Getting internet while traveling overseas – Every traveler knows that there’s nothing quite like the epic headache of losing internet access while on the road.
It can completely throw off your entire day, and you could waste valuable time scrambling to try to get WiFi.
We are all so connected these days, so being without the internet for even a few hours can feel like losing our tether to the world.
How do I get Internet While Traveling?
Fortunately, I’ve learned how you can have your cake and eat it too!
It’s totally possible to travel to the remotest corners of the planet and never lose your internet connection.
Check With Your Current Provider
Turning on your data while traveling overseas is an excellent way to rack up a huge phone bill.
Before you hop on that plane, check with your carrier.
Let them know what countries you are planning on visiting and ask them if they have any type of data package.
Many cell phone providers offer international plans.
Sure, you’ll pay a little bit extra, but you’ll save tons of money in the long run.
I’ve often done this when traveling to countries where WiFi is spotty at best.
It’s a great way to get peace of mind without having to dread your next phone bill!
Utilize A Mobile Hotspot
A mobile hotspot isn’t exactly the same thing as adding an international plan onto your existing service, but it’s along the same lines.
Essentially all you need to do is download a mobile app that turns your phone into a hot spot.
Simply click on and connect and you have internet!
If you’re traveling with other people you can share your hotspot, so your less connected friends can still update their Facebook statuses or check important work emails.
I’ve found that mobile hotspot apps are always reliable and quick, but the costs can add up over time.
You’ll be paying right around $10 per day for your mobile hotspot, so it’s best to check with your provider before going the hotspot route.
If you are a digital nomad, traveling to a really remote place for a very short period of time, or if money is not an issue, mobile hotspots are an awesome option.
There are free mobile hotspot options but don’t expect them to be as reliable as the paid options.
I haven’t had too much luck with the free versions, and many will eventually ask you to pay after a short trial period.
Get A Local SIM Card
There are some countries where you can easily get a local SIM card but others have trickier restrictions on who can access their local providers.
Weigh your options and check out the rules for the place that you’re visiting.
If you find that you can easily get a local SIM card, do it.
Make sure that you keep your original SIM card in a safe place though.
I’ve lost them, and they’re a complete pain to replace!
You will also need to unlock your phone.
Most providers don’t want you using another type of service with their device, which is fine except for those staggeringly high roaming charges.
If you’ve had your phone for over a year, your provider should be able to unlock it for you.
If it’s a newer phone, you might be out of luck.
There are plenty of places that will unlock the phone for you, and most of them only require you to leave your phone with them for a matter of a few hours.
Of course, I can’t vouch for the reliability of any of these little computer shops, especially ones that are in different countries.
I’ve had my phone unlocked this way, but I’ve heard horror stories.
Proceed with caution!
Find The Local WiFi
If you don’t want to incur roaming charges, pay for a mobile hotspot, or fool around with getting a local SIM card, you can always just rely on good old WiFi!
There are very few places in the world that aren’t connected, and this is especially true if you’re visiting bigger cities or staying in halfway decent places.
You will have no problem finding excellent WiFi in Shanghai, but less luck in that remote town in the Sacred Valley.
Just use your judgment.
If you’re going on a remote mountain trek, you are not going to be able to plug into super quick WiFi.
There are certain places that have excellent WiFi all over the world.
For better or worse, Starbucks is a global presence and you can always find some amazing WiFi to go along with your mocha latte.
Similarly, large hotel chains and even higher-end hostels will have excellent WiFi.
If you are relying on local WiFi, pick your lodging wisely.
Do Your Research In Advance
The best way to make sure that you have internet while traveling is simply to tap into your resources.
I am part of tons of Facebook groups that are full of people who travel for work and pleasure.
Whenever I’m thinking about heading to a new place, I always drop a post onto one of the groups and wait for the responses.
People are happy to help.
We have all been in situations where we can’t access the resources that we need.
Lean on the international community and make a plan for getting the internet that you need when you’re traveling.
I once found an incredible Airbnb in Peru simply by putting some feelers out.
he WiFi was fantastic and it was only $10 a night!
Don’t go it alone.
Use that connectivity for something positive, and ask others to weigh in on where the best internet is.
Next time you’re traveling don’t wait until you get home to post all of those epic sunset photos on Facebook.
You don’t need to be internet-deprived.
With a little forethought and planning, you will never be unconnected again.
How do I get Internet anywhere in the world?
