How About a Wi-Fi Hotspot From an Airport Vending Machine? How About a Wi-Fi Hotspot From an Airport Vending Machine?

How About a Wi-Fi Hotspot From an Airport Vending Machine?

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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.

Skyroam is Simple

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?

4.9 / 5 - (8 votes)
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  • Hoping to see this is happening in other countries too

  • I agree with the others… neat idea but way overpriced.

  • Nice Service! I’ve seen these popping up at places other than airports too!

  • Attractive, but seems overpriced to me.

  • Kevin Davis says:

    Not a bad idea. I’ll wait until the price goes down until I want to buy it.

  • Hopefully prices will go down. Lots of carriers are also making international data more accessible so it’ll be interesting to see how this works.


    I don’t understand why you would need this when traveling. I just use my smartphone as a local hotspot.

  • Also feels overpriced to me.

  • Karen Klein says:

    This sounds very useful! I wonder when I am in China, etc will it route me over a us router? That way I can access everything and not be limited? I can use my cell phone as a hot spot so in the US I won’t need this so much but when I leave the US this could be great! I know that India has set up something that you can buy SIMS in the airport right after you land. Plus, often cell phone companies let you get numbers, etc for the time you’re in another country, for a price, of course. Many options are best when you’re going somewhere you’re not familiar though!

  • I would like to try this.

  • Logan Fisher says:

    I would totally pay for this service!

  • Quite simply, there is no legitimate reason that in 2017, wifi is still not a standard service provided at every airport. If you want me to watch a commercial first before I can connect so that you can pay for it through ad revenue, fine, I will do that. This service and its price, frankly, is ridiculous and I truly hope people can see that.

  • Yea I agree, seems overpriced. It’s good to have more options though.

  • Seems overpriced to me.

  • Does anyone have any info on whether there are blackout areas for this in the UK?

  • with cell phone companies lowering prices. I doubt this venture will survive

  • Would definitely use this! I never trust my home country’s provider to not send me a massive bill if I use roaming.

  • Nice concept, but like most people have already said, it’s really pricey. Though connectivity is a major problem for lots of countries (even in Western Europe), only 350MB/day is a pretty terrible deal. In Thailand, for example, you can get a 30 day SIM card with unlimited 4G data for less than the cost of this for one day, and the data works pretty well. I would consider it if the data was unlimited, but 350MB/day is not enough, especially if there’s no rollover feature.

  • If you want convenience and work is paying for it or dont care about the price this is a convenient solution. If you are price sensitive its almost always a lot cheaper to get a local sim (make sure you get your phone unlocked before you go). Tmobile offers a global roaming plan for 50 a month, so don’t see how this competes with that other than convenience or for short one off trips.

  • A bit pricey for my taste.

  • Google’s Project Fi is another great option for worldwide connectivity. Between Project Fi, T-Mobile and even regular carriers’ options like Verizon’s international plans, it is becoming cheaper and cheaper to stay connected all over the world. The funny thing is that now the carriers aren’t doing free/discounted phones with new contracts so they lower the price of one thing and raise it on another. The good thing about lack of contract free/cheap phones is that now I basically have to pay full price for a phone so there is no reason to get it directly from the carrier anymore; its time to buy an unlocked phone direct from the manufacturer which is all the better for worldwide travel and swapping sims, etc.

  • It does seem very expensive. Would it not be easier and cheaper just to have a spare mobile with a data enabled SIM for the country you are visiting and use that as a mobile hot spot, if you don’t want to be bothered with swapping SIM cards.

  • Sounds like a good idea I would use.

  • At 350MB a day for 30 days, it comes out to about 10.5 GBs a month at $8 x 30 = $240. Seems a bit on the pricey side. For now, I’ll be sticking to my T-Mobile One Plan which gives me pretty much the same thing in most countries at 1/4 of the cost.

    • That seems a little too much. I just buy SIMS for other countries when I travel.

    • It seems TMobile is the best cost effective plan for unlimited data domestic and international. Unless you get an international sim for a case by case, trip by trip basis and use Google Voice. Or am I missing something, I have a Grandfathered unlimited AT&T plan, with Fan Discount, its still more than TMobile and not even Canada & Mexico

  • Hmm. Will have to keep this in mind for the future.

  • this would have been extremely helpful on my recent trip to New Zealand where WIFI was hard to come by in my campervan!

  • I used it in Japan and it was really, really very useful!! Taking into account that in Japan you must have Google Maps because not everywhere you can find English street names and so on.

  • Hardik Ruparelia says:

    A great service, considering most airports in US have very limited connectivity. Also connectivity on long haul flights is always an issue