TRAVEL GADGET OF THE WEEK:
Staying Connected While Traveling Abroad – Global Hotspot
In search of a global hotspot. Lets face it we’re all attached to our phones these days and when we travel abroad the number one thing in our minds is “crap, how are we gonna afford all that roaming data?” We can’t tell you how many times we’ve spent hours on the phone negotiating data charges when we take a trip overseas. It just seemed that “data roaming” was just part of international travel, our friends would say “dude, when you get the new iPhone just get your phone unlocked and buy a sim card”….yes thats one option we thought. After talking it over dinner we both decided to hop on our laptops and search for alternatives, that is when Ben came across The Skyroam Global Hotspot. After reading about the product and seeing numerous reviews we decided to go for it.
The Package Arrives
When our box arrived in the mail we were eager to test out our global hotspot. You have to create an account online prior to using, so after a few mins we set up everything up. Sitting on our couch outside of Dallas, we booted up the device for the first test. Long and behold it connected to a network and was broad casting 3G+ service. Okay. It seemed to work here in the States but what about abroad? Fast forward 4 days and we’re touching down in London. As the device boots up our skepticism rises…moments pass by…then the device connects, we activate a day pass and hope on. Success!
So how fast is it?
To be honest the speed is actually faster than 3G and we both were able to connect to the internet, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – there was hardly any lag. Since you’re getting unlimited data at 3G+ speeds for a day, when it did lag it wasn’t that big of a deal. During our trek across Europe we used Skyroam in London, Paris, Prague, and Barcelona – sometimes we even started our pass in one country and finished it in another, which was really cool.
Down To The Nitty Gritty
So now that we’ve had the Skyroam Global Hotspot for a few months here is what we’ve learned. Speeds vary depending on where you are traveling (cities have better speeds than the country side) and signal can drop out just like your phone in the States. For the most part the signal allows you to surf the net as you normally would at home, when Skyroam does drop into 2G service there is considerable lag. Overall speed wasn’t too much of an issue.
Now comes the major downside…battery life. Skyroam Global Hotspot has a rechargeable lithium ion battery but the lifespan is only around 4-6 hours – which was defiantly a challenge for 2 data hungry travelers. Our battery life went quickly and after our first trip overseas, we started looking into battery backups. We did solve this issue by using a rechargeable battery pack (check this one out) which gave us the extra juice we needed on the go.
Bottom line- after much testing on the road we can honestly say that The Skyroam Global Hotspot is money well spent. Very few times do we find a product that we feel is really worth the money. For someone who uses a considerable amount of data trying to find a great place to eat or how to get around a new city you can not go wrong with this device.
We’ve teamed up with the folks over at Skyroam Global Hotspot to hook you up with a sweet deal. We’ve got a special promo code for you to save 10% off. (click here)