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World Travel Internet Access Tips

Having your own connection vs. searching for Wifi

When you travel around the world it’s hard to keep organized and also stay connected back home to any work or other interests you may have. Every country has it’s own standards for wifi and how many are available.  It can be a daunting task to find Internet especially in a country where you already have other barriers like language to deal with.  Why not be in control of that aspect of your trip from the get go?  It is now possible to have an portable Internet connection that will work great in the USA as well as almost any location in the world.  Think how much having this one issue figured out will enhance and improve the rest of your trip.  No wasted time trying to connect or trying to figure out where to connect.  Especially since getting on the Internet can help you navigate a strange city! You have limited time on trips so taking that frustration away and replacing it with finding exactly what you need is a huge help.  Is having your own connection the absolute cheapest way to go? No, but it sure can make your trip a lot smoother.

Global Mobile Broadband options

So what Global Mobile Broadband devices do I recommend?  I would look at several factors.  Are you based in the USA? Do you also travel a lot in the states?  If so I would go with Verizon since they have the best USA 3G coverage, and also have dual band cards that work on the GSM networks that are popular overseas.

The  Verizon AD3700 or UMW190 USB card would be a great choice if you use a PC.  For Mac users, I would go with the Rocket USB Laptop Stick from T-mobile.  Just make sure T-Mobile also covers your needs in the USA since they don’t have nearly the 3G coverage of Verizon. Other things to think about are cost, and yes of course you may find some free wifi.  If it’s easy to connect, you may want to use it to save on data costs…but only if its free and easy.  I have seen many a hotel wifi at $25 a day to use, not such a good deal unless you are sitting down for a major amount of work/downloading!  When using any of the USA based services globally, there is usually a much smaller amount of included data per month allowed.  Be sure you know the terms of the plan before using it excessively.

Another tip to save!

One reason to get a Global USB card that has a SIM card (all GSM based devices use a SIM card) is that you can pick up a local pre-paid SIM card from the country you are in.  You can then swap out your USA based SIM card and put in the local SIM. Now, you are paying much lower rates than paying roaming charges to the USA carrier.

Need to share your connection?

What else should you think about? You may want to consider a mobile router, if you need if for more than 1 person at a time.  The best Global travel router is  the CradlePoint CTR500 since it comes equipped with all the International charging plugs. Now you have your own tiny wifi hotspot that you can easily use almost anywhere in the world!

Saving on Phone Calls

If you do happen to find some free wifi, remember to take advantage of Google’s new Gmail calling feature which offers really inexpensive international calls to anywhere in the world.  Skype is also another alternative, but Google’s version is even more intuitive to use when calling regular phone numbers instead of other computers.  I would not recommend using either Skype or Gmail for calling if you are using a USA based mobile connection from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile. Why?  Since a VIOP call uses a lot of data, your “inexpensive” call still will be cheap from Skype or Gmail, but the Carrier will charge you a lot for the data that you used!  So, once again, only use Gmail or Skype if you are on a free Wifi or other Unlimited data type Internet connection for that day.

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