Skyroam – your personal hotspot away from home

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Image: Kelly McCarthy
Image: Kelly McCarthy

As you know, I’ve been away for a while. It was on business completely unrelated to Self-Reliance Central but as always there are things to be learned when we travel.

One of those things is that Verizon’s overseas data plan sucks! The other is that using a local phone gets confusing. I can never switch out the right SIM card.

So I do all my communicating through What’s App, Skype Facebook Messenger and Slack (for the office). All these apps sit on my smartphone and offer something called Voice over Internet (VOIP) which I can use if I have wifi.

Not all countries have free or easily accessible wifi. So I bought a Skyroam. This little gizmo gives me a hotspot I can take anywhere. It connects to the local telecoms provider that Skyroam has negotiated a deal with and allows me to use my VOIP apps off its wifi signal. (Turn off Cellular Data on your phone before you land in a foreign country!!) It’s as good as having your phone.

Skyroam’s pocket-sized global WiFi hotspot is an easy way to get fast, secure mobile internet in 100+ countries. You can buy or rent a hotspot based on your travel plans. Then by buying “day passes” you get 24-hours of unlimited internet worldwide for your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. If you’re away for a while you can buy multiple days and the price comes down per day. I bought them day by day at $10 per day.  So you only buy what you need.

Of course, in an emergency you can still use your phone to make an expensive call or text through the local phone carrier, but for most of what you need, having a mobile hotspot in your purse is a great way to do it. My business colleague could also use it as it supports up to five devices.

I am not being paid to endorse this product. My husband found it online and we decided to test it when I visited Japan last week. I was very impressed. Here’s the website.

Can you think of an emergency, or off-the-grid use for this?