If you’re planning to embark on an international trip soon, you’re probably wondering exactly how to take your internet connection with you.
These days, most people stay connected on-the-go by using 4G networks that let you surf the web quickly from anywhere where good cellular signal is present.
However, as soon as you leave your coverage area, you’ll no longer have access to the 4G signal offered by your wireless provider.
Here’s an example: You’re in the middle of your vacation but there’s no free Wifi around for you to connect to.
You need to open up your laptop and check an email, an urgent one.
You could turn your phone into a mobile hotspot if you had a 4G data connection, but is this the best idea?
You need to find a way to convert the available 4G connection around you into Wifi that you can actually use.
Should you try to use your data connection to create a Wifi hotspot?
Turning your phone into a mobile hotspot can cost you money.
You may have to pay extra for the ability to access 4G network capabilities and even then, your hotspot is going to eat through your available data really quickly.
That’ll leave you nothing to use for the rest of the month.
Plus, what if you don’t have cell service where you are?
If you’re traveling internationally, you probably won’t.
What are you supposed to do?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Personally, I prefer to use a portable international 4G and Wifi hotspot device.
However, there a few other methods that you can get use to get international internet access.
Essentially, you’ll need to find a way to convert a 4G cellular signal into usable Wifi.
Without any further ado, here are some of the best ways to get internet anywhere in the world.
Creating a Hotspots by Using Your Phone
If you do have access to your cellular network while you’re in another county, congrats!
You’re one of the lucky few.
You could potentially turn on a hotspot from your phone and send a Wifi signal out so that other devices will connect.
However, this can get really expensive and you’ll probably be charged by your wireless provider for every minute that you’re using your connection.
This can lead to a wireless bill that’s higher than the price of your trip.
Even if you have an international wireless plan with unlimited data, you’ll probably be charged roaming fees, especially if you’re in another country.
This is an emergency internet method that may not even work.
For those reasons, I don’t recommend relying on your cellular network when you’re abroad.
Benefits of using you phone as a hotspot
- Easy to do
Drawbacks of using you phone as a hotspot
- Unreliable connections
- Expensive overages
- Hidden fees and contracts
- Cell service may not be available in another country
Pre-loaded SIM Cards
Some people choose to purchase preloaded international SIM cards before they head to another country.
This can work if you’re only planning on using your connection for minor things like social media.
That being said, many of these 4G cards come with pre-paid plans that cost more than they should.
You also won’t be able to connect to any other devices.
If you are traveling a partner or with other people who need to use the internet, or if you need to connect another device like a tablet or laptop, you’ll probably be out of luck.
Plus, many preloaded international SIM cards force you to get a new phone number.
While some SIM cards can be reused, many are disposable.
This can be a big headache.
Benefits of Pre-Loaded SIM Cards
- More reliable than using your home-based wireless provider
Drawbacks of Pre-Loaded SIM Cards
- May cost more than they’re worth
- You may only get 3G connectivity
- A hassle to set up
- Not always re-usable
- You might lose your mobile number temporarily
(My Favorite Option) International Wifi Hotspot Devices
This is by far my favorite option.
In recent years, companies who have been trying to solve the international connectivity issue have come up with an amazing solution:
International Portable Wifi and 4G Hotspot Devices.
These devices work by converting any 4G signal into usable Wifi for multiple devices.
It’s kind of like carrying around your wireless Wifi router in your bag or pocket.
These devices are compact and portable.
They’re also very easy to recharge.
Most portable worldwide Wifi devices can be charged through a USB port and some devices will even allow you to charge your devices as you travel.
To use one of these portable hotspots, you just decide whether to buy or rent and then set your device up.
That’s right, I said rent.
You can rent some of these devices for low daily prices.
This way, if your trip is only going to be a few days long, you don’t have to make a big investment.
You just activate your Wifi hotspot and then pay for the days that you’ll need Wifi.
There are no contracts, no hidden fees, and no overages.
You get unlimited Wifi access for however long you pay for it, all for one flat low price.
Usually, these devices will come with pay-as-you-go plans.
This way, you only have to pay for the days that you’ll be using Wifi.
If you’re going to be following non-structured travel plans, you can just pay for a month of access before you head out on your trip and you’ll be all set to go.
You can connect multiple devices to these hotspots as well.
So, if you’re traveling with more than one person, everyone will have access to a fast and reliable internet anywhere in the world.
These devices work in hundreds of countries.
