Staying connected to the internet while traveling abroad is not always easy. Sure, you can hunt for Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops, but those aren't always reliable and you're usually obliged to buy an overpriced cup of coffee in order to get hooked up. Having a portable, global-ready Wi-Fi hotspot or a data-enabled SIM card that works with local carriers, on the other hand, is far more convenient when visiting a new country. The data connection should be reliable enough for every-day use, and the fees are usually far more reasonable than what carriers charge for international data roaming.
So, where do you get these portable Wi-Fi hotspots that work in foreign countries? Well, we found several service providers that would gladly rent or sell you one. Read along to learn more about them!
5 Global Wi-Fi hotspots
5 Global Wi-Fi hotspots
With Globalgig one can use mobile internet on the go across the US, the UK, and Australia via Sprint, O2, and Optus respectively. About $50 per month gets you 5 gigs of data, but those wo don't need that much can choose between two cheaper plans - 1GB for $25 or 3GB for $40 monthly. The hotspot itself, however, has to be purchased separately, which will set you back another $120, but in the long run, that might be money well spent.
Prices at Tep are a bit steeper, but instead of buying your own dongle, you can rent one from the provider. If traveling to Europe, for example, you'll spend $64 per week for 500MB of data, while $113 gets you unlimited megabytes (fair usage policy applies). Data is cheaper in some countries, however, so check out the provider's web page for more info. Currently, Tep offers coverage across nearly 50 countries worldwide.
XCom Global offers all-you-can-eat mobile data in 175 countries across Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East and Pacific Asia. In exchange, it charges you $14.95 per day with the mobile hotspot rental fee included. In addition, the provider offers Nexus 7 tablets for rent for only $1 per day.
If all you need is a data-capable SIM card, iPhoneTrip has them in stock. iPhones and iPads are available for rent as well, with global cellular data service included, of course. Data charges vary depending on which country you're travelling to, but if Europe is your destination, for example, then you'll be spending $6 per day for a 50MB allowance, or $15 for unlimited data. What's great about iPhoneTrip is that it provides data service across over 200 countries.
With the Goodspeed hotspot by Uros you can have data access across 10 European countries at a time (fair usage policy of 1GB per day applies). But instead of getting one SIM card that works in all listed destinations, there are 10 SIM cards pre-installed in the device. Service is available for about $13 per day, but you'll have to buy the hotspot yourself. And it definitely doesn't come cheap - Amazon is offering it for over $360.