As a travel writer, having WiFi during my travels is a pretty big must in my mind. I love sharing photos of what I’m seeing and experiencing while traveling, plus I need to stay connected with my family back home while on the road. That means having when traveling internationally, I can’t rely on my standard phone contract to keep me connected.
On my recent trip to Israel, I was faced with the dilemma of finding a way to connect socially while on the trip. I came across a company called tep wireless which a fellow traveling friend had recommended to me. Tep is a wifi hotspot rental company, and they’ve got most of the world covered.
A couple of the reasons I was interested in going this hotspot route was because 1) I wouldn’t have to find a SIM card store in Israel when I landed. I also was a bit overwhelmed with trying to see if my phone would even accept a different country SIM card. And, 2) the plan was for unlimited service, so no worries about data amounts and usage (more on that in a bit).
How it works
First, you visit the tep wireless website and pick your traveling country from a drop down menu. You’re then prompted to scroll down and you’re able to see the price for a timeframe rental and can use a slider bar to adjust the number of days. When you’re ready to rent, you can input your country and travel dates, plus some add-on options. I’m not sure how they handle multi-country trips. Then, you have to add on shipping costs.
You can choose which country you want the device shipped to and from. Tep sends you the hotspot quickly and guarantees it’s arrival before your start dates, plus they include a shipping bag and label for the return. I was very impressed with how easy it was to receive and return. The device and components are all contained in a handy pouch, that’s easy to pack.
While traveling it’s easy to use the device. Simply power it on and confirm the start of a 24 hour use period (that’s how the days are figured, not based on a time clock). Up to 5 devices can connect and use the connection.
Unlimited International WiFi
Now, about the use. Unlimited is not really unlimited which is made clear, but still a bit hard to understand. The fine print that is actually clearly stated on the tep wireless site says, “If you use more than 350MB within a 24 hour period, your connection speed gets slowed to 512kbs. The connection speed then returns to normal the following day.” 350MB is not a lot of data.
If you’re planning to do a lot of photo and video uploads, be prepared for hitting your limit, and 512kbs is slow, like dial up slow. But, it’s only for the remainder of your 24 hour period, not the rest of your rental period. I truly appreciated that it was clearly stated and I knew when I hit my limit in Israel, sometimes in the evenings of a busy day, that it would soon be over and I’d be good again for high speeds the next day.
One note is to be sure you turn off your device when you’re not wanting to use data because your phone connects to it continually as a hotspot and can use up some of your precious data with background tasks. All in all, I think I hit my limit 3 of my 8 usage days. But again, I still had internet even after hitting my limit, it was just REALLY slow internet.
So the next time you have some international travel planned and you need wifi for the trip, check out tep wireless. It was such an easy process, and one I’d use again.
I paid shipping for the tep device, tep wireless provided my service to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own based on my personal experience.