Anywhere that cell signal is available, you’ll have Wifi too.
Just be sure to set up your device before you leave from home.
Benefits International Wifi Hotspot Devices
- Work in 100’s of countries
- Rent or buy
- No contracts or overage fees
- Unlimited internet access when you want it
- Portable rechargeable devices
- Like carrying your Wifi router with you
- Saves money when compared to international phone plans or SIM cards
- Easy to use
- Reliable and fast 4G data speeds
- Quick downloads
- Secure connection
Drawbacks International Wifi Hotspot Devices
- Must be set up before you leave
How International 4G Hotspots and SIM Cards Work
International 4G Hotspots and SIM Cards – If you’re going to be traveling abroad, chances are you’re also going to want to stay connected with the people you care about back home and any of the ones you meet on your adventures.
This can be a challenge to those who haven’t yet discovered the miracles of wireless hotspots and international 4G SIM cards.
Without them, your cellular bill could wind up being nearly as high as your plane ticket!
Don’t stress; there are some awesome solutions available that reject the wallet-draining tactics of big wireless companies and let you circumvent those aggravating international 4G issue entirely.
As a digital nomad myself, I know how important internet access is when you’re traveling abroad.
Without it, you can find yourself in some miserable and frustrating situations.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at how international 4G hotspots and SIM cards work, and how you can use them to make your next trip a breeze.
Modern Miracles in Wireless Technology
It’s time to actually get excited about network access.
When was the last time you connected to a hotel’s Wifi network found yourself to be legitimately stoked about getting online?
With international 4G hotspots, you’ll have the power of the internet with you no matter where you are.
Devices like this are a travelers dream.
So what devices are available and how do they work?
Well, the two main types are SIM cards and Wifi 4G hotspot devices.
SIM cards can be purchased and pre-loaded before you travel so that your phone keeps working when you leave your home country.
Wifi hotspot devices can connect to a laptop, phone, and any other device that uses Wifi.
I personally prefer to use portable 4G Wifi hotspots because I often work from my laptop and my phone doesn’t let me insert a SIM card anyway.
When you use a portable hotspot, you can also connect many devices at once.
This is really handy if you’re traveling with more than one person.
There are a few great hotspot devices out there that can be used internationally and these devices are my main internet source when I am in nomad mode.
I sometimes even get asked by locals how I have Wifi when I am on the train or sitting in a park working on my computer.
Here’s a quick overview of how international 4G hotspots work and a few of the questions that I am asked most frequently about them.
International 4G Hotspot Devices
Small and portable Wifi hotspots let you connect to the internet from wherever you are.
They’re like miniature portable wireless routers that you carry around in your pocket, bag, or next to you in the car.
You can connect them to pretty much any charging USB port and then take them with you wherever you need to go.
Many devices give you unlimited internet access for around 24 hours at a time when you’re traveling internationally.
How do 4G Hotspots work?
International 4G Wifi devices work by connecting to the cellular networks around them.
They then utilize these local network connections to give you roaming-free, worry-free, wireless internet.
Many portable 4G hotspot devices can access cell towers in hundreds of countries, meaning that you can get Wifi in pretty much any city that you travel to, as long as the people there utilize some kind of cell phone service.
So, anywhere that you get a cellphone signal, your Wifi 4G hotspot device will have you covered.
International 4G hotspot devices can:
- Act like a portable Wifi router
- Utilize cellular network connections
- Create a 4G hotspot
- Work anywhere where there’s a cell service connection
What can your wireless hotspot be used for?
It’s important to consider what your wireless network needs are going to be before you settle on any portable network traveling solution.
International 4G hotspot devices provide a reliable Wifi internet connection for travelers and can be used and paid for in a few ways.
Many companies let you choose whether you want to buy or rent your portable 4G device.
Buying your device outright is smart if you travel frequently and don’t know how your travel plans are going to pan out in the long-run.
Renting is an amazing solution if you’re traveling for business or taking a short trip somewhere.
After you have the device itself, you’ll pay each day for your connection.
This usually gives you a day, a week, or a month of unlimited wireless access at a time.
Different devices have different payment options.
The amount you pay to use your connection will almost always be less than what it costs to roam internationally.
This is largely because you only have to pay a fee when you’re actually using your devices where with most cell companies, roaming charges will accumulate continuously.
Most devices let you deactivate your service at any time.
They also offer much more reliable internet connections than most cell companies since they utilize so many different cellular networks.
