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Connectivity when traveling can be a bane in the life of most travelers. Business travelers need to keep up with work, and tourists wish to stay in touch with family and friends. While many airlines offer in-flight connectivity, once you reach your destination problems can arise, from roaming charges to locked sim cards. This is where Skyroam comes in with their mobile hotspot technology, which you can take with you on your travels.
How Do You Get a Hotspot?
The company announced that you will be able to rent their mobile hotspots from several airports within the US. The first vending machines will be available in San Francisco (SFO), the company will follow with rolling out machines in Houston (IAH) and Las Vegas (LAS). The company plans to increase the number of locations across the US and the East Coast, although they have not confirmed any locations yet.
Where Do the Hotspots Work?
The list of countries in which you can use the Skyroam devices is solid but don't expect it to work everywhere. However, it covers countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the South Pacific, and Africa.
What Does Skyroam Cost?
In terms of pricing, there are two options you can choose from. You can either purchase the device, which retails at $124.99, although it is currently on sale for $99.99. Once purchased you'll still pay for service each day, but you only pay for the days you choose to use the device.
Alternatively, you can rent a device from Skyroam for as little as $9.95 per day, which includes device rental as well as connectivity for each day. That said, you'll pay for each day you have the device whether or not you use it.
How Fast is Connectivity?
From Skyroam's FAQ:
With each Skyroam daily service package or “global daypass,” you get 24-hours of unlimited internet on up to 5 devices. There is absolutely no data cutoff! Each 24-hour daypass provides access to the fastest network globally (HSPA+) ,with speeds up to a 3G/4G hybrid. This may vary from country-to-country depending on local data networks.
The daypass is modeled to provide the best possible experience to Skyroam customers, so the vast majority of users only get fastest speeds. If there is high usage (over 350MB) within 24-hours, the connection with go to a lighter 2G speed, which is great for e-mail, web surfing, social media, apps, messaging, and WiFi calling. Data always resets with the next global daypass.
Note: Skyroam is not optimized for video services like YouTube, Netflix or other heavy streaming activities.
So you'll get great high-speed data for the first 350MB data per 24 hours and then you drop down to slower 2G speed. You'll keep your connectivity, but apps like facebook or Facetime on iPhone or iPad will quickly suck up your data.
Considering the time, effort and cost of staying connected on your travels, the Skyroam service is a great option, especially since it can be picked up at an airport and dropped off on your return. The different purchase options make Skyroam something worth consideration regardless of how frequently you travel.
The fact that you don't need to deal with roaming or swapping SIM cards makes Skyroam a viable option. Have you or anyone you know used Skyroam before?
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