UPDATE: XCom Global is out of business.
Every time I need a portable WiFi hotspot for international travel, I search the internet for the latest XCom Global reviews in addition to reviews of its competitors. My work depends on staying connected so I need the latest and greatest technology. I always return to XCom Global (my first order was almost three years ago) because I know it works. The price and arguments in favor of other international WiFi hotspots are not enough to sway me otherwise.
Keeping roaming, data and texting fees to a minimum can be as confusing as it is challenging when traveling overseas. You can rent MiFis, put peel-and-stick stickers on your existing SIM card and even buy devices and turn on service when you need it. If you’re stuck with a cell phone carrier who doesn’t offer a good enough international plan (looking at you, AT&T), it does seriously help to plan your WiFi connection needs in advance to avoid unnecessary expense.
I’ve used XCom Global more times than I can count and am taking this device to China with me tomorrow. Here’s why.
Hotspots Available in Over 175 Countries & Territories
XCom Global provides international mobile WiFi hotspots in over 175 countries and territories around the world, including China.
I can tell you that internet in China can be incredibly slow, even in nice hotels. The XCom Global MiFi is a great alternative to stressed connections. Plus, in countries where language is a barrier it is so nice to have access to the internet from your phone, in your language, to figure out where to go and what to do.
Traveling in multiple countries? No problem, they’ll send you MiFi’s for up to two countries for a flat rate of $7.77 per day. There is a surcharge of $30 for each country after the third and fourth country but no additional surcharge for five or more countries. To give you an idea, if you need a MiFi in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore, you’ll need to pay an $7.77 per day plus an additional $30 for the third country.
Good for Inbound U.S. Travelers
MiFi rentals for travel within the United States are available, too. If you are traveling to the U.S. from overseas, just indicate your U.S. shipping address on your order and the device will be waiting for you when you arrive. The cost is $7.77 per day.
Plus, there are always circumstances when U.S. residents might need WiFi on the go when traveling domestically. For instance, tethering my laptop to my cell phone using bluetooth can eat up a lot of data and get pricey. The XCom Global mobile hotspot works in these cases, too.
Connect Up to 10 Devices
I used my laptop and iPhone on the device with no problem. iPads work with it, too. But, you can connect up to ten devices to it.
Better Than Hotel WiFi
I have paid more than $20 per day for hotel WiFi depending on where I am. The XCom Global MiFi can power WiFi on your laptop so I haven’t always needed hotel WiFi. Yes, WiFi is free in many hotels lately but they seem to like to up-charge you for premium or faster service.
Better Than Public WiFi
Your XCom Global MiFi provides a secure connection that you can access on the go without hunting down public WiFi spots or incurring data roaming fees.
Plus, It’s Fast
This isn’t slow like public WiFi or free hotel WiFi. Your connection is at high speed (though because it connects to local cell towers, if the local connection is slow, your XCom Global connection will be, too).
You Are (Almost) Always Connected
As long as the device is powered on and there is suitable battery life, you can usually surf the internet. It is good to know that your connection is only really as good as the local cellular service as that’s what the device taps into. So, if you’re on the Main River and you can’t connect, neither can others using the same local carrier. This is typical of any MiFi or other device you might rent or buy for international WiFi.
This means, for someone like me, I’m checking emails and Instagramming in real time instead of letting the work load backlog. And, it is far too expensive to upload photos to social media using my international data plan through AT&T.
It’s Cheaper Than Most International Cellular Plans
A few times, I’ve instead opted to load AT&T’s Passport International Plan which turned out to be a waste of month. I always blow through the allowed data and incur ridiculous overages that far exceed what I pay for my XCom Global device. What is frustrating is that I’ll buy say 300 MB with the Silver Plan for $60 without any ability to quantify (nor can the customer services reps) what that means. How many emails is that? How many photos? The answer is always… it depends.
There Is 24/7 Support
If you’re having trouble with your hotspot there is a toll-free number you can call at any time.
XCom Global Is Headquartered in San Diego
XCom Global is headquartered in Sorrento Valley, though a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese technology company.
How to Rent an XCom Global MiFi
It’s pretty easy. Go online to fill out your trip details and select rental options. The MiFi will arrive a day or so prior to your departure along with a postage-paid return envelope. You will need to send your MiFi back the day after you return, so be sure to schedule a FedEx pick-up or make time to find a drop-off location.
That’s it. There is no need to worry about voltage converters as the MiFi’s plug has one that I’m actually able to power other devices using it, too. Because I now travel with so many external battery chargers (like this amazing Jackery Bolt with built-in plugs), I do not rent the XCom Global hotspot with an extra battery.
Global Hotspot Rental Cost
XCom Global MiFi rentals for two countries added up to:
- $7.77 per day for the cost of the MiFi with a plug-in charger and a battery that lasts 2-3 hours.
- $2.49 per day for a portable charger, supplying an extra 8 hours of life
- $3.95 per day for insurance
- $1.00 per day for an extra battery
Shipping costs range by how far in advance you order. It’s $9 if you order 7 business days in advance of your date and includes return shipping costs.
It is so worth it to me. I saved so much time and headache by checking email and sending out photos on the go versus letting it all pile up at the end of the day! My hotel WiFi costs usually exceed this price anyway.
How do you stay connected while traveling overseas?
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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