One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by readers and followers is, “How do you keep connected on the go, especially during international travel?” This is one of the best-kept secrets of every blogger, vlogger, influencer, entrepreneur or wonder women (multi-tasker) who you see always present on Facebook Live, Instagram Stories or just Snapping selfies to share with the world! The answer is that we have a portable pocket wifi device which not only keeps us connected while traveling abroad, but also saves money on international data roaming and provides unlimited data. Well, want to find out more? Below I reveal all of the details especially for you.
As an avid traveler who has wanderlust (a passion for visiting new countries and discovering off beaten path adventures), I enjoyed a lot about being on the go, but I hated spending money on crazy data roaming charges and often being disconnected from the world. For me, and my career, it is especially important to be active on social media. I also like to keep my family and friends informed of where I am in case of an emergency. I remember on my first trip abroad, without knowing better, I ended up coming home to a huge bill for hundreds of dollars. It was so unnecessary! Then, enter my hero – a pocket wifi device – Tep Wireless….literally changed my life, especially professionally!
Let me start by explaining the specifics of a pocket wifi or portable wifi device. It is a wireless modem that can connect any Wifi enabled device (your phone, laptop, tablets) to 3G Internet. The best part is that it does not require any kind of special installation or cables. It works like a personal hotspot which you can carry in your handbag or pocket. It’s that simple!
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How does it work?
You just turn on the Tep Wireless Device by holding the power button until the screen lights up. After you see the signal bars at the top-left, you hit start to activate your 24 hours unlimited internet pass. Then, one-time-only, go to the menu and navigate to the WLAN Info for your wireless network name (SSID) and password that will allow you to connect up to 5 devices. It will also work with any carrier-locked device. NOTE: The speed of the internet depends on the area of coverage; you usually have 3G network but really varies by location. Also, the speed will be spread among the devices, so the more devices connected results in speed reduction. Personally, I have never had any issues with connecting both my phone and my laptop.
How long does the Teppy wifi device battery last?
In my experience, a fully charged battery lasts roughly 8 hours, if you have it in use the whole time (without turning it off). Tep Wireless gives you the option to rent or buy an external battery pack, or you can simply charge it with your own. I just use the same one that I charge my phone with.
Where in the world does the pocket wifi device connect?
The pocket wifi device is available in over 100 countries. Here is a list of the destinations for your reference:
Africa: Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa.
Asia: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Caribbean Islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, and The Caribbean Islands.
Europe: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican.
Middle East: Cyprus, Israel, and Turkey.
North America: Canada, Mexico, and United States.
Oceania: Australia, Christmas Island, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, and Saipan.
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
What if I only regularly travel to specific continents or region?
No problem. Tep Wireless offers devices that are for specific continents only. Let’s say that you only travel around Europe, then you can get their European pocket wifi device, or for Asia, their Asian Pocket Wifi, and so on. They offer ones for North America, Oceania, South America or, if you are traveling around the world, then you can opt for their Global pocket wifi device. Saves you from buying sim cards to have unlimited data. Remember, you cannot make calls or send texts through regular providers service, but you can do VOIP calls using services such as Skype, Whats App, Viber, Google Voice or Facetime, over data networks.
How was the coverage?
In my experience, it is totally worth it. Having travelled without one, I was often frustrated with lack of available service, and it negatively impacted my ability to work timely from the road. With my Tep, my travels go much more smoothly and I’m able to enjoy myself more since I’m confident in my ability to stay connected! I even had service inside the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant disaster area (when I was there). I also had coverage inside the vehicle while I was exploring many areas throughout Ukraine and Czech Republic. The only place I did not have much service was in the center of The Carpathian Mountains. But honestly nobody had service there (can’t always fight mother nature and expect to win). I was deep in the mountains/country side, so no surprise.
On the Tep Wireless website, you can see that “their partners are the biggest network operators worldwide to ensure that you always have the best and fastest connections available to you. While there will always be great coverage in ‘populated’ areas, (i.e. cities and towns), if you are traveling to exceptionally rural or uninhabited areas (such as the Alps), we recommend you get in touch with us in advance so we can verify the coverage.” They really are committed to keeping their customers connected!
Money matters: Renting vs. Buying, How much is a TEP wireless wifi device?
If you are a frequent traveler, like myself, it makes more sense to buy one (I have the global one since I can be off at a moment’s notice). But for less frequent travellers, renting is a great option.
If you are just looking to rent this pocket device for a one-time use, they will only charge you for the daily internet which is:
- $9.95USD per day
- $9.95USD Delivery fee/ Shipping Fee to US, Europe, (might vary depending on the country)
- $5.95 return delivery
For example, you would pay only $115.40 for 10 days with Unlimited Internet (including standard delivery fees).
On the other hand, if you are a frequent traveler like myself and want to purchase the device, you’ll get a 12-month warranty, a universal travel adapter (which works in over 100 countries) as well as a travel pouch for you to keep everything safe. Plus, you get 3 free days pass for you to use whenever you want. The highlight for me was that you only pay when you use it. You need to click on start a 24 hours day pass. Check this breakdown below:
- Each day pass will then cost you $8 dollars (or $7 Euros)
- And the device, for you to keep, will cost you $99.95 (or 94.95 Euros)
- NOTE: You can connect up to 5 devices, so you can split the Internet costs with your travel companions.
- You also get 3 Day Pass Free (Savings of $24)
Thus, for just $124.90 (Device, Shipping fee), you can enjoy 10 Days of Unlimited Internet
Less than 10 dollars more than renting for the same time period! For me, it makes more sense to buy the device since you can keep using it whenever you want and with the reduced daily rate, it really pays for itself! You can read more here, and get yours today.
How fast does it ship or can I get it in a store?
For availability purposes, especially if you are renting, you should try to order it at least 10 days before your trip. You can enter the dates online that you will need it for. You should have it at least 1-3 business days before your chosen rental start date. If you need the device earlier, you need to indicate an earlier rental start date. If not, you can just pay to expedite the shipping and receive it overnight. In terms of returning the device, you need to return it a maximum of 2 days after your trip; this is important so that others are able to use it. Note: If you are in London, there are certain pick-up and drop off locations: One located conveniently at London Heathrow Airport and London Paddington Station. Your device will be waiting for you there on the day your rental begins. Let customer support know if you need it earlier than that.
Now, you can travel like the pros and stay connected no matter where your adventure takes you!