Updated August 2015
By Cacinda Maloney
MIFI Hotspot: Is it worth it while you are traveling? Answer: YES!
I was lucky enough to try out a product that was new to me called a Mifi, my very own, personal wifi on my trip to Norway from Xcom Global. They were gracious enough to allow me to test out the international mifi rental, a mobile hotspot or the other option I could have tried was the USB modem.
What you need for an international mifi or Europe mifi rental:
The steps were quite simple and here is what they needed from me:
Date of departure:
Date of return:
Address to ship to in US (1 day prior to departure):
Name on order:
I emailed that information and sure enough, one day prior to departure the international mifi rental arrived. It was not the Huawei brand I was expecting, but that is ok. There was a warning attached to the mobile device to NOT plug it in until I reached the country in which it was programmed for, which in this case was Norway. This did take me by surprise, as I was ready to plug it in and get it charged up before leaving on the trip, so keep that in mind.
Once you arrive with your international mifi hotspot or Europe mifi:
Upon arrival to my apartment in Oslo, Norway, I immediately pulled it out of its packaging and plugged it in, as it need 4 hours to charge. Once out on the town, I slipped it into my pocket, next to my cell phone and had it turned on. Here are my thoughts throughout my time in Norway. Be aware that I had used modes of transportation on the subway, trains, airplanes, boats and even went through tunnels and the fjords area of Norway:
PROS OF THE MIFI HOTSPOT:
- Readily available once I was on the ground after charging, which took four hours to charge.
- It connected right away to my devices once I programmed the password into each device and then remembered it throughout my trip.
- It has the ability to connect up to 5 devices, I only used 3, but I can see where it would be beneficial to travelers in a group.
- It is a secure network, so although there was quite a bit of wifi available throughout my travels, this one was secure.
- Obviously, no roaming fees on my cell phone.
- It allowed for two countries, with the first one $14.95 a day and the second one free and/or there is also a European data package that allows for up to 40 countries at the same rate of $14.95 per day.
- Small and portable, and convenient
- Easy return in a prepaid envelope.
CONS OF THE MIFI HOTSPOT:
- I could not use it until I got to the country in which it was programmed. So no usage in the airport along the way, which was a bummer for me. On the return, I had to get some work done and ended up with a 24 hour Boingo charge of $8.95.
- It only has four hours of usage, till it needs to get plugged in again. Tip: I didn’t figure this out till day 2, and left it on the entire time on day one. Now I realize I should have just turned it on when I needed it and then saved the battery time by turning it off when I wasn’t using it.
- This may sound stupid, but it had a difficult passcode and it took about 5 attempts at getting the code in there before it worked. Many numbers and capital letters, etc., but once it, it was in the memory of the devices it worked fine.
- This may be a given, but it didn’t work well on trains, as I would be going in and out of tunnels and so I get that it didn’t work, but not realizing that in advance, I thought I could get some work done on a long 6 hour train ride: NOT.
- Cost is $14.95 per day
Overall Impressions of the Mifi Hotspot:
Overall, I LOVED having an international mifi rental with me all the time and would recommend getting on for your next trip, especially if you need to get some work done, even though there may be areas where this is limits. I found the cost to be quite prohibited, but on the other hand it sure is convenient. My 7 day trip to Norway would have cost $105, not sure if there are taxes, but I suspect there are, so it would probably run around $120 ‘all in’ for a week.
What do you think? Would you ever pay for one of these devices? Have you rented one before? What company did you use?
Pinners, pin this one:
Disclosure: I was given a mifi hotspot from X-Com Global for my trip to Norway.