Disabling data roaming vs Airplane Mode vs Yanking SIM out completely

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ChaosTheorySD

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I am planning on buying an iPhone next week, but I'm a bit concerned about bringing it with me on a trip to Canada in March. I'm really paranoid about incurring some of those ridiculous roaming charges I've seen online so I've done some research and came up with some possible solutions. But I don't know how well they would actually work in practice, so I'd really appreciate if anyone can lend me some clearer info.

Anyway, my ideas.

1. Disable data roaming. Seems like the simplest thing to do. If I understand correctly, this disconnects me from EDGE but I'll still be able to use local wifi if I want. But I'm concerned about being recognized by local carriers (I believe it's Rogers over there, yes?) for regular cellular service. I don't typically travel so I don't really know how roaming works. Do I incur charges for the device simply being on and connected to their network, or is only if I make/receive calls? If it's the case of the latter then presumably I don't have anything to worry about. I've heard though that even if you deny a call while roaming you still get charged when the caller leaves a message on your voicemail.

2. Airplane mode. From what I gather this turns off all wireless signals from the phone. So if someone tried to call me it wouldn't connect at all and they would get my voicemail as if the phone was off? But it seems like the disadvantage here is that I wouldn't even be able to use local wifi.

3. Remove the SIM card. I read that after the initial activation, you can pull the SIM out and continue using the rest of the iPhone's features as normal. This seems like the most airtight safegaurd in my mind (short of just leaving the phone at home in California at least. But that's no fun). Just like if you unplugged your computer from the router it's literally impossible for it to send information anywhere. Then if I absolutely HAD to make a call/send a text I could just pop it back in. Only problem I could foresee with this scenario is losing the SIM, but that's simply overcome by leaving it a safe place like my wallet or somesuch.


Sorry if the post is a bit long, I just really want to cover my bases here. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
 
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As a rule, you should be able to just turn off the "Data Roaming" option under Settings->General->Network and you should be okay.

You do not incur roaming charges simply for being on the network -- only for calls that you make/receive and/or data that you send/receive.

You also shouldn't incur any roaming charges for callers who leave voicemail messages for you -- only calls you actually answer, or calls into your voicemail box from your cell phone will incur roaming charges (you can check your voicemail from a landline instead and you will not incur any charges other than the normal long distance charges back to your voicemail number).
 
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