International 4G hotspot devices are great for:
- Those who don’t want to use random Wifi connections when traveling abroad
- People who want to choose whether to rent or buy their device
- Versatility and ease of use
- Fast and reliable internet access internationally
- Using the same device again and again
- Wifi access on a train, in the car, in a camper, or at a hotel
- Connecting multiple devices at once
What is using one of these devices like?
If you’re thinking of getting a portable international 4G hotspot device, you’re going to want to know how it functions in reality.
You’ll turn the device on and then go to a website on your phone or computer to pick the subscription you want to use.
Well-priced subscriptions can range from around $9 a day USD to $100 for a month of unlimited internet.
Compared to what phone companies charge, this is awesome.
What’s great is the versatility you’ll get.
When I am traveling for leisure, I only usually wind up using the internet every few days.
This means that I can just pay for the days that I know I will be lounging around my hotel.
When I am working while traveling, I will usually pay for the weekdays that I work.
I think I might be following loose travel plans, I tend to pre-pay for a month of service.
So essentially, you buy the device and then you activate it with a service subscription you like best.
It’s important to remember to set up your service plan before you leave on a trip.
This is important for SIM cards too.
This lets you be Wifi-ready from the get-go.
Some of the best international 4G hotspot device features are:
- Unlimited global Wifi
- A low daily price
- Monthly subscription options
- Battery charging for your phone
- SIM-card-free activation and use
- Secure network access
- The ability to use multiple devices simultaneously
Roaming fees can be insanely expensive when you’re traveling internationally; if you try to use your cell phone network to get a Wifi hotspot, you may find out that you’ve made an expensive mistake.
Both SIM cards and International 4G devices are a great way to work around crazy cellular network service fees.
You’ll get reliable internet access from anywhere that cell service is available.
Personally, I use a 4G hotspot device.
I love the versatility that I get and am often able to save money by only using my device on the days that I need to.
SIM cards are good for keeping a single phone active with 4G for a specified time period as well.
No matter which method you choose, you’re going to save money when compared to using international network roaming 4G access.
Best 4G International WiFi Hotspots for Travelers
Key points covered in this post:
- 4G International Hotspots
- 4G International WiFi Hotspots for Travelers
- WiFi Hotspots for Travelers
Have you ever wondered how the guy next to you was working off of their laptop on the train?
How exactly are people getting fast Wifi speeds in the airport?
Is everyone really connecting to some kind of Wifi signal that you can’t see?
If you’re wondering what you’re missing, you’re not alone.
Technology is moving fast these days and it can be hard to stay in the loop.
When you see people connected to Wifi signal that you can’t find on your own device, they’re most likely using a portable Wifi hotspot of some kind.
Below, I’ll explain how these devices work and tell you exactly how to get one of your own.
Wifi Hotspots for Travelers: What are your options?
When you’re traveling abroad, it can be difficult to figure out how to stay connected without breaking the bank.
You’ll probably need some kind of international phone plan.
These plans are great for making calls and texting your loved ones back home.
However, they’re kind of useless when it comes to 4G.
You probably won’t get good 4G connections in Oceania, Africa, or Asia.
In Europe and the Americas, you may have decent 4G service in big cities like London, New York, Toronto, and Paris.
However, as soon as you’re outside of these areas, you’ll probably only get 3G/2G.
Hotels, coffee shops, and restaurants may offer free Wifi, but these connections aren’t always secure.
You’re opening yourself up for data breaches, hacking, phishing, and other annoying digital dilemmas.
You definitely don’t want your credit card information stolen when you’re traveling abroad.
So what are the best Wifi hotspots for travelers to use?
You need to get your own private hotspot.
You probably won’t be able to create a hotspot with your smartphone if you’ve only got 3G service but if you have a device that can create 4G international hotspots, you’ll be all set.
For that reason, in my experience, 4G international Wifi hotspots for travelers are hands down your best option.
I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for almost a decade.
This means lots of travel and a real need to stay connected to the world around me.
To accomplish this, I pretty much always need access to the internet.
I’ve used an international phone plan before, and still for the most part.
However, for the most part, simply having international text and talk isn’t enough.
For fast and inexpensive 4G, I like to use portable international Wifi hotspot devices.
They’re easy to get, comparatively inexpensive, and don’t take long to figure out.
I started out renting a device and ended up purchasing my own hotspot after a few months.
