Mobile Apps and VPNs in Ecuador are used by most people, expats and Ecuadorians alike. Mobile service in many rural areas is faster, more available, and more reliable than the land-based infrastructure, while a VPN is necessary for some websites and streaming services.
Popular Mobile Apps in Ecuador
By far the most popular mobile app in Ecuador is WhatsApp. It’s included free-of-charge with most mobile phone plans so the data used by the app isn’t included in the monthly data quota.
That means people use WhatsApp more than their cellular service for both voice and text messages. This is why we recommend installing WhatsApp on your phone before visiting or moving to Ecuador.
Facebook and Instagram are also very popular. Most businesses do not have their own website. Instead, they opt to use Facebook and/or Instagram as a pseudo business website.
AzuTaxi is the most popular app for calling cabs in Cuenca. It works similar to Uber, only you don’t pay with a credit card; you pay with cash when you reach your destination.
Cabify is like a cross between Uber and AzuTaxi with the option to either pay by credit card or cash. For safety reasons, we recommend using a ride-request app whenever possible.
If you’re looking for that special someone, Tinder is a thing in Ecuador. In fact, we know several expats who have met their significant others on Tinder.
Virtual Private Networks in Ecuador
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows your computer to “look” like it’s connected to the internet in a different country. We use NordVPN, which has both a computer and mobile app. However, there are lots of different options to choose from.
While some streaming services, such as Netflix, won’t work with a VPN, others will ONLY work with a VPN, such as the Peacock Network. Other streaming services show different TV shows and movies if you use a VPN.
If you’re searching products on Amazon with the intent to have them shipped to a friend or family member back home, you may not be able to purchase some of them if Amazon thinks you’re in Ecuador. Logging in through a VPN opens up the Amazon you want to see based on the location of the IP address you choose.
When it comes to mobile apps and VPNs in Ecuador, you’ll find many of the same options, as well as several new ones you may not know about. Ecuador is very mobile-friendly and most places have high-speed internet and/or 4G mobile data. We’ll cover mobile services in a future FAQ.
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