Earlier this year I wrote a review of Xcom Global and their MiFi Mobile Hotspot product as I traveled through Australia. Having strong and consistent access to internet while traveling is not just important to me, it’s essential. I was pleased with the MiFi service in Australia, but because of some of the locations I visited (middle of nowhere Outback) it wasn’t consistent. Knowing this, I wanted to test their service in a more likely travel situation to see just how much value it provides. On a recent trip to Europe I once again utilized the Xcom Global MiFi Hotspot for our internet, and these are the results.
Specifically, I used their Europe Travel Plan, which advertises one device for forty countries, an incredible feat if true. Although we were based in one country, Belgium, we traveled around and I was curious to see just how plug-and-play their service really is.
For $14.95 a day, you get to rent their Europe MiFi. You plug it in and instantly have free access to wifi, which you can secure or leave unsecured if you choose. One thing to note is Europe’s Fair Usage Policy. In some countries, a Fair Usage Policy may be in place in accordance with the business practices of the local internet service provider. If a FUP is in place, it may limit the transfer of a specific amount of data over a period of time. Internet service providers commonly apply a cap on the amount of wireless data when a user has exceeded a certain amount of data (data usage of over 400MB for the last 3 days), which can result in slowing a connection speed or service suspension. Confusing, I know, but the fine folks at XCom can help you navigate these bureaucratic challenges of traveling in Europe.
So what were the results? If I thought I was happy with the service in Australia, I was absolutely thrilled in Europe. The best was being able to plug it in while on the train and do some work between destinations. I didn’t have to worry about finding wifi or worse yet, not having wifi in our apartment. The MiFi is extremely easy to use, it really is just as simple as plug and play.
XCom also just released a new product that one-ups their current service, a global Hotspot device. Xcom can now cover 195 countries and itineraries that include multiple countries can be covered with a single device using the company’s new Global Travel Plan option. It’s the same methodology behind the pan-Europe device, except now it can cover most of the world. All you do is indicate your travel plans with the XCom staff and they help choose the best device for you.
Given how expensive internet access can be around the world, particularly at hotels, I am completely won over by this simple and cheaper way to access the internet.
Have you used something similar on your trips? What do you think of them?