Since I often travel for work, my hotspot is even tax deductible.
The Power of Wifi in Your Pocket: How do portable international hotspot devices work?
Portable Wifi hotspots take the available 4G signals of multiple cell towers and channel them into a single strong Wifi hotspot.
Then, it’s as simple as connecting to that secure Wifi hotspot on your computer, tablet, phone, or whatever else.
Portable 4G international hotspots take things up to a whole new level.
They not only use the cell towers nearby to create Wifi hotspots but they also work with various mobile networks worldwide to give you a seamless Wifi connection from pretty much anywhere in the world.
Many of these devices can be used in 100’s of countries and will give you a great hotspot wherever there’s any kind of cellular service available.
Setting Your Device Up
With most devices, you’ll get to choose how you pay and whether or not you want to own your own.
You can choose to purchase your device outright or rent it for the duration of your trip.
If you pay for your device outright, it will be shipped to you.
From there, you will set it up and either select the days that you wish to use Wifi or pay as you go while you’re traveling.
Monthly plans are also available.
Since I use Wifi every day, I usually just purchase a monthly plan.
Renting a device can be great too.
You simply pay a low daily rental rate after your device arrives at your front door.
Shipping is usually pretty fast and it’ll be free as well.
When you’re done using your device, you simply send it back.
You’ll probably get a pre-paid envelope or box to return your device in so postage isn’t an issue.
It’s as simple as that.
I do want to say, with most of the devices I have used, setting them up at home is easier.
You don’t want to have to find a Wifi signal to hop on to in the airport in order to try and set up your hotspot device while waiting for your flight to be called if you can avoid it.
Advantages These Devices Offer
With mobile wifi hotspots set up for international travelers, you’ll be able to access the internet from essentially anywhere.
You won’t have to worry about paying international data rates (which can be as high as $3.50 USD per MB) on your phone or trying to connect to free public Wifi in some hostel in Europe.
You’ll have your own private and fast Wifi connection with you everywhere.
These devices are portable and rechargeable.
They have USB chargers and tend to have pretty good battery life (most of them).
I’ve had devices last anywhere from four hours to twenty hours on a single charge.
Some devices even let you charge your phone or tablet through a power bank.
This is great for anything where tourism is happening.
After all, the electrical outlets aren’t all the same worldwide and if you’re on some kind of sightseeing excursion, you’ll probably want to take pictures on your phone.
In My Opinion…
Personally, I never travel without my international hotspot device.
It’s just become something that I depend on.
I didn’t think that I would use it as much as I do to be quite honest.
However these days, I’m the one who gets asked “how do you have Wifi here?” instead of being the person who feels out of the loop.
That right there may be the best part about using one of these devices.
Remember, no matter what you’re planning to do for Wifi, have a plan before you leave your home base.
It’s never fun to be stranded in another country trying to get someone to pick up from a phone number they don’t recognize.
Thanks for reading, and safe travels!
Best Unlimited 4G Wireless for Travel
You might have heard the term 4G Wireless, but be unclear about exactly what it is.
That’s totally okay.
Most people don’t fully understand what 4G Wireless is, or why it’s so preferable for travelers!
What Is 4G Wireless?
4G Wireless is the fastest internet that you can get.
It’s up to ten times faster than 3G service and supports all sorts of browsing activity that would be difficult on slower devices, like video streaming.
4G Wireless is a must for video conference calls, editing websites or even checking out videos on YouTube as you wait at the airport.
It eliminates a lot of frustration that comes with internet browsing.
Best 4G Wireless Devices
If you want to have access to the best 4G, you’ll need a device that totally supports your browsing.
There are plenty of options on the market.
I’ve outlined some of my favorites.
This device is the last word in unlimited 4G wireless for travel because it is speedy and you will never run out of data.
It is 100% unlimited, with no strings attached, making GeeFi a great option for long-term travelers.
Plus, you can connect ten devices to the hotspot, so you never have an excuse not to post those incredible Facebook pictures from the road!
SkyRoam’s Solis device is one of the legacy products on the market and has been useful to travelers for over ten years.
They offer a number of different plans, including an unlimited monthly plan for $99.
Use the Solis in over 110 countries and never be without high-speed internet again!
TEP Wireless is one of the oldest players in the business and has a cult following among travelers.
It comes with the high-speed wireless that you want, plus a lot of other perks like great customer service.
