I have tried out a couple WiFi devices. Just like normal people try out different shoes or clothing, travel bloggers try out different WiFi devices. Disclaimer: I also try out pretty much all the shoes, too. I used a new device for the last two months while traveling. Here is my Tep Wireless review.
Tep Wireless Review For Travelers
Let’s start with what it is before I go into the full TEP wireless review. Basically, it’s a little black box that you carry around and when you turn it on, it magically finds the strongest signal around whether that is 3G or 4G. You say “start” to tell the box you want to pay for that day’s internet, and it immediately connects for unlimited internet that day (yes, even streaming Netflix).
Connected while hiking in the forest, yeah I know, I should be less connected ;)
Why use Tep Wireless while traveling instead of a SIM?
Here are some reasons. It’s important to understand who would benefit from using this device and WHY rather than just if it works or not. (It does work, ha ha).
1. Less Paperwork.
Some countries, like India, have some paperwork to fill out and they still cut you off after a couple weeks because they follow up with your hotel listed, and you aren’t there anymore. You also have to give a 2×2 photo, copy of passport, and copy of visa, to get approved.
So, of course, if you are going to come to, say, India for 6 months straight it would make sense to do the paperwork and get a SIM card in your name.
2. Bouncing Around a Lot – Price Considerations
If you’re going from country to country, it’s a waste of time and money to be buying a SIM card in each country to only stay there for 4 or 5 days. Most are priced monthly or biweekly and offer set amounts of data you may never use up. While a SIM card is cheap in the long run if you are staying, they add up if you buy a lot. You’ll want to add up what multiple SIM cards would cost (plus what your time is worth in getting them)
While a SIM card is cheap in the long run if you are staying, they add up if you buy a lot. You’ll want to add up what multiple SIM cards would cost (plus what your time is worth in getting them) and compare that price to the device.
For example, I was in Latvia for 4 days, then went to London for 1 day to catch a flight to Morocco, just to hop back up to London for 2 days before flying to India. It would be crazy to buy a SIM everywhere.
3. You Won’t Always Use the Internet
You will also want to consider many guesthouses, airports, and restaurants have WiFi. You only pay for this the days you want to use it. You might go a week without needing it, then turn it on for a two day Netflix binge while you want to crash out in a secluded guesthouse with no WiFi. It certainly comes in handy at those times.
4. You Use a Lot of Data
Once you hit “start” to start a new day of service, you have unlimited high-speed internet for 24 hours. For people who download movies, send images, write blog post and upload images, or just steam TV, it’s great.
5. Airport Transits
Some airports, like India, only let you use the WiFi if you have a local phone number (they text you the password). Therefore, you can’t use the internet to do things when you land like order and Uber. This is a pain! I would say my favorite thing about this is that I can sort our my transportation through Uber or another app relevant to the country I’m in, without worrying if the airport will have WiFi.
When passing through airports, you can use your own hotspot rather than worry about connecting to their WiFi which often doesn’t allow for streaming. No more boring long layovers.
6. You Need It Right Away
For business travelers and people who do business online, nothing is better than landing after a long-haul flight and immediately checking your messages. It literally works right away when you land.
7. You’re Traveling with Friends
If you and a buddy (or up to 5 buddies) are going on a trip together, you can split the price and all connect to the device to have the faster easiest internet. Can’t beat that. Imagine 5 girls in Thailand splitting the cost and getting WiFi even in your bungalow! Nice.
using my TEP at the train station in Helsinki
So, how does TEP wireless work & how much does it cost?
- When you purchase the device you will put in the places you are going and the amount of time you want to rent the device. If you’re going a lot of places just choose the region or “global” for everywhere.
- Once it comes in the mail, there is actually no set up required. There is a password so you can connect to your phone or computer and that’s it. You can’t even really go into the settings and mess it up if you wanted to.
- Once your trip is over, you send the device back. It is a rental.
- The cost is around $9 per day but gets lower if you take it for multiple days.
Other things you need to know for a full detailed TEP wireless review:
The battery says it lasts for about 8 hours or 20 when in standby, but that will depend on if you are using the internet heavily. Like your phone, you should just charge it at night while you sleep.
You can share this to up to 5 devices, so all the other travelers will love you. It’s unlimited WiFi so literally doesn’t affect you at all.
They have a 100% money back guarantee.
It’s a more secure connection than a shared WiFi connection in a public space- where hackers can steal your information. I use a VPN on top of that, because as a blogger you can’t be too careful!
It works in a lot of places, but not everywhere yet. Here is a list of the countries it does work in.
Because this is WiFi, not a cell phone with a phone number, you’ll want to download Skype or Whatsapp, well even FB messenger lets you make calls now, and make your calls online.
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