Getting access to Wi-Fi, let alone unlimited access, is becoming more important to travellers than the type of accommodation they choose.
In fact, studies show that Wi-Fi has a significant impact upon where people now choose to stay on their travels.
In my early days of travel is was where to buy a postage stamp, which later gave way to, where to find the nearest internet cafe.
Now we travel with all our devices and do everything online including booking our trips, sharing with friends, transferring money and, for some of us, continuing to work so we can earn and travel.
I’ve written before about the dangers of data roaming through your normal telecommunications company. They charge more than $200 AU for 1 GB of data, which means total bill disaster for you when you return.
I’ve also spoken about the hassle of finding local SIM cards and getting the right plan for your data connection needs – unlimited data plans are getting harder to find.
Finding reliable free Wi-Fi is also a pain.
I don’t want to make travel decisions based upon where I can find free Wi-Fi, particularly since we move so much and a large part of what we do is to be online sharing on social media. It’s a pain to discover something worth sharing on the street, but can’t share it as you can’t find any Wi-Fi connection.
It’s a hassle to be connecting and reconnecting, finding Wi-Fi passwords, or even feeling obliged to buy a coffee or muffin to get it.
Let me go wherever, whenever and still be connected in an unlimited way.
I fell in love with the WiWander device. It was effortless to use, and once connected upon arrival through US immigration, I forgot I even had it. I was online the entire time without a worry of bill shock or not being able to do the things that make my travels better.
I could use Google maps to hep me explore the city, I could update to my social accounts, read reviews and suggestions on places to see and eat, and phone Craig and the girls wherever I was using Skype or Facebook messenger.
There were no dropouts or connectivity problems.
What is WiWander?
WiWander is a portable, pocket-size Wi-Fi router, and a must-have travel accessory.
You rent the device (just order online), which gives unlimited data to outbound Australian travellers for multiple destinations around the world. WiWander is perfect for leisure or business use when travelling and ensure excellent internet connection wherever you are.
WiWander is perfect for leisure or business use when travelling and ensure excellent internet connection wherever you are.
The cost of renting the device varies depending upon your travel destination. It can be as low as $5 a day in Singapore, to $15 a day in the US, to $20 a day in Europe.
For long-term travellers, buying a local SIM card would probably work out more economical, but if you’re changing countries often, then the WiWander device would work well. Finding a new SIM card in each country is a hassle and can work out expensive if you’re required to purchase a month-long plan, but will only be in the country for a few days.
What I love about WiWander
- The device comes to you. No racing around to find any SIM cards or solution. You order and rent it online and the courier drops it off and picks it back up from you when you’re done.
- The battery life on the device was excellent. When fully charged it would last all day and night. The only time it died on me was when I forgot to charge it overnight and went to a full conference day on half battery. It died by 10pm and I tell ya, I missed it at 2am when I wanted to call an uber. I had to walk to my friend’s apartment, connect to her Wi-Fi and then call an uber!
- Consistent connection. Once you connect to the Wi-Fi you’re done. While friends of mine were running around trying to connect to free Wi-Fi, I was always on and not stressing about data limits.
- Unlimited data. Perfect for our needs. On this trip, I was Skyping as well as live streaming, uploading videos and photos to social media, and doing all other online activities. If I wasn’t so busy I would have watched a Netflix show or two. If I had any other plans, I would have capped out on my data pretty quick. It was so great to not worry about data limits!
- My Wi-Fi connection speed was fast almost the entire time I as away. There were only one or two experiences where it was a little slow, but it didn’t last long. I was very happy hearing many around me at the conference complaining about using the slow conference Wi-Fi and not able to connect. I was delighted to have my own personal connection. Bear in mind that it does connect to local data providers so is dependent on their speed.
- A secure connection. If you have your own device, you have an extra layer of security than if you are using free Wi-Fi. Often times your mobile phone won’t even let you get on certain sites when you’re using pubic Wi-Fi, which is a pain.
- You can connect multiple devices at the one time – up to 5. I had my phone and my lap top connected when I was in my LA apartment working, which did not affect speed. The WiWander device would be super handy when we’re traveling together as a family. Imagine all family members connected to the device on unlimited data!
What I didn’t like about WiWander
- The only thing I didn’t like, which is a little picky, was the on/off button. It was a little slow to pick up so you were unsure if it went on or not, which sometimes resulted in you actually turning it back off. A minor issue as I often have the same problem with my phone or other tech devices.
- The device is a little big. It’s not that much bigger than my Samsung 6 and fit okay in my clutch purse, but some people may think it’s too big. It wasn’t a problem for me.
- It can be more expensive than getting a local SIM card. The backpacker in me protests, but, the business woman I now am argues back that for convenience and ease it’s worth it. It will depend on your length of stay and how many devices you need data for. If it’s more than one, the WiWander might make better sense.
How to book WiWander:
- Book and pay online via wiwander.com at least five days before departure.
- Your pocket Wi-Fi router is delivered to your address at least one day prior to your departure.
- Enjoy unlimited Wi-Fi every day throughout your entire overseas trip.
- A courier collects the router from your address one day after you get home.