Stay Connected When You Travel With Your Own WiFi

January 28, 2013

xcom travel router

WiFi for travel is essential. I cannot be without an internet connection for more than a couple of days. When researching accommodation, I immediately dismiss any place that does not have wireless broadband (and demote those that charge exorbitant fees for it). Increasingly, however, I find that my roaming internet needs go beyond just the hotel room. We have tablets and a smartphone, which aren’t too useful when they are offline. I tried to stay connected on my smartphone’s mobile SIM card last time we were overseas and it was too complicated to connect. The WiFi hotspot provided in libraries, bars and cafes isn’t always a reliable solution either. These connections can be difficult to come by and are usually slow when they are provided because everyone else is using them. These connections can also be insecure.

xcom global wifi travel router

Enter a brilliant solution for the digital nomad. XCom Global offers international 3G mobile internet access in 175 different countries via either mobile hotspot or USB modem, which essentially gives you a wireless travel router. We tested out their services during our recent trip to New Jersey, where we stayed with older family members who don’t have internet access at home. All I had to do was place my order, providing the address where the device was to be delivered. Afterwards, I was told, it would be easy to return the device using an included pre-paid envelope.

The day we arrived at the house, the device had already been waiting for us a couple of days before. I opened the package to find a slim little MiFi device, instruction booklet and the cables we would need to keep the device charged. Within minutes I had powered it on, selected the correct network on my laptop and was happily checking my emails. Everyone else in the house also had access so we could use our multiple devices. We enjoyed fast, uninterrupted service for the duration of our stay.

xcom travel router

On the day it was time to return the device, I packed everything up in its little carry-case, popped it into the pre-paid mailer and took it to the nearest FedEx drop-box. These are easy to find on the FedEx website via a simple address search. There were many drop-boxes in the local area, the closest one being less than a mile from the house. Too easy! 

XCom has a number of plans and special offers, including support for those travelling to multiple countries on the same journey. This is essential for those of us who take longer trips. And the cost of staying connected constantly is a very reasonable US$14.95 per day – that’s for unlimited usage. I highly recommend this service and we’ll definitely be using it again on our travels.


Visit the XCom Global site and stay connected wherever in the world you may roam.


XCom Global hosted our trial of their service. As members of their affiliate program, we receive a commission for services booked if you reach their site via the links within this post. All opinions, however, are always our own.

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  1. Comment by Jill

    Jill Reply January 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    That’s a great idea. Especially for traveling in places like Australia that seem to be behind the times on the wifi front! (What’s the deal with that? Either it doesn’t exist or it’s $8 an hour!)

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers January 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Oh yes, definitely a good solution for Australia!

    • Comment by Tara

      Tara June 11, 2013 at 1:11 am

      I found America was crap when it came to internet – everywhere I went was only 2G and the whole concept of internet cafe’s don’t really exist across the US. Australia is great because a lot of places offer it for free – cafe’s restaurants and hostels. Another great thing about Australia is that it’s got government incentive to have 4G coverage around the country – and it works.

      Apologies if you found Australia hard on the wi-fi front – i guess it’s where you’re from and what you know.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers June 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

      I would have agreed with you re the US until moving back here recently. Maybe it’s just where we live but pretty much every restaurant and cafe I’ve walked into in the last month advertises free Wifi. And our home internet is ridiculously fast and for much cheaper than what we would pay in Australia. Hopefully the government initiatives take hold over there!

  2. Comment by Jennifer

    Jennifer Reply January 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I’ve been interested in a MiFi device. I still work full time and am location independent so long as I have reliable internet. I used to have an international unlimited data plan but my carrier did away with that. It often gets really expensive for me to be constantly connected on the road. This just might be the solution!

  3. Comment by Laurel

    Laurel Reply January 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Such a great idea! I travel so much and frequently am frustrated by the lack of Wifi. Like you, I only stay in places that have Wifi, it’s a necessity.

  4. Comment by Ali

    Ali Reply January 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’d love to have better access to internet when traveling! I’m not sure I’d be able to pay that amount per day for a longer trip, but for a long weekend it would probably be perfect.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers February 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

      I thought it sounded high at first as well, but when you think that few hotels charge less than this, and you get to use it anywhere and unlimited, I actually think the price is amazing since it includes shipping. I know what you mean though, costs add up on a long trip.

  5. Comment by Jeff Dobbins

    Jeff Dobbins Reply February 1, 2013 at 12:03 am

    I’ve been wanting to try their service for a while. Sounds like an excellent service. I’m hoping the cost soon comes down, since $15 a day can really add up.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers February 1, 2013 at 11:50 am

      We were really happy with it, Jeff. Give it a shot! =)

  6. Comment by Travel Wired

    Travel Wired Reply February 5, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I think you’re going to start seeing more offerings like this — folks just need to be connected more and more. Hopefully that will drive the price down a tad too.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers February 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

      I hope so – I think it’s reasonable for many travellers, but perhaps not budget travellers on longer trips.

  7. Comment by Susan @ Travel Junkette

    Susan @ Travel Junkette Reply February 10, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I just got a similar modem, but it only works in Nicaragua. This looks cool. Thanks!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers February 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Great to know they have them there, Susan!

  8. Comment by Heinz

    Heinz Reply February 14, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for this very handy info on WIFI. Excellent info.

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