out public Wi-Fi spots, found that around 62.4 per cent of hotspots are secured via WPA2 encryption, while another 13.5 per cent use another, unknown encryption method.

St. Petersburg was the least secure, with just 50 per cent of hotspots using WPA2 and 37 per cent of access points completely unsecured. Kaliningrad was second from the bottom with 51 per cent use of WPA2 and 35 per cent of hotspots unsecured.

For those who want to attend the World Cup without getting pwned, Kaspersky recommends some basic best practices such as using a trusted VPN while traveling and avoiding sites that would require a log-in while on an untrusted network.

Kaspersky is also advising travelers to disable Wi-Fi when it is not needed, or at least turn off automatic connections to Wi-Fi networks and enable the “always use a secure connection” option on device settings.

 3. MOBILE WI-FI HOTSPOT – solution for a group of people

No need for hunting for Wi-Fi Hot Spots any more!

The Mobile Hotspot Rental is very easy to use and eliminates the need to get roaming and data plans with your carrier which are often not available for many devices (like your iPad) and are expensive and offer very little data and/or offer slow data.

In addition, unlike free Wi-Fi, you will have a secure internet connection. The last thing you want to have happened to you is to have your credit card or bank accounts hacked while you are traveling.

With a mobile hotspot, you do not have to figure out the roaming fees that your current carrier charges in Europe.

Mobile Hotspot can be rented on 7 days min. (equipped with local SIM card) or bought as permanent solution (also equipped with local SIM card which you can change on your next travel).

We deliver the pocket WiFi to the Airport, hotel, residence, office, etc. You will receive a fully charged MiFi, complete with a convenient travel pouch and international chargers and plug adapters and simple instructions.

 

 

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