TEP Wireless also offers a service called Kitestring, which keeps tabs on you as you travel and alerts friends and family back home if there is a problem.
It’s available in over 100 countries and even offers in-flight high-speed WiFi do you don’t have to buy expensive packages while you’re in the air.
Google Project Fi
Project Fi is not a portable hotspot device, but an app offered by Google for different phones that acts as an international calling and data service.
They have competitive pricing on international data and are available in almost 200 countries around the world.
Project Fi is a good option for people who don’t want to carry around an additional device and who need basic service for international calling.
Always Online Wireless
Always Online was one of the pioneers of 4G Wireless and works by SIM card.
You need to have an unlocked phone to use it, so make sure that you contact your carrier to make sure that your phone is compatible with Always Online’s SIM card.
Alternately, you can have your phone unlocked overseas, but I can’t vouch for international shops that will unlock your phone without your carrier’s permission.
I’ve had some success unlocking my phone through these shops, but also heard a lot of horror stories.
Proceed with caution! Always Online works in almost 100 countries as is a solid option for people who want to use 4G Wireless without an additional hotspot device.
Get Unlimited 4G Wireless For Travel Without A Hotspot
What if you don’t want to get a portable WiFi hotspot device, SIM card or app?
There are other ways that you can get 4G Wireless without enabling a hotspot, but they are not as reliable as the methods that we described earlier.
Find Quality Free Public WiFi
It is possible to find 4G Public WiFi if you know where to look!
Generally speaking, places like airports, bus stations, or lower-end hostels will not have the internet connectivity that you need.
Higher-end hotels, coffee shops, and internet cafes will generally employ 4G, so if you need high-speed internet in a pinch, head on over to one of those places.
There are certain hostels and hotels that offer co-working spaces.
These places are geared towards business professionals and the WiFi there is generally far superior to anything that you can get at a random cafe or restaurant.
Generally, you have to pay to access these spaces, so be prepared to spend at least ten or twenty dollars per day on a co-working space.
This is roughly on par with what you would pay for a hotspot device, so it’s really up to personal preference.
Even if you find 4G Wireless in a public space, beware of accessing your bank information.
Just because the internet is good quality doesn’t mean that people can’t see your personal data.
Save any sensitive searches for a network that is locked down.
Check With Your Local Cable Company
This is an unorthodox option that not many people think about, but I have taken advantage of it when traveling domestically in the United States.
Your local cable company generally has branches all over the country, and as a customer, you might have access to their WiFi.
It does not hurt to ask, so simply put a call in and ask if there’s 4G Wireless that you can access in the city that you’re traveling to.
As an added bonus, their WiFi is probably password protected, so it will be quicker, more secure and less of a hassle to use than public WiFi.
It takes just a few minutes to call and see if accessing your local cable company’s WiFi is a viable option, so just make the contact and you might be pleasantly surprised.
In our connected world, there’s no reason for you to ever be without high-speed internet.
There are so many different options to tap into 4G Wireless when you’re on the road.
Explore all of your options and choose the one that makes the most sense to you!
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Best Unlimited Worldwide 4G Wireless Plans for Traveling
If you have a vacation coming up or if you’re expecting to travel to another country soon for business reasons, you’re definitely going to want to have access to the internet.
After all, staying connected for work, on social media, and with your loved ones, is very important when you’re out and about abroad.
Globally Accessing the Internet on Your Device
When you’re in your home country, you are probably used to using your cell phone when you’re out and about.
At home, your devices will connect to your Wifi router and you don’t have to worry about data.
When you’re traveling, however, you will need a 4G connection to get online if you’re not connected to Wifi.
4G service comes from cellular towers that work through the wireless network that you subscribe to.
Internationally, these towers may not work with your device unless you set something up before you leave home.
The 3 Best Ways to Get Unlimited International 4G Service
Now let’s go over some of the best options out there for unlimited worldwide 4G connectivity.
I am going to give you the three easiest options, and then tell you which one I think works best.
Using Cellular Service
If you want to keep using your cellular service as you travel from country to country, you definitely can.
Many wireless providers offer some kind of international 4G plan.
The thing is, these plans can get really expensive.
Most international 4G plans just aren’t worth what they cost.
For one, international cellular plans tend to have long contracts and sneaky fine print that can lead to big problems later on.
Also, even if you have a great international 4G wireless provider, you’re probably not going to use as much of the data as you are paying for.
Finally, many “4G” wireless plans tend to be useless when traveling internationally.
