Iceland Tech 

Tech gear realted to Iceland can be broken down into three categories:

  • Cell/Internet/SIM Cards
  • Payment
  • AC Power

 

A week prior to leaving for Iceland our cell company was offering a huge discount to upgrade our Apple cell phones to the latest models for the 5G network. Normally this would a good thing, however our cell company locks the phones from having the SIM cards changed out for two months. Normally this wouldn’t matter as I never change my SIM cards (carrier). However, going to Iceland it is much easier to just buy an unlimited data SIM card there which gives me an Iceland phone number and data (internet) access. Fortuanely I still had an old iPhone 8 kicking around the house so we brought that along with the new phone.

Once we arrived at the airport we bought a NOVA SIM card and swapped cards in the iPhone 8. The phone quicly joined the NOVA network and we had phone and data access. However, the phone was so old and lacking storage that it ran like a Windows XP computer full of viruses. My new cell phone, iPhone 12 I had the celluar option turned off so we wouldn’t be on the network racking up overseas charges. I used Wifi at the hotels we were staying at which worked well.

However, my iPhone 12 was set up the way I liked it and wanted to use it while away from Wifi. I came up with the idea to run the iPhone 8 as a hotspot and piggyback my iPhone 12 off of it. While the 12 was in low data mode, it worked really well surprisingly. Ideally, if my 12 phone wasn’t locked, I would have just brought that and used an Icelandic SIM card with it. But since it was locked, I had to make do with what I had. First world problems. 

Another idea I had was to just buy an Iceland burner phone but that seemed to cost more money than it was worth.

Along with the cell phones, Apple/Google Pay was available everywhere. There was only one time we needed Icelandic paper currency for payment and that was a bathroom at the trailhead. Otherwise, everything was credit card adn contactless payment. Having a cell phone that worked on the local cell network made all of this super easy.

Power:

AC power in Iceland is 220 Volts AC. Iceland uses the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs. For these plugs, you can use adapter types “C” or “F”.

Keep in mind adapters and converts are two different things. Many electrical devices such as a USB charger will operate on both US and Icelandic voltages, but you need to check the item first.

An adapter just changes the physical plug configuration while a converter changes the actual voltage. Something else to consider, the rental car we received only used USB-C plugs. We are still using USB-A plugs to iOS, Mini USB, etc. Carrying a USB-C adapter might be a good thing to have until everything gets completely changed over. 

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