Have you ever tapped your way through Snapchat and wondered, how on earth is this travel blogger posting live snaps from the Bolivian salt flats?
(No? Maybe it’s just me then.)
Chances are, that travel blogger rented a portable Wi-Fi hotspot and therefore has an internet connection even in the middle of nowhere.
Even if you don’t have the need or desire to snap or Instagram-story every moment of your travels, you could still find it useful to rent a Wi-Fi hotspot device for your next international trip.
Tep Wireless rents out Wi-Fi devices that can be used in over 100 different countries around the world. This means that no matter what brand of mobile phone, laptop, or tablet you’re traveling with, you can connect to the internet as long as the device is with you.
I’d recently been burned by a bad hotel Wi-Fi experience, so I decided that on my next trip abroad I would rent a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, just to be on the safe side. I’d heard a few travel bloggers mention Tep Wireless, so I decided to try them out on a trip to Aruba.
One thing I love about using Tep Wireless is that they make it super-easy to reserve your device.
You simply go to their homepage, click the big red “Rent Now” button, and fill out a very simple form. The company will then ship the device to you, and guarantees that it will arrive 1-3 business days before you leave on your trip.
The device arrives packaged in a nylon carrying case, which includes a charger, a plug adapter, a simple user guide, and a pre-labeled return envelope.
Returning the device after your trip is as simple as plopping it into that envelope and dropping it into a mailbox.
Honestly, I was underwhelmed by the speed of the connection. I was able to do simple things like check my email and social media accounts, but it wasn’t very fast. It turned out that Aruba was very well equipped when it came to Wi-Fi, so most of the time I ended up just using whatever local Wi-Fi connection was available to me because it was speedier than the Tep Wireless device.
Also, while Tep Wireless says you can connect up to five devices at once to the hotspot, I would not recommend trying that. Even with just two devices connected (my phone and my husband’s phone) the connection slowed to a crawl.
I can’t lay the blame completely on Tep Wireless, since the speed you experience depends largely on the quality of the local network. It could be that the signal from the network operators in Aruba just weren’t that good to begin with. I’d be curious to try the device again in a different country so that I could compare.
One more thing: Since the device has to be shipped to you, Tep Wireless suggests placing your order at least 10 days before your departure date. So if you’re a procrastinator who’s looking for a last-minute solution, it’s probably not a good fit.
Is Tep Wireless right for you?
I’d say that if you’re traveling to a destination where the quality of the Wi-Fi is unknown, and your trip is less than a week long, it’s worth trying out Tep Wireless’s service. At $9.95 per day for most regions of the world, it would be cheaper than paying roaming charges with your cellular provider. But if you’re traveling for longer than a week, I’d recommend looking into other options such as buying a local SIM card, otherwise those daily charges could really add up.
Top Flight Family received a media discount. All opinions are our own.