I’ve put 4G in quotations here because as soon as you leave the country, your phone is probably only going to get 3G or even 2G service as you travel.
This is just the nature of the beast and your wireless provider probably won’t be able to help you get a stronger connection in a foreign land.
Still, if you have the money, and you have a wireless provider that has cellular towers worldwide, you could call and have your wireless phone plan changed to accommodate international travel.
It’s a definite option for some people.
Examples of Plans Offered
Many wireless companies offer users plans that let them pay for limited “travel passes” while they’re in another country.
These passes can be used intermittently where service is available.
However, if you don’t have any wireless service towers nearby, these travel passes won’t work.
Monthly plans can be purchased with limited data.
If you want international 4G, you probably shouldn’t use one of these plans.
International monthly wireless plans may have tricky overage fees, so watch out for these if you use this method.
Pay As You Go
Unless you’re only planning on using your device for one minute at a time every couple of days, I would recommend against these plans entirely.
“paying as I went” is how I once racked up a phone bill that was excruciatingly high.
Easy to do
- Overages and hidden fees
- Coverage may not exist
- Many places don’t have towers capable of giving users 4G service
Now let’s take a look at a slightly better method for keeping your device connected as you travel.
Some SIM cards can come pre-paid to allow you to access 4G connectivity from your device in other countries.
The thing is, you have to pay to keep these cards active.
Some SIM cards can’t be used again, while others can be re-loaded.
You could also potentially buy another SIM card for your phone when you get to the country you’ll be traveling in.
Who wants to do that though?
You’d have a whole new phone number that no one back home would know.
Pre-loaded International SIM cards can work out well for some people, though they won’t let you use your laptop or connect other devices like your partner’s phone or a tablet unless you use your device to create a Wifi hotspot.
This can work, but it will suck up your data really fast.
Still, international SIM cards are good for keeping one device active in some situations.
Examples of Plans Offered
Preloaded – You can preload a SIM and it will connect you to international towers as you travel.
Keep your device connected
Fairly easy to use
Give you a limited 4G connection
- Only works for one device
- Won’t get you unlimited 4G
Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices (Best Method)
Now we reach my favorite option, Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices.
This is the best way to keep your service and use your phone almost exactly how you would use it at home.
These things essentially let you cheat the cellular system.
All you have to do is buy or rent a device and set it up before you leave on your trip.
You can purchase a full day or month of data.
The best part?
The time period in which you’ve set up your connection gives you 4G data that’s totally unlimited and will cost much less than a SIM card or cellular plan.
Plus, you can connect multiple devices at once.
It’s like taking your Wifi router with you in your pocket!
These devices plug into any USB charger and may even be able to charge your phone or tablet.
Anywhere that cell towers exist, these devices will give you Wifi.
They quickly connect with foreign cellular providers in 100’s of countries around the world.
Examples of Plans Offered
- Rental – You can rent your device just for your trip and return it when you get home.
- Purchasing a device – If you buy a device, you can use it again and again on all of your trips.
- Daily passes – Purchase a pass for one day and get fast unlimited Wifi and great 4G connectivity for 24-hours.
- Month-long pass – You can also buy unlimited data for one month at a time without a contract or the fear of overage fees.
- Easy to use
- Super fast 4G and Wifi download speeds
- Connect around 5 devices at once
- Use for multiple people
- No SIM card changes
The only drawback is having to choose which travel companion hotspot device provider to go with, there are a few out there to pick from.
My Recommendation for Unlimited Wireless Plans for Traveling
If you’re going to be traveling abroad, I recommend getting a portable mobile and Wifi hotspot.
It’s simply the easiest and most reliable solution available.
You won’t have to worry about running out of data, connecting multiple devices, or getting hit with hidden fees.
Other methods may work if you’re traveling alone or only for a day or two, but really, portable international Wifi hotspot devices are a better solution for most people when used in real-life situations.
Skyroam vs TEP Wireless: Which is the better mobile hotspot for travelers?
If you have been considering getting a portable Wifi hotspot device so that you can have access to Wifi and 4G connectivity from pretty much anywhere in the world, congratulations!
You’ve just chosen one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to stay connected while you’re on-the-go.
Now the question is, which company should you go with?
Two of the most popular and highly rated options for international hotspot devices are SkyRoam and TEP Wireless.
Both offer you the power of Wifi in your pocket, both are inexpensive hotspot alternatives, and both have various impressive features.
