Data & Internet Hotspot – XCom Global International MiFi Rental Device

Data & Internet Hotspot - XCom Global International MiFi Rental Device

Data & Internet Hotspot – XCom Global International MiFi Rental Device

Data & Internet Hotspot – XCom Global International MiFi Rental Device

“Stay Connected – International MiFi 3G Mobile Hotspots Provide Internet Access Anytime, Anywhere!”

WJ Tested: XCom Global MiFi Review

WAVEJourney just returned from a fantastic 33-day adventure in the Netherlands and Italy. A trip where we stayed securely connected to the internet thanks to an XCom Global MiFi Hotspot device that fits in the palm of a hand.

While we are travelling we need to stay connected via email, be able to update our website and various social media channels, but depending on the destination, sometimes that is easier said than done. As we both abandoned all use of cell phones after our previous careers, purchasing a local SIM card in each country is never an option for us and therefore we are typically at the mercy of unsecure hotel and public internet services.

Just before we left for Europe we were offered the use of the XComGlobal MiFi hotspot device and jumped at the chance to test it. After all, we would be on three different assignments and knew we would be eager to share photos and updates as often as possible each day. Then there are the bills that must be paid regardless of how much fun we are having as we travel – and it is always so difficult to make sure that those transactions are handled through the internet without compromising our accounts.

The day before we left the XCom Global MiFi package was left on the doorstep by FedEx. Inside was a small pouch containing the hotspot device, USB cord for charging via a computer/laptop, AC/DC plug, instructions and 3 travel plug adapters – for New Zealand, Asia and the UK (there should have been 4, but the European plug was missing). After turning it on to make sure the battery actually worked (no point traipsing around Europe for 5 weeks with something that doesn’t turn on), and as the instructions clearly stated that the device would not work until we arrived in the countries overseas that we had chosen coverage for (the Netherlands and Italy) we packed it with our other gadgets in our hand luggage.

Viv and Jill Stay Connected in Positano with XCom Global MiFi

Viv and Jill Stay Connected in Positano with XCom Global MiFi

Throughout our adventures the MiFi was constantly with us and we were able to update to Twitter and Facebook in the moment – cruising on Lake Maggiore, sipping Prosecco in St. Mark’s Square, holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, making pizza in Sorrento, tip-toeing through the tulips at Keukenhof Gardens and while lunching in Antwerp.

Upon returning home we simply placed the XCom Global MiFi pouch into the pre-paid and labeled FedEx envelope and the next day took it over to our local FedEx office for shipping back. It couldn’t have been more simple than that!

Pros:

  • Secure internet service – no need to log-on to dodgy public WIFI
  • Convenient – wide coverage in the countries we picked (the Netherlands and Italy) and XCom Global claims they can provide coverage in 195 countries
  • No unlocked phone? No SIM card for each new country? No problem!
  • More cost effective than paying daily hotel internet prices (US$20-$30+/day)
  • No limit to time spent online
  • Excellent option for accessing email, checking Facebook and Twitter, doing online banking, etc.
  • Small size easily fits into a pocket and is lightweight
  • Fast home delivery by FedEx and easy to return with the enclosed pre-paid FedEx envelope
  • Coverage in the Netherlands was very fast and even gave us coverage when we ventured into Belgium for a weekend
  • Coverage in Italy was somewhat challenging at times, but our research suggests that Italy’s internet typically isn’t as good, fast or readily available as most Western European countries
  • Provided extensive coverage throughout Italy while we were on public trains and during long motor coach journeys around the country
  • Provides secure connections for up to 5 devices (we had 3 that we used daily)
  • Price – Cost depends on country(s) visited and number of days. It may be cheaper to rent a XCom Global MiFi Hotspot if you will be staying in hotels with expensive WIFI, or if you need to be connected securely on more than one device throughout the day and on a regular basis.

Cons:

  • Order a second battery – we only got about 2 hours of life out of the one provided and had to constantly recharge for a few hours in order to use it when out and about. Also, it was difficult to know when the battery was going to run out of life.
  • Kit missing the European plug converter (NZ, Asia & UK in kit)
  • The MiFi device worked better outside than in buildings or structures with limited windows and/or thick walls
  • Much slower in Italy than the Netherlands
  • Cuts out in tunnels or mountainous areas (this is to be expected – just needed to be aware of upcoming tunnels while posting or sending)
  • Needed to log-in with my iPod Touch every few days, but other devices only required an initial log-in set-up
  • Price: US$14.95/day, US$1/day additional battery, US$29.90 shipping – The cost depends on the country(s) you visit and how many days of coverage are required. If you only need to check email occasionally then renting a device may not be the most cost effective.

    Viv and Jill Stay Connected in Venice with XCom Global MiFi

    Viv and Jill Stay Connected in Venice with XCom Global MiFi

Bottom Line:

For us, the XCom Global MiFi Hotspot was beneficial for the coverage we required throughout our trip – you followed all our Tweets and Facebook posts, right?!?

Yes, there were times when we needed and wanted better and faster coverage (especially in Venice, Italy), but after speaking with others that were travelling with us and hearing about the amount of time they wasted trying to access the internet, and the various other connection and pricing challenges they had, we certainly can not complain.

Would we take the XCom Global MiFi Hotspot with us on future trips? Absolutely! If we are travelling somewhere that coverage is available and need to access the internet on a daily basis it will be one of the gadgets added to our “must have” list.

Having secure wireless internet access 24 hours a day = Priceless!

Description from XCom Global’s Website:

XCom Global provides a wireless data rental service (you rent equipment and unlimited* data access) that can help save international travelers hundreds, even thousands of dollars off of standard international data roaming charges – without any long-term contracts. Travelers can take advantage of XCom’s pre-negotiated rates and arrange for data connectivity at a fixed rate before they set out on their trip. No time is wasted trying to locate an affordable data connection. XCom’s Mobile Hotspot is battery powered, fits in your pocket, and works with your devices as is – no technical expertise or unauthorized unlocking required – and provides private and secure connections including support for WPA2 andenabled for VPN pass-thru. It’s a flat fee rental so you don’t have to count megabytes or worry about being hit with unexpected fees.

Renting is simple. Travelers fill out the on-line order form. The rental device is shipped out to arrive the day before departure. A FedEx return slip is included in the package. When the traveler returns home, he/she pops the rental device in an envelope and ships it back to XCom Global.

Features:

  • Connects up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Computers, PDA’s, cameras, music players, personal and game players and more
  • MiFi OS™ , a browser based web user interface, capable of hosting advanced software applications and widgets
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
  • GPS- enabled
  • Advanced internal antenna system
  • Auto-install and auto-connectivity
  • 10M (30 ft) range of network coverage
  • MiFi is a registered trademark of Novatel Wireless, Inc.

For More Information:

About XCom Global, Inc.

Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., XCom Global, Inc. is a leader in providing easy access to low cost, high-speed, wireless Internet access rental services to international business and leisure travelers. The company offers broad worldwide coverage at rates substantially below standard international roaming charges. XCom Global is a U.S. subsidiary of an established Japanese company that has been in the forefront of providing travelers with innovative wireless communications services for over 14 years. For more information, please visit www.xcomglobal.com, call 877-520-8242 or contact us at info@xcomglobal.com. In addition, get updates and travel tips by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter@xcomglobal.

Note:
The Xcom Global wireless hotspot (MiFi) device was provided free of charge for WAVEJourney to test and review during our April and May 2013 trip to the Netherlands and Italy. See our full disclosure statement to see that this has no effect on our product reviews.

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