Since I’ve personally rented and traveled with mobile hotspots from just about every company out there, I am going to give you the rundown on how both of these devices work in real life.
I’ll go over each of them in-depth and give you my opinion as to which is better. Let’s go!
A Quick Overview of Portable International Hotspot Devices
Just in case you don’t know, portable international Wifi and 4G hotspot devices harness the signals from the nearby cellular towers and convert them into Wifi.
Having one with you is like carrying around a dense little Wifi router in your pocket.
The only big difference is that your home Wifi router likely plugs into the wall and gets its signal from a local network.
Portable international hotspot devices are totally cord-free and are usually can be charged via USB.
They take advantage of cell tower signals from all over the world and aren’t usually limited by specific networks.
How SkyRoam and TEP Wireless work:
Once you get your portable hotspot device, you’ll activate some kind of service plan with the company that you’re getting your device through.
Many of these plans don’t require any type of contract and some even offer “pay as you go” plans.
In my experience, hotspot devices with pay as you go plans are superior to most other options.
Some companies will also let you rent your device by the day.
This is really handy if your trip abroad isn’t going to be extensive.
Since both SkyRoam and TEP Wireless offer device rentals and low-cost pay as you go plans, we’re already off to a good start.
Below I am going to compare SkyRoam vs TEP Wireless devices side-by-side so that you can see how they stack up.
Skyroam vs TEP Wireless: Stacking Them Up Side-By-Side
Skyroam offers a superfast rechargeable Wifi device that works internationally; it’s called the SkyRoam Solis.
It’s like a portable global Wifi hub that lets you connect multiple devices at once from anywhere that cellular signal is available.
It has a long-lasting battery that gives you 16+ hours of battery life on a single charge.
You’ll have instant coverage in more than 130 countries around the globe.
SkyRoam uses a unique virtual SIM network that automatically links to the fastest available connections to give you great coverage and quick download speeds across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
The best part about this device, however, is probably the price.
You get unlimited data with a day pass that costs about $9.
If you own your device, you only have to buy day passes when you need them.
As a busy traveler myself, this is a super handy feature.
You can also choose to rent your SkyRoam hotspot device for around the same price daily.
If you need a lot of data, you can pay for a discounted month of service.
No matter what plan you go with, you’ll be saving a lot of money when you compare prices with international cellular plans.
I love this device because it really does have a long-lasting rechargeable battery and it connects quickly to my computer.
It even lets you charge other devices of its battery.
I’ve only used the power bank a couple of times, but it was definitely useful.
You just get your device and then set it up before leaving on a trip.
If you choose to rent, they’ll ship you your SkyRoam Solis for free with pre-paid return packaging.
• Fast connection in 130+ countries
• Easy to set up
• Long lasting battery life
• Offers 6000 mAh power bank
• Lets you connect up to 5 devices at once
• Rent, buy or pay in advance for service
• Low day pass prices with unlimited data
• No contracts, roaming fees, or fees
TEP Wireless is a company based out of London.
They offer a pocket Wifi device called “Teppy.”
Teppy lets you connect your devices to Wifi by converting the available signal into a fast and secure connection.
You can rent your Teppy for around $9 or purchase your Teppy and then get day passes that cost about $8 per day.
Technically, Teppy offers unlimited connections, though you’ll only get 4G speeds for the first 500MB of data that you use.
This is a problem if you’re using Teppy for work.
After you use that first 500MB of data, you’ll get 2G/3G speeds.
You will have to pay extra for an upgrade which gives back your 4G.
However, Teppy is lighter and easier to carry than the SkyRoam Solis.
That being said, the battery life isn’t as good.
You’ll only get about 6 hours of battery life per charge with Teppy.
Teppy works in about 80 countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania.
• Rent or buy your device
• Pay for day passes
• Decent data connection 4G speeds
• Charges quickly
• No contracts or roaming fees
In my opinion and experience, SkyRoam is the best overall option for truly unlimited 4G connection speeds and Wifi when you’re traveling internationally.
It’s got a better network, coverage in more areas, and a longer lasting battery.
Also, if you are traveling with others who may need to get online, SkyRoam is a real lifesaver.
Since 5 devices can be connected at once, you’ll be able to stay connected more easily.
So, if you’re about to travel abroad and need a reliable Wifi hotspot device that works internationally, SkyRoam is probably going